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Overview

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Pjlu 4 star member
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 at 8:10pm
Friday, 24 February 2017 at 6:13am
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Thread: Re-developing the research proposal

posted
28-Feb-17, 06:27
edited about 5 minutes later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 3 hours ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
That's good. My supervisors don't give verbal encouragement (that's why I come to this forum!). Thankfully, they read my drafts and give feedback though.

Quote From Pjlu:
PS: I thought I might add also that neither supervisors have expertise in my topic. Their areas are quite different. I was assigned main supervisor based on availability and some very general similarities and second supervisor came in when another senior person who was assigned to be on my panel moved on.


Do you have someone else you talk to who has expertise then? Just wondered. I am moving away from my main supervisor's expertise, and I was actually thinking of changing supervisors for that reason...


No I don't have a mentor in my area at all really. It has been quite an isolated study with regard to that...I discuss the topic occasionally with other professionals or friends when they ask, but not for long as it can become too involved. I mainly get to share if I present to others. And that is more about methods or practice, or one of the outlier subsidiary topics not the main one. It has been a bit difficult in respect to that...however, I think my topic is worth it and now I am coming close to the end, my supervisors certainly seem to think so as well. Time will tell I guess...

Thread: Re-developing the research proposal

posted
27-Feb-17, 20:12
edited about 13 minutes later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 13 hours ago

Thanks for your encouragement. When you went through this process was it with your supervisors' close/distal guidance or were you more or less alone?


My main supervisor has always provided emotional support in that she has listened sympathetically to my issues throughout the thesis. The other supervisor is better for a sort of friendly, non emotional, brisk feedback on aspects of chapter drafts or other structural matters-but I only see her very occasionally as she is so busy. However, with regard to finding solutions and anything else, I have been on my own. First supervisor will extend thinking or seek to clarify when I present ideas and provide feedback to my written work regularly. I haven't always been able to access them though. My meetings with first supervisor are generally one meeting every 8 weeks (it would be four weekly if I were full time). In between that time I have just been working on my own.

During my data collection when things went pear shaped (as it does with data at times), I pretty much came up with solutions, trials and tried to dig my way out of the hole I was in by myself. It was more like first supervisor was peering over the top of the hole going 'you can do it come on'-metaphorically speaking, but not acting or throwing in a rope to help. Does this make sense? it was hard-still is hard but I'm now at the stage when I can see the finish line in the distance and believe it has been worth it. (Although I might change my mind after examination results-that is probably much later on at the end of this year if I can keep to my current timeline). Best wishes...it is a tough time...

PS: I thought I might add also that neither supervisors have expertise in my topic. Their areas are quite different. I was assigned main supervisor based on availability and some very general similarities and second supervisor came in when another senior person who was assigned to be on my panel moved on.

Thread: Feedback on your work

posted
26-Feb-17, 19:50
edited about 27 minutes later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 day ago
Quote From TreeofLife:
I agree, I would rather be told it as is, I don't like people dancing around the point either. By less intense, I guess I'm thinking if it's written down I can go back over it later, with verbal feedback I will probably forget most of it and there isn't usually time to write it down as they are talking.


When my current supervisors provide this feedback, the main supervisor has written already on a copy of the draft which is given to me at the time and this helps. Having said this, sometimes new things are discussed if both supervisors are there. Mainly I think because the second supervisor hasn't read the draft and is only now considering both my text and the main supervisor's comments and rapidly reading and taking it on board as we go. She is pretty much head of the faculty though and very busy and that is just how it works with her.

I also agree with pm133's comment about how feedback is often given in the workplace. This is the most prevalent sort of feedback given in the different schools and systems that I work within.

Thread: Re-developing the research proposal

posted
25-Feb-17, 21:41
edited about 26 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 2 days ago
Tudor Queen, I am not sure of the methodology that you are using but is your primary proposal focused on testing a central hypothesis or is it exploratory. If it is an exploratory study with some qualitative data, then your proposal can be based on questions that help you explore the topic. So given that the first study is interesting but not what you expected, do any questions arise or does this change the sorts of questions you might ask in the next study.

By questions, I am not talking about survey questions for the students (if you are doing surveys) but questions like:How does using BIggle Boggs reading program impact on children's word fluency in their first year of education ? This could be part of a bigger question in your whole thesis that addresses-what impacts do early childhood reading programs have on second language speakers in year 3 and 4? (Pulling any old idea out of a hat at the moment-so it might not make sense).

My data fell through in what would have been the second year of my thesis (part time) due to participant apathy and in desperation I created a data set and question that was fairly out of left field (and only sort of related) but actually makes sense now. However, it has meant that I have added an extra research question into the whole thesis.

So where I had two primary questions I was hoping to address, I now have three. The thesis addresses all three questions but that actual central idea or different piece of knowledge that really ties it together only developed after I had collected, analysed and written up all three data sections and then when I was writing the discussion and conclusion chapter I got what it was really all about. So changed my title-reworked in the extra question, reorganised chapters to make it seamless, rather than clunky , etc. I don't think this is uncommon but it is scary while you are going through the process. You will get there, be kind to yourself and just keep swimming.

Thread: Research methodology - HELP!!

posted
24-Feb-17, 22:54
edited about 23 minutes later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 3 days ago
Hi there, firstly narrow down your topic through your research questions. Eg: Perhaps choose a specific site or tool you are going to evaluate and a specific tool or knowledge set that the site provides that you will focus on.

Then think of questions that will help you frame your research around this tool and something that you can gather evidence on to measure. Note you are still investigating your broader topic but from the measurable lens of your current focus. Do you have a specific Facebook page you wish to evaluate or do you need to create one.

Then you might measure visits, etc. You might possibly want to use a mixed methodology using visits, a survey tool that provides both quantitative and qualitative data. You could possibly do a case study of one particular site and in addition to gathering survey data and statistical evidence on usage and hits for specific posts, you might be able to identify a few individuals who would be prepared to provide more detailed information through interviews or extended responses.

I:E Site might be providing information on an aspect of Diabetes and this site has been provided as a resource to undergraduate health studies students to assist with a specific unit or module they are undertaking as part of a broader program or perhaps the students themselves have found/created the page or alternatively the learning provider (lecturer) has created the page for his/her students as a group resource.

Your questions might be focused on how often this site was used or cited by the particular group. Did they find it helpful? How did they use the site-as an information tool (sort of like a text book) or was it used in other ways. To supplement knowledge, help study for exams, or to post questions, etc.

PS This is how I might approach it. There would be other ways undoubtedly that would be just as or more useful to consider. Would your supervisor be able to help with this?

PPS I meant to add that researching (aka the reading you do for your lit review should help you with narrowing down your topic as well).

Thread: Graduating in 3 months and I don't know anything about finance; how did you all learn?

posted
24-Feb-17, 21:43
edited about 23 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 3 days ago
Hi there, I have found over the years it is hard to digest all of the complex financial, legal, taxation and insurance information on a big ticket item at once and so it is easier to identify one or two key goals for the near future and then learn about that.

You do have to sift through the online sites though on your particular topic and just scan for the things you need to know immediately and then go back once you have a bit of an idea. I've put a link to a post that might help but it would be easier to provide advice on a single topic.

Many major banks I have found have fantastic online tools to help you save for a financial goal and will provide calculators to assist you in finding out what you need to set aside money for.

Thread: Feedback on your work

posted
24-Feb-17, 06:12
edited about 4 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 4 days ago
My supervisers provide some written feedback but pretty much always give work back with extensive face to face feedback, sometimes individually and sometimes they do it together. Sometimes it includes the Graduate Research Coordinator as well.

I have learned not to take any of this personally and now, though it can be tiring and disheartening to hear that so much more needs to occur, it doesn't bother me much beyond this any more. I think you become used to it really. I find also nowadays in the late stages of thesis completion, I don't always agree with them but I try to take most of it on board.

Sometimes they all have a discussion about the work with me there, speaking about me in third person while I am still in the room. "She needs to do this" "Okay but I really think it would be better if she did that because she is saying blah de blah de blah". "Well I'm thinking that the examiners might read this and go...so she really needs to...".

It is hard at first, so you need to be a little kind to yourself when you are at the sharp end of this sort of experience. Take care and best of luck.

Thread: Anyone using outside help with presenting tables professionally in thesis?

posted
23-Feb-17, 09:41
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 5 days ago
Thanks so much, I'll try it this weekend :)

Thread: Problems with supervisor

posted
20-Feb-17, 19:56
edited about 10 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 week ago
Hi Selkie, when you said that your supervisor said that the field site director was 'suspicious' and wouldn't do anything with out a written research plan, I'm wondering whether you are reading this as a personal comment rather than a general one.

By this I mean that many people in the field are suspicious of researchers-mainly perhaps because they are busy and accommodating researchers and participating in field studies can be time consuming and a distraction for the people actually working in the field.

Often a site may receive many requests for participants to complete surveys, be observed, have reports written about them and they are naturally suspicious of the process and went some form of control over the whole thing. Thus, any director will want a plan that outlines the parameters of the study and the ethical approvals before they even consider having a researcher come on site and start their research. They will also want to know how it is being published and whether they will need some form of control over what is being said or who gets to hear it.

It isn't always personal though, just a natural defensiveness of their territory and thus the request for a plan or outline of the purpose, how data will be collected, the timeline, and the privacy concerns, so they have an idea of what is happening.

Your supervisor may also know of issues in this site already that she can't disclose to you which may be why she is discouraging you from approaching this particular site and trying to direct you to another.

I have found that supervisors are people and like all people you get to know really well, there are great aspects to their personality (or usually there are-sometimes you get a really difficult supervisor) and there are things that don't gel with one and as you become more familiar, get under your skin. Supervisors would have similar issues with their students-so on the balance of things, how is your overall relationship with your supervisor and do you generally get on and make overall progress. Weighing up this against individual issues of contention might help with your decision.

Thread: Anyone using outside help with presenting tables professionally in thesis?

posted
20-Feb-17, 19:35
edited about 5 minutes later
by Pjlu 4 star member
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 1 week ago
Thanks everyone. I'm just struggling to get some of them on the page. I have formatted them according to APA 6 and most of them look presentable but getting a few of the figures and tables in the right position and in legible font is not an easy task. I think once I have finished the chapter editing (still got around 3 chapters to edit after feedback), I can spend time on the little things-and I'll devote a bit of time to perfecting all of the tables.

I found a couple of sites from universities overseas that offer some good information and support on presentation and figures. Latex sounds great by the way pm133, I will have to check it out although I'm locked into Word for this study and thesis unfortunately.

You are probably right ToL. The thesis will stand on its own merits. Just caught up in editing and feedback hell and getting too perfectionistic. :)

Thread: Strange Situation

posted
20-Feb-17, 09:20
edited about 23 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 week ago
Hi Flyingmonkey, does your internal want the total removal of the entire case study-and all references to it? Or are they just after a reduction in the information of the case in the thesis? As in, much information thinned out and summarised but it is still referenced in the main body (With perhaps other parts moved to appendices or perhaps published separately)?

Thread: Anyone using outside help with presenting tables professionally in thesis?

posted
20-Feb-17, 09:08
edited about 1 minute later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 week ago
This is related to presentation only. I have quite a few tables in my thesis and while I can use Microsoft Word to help format my tables, getting them the right size on the page, etc, and looking really appealing, is really quite tricky.

Have any others out there had these sorts of issues and if so, have you considered just getting help in the presentation for the final copy of the thesis. I am not talking about copy editing here or any other part of the document, just the graphics presentations.

My supervisor is fine with this but when I look around on the net or in uni websites, they only seem to mention copy editing or printing or design for brochures etc. Just wondering what others might have done. If you have just persevered, are there any tips or sites or similar that might be useful? Appreciate your thoughts on this one.

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
18-Feb-17, 21:00
by Pjlu 4 star member
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 1 week ago
I've just finished working through supervisors recommendations for Chapter 4 and am moving onto Ch 5 today. CH 6 and 7 need a reasonable amount of revision, so my timeline is to have completed all suggested revisions prior to Easter and then spend Easter break doing appendices, complete glossary, acknowledgements and abstract. Table of contents being formatted as the headings in each chapter are formalised. Aim to have complete edited draft to both supervisors by April 21st. Provides them with a month to check and then hopefully they will sign me off on a notice of intention to submit on May 20th. Then it would be 8 weeks to submission. Timeline this long as it is all done after hours and part time.

Thread: Examiner Disagreement

posted
18-Feb-17, 11:39
edited about 28 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 1 week ago
Good luck faded07. A long wait indeed-wishing you all the best for a quick resolution so you can celebrate and move on.

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
18-Feb-17, 11:31
edited about 3 seconds later
by Pjlu 4 star member
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posted about 1 week ago
My university provided Endnote, which was good at the start but the program brought in difficulties with my document, so like Chickpea, I ditched it and reformatted everything the old fashioned way. It was great at the beginning and helped to get it all started but the glitches in my word document from the program did my head in. I've just forced myself to be systematic with citation now. There is still the odd reference though that needs checking or correction and has a big yellow highlight on it. Second supervisor is meticulous about this so gets really antsy any time she reads anything and sees an extra space, an incorrect comma or something that is not APA 6.
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