Category Archives: thesis

is the PhD a ‘journey’?

It’s not at all uncommon for doctoral researchers to think about the PhD as a journey. And they generally use the PhD-as-journey as more than a simple metaphor – it becomes a, even THE way of explaining to other people … Continue reading

Posted in Hughes and Tight, journey, metaphor, PhD, thesis, work | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

thesis know-how – reporting on ‘ethics’

I’ve read a number of theses which take a pretty cursory approach to ethical matters. The most worrying are those that simply make a short statement which reports that the research was approved by the relevant university ethics committee and/or … Continue reading

Posted in consent, ethics, harm, thesis | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

thesis know-how – don’t write an essay

Examiners do not want to read a thesis that contains a lot of mini-essays. To understand the problem with the thesis-as-essay, imagine the examiner reading a methods chapter. It starts off badly. While not in these words, the writer basically says … Continue reading

Posted in essay, examiner, expert, literature review, methods chapter, thesis | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

the post PhD slump

So you’ve finished the PhD. You’ve had the exam and the results are in. You’ve made the few corrections that were needed, and they’ve been signed off. You’ve printed out the final version of the thesis, had it bound and … Continue reading

Posted in thesis | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

reflecting on PhD learning

Some supervisors ask the doctoral researchers they work with to formally reflect on their learning. A what-am-I-learning conversation might be a regular part of supervision. Reflection is also often self initiated – ongoing thoughts are recorded in a doctoral researcher journal … Continue reading

Posted in doctoral research, text work/identity work, thesis, viva | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

thesis to book: you may need to change your writing ‘voice’

Unlike thesis examiners, academic book publishers are looking for something that is, above all else, a decent read. A first book is by definition written by an author who isn’t widely known, so publishers will be particularly keen to see … Continue reading

Posted in Helen Sword, nominalisation, signposts, thesis, thingification | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

too much detail isn’t good for your examiner

It’s 7.00 am. Pat is in the lounge room reading a thesis. She is finding it hard going and wants to go back to bed. Big Brother notices her yawning and summons her to the Diary Room. ” Well, Big … Continue reading

Posted in reading, thesis | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments