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olivia 3 star member
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Thread: Pretty much in despair now

posted
08-Feb-11, 19:49
by olivia 3 star member
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posted about 6 years ago
Some great and practical advise from people here, and not much I can add to that. I think the last part of the thesis feels like the most stressful and I think its very usual to feel like you do at the end, Florence! I too dislike deadlines and tickboxes...I was told to produce a draft of a chapter a month ( but that could include editing a chapter, or something that was a messy work in progress)...so every 30 days I sent what I had off to my supervisor with the disclaimer--its a work in progress!!! Advise about taking a little bit of time away each week is good--in my experience its when you feel like you don't have the time to spare that you need to take some time off.

I was told 500 words a day was a good average target. What that meant for me was zero words on some days and maybe a thousand on a good day. So 500 was the average. If you are working really hard, you need breaks in the day...again we all have different limits, but after about two hours of hard work of reading and/or writing I was fried and needed a LONG break from it. I remember sleeping and taking a lot of naps when writing up, I was that mentally tired from it. So if it works for you to break up your day in blocks of an hour or two hours or three--whatever your optimal period of time is to work--and then STOP and walk away from it all.

You will get there. I think your feelings are all part of the intense experience of writing a thesis, and the pressure seems to just build and build at the end. But you will get there--and you haven't failed!!!!

Thread: What am I? It's a question of philosophy!

posted
08-Feb-11, 10:27
by olivia 3 star member
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posted about 6 years ago
My thoughts--people tend to research in the "box" or "boxes" that are an innate reflection of many things about them as a person and how they see the world. I am not so sure that you choose a box as much as you find that there is a box that you already fit into...I was doing constructivist "stuff" long before I even discovered that there was constructivism--coming from a very positivist laden field ( law) that does not even discuss methodology and if it does it says its unneccesary...

But then I found constructivism and lo and behold! My research fit into that very well, no problems, because my own world view is very much that of constructivism. An easy fit!

Some people do straddle the fence between these different boxes--or you may also find that there are varying definitions and you could be one in one book and another in another book. Paradisms are after all no more than human constructions!!! ( well according to a constructionist anyhow :p)

For PhD work I think the main thing is to identify the place your research is located, and if it multi stranded or on the fence between a couple of paradigms, I do not see that should present a problem, as long as you have meticulosly supported how that is appropriate for your research aims and then how you did the research.

Thread: relationship problems and research

posted
06-Feb-11, 15:48
edited about 14 seconds later
by olivia 3 star member
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posted about 6 years ago
I know exactly how you feel about shared accomodation, Cornflower!!!! Having lived as a "real adult" married with a nice home, nice furnishings, nice garden, etc...doing a PhD post divorce meant dealing with ugh shared accomodation and it was an adjustment. But I survived it....having just moved to a new small uni town to start a new real grown up uni job, I am again dealing with a less than ideal situation for finding accomodation and find myself in temporarily shared housing....but it can be survived.

Tidiness/cleanliness--most people seem to keep reasonable standards of tidiness and cleanliness in common areas. I thought that this would be the worst thing in shared accomodation, but it really has not been much of an issue.

Privacy--much more of an issue. Having lived as a married adult and then single for awhile, I have my likes and dislikes of daily routines, etc, and adopt a live and let live attitude towards the others in the place. I do not mind what others do, and likewise I expect them to give me privacy and let me get on with my life and routine. This is much more of an issue in my present situation where the other house-mate appears annoyingly as I am trying to cook in the kitchen the size of a phone booth for no other reason than to offer unwanted advise on how I should prepare my meal and then offer themselves for unwanted company as I eat. I am at a loss of how to deal with this one, because both dropping hints and being blunt to the point of being rude seem to have no effect on this...

A shut door with a lock is the only salvation here I am afraid...

I cope by spending as little time as possible at the house...and perhaps the only way to deal with shared accomodation is to just have the attitude of making the best of it...knowing it is only temporary. And you might find some situations are in fact decent and OK. There are a few websites of people looking for lodgers--you might find something there to your liking. PM me if you need any suggestions of where to look--and good luck!

Thread: Where to find intellectuals?

posted
03-Feb-11, 11:14
by olivia 3 star member
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posted about 6 years ago
Sarcastically, I would say any place with very high ceilings and large rooms to make room for the egos...meh...:p but that is a reflection of my current mood and not helpful advice.

I think some local sort of community groups might attract intellectual types---local history groups? A local voluntary organisation that sponsers some kind of community something or other? Some activity groups, such as rambling, book clubs? literary groups? local theatre? bound to be huge hiding places for the intelletuals who are surely out there but manage to not be very visible ( self-preservation perhaps?)

Thread: Is this a word/correct?

posted
01-Feb-11, 17:43
by olivia 3 star member
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posted about 6 years ago
What about "not well-placed"? "Ill-placed" for some reason jangles and jars, just does not sound right somehow...

Variants on "not well-placed" might be phrases like, "not ideally positioned, poorly positioned," something along those lines...

Thread: How to reference a famous quote in thesis

posted
31-Jan-11, 16:20
by olivia 3 star member
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posted about 6 years ago
======= Date Modified 31 Jan 2011 16:26:39 =======
======= Date Modified 31 Jan 2011 16:22:51 =======
http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/genius-is-one-percent-perspiration-ninety-nine-percent-perspiration.html

I found this that traces the quote to the September 1932 edition of Harper's Monthly Magazine.

If you can find that magazine, that might be your primary source!


oh and also found this page that offers the same original source and some others where you might be able to track down the quote.

http://angelwingshealoneself.wordpress.com/2009/07/09/genius-is-one-percent-inspiration-ninety-nine-percent-perspiration/

apologies for another edit, but 8-) Phd Comics seemed to be right on topic for this today!!!

http://www.phdcomics.com/comics.php

Thread: Unsupportive partner?

posted
31-Jan-11, 11:08
edited about 26 seconds later
by olivia 3 star member
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posted about 6 years ago
======= Date Modified 31 Jan 2011 11:09:26 =======
By the time I was doing my PhD, I was a few years post-divorce--and the PhD one of those things I decided to do because I could do it whilst single--trying to do it whilst married would have been a nightmare at least in my particular situation. I think that partners should support the pursuit of the PhD (or whatever dream a person has) because if they love you--they will love what is important to you and support it for no more than that reason--it matters to you. If YOU and your dreams take a back seat in a relationship ( cleaning the bathroom mirror is supposed to take precedence over your studies, or whatever your dream is) then I say there are many relationship problems afoot. Yes, the house and basic chores need to be maintained, but a supportive partner would understand the need for sancrosanct blocks of time to spend on the studies. Its all a balancing act, and if you are doing a PhD with a partner, the partner needs to get on board with it all.

Whilst a supportive partner would have been nice during the PhD, I did not miss an unsupportive one. On the whole, I was glad to do it unattached--even though I was thousands of miles from home in a new city, where I knew hardly anyone!

Thread: Methodology texts

posted
31-Jan-11, 09:28
by olivia 3 star member
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posted about 6 years ago
======= Date Modified 31 Jan 2011 09:30:04 =======
Glaser and Strauss are the originators of grounded theory--but even they seem to have "split" into different schools of grounded theory use. There are some books on grounded theory co-written with Strauss and Corbin, "Basics of Qualitative Research." Those give some background on the "split" ( and differing epistimologies) within it. There is a further developed strand of grounded theory called "constructivist grounded theory", and Kathy Charmaz has written extensively about this--she has a book on it, and chapters in the Sage Handbook on Qualitative Research. That should get you started, hopefully. For basic explanations of research paradigms ( which are inclusive of method, ontology and epistemology) in my opinion nothing beats the handy charts in the Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research. Hope this helps!

Edit--

Yes, what Ady said (up)

Thread: Advice re redrafting from word doc that has been amended using 'track changes'

posted
30-Jan-11, 19:32
edited about 28 seconds later
by olivia 3 star member
Avatar for olivia
posted about 6 years ago
You are welcome, Ady, I hope the book is helpful! :) oooh crime books sound nice--some reading for fun is always a good thing!!! :D

Thread: Advice re redrafting from word doc that has been amended using 'track changes'

posted
30-Jan-11, 12:05
edited about 28 seconds later
by olivia 3 star member
Avatar for olivia
posted about 6 years ago
Editing and rewriting can be a challenge! The issue is how and where to start! Editing is a learned skill, just like research---only no one seems to spend any time telling us HOW to edit. I really like the book "Legal Writing in Plain English" by Bryan Garner. Although its about legal writing, his systematic and easy to grasp tips on how to edit are invaluable for any kind of writing. He gives a very straightforward analysis of what to edit, in what sequence, and why. I have not come across any other book that does this, and I would recommend this book for ANYONE who does any kind of academic writing. There are usually relatively inexpensive (£5 or so) used copies on Amazon.

Hope this helps.

Thread: getting hung up on methodology

posted
26-Jan-11, 11:35
edited about 20 seconds later
by olivia 3 star member
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posted about 6 years ago
I think sometimes its helpful to think of WHY methodology and all this related stuff is important to research. It comes down to making evaluations on the soundness of research--the devil is in the details of the methodology. Not only is it worth considering whether the methodology was appropriate to the goals of the research ( as an aside, I strongly recommend Creswell's book on mixed methods and the development of a research question and purpose statement as he outlines...) but whether the methodology was used correctly/appropriately.

Thus--all the details.

I know it can seem like a lot of fuss over nothing, but really, having sound methodology and using it appropriately is the heart and soul of good research--not matter what you are doing. Understanding the big frame in which it all fits ( the paradigm) is helpful--and it can be an invaluable tool for defending your chosen method and research ( as in the viva!).

Being clear about your "paradigm" and the way your research ( the three strands of it, including methodology) fit into that gives you a rock solid foundation from which to defend your work. People then have to deal with attacking your paradigm vs. attacking your work and the paradigm gives you a very solid place to position your work.

Ok my two cents ( and spare change) worth over! :$

Thread: Funding for U.S. students at U.K. universities

posted
26-Jan-11, 10:56
by olivia 3 star member
Avatar for olivia
posted about 6 years ago
You might check to see if you are eligible for American federal government student loans based on your plan of study and your university. I am not sure whether part time study is eligible for funding--but the student loan folks can quickly sort you out and explain what various options there might be for you. If you are not sure who to contact,

http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/index.jsp

start here, this is the US government website with info on federal student loans.

Hope that this helps!

Thread: getting hung up on methodology

posted
26-Jan-11, 09:47
by olivia 3 star member
Avatar for olivia
posted about 6 years ago
I think its heartening to see a student being asked to define their methods and the reasons for it inside of a "paradigm" in the early going! I think too often this gets left late or does not happen at all, to the detriment of the work of the student. You certainly can be both pragmatic and define which "paradigm" you belong to--even if, or especially if, you are using mixed methods. Methodology is one of three "legs" if you will of your research design, the other being ontology and the third epistimology. The three combine to form a research "paradigm". This is the overall stance from which your research is being done--and yes, at this level, that matters.

I strongly recommend the Sage Handbook on Qualitative Research and its handy charts that outline in a very succint way the various paradigms and their methods, epistimology and ontology. It makes it all very easy to digest, and you can quickly locate which one or ones your research falls under.

(up) to your sups and review panel for wanting to know about this! You are getting top notch supervision and reviews!

Thread: My theoretical perspective?

posted
20-Jan-11, 16:30
edited about 19 seconds later
by olivia 3 star member
Avatar for olivia
posted about 6 years ago
I think one way to think of this is the "point of view" of your research--where you, as the researcher are "coming from" with your work, and what underlying values, assumptions, world views, etc ( in academic speak--epistimology and ontology) inform your work.

The big box of your frame or point of view is your "paradigm". Think of the paradigm as a three legged stool. One leg is methodology, one leg is ontology and the third leg is epistimology. All of those combine to form the big framework of your work.

If you are in social sciences or humanities or even in law, I think a helpful place to understand this quickly and easily is the big Sage Handbook on Qualitative Methodology. It has a chapter with some charts that easily summarise all of this in an easy to digest way.

Law is for instance a discipline where many within it might argue it has no paradigm, ontology, methodology, etc. These are the classic arguments of a postivist stance in law...:D All research is done using some form of a paradigm, whether acknowledged or not...and the paradigm helps define then what methods you will use in your research.

Another helpful resource is a book by Creswell where he explains how to write a purpose statement and a research question for your research. These are more easily said than done, but I ( and others) have found having these two things can be a helpful roadmap on the research and where it is going ( and these have to be reformulated from time to time, which is all part of the PhD process).

A bit of a ramble, but I hope that helps!

Thread: Submitted but unemployed

posted
20-Jan-11, 15:03
edited about 14 seconds later
by olivia 3 star member
Avatar for olivia
posted about 6 years ago
I don't think its at all unusual to submit and then feel a sense of loss, sadness, increased stress, at loose ends...which feelings I think also can come as a surprise when submission has been as you say the "magic portal"--so the question is why doesn't handing it in feel as good as you imagined it would--and why all the down feelings?

I think by the end of writing a PhD you are tired and a bit burnt out. You have been mega-focused on something, and now that part of its done. The outcome might feel out of your hands, and there is still the weight of the viva to hang over you.

I felt a bit low after turning my thesis in...tired, numb...not happy, not relieved...just tired and numb and wondering why it felt like this.

Dazednconfused, do you know when your viva will be? Can you do little bits of viva prep? Can you do something to just help you relax and rest for another week or so--long outdoor walks, let your mind and body unwind from the PhD process?

The job prospects certainly do not help how you are feeling...its a big transition from PhD to "real world."

I would say--if you have the time...take another week off and do not demand much of yourself. Then slowly get into viva prep mode, job hunting mode, article submission mode. I think it takes a few weeks after submission to adjust to the "new reality."

I also thought getting the Dr title with a successful completion of thesis and viva would feel like some magic portal, but it also had feelings similiar to submission--tired--numb---and that sudden transformation I expected did not happen! For weeks, if not months, I used to say that life post PhD felt like life during the PhD, as I was still working long hours--this time with teaching, trying to do research and publish, etc. Nothing felt very different.


I think its usual and normal to feel low right after submission, and I would say, do not worry about how you are feeling, just rest a little bit and then start to focus on things again, bit by bit. Remember you have just done the equivalent of....( cannot think of any apt comparison for the momumental effort of a PhD) and your body and mind are bound to feel weary.
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