Overview of Zutterfly

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Zutterfly
Thursday, 11 September 2014 at 9:03pm
Thursday, 25 May 2017 at 10:21pm
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Thread: Final year support thread

posted
30-Jun-16, 20:04
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posted about 11 months ago
Thank you for the congratulations and the hugs Hugh! Much appreciated :)

I suppose I worry RE employment as its so dog eat dog out there as it is. Its a recurrent illness with no cure. Not life threatening, just excruciatingly painful. I was down too as when I had my initial op last year, I could not believe the difference. I felt like a new person! It was short lived though *sigh*

No worries- I am happy to help. I did three combined findings and discussion chapters. I have never managed to separate the findings and discussion into separate chapters, even at undergrad and MA level as I would just repeat myself. I present a finding, then dedicate a few paragraphs to discussing it, before moving on to another aspect of my findings. Did you discuss your findings throughout your findings chapter(s)? If so, you may not need a discussion chapter if you have done it throughout?

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
30-Jun-16, 18:29
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posted about 11 months ago
Quote From chickpea:
Quote From Hugh:
Its ridiculous how funding it supposed to end almost a year before you are actually awarded the certificate. Feeling angry today with the whole PhD process ... *aaarghhh*


I know - I found out recently that my department has a target of getting PhD submissions down to 3.5 years - funny that they know how long the average one takes and yet persist in telling you it should take no longer than 3 years all in!


Our department is the opposite- they keep telling you it takes 4 years, and to use those 4 years. I have worked my hardest to try and get it done in 3, but then the whole waiting around for others thing takes it over that regardless. So frustrating!

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
30-Jun-16, 18:27
edited about 10 seconds later
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posted about 11 months ago
Quote From Hugh:
Zutterfly: did you include a section on the strengths and limitations of the methodological/research approach in your overall Discussion chapter? I have a detailed limitations section in each of my study chapters so I'm wondering what I should include in this section? The few thesis in my department that I have looked all have this section ...



Yes I did (in my conclusion as I do not have a separate discussion chapter) but it is not very detailed. I discussed strengths and limitations a lot in my methodology chapter, so I only included the strengths and limitations that emerged when I was considering the research reflectively that I had not previously mentioned. I felt as though I needed to put it in just to tick a box really, but I had not been specifically advised to do so. It focused mainly on validity because that is a frequently debated point in the methodology I am using.

I have had a good day in some respects and not in others. I sent my conclusion chapter off (hurray!) and dedicating the rest of this week to conference preparation and job applications. I got an article accepted, but with major revisions after waiting 6 months for a decision. This is two articles accepted with majors and although it is good news, sometimes reading reviewers comments makes me feel a bit inadequate! My general feeling is 'why can't I ever get minor amendments?' Academic stuff aside, I discovered I may need another surgery for a health issue that was diagnosed last year. It's a recurring thing and the only way to treat it is through surgery. It made me feel really down as I am trying to apply for jobs and fear I will look like a liability when I eventually get a job if I keep needing surgery.

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
30-Jun-16, 09:48
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posted about 11 months ago
Exactly. I was discussing these same points with a friend of mine who passed her PhD in 2014, and got the award last year. Her sup sat in her viva and was confident she had passed with no corrections, then the examiners kept her waiting 30 minutes to make the decision. She got minor thankfully. But the point is that your sup could think your thesis is perfect and an examiner find faults.

A big reason why I am applying for jobs at the moment is I know it will take my sup quite a while to read the thesis and I do not have the funds to be waiting around. Best case scenario while considering how lengthy the process is is that I graduate next summer! Its a bit of a downer when friends assume that it is over when you submit and that no, we will not be celebrating at Christmas haha

Thread: The Postgraduate Moans Thread

posted
30-Jun-16, 08:35
edited about 7 seconds later
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posted about 11 months ago
I just want to moan that while I plan on submitting my final chapter to my sup tomorrow, I feel I cannot celebrate as I have a ton of editing waiting for me over the next two months that I am dreading!

Thread: Issues with methodology (social science)

posted
30-Jun-16, 08:33
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posted about 11 months ago
I do not think you are doomed and I think you can pull this off- the beauty of social science research is that it is very reflective. If you wish you could change something in your approach, you can reflect on that in your thesis. This may be an approach you need to take when discussing reliability. Validity however can easily be discussed depending on what paradigm you are approaching your research from. If it is interpretivist, then this will be easy.

I did no pilot studies for my research as I was working with educational institutions and gaining access was challenging enough, never mind trying to gain access for a pilot study on top of recruiting for the main study. Time was tight too. I am wondering if you had any of these issues? Did you opt for an online survey for convenience? It could also be seen as more ethical as an online survey will minimise the time demands of the pupil participants- it does not disrupt their daily schedules nor does it disadvantage the scheduling of the school e.g. they are not sacrificing learning time to complete your survey. Consider access and ethical issues like these to frame the approach you took in a positive light, but then also leave room to reflect on why a pilot would have been useful.

I hope this helps :)

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
30-Jun-16, 07:03
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posted about 11 months ago
The process seems a bit too drawn out for my liking as it is. When people who are not studying a PhD ask me when I will get my PhD, I have to explain that its not so straightforward and that it depends on a lot of things e.g. how speedy your sup is at reading the draft, how long examiners take to read it, examiners availability for viva, whether you get corrections and to what scale, how long to submit corrections, how long for the corrections to be accepted etc. Phew!

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
27-Jun-16, 18:17
edited about 12 seconds later
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posted about 11 months ago
Quote From Hugh:
That is very clever chickpea, thanks for sharing! :) I was waiting till first draft was submitted to supervises to then think about viva examiners, but maybe I need to get started on it sooner!


It is wise to start thinking about it sooner than later and discussing with your sup. It may take a while for the potential examiner to have the availability to examine you and they are allowed (at my university anyway) up to 3 months between submission and examination. So, it is best to have some names in mind so that it is a smooth process and one that does not involve long periods of waiting around for the examiners to become available etc.

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
27-Jun-16, 07:41
edited about 15 seconds later
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posted about 11 months ago
Hi Hugh

Rather then writing 'conclusions' at the end of each findings chapter, I just write a summary of what was discussed at the end of each. My actual conclusion chapter is where I discuss more of the meaning behind the findings in relation to each research aim and make recommendations for future research as well as for policy and practice. My own conclusion chapter is quite long, but I hope to (as always) reduce the length! It is about 20 pages, but I do not plan on going much lower than that. I have always read that examiners prefer detailed conclusions rather than something that is very brief. I don't think bits of repetition can be avoided in the conclusion, though mine appears to give the illusion of not being repetitive because I draw together conclusions from three findings chapters and refer back to gaps in the literature. Does this help?

Viva has been discussed to take place either Dec or Jan. There is no date set up though however. In my last supervision, me and my sup were discussing job applications and they went on to say that if I found a job that was demanding, I could use the fourth year to complete so that obviously disregards the potential viva date of Dec/Jan. Yet I am thinking that they were referring to a worse case scenario here. As I mentioned previously, my internal is sorted, but not officially- they have verbally agreed with my sup. External has not been arranged yet. I had one in mind but my sup is trying to push for another who is still in my research area (broadly) and has examined in our department before (I suspect the process is less complicated if it is an examiner who has examined at the university before from what my sup has mentioned in passing).

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
25-Jun-16, 11:14
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posted about 11 months ago
I did not wind up working much with the results. I was angry and frustrated. I wound up meeting with my friends for a few drinks in the evening as we were just all too distracted and saddened by the news :(

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
24-Jun-16, 08:57
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posted about 11 months ago
Thank you Hugh :)

I submitted a long winded job application last night, and finished proof reading a conference paper.

Today will be entirely dedicated to my PhD- I have one small section of my conclusion to write then I can get stuck into editing. I was concerned the conclusion would be challenging but I was pleasantly surprised; I had all my findings chapters printed out and combed through them to draw out the key points and recommendations. I found the findings chapters tough though. Thankfully, my supervisor really likes the findings chapters, and there are just a few tweaks here and there to make on those. I am dreading sorting the introduction and literature review though! I also found out that my first choice of internal examiner has agreed to do my viva which I am happy about :)

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
22-Jun-16, 15:53
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posted about 11 months ago
Thank you Hugh and Chickpea for your supportive comments. I just did not have the chance to rest as job application deadlines are looming and I have to prepare for another conference. If it were not for these non-negotiable deadlines, I would have taken a few days off :(

I have been a bit better today, almost finished a job application and proof read a conference paper. I am taking a couple of hours break now before getting stuck back into it. I have fallen into the habit of taking long long naps since returning, and I am trying to stay awake for a full day to reset my body clock.

Hugh I have that fear of breaking my momentum as taking time off normally does that to me too! I have a lot of social events this weekend so I will be taking the full weekend off and hopefully that should relax me a little (and will be a nice reward for getting job apps submitted!)

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
21-Jun-16, 16:43
edited about 12 seconds later
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 11 months ago
Ah that is good news! I am hoping I have a similar experience as I need to cut words from somewhere. Well done and keep at it :)

I have still not touched my thesis since before I went away; upon my return I have been spending a lot of time completing job applications and trying to finish a paper for another conference. I still feel so tired from the traveling too. I hope I feel more awake tomorrow, but I think part of it is the thought of not even having time for my thesis at the moment in that, it is making me feel a bit gloomy!

Thread: Appropriate incentives...

posted
20-Jun-16, 21:37
edited about 25 seconds later
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posted about 11 months ago
I had this issue (participants aged 16-19) but I recruited with no mention of incentives. It was a longitudinal study, and towards the end, I provided them with an Amazon voucher and certificate which they had no idea they'd be getting and that was fine- this was not always the plan though, as our ethics committee doesn't tend to pass applications which offer incentives.

In regards to refreshments, check with the school first. The institutions I worked with would not allow me to give snacks, just bottled water for health and safety reasons. This meant me and my partner had a lot of snacks to get through during my first week of data collection! haha

Thread: Final year support thread

posted
20-Jun-16, 09:06
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 11 months ago
Quote From chickpea:
Sounds like a plan to get some input from your supervisors, Hugh. I'm guessing if it fits within the overall word count and is all relevant then it won't be much of an issue - it's hard to know in advance how many words/how much time each of these chapters will take. I allocated 15,000 words to my current chapter and it is going to be lucky to stay below 20,000.


Hi Hugh, I agree with Chickpea here, see what your supervisors say :)

My LR is two chapters and totals around 23k but I am hoping to get it down to 20k. My supervisor did not have an issue with it but they have been making comments on my findings chapters about cutting down the word count and noting the odd area of repetition.

I arrived home from the conference late last night. I did not work on my conclusion whilst away as initially planned as it has been such a busy week, but I did do some proof reading of a paper for an upcoming conference taking place abroad in a few weeks. I was going to take today off to recuperate from the conference, but I just have so much to do that I feel calmer actually working than not!
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