The answer is 42. If only we knew the question. Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy is a classic book that seems to answer why a PhD thesis is so difficult. If we know the answer then we need to know the question. Neither is easy to define. Today I have put the entire day aside to make my thesis aims and objectives clear.
Studying across three differing universities makes the "simple" (lol) task of writing my aims seem impossible. Everyone has differing views and styles. Hmmmm which one is correct? Well that is the beauty of it, clearly if no one agrees then there is not a black and white answer. The main thing is to make them clear so the reader can work out what you are attempting to do and so the discussion can link nicely back into them. I'd be fascinated to hear if any student used the same aims/objectives in their final thesis as they did in their proposal. Your ideas are refined during your candidature and it's unlikely they are the same at the end as when you started. If they were the same as your proposal was the journey really worth it? Did you learn on the way?
So in order to better work out the ideal "aim" I've been procrastinating by searching the web. Here are some interesting sites I found- just to fuel your own procrastination. If you know some good sites for thesis writing - especially aims -please leave a comment.
How to write a PhD thesishttp://3monththesis.com/how-to-write-a-phd-thesis/
What is a Thesis Statement?
How to Write a Thesis:
Marias Diploma and Ph.D Thesis writing suggestions
Writing a thesis proposalhttp://sydney.edu.au/stuserv/documents/thesisproposal.pdf
10 easy ways to fail a Ph.D.http://matt.might.net/articles/ways-to-fail-a-phd/
Aims, Objectives and Guidelines for PhD Studentshttp://www.cs.bris.ac.uk/Teaching/learning/phd-guidelines.html
Planning a PhD: Getting Your Research aim/question Righthttp://www.brighthub.com/education/postgraduate/articles/68825.aspx
With this small selection of web-sites and numerous completed PhD thesis to guide me I'm a step closer to knowing the question, but then again maybe my answer isn't 42.