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faded07
Monday, 16 April 2012 at 10:17am
Friday, 13 January 2017 at 6:34pm
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Thread: Has anyone contested their corrections post-viva?!

posted
24-Feb-15, 13:12
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 2 years ago
Hi JStanley, thank you so much for your response. Hearing stories such as yours helps me immensely. The general consensus I'm reading from you and others is to get on with my corrections - this certainly seems to be the safest bet. I've just finished writing a two page document for my examiners about my corrections. I'm still in talks with my supervisor as to whether I can contest my corrections or not - the above responses have definitely put me off having the 'audacity' to do such a thing! In the document I have discussed about 50% of the corrections they've given me, often asking for more clarification as to how to approach the corrections instead of actively contesting them. For example, for one point I've put the following:

"In regards to the exploring the figures of the ladette (discussed on pages 20-22), Playboy (discussed on pages 7-8), metrosexual (discussed in terms of the ‘new man’ on pages 11, 108 & 254) and the girl next door (mentioned on page 15) – in what ways should I develop these discussions further and incorporate them into the thesis?"

Do you think raising issues such as this is completely futile? As you can see in my example, I feel like I've already talked about these figures & am confused as to how to develop them further.

Thank you again for telling me your story - it offers a much needed light in my current PhD darkness! I think I might even print it off and look at it when I'm feeling like I should give up!! :)

P.S. It's been over 10 weeks since my viva & the school still haven't provided me with the official copy of my viva report (they lost it & both the examiners & the chair didn't have a back-up copy). All I've been given so far (only got it last week) is an unofficial reiteration of what they said on the day of my viva.

Thread: Has anyone contested their corrections post-viva?!

posted
23-Feb-15, 14:06
by faded07
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posted about 2 years ago
I feel like I'm the only person in the world to have contested their viva corrections. I don't agree with a lot of them (about 70%). For example, my examiners want me to explain how my thesis contributes to the field of Media Studies. I am not a media studies student and I wrote my thesis for the fields of sociology, gender & sexuality studies, cultural studies, feminism and critical sexology. I really don't want to take my thesis down a media studies route simply because it's not the field I'm writing for, nor is it my area of interest or expertise.

If anyone has contested their corrections please let me know because my school has no guidelines for this and still won't confirm whether I am able to write a report outlining why I disagree. Help!!

Thread: Thesis Word Length

posted
17-Feb-15, 17:59
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 2 years ago
I know every thesis is different and school rules can vary drastically but I wanted to ask how long other PhD'ers thesis' are?! Mine is currently around the 130,000 word mark which was just - and only just - able to be bound. I've been given major corrections and my examiners want 2 extra chapters amongst other parts thrown in which I think will put the thesis up to at least 160,000 words. Many academics I've spoken to have agreed that this word count is far too big even for a PhD thesis.

What's even more annoying is that shortly after my viva, the school implemented a word limit of 80,000 words but because I submitted after this time the new rule doesn't apply to me. I'm pretty angry as it means that I technically will be writing double the word limit to get my PhD.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Thread: Viva Report & Formal Complaint - Help!

posted
04-Feb-15, 10:26
edited about 7 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 2 years ago
I had my viva over 7 weeks ago and am yet to receive the official report. Long story short: I have been chasing the report for weeks as I'm told it's unusual to have to wait this long.

The chair of my viva said that he submitted the report to the office weeks ago but that it has been lost in the university's internal post. When I requested for him to simply send another electronic copy to the office, I have been told that he is off on sick leave (has been for 3 weeks) and will not respond to any emails. My second port of call was for the office to contact my internal examiner who - I thought - would surely have an electronic copy of the report to hand. However, she hasn't and merely forwarded me five one sentence bullet points that I already have, simply serving as a summary of the official report. I have been advised to make a formal complaint which of course puts me in a very awkward position. All I want is my detailed viva report so I can get on with my corrections and it seems impossible for anyone in the school to provide me with it. I could be waiting another month or two at this rate, which would put me at a 4 month wait - very upsetting for myself considering I wanted to finish my corrections within 6 months. I've turned down full-time teaching hours and opted for part-time hours in order to work on my corrections yet I've spent the last 2 months still waiting for this report.

Could someone please tell me how detailed their viva report was? With major corrections, is it normal to get 4 or 5 short bullet points thrown at you, or should you be given much more description than this? I would very much appreciate any advice anyone has on this!

Thread: Viva Report

posted
20-Jan-15, 22:04
edited about 15 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 2 years ago
I had my viva 5 weeks ago today and still haven't received my viva report back. I - supposedly - passed with major corrections but am yet to have that confirmed in print. I need to get working on the corrections ASAP in order to complete them by the end of the summer and hopefully start a full-time lectureship in September. I have been chasing the report as much as I can but admin keep brushing me off and my supervisor has told me to stop asking for it. I was wondering how long any of you have had to wait for a viva report if you've been in this position? Also, has anyone contested their viva report? I don't think there's much I can do but from what I remember of the blurred and growing distant memory of my viva, my examiners wanted my thesis to go in a very different direction. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thread: Viva - Major Corrections

posted
05-Jan-15, 11:59
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 2 years ago
Thank you all so much for your advice and words of encouragement - it has helped me enormously. Today is my first day back since the Christmas break and, although this wasn't how I was hoping 2015 would start, I feel more motivated to get on with my corrections and get to the end of this PhD.

Unfortunately I still haven't received my viva voce report which details exactly what my corrections should entail. I have been pushing for my school to send it over but they're taking their sweet time which is already proving very irritating. I'm also feeling a bit agitated over the fact that my supervisor has said he'll find out if I can be awarded an MPhil instead. Although I appreciate having the option, I haven't slogged away for the past 4 years to get an MPhil. It almost feels like he's given up on me but perhaps I'm overreacting. Either way, I've decided to continue so will let you all know how I get on as the months roll on.

Hope you all have a successful 2015 and all your PhD goals are achieved!

Thread: Viva - Major Corrections

posted
17-Dec-14, 11:20
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 3 years ago
I had my viva yesterday was which an exhausting experience. It's taken me 4 years to write up my thesis and I finally felt that I was at the stage of closure. I'd had 7 practice viva's with various academics in my department and all were very happy with my performance. My thesis had been approved by both my supervisors and - the impression I got - was that I would pass with minor corrections.

As the title of this thread states, I ended up getting major corrections. My viva lasted an hour and a half (this is the maximum amount of time allowed as per the new school rules) and then they kept me waiting over an hour for their decision. I sensed that there must have been a disagreement between my internal and external examiners for the decision to take this long. Also, at the risk of sounding melodramatic, I really felt like my internal examiner had it in for me (or my research should I say) from the start. It was very demotivating.

I'm feeling really low now. I wanted yesterday to celebrate the end of a very long journey but instead it has prolonged it. I've recently been offered a research assistant job alongside increasing my lecturing hours but am going to have to turn both of these down in order to work on my thesis...again. I feel like I'm putting my career on hold and all the exciting things I wanted to move onto after my PhD have to stay where they are - static.

The thought of going back to writing chapters again seems unbearable at the moment. The last time I was actually in PhD writing mode was 8 months ago so I don't even feel capable of writing chapters any more. Also, the chair in my viva said the examiners would decide whether there would be another viva later down the line. That thought alone is soul destroying.

Any similar experiences or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thread: PhD Meltdown

posted
16-Jun-14, 14:26
edited about 27 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 3 years ago
I'm after some advice from anyone who has completed or is near completion of their PhD. Mine is in Sociology & Communications and is broadly based on gender, feminism & sexuality. I am 3 and a half years in and the end is nearly in sight, or at least I thought it was. I had a meltdown at about 2 years in and felt like I couldn't cope with my topic as it's quite heavy (a lot of it is about pornography which, as a woman, ended up having quite a detrimental effect on me). Also, my style of writing became difficult to read and it was like I was making everything over-complicated. I've just had my first whole draft of my thesis back from my supervisor today and feel beyond awful again. I seemed to have been making progress over the last year - the small parts my supervisor had read were given more positive feedback and I passed my confirmation (mock viva) with no conditions. I was really happy to hand in the first draft a month ago and felt like getting this PhD was actually achievable. However, having read some of my supervisor's comments of the draft today I feel like this is a never-ending task. I knew there would be lots of edits to be made but the way my supervisor has worded some of his comments come across as quite aggressive, as though he is completely fed up of having to endure reading my thesis. I just feel really demotivated & alone - my supervisor barely saw me this past year and I've had no support at all from my school. Has anyone else felt like this? If so, how did you get through it? I'm meant to be submitting in 3 months - I feel like I need another 3 years.

Thread: Writing Chapters Again...and again...and again

posted
26-Nov-12, 11:00
edited about 27 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 5 years ago
I started writing up my chapters a few months ago and ever since beginning this process my PhD has been incredibly stressful. Initially I think I went into panic-mode and was producing 15,000 word chapters where I was just rambling and generally making little or no sense. Although I feel I have improved a lot and am trying to write with much more clarity than I previously have, I have those days (like today!) where I just feel like I am never going to finish my thesis. For example, the chapter I am currently working on I have revised about five times already and my supervisor is still sending it back to me with loads of questions and amendments. Although I am hugely appreciative of his input, it makes me feel like I'm going round in circles because there just seems to be more and more parts that need changing. Is anyone else feeling this way because right now I feel like I'm the only PhD student to have ever lived that is going round in circles?! :-(

Thread: Giving Up My PhD

posted
08-Oct-12, 13:23
edited about 14 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 5 years ago
Thank you everyone for you invaluable advice. You'll be pleased to hear that two months on from this post I am still doing my PhD and decided to keep at it. I still get the odd week where I feel like everything I have written is useless but I'm going to keep soldiering on. Thank you again! :)

Thread: Giving Up My PhD

posted
15-Aug-12, 09:54
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 5 years ago
I am almost two years into my PhD in Sociology & Communications and over the past couple of months have been hit hard by some form of writer's block. It's not necessarily that I can't write anything, it's just that everything I do write makes little or no sense. I seem to have lost the ability to write precisely and am therefore getting nowhere fast with writing my chapters and have fallen behind all my deadlines that I set. I'm not sure whether it is because I am suddenly panicking about writing up the first draft of my thesis or whether I have just had enough of academia now. Every day when I go to work on my thesis I feel is wasted as I am making no progress. I am also extremely worried about my lack of employability from staying in academia for so long. Unlike the majority of PhD students, I don't want to go into teaching or have an academic career. I am 24 now and will be 25/26 at least by the time I've finished with no work experience other than the part time job I've had since I was 17 as a sales assistant (something I don't think many employers will be ecstatic about).

The thought of walking away from this PhD makes me feel very heart broken. I do love my subject and am passionate about my research topic but the whole process seems very lonely and futile at present. I fear that, if I continue, I will end up wasting a lot of my life and may not even pass my viva at the end. But if I leave, I fear that I will forever regret walking away from something I desperately wanted to achieve.

If anyone is feeling like this now or has been in this position before I would really appreciate any advice or insight.

Thank you!

Thread: Viva coming up very soon

posted
16-Apr-12, 11:28
edited about 25 seconds later
by faded07
Avatar for faded07
posted about 5 years ago
I'm about half way through my PhD and have been terrified of the viva since starting! I think the best thing you can do is practise discussing your thesis with friends, academics and your supervisor/s. It's important to be aware of what you think could be the main weaknesses of your research so you have a defence prepared. Just getting to the viva stage is a huge achievement in itself so well done, you should be very proud of yourself! Good luck, let us know how you get on! (up)
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