Final year support thread

posted
11-Apr-16, 12:55
by Hugh 2 star member
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From chickpea:


Yes, that's how I'm seeing it. I realised that all along I've been focused on this 'three years and not a day longer' thing, and actually so much of the process has been unpredictable and uncontrollable (recruitment/data collection in my case) that I either internalise loads of stress at this stage or I just focus on getting it finished, even if it does have an untidy end that overlaps with starting a job!


I found the most frustrating parts to be also be when I didn't have control over recruitment, and recruitment for one of my studies took six times longer than I had anticipated or planned for. It is utterly frustrating, and that is why some people finish on time, because they spend less time on collecting data.
posted
11-Apr-16, 13:09
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From Hugh:
Quote From chickpea:


Yes, that's how I'm seeing it. I realised that all along I've been focused on this 'three years and not a day longer' thing, and actually so much of the process has been unpredictable and uncontrollable (recruitment/data collection in my case) that I either internalise loads of stress at this stage or I just focus on getting it finished, even if it does have an untidy end that overlaps with starting a job!


I found the most frustrating parts to be also be when I didn't have control over recruitment, and recruitment for one of my studies took six times longer than I had anticipated or planned for. It is utterly frustrating, and that is why some people finish on time, because they spend less time on collecting data.


Absolutely with you there Hugh, and sorry this was your experience too - I have subject envy now for those PhDs that involve using pre-existing data!
posted
11-Apr-16, 23:20
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From Hugh:
Quote From chickpea:
I was thinking maybe a month, Hugh. It seems to me like it would be an awful lot of work to read and comment on an entire thesis, but my supervisors have moved at the speed of light with my chapters so far.


That's good! Mine takes ages. Maybe I need to allocate 2 months to it tbh. One chapter takes about 2-3 weeks at the very least.


That's so fast. My supervisor has had one of my chapters for a month and they have not even acknowledged they have received it...I've actually accepted that I will be working and finishing up the thesis as I know for sure that they will have not read the draft before my funding ends. I guarantee it will take them months, so I will just have to get on with my life while I wait :(
posted
12-Apr-16, 09:02
edited about 8 seconds later
by Hugh 2 star member
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From Zutterfly:


That's so fast. My supervisor has had one of my chapters for a month and they have not even acknowledged they have received it...I've actually accepted that I will be working and finishing up the thesis as I know for sure that they will have not read the draft before my funding ends. I guarantee it will take them months, so I will just have to get on with my life while I wait :(


This sounds like my experience too. If I draft chapters into journal papers, then they get looked at much quicker, otherwise its a struggle tbh, especially longer chapters *sigh*
posted
12-Apr-16, 10:51
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 9 months ago
Yes- my findings chapters are quite long and they are taking forever :( I have had a few days of not working as it has been my birthday so today I am back on with this final findings chapter, and my deadline for it is the end of April. What are you guys working on at the moment?
posted
12-Apr-16, 11:17
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 9 months ago
Hope you had a good birthday, Zutterfly!

I'm working on a findings chapter and doing analysis/writing for it in tandem - it is my 'big brute' of a chapter and is definitely going to take me longer than planned! However, I have been telling myself that once this one is out of the way, everything else will seem slightly more manageable in comparison, so I'm trying to hold on to that.
posted
12-Apr-16, 12:07
edited about 6 seconds later
by Hugh 2 star member
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From Zutterfly:
Yes- my findings chapters are quite long and they are taking forever :( I have had a few days of not working as it has been my birthday so today I am back on with this final findings chapter, and my deadline for it is the end of April. What are you guys working on at the moment?


I'm also working on my final study chapter, currently writing up the discussion. This whole chapter is also due at the end of the month! I've then got to either do the literature review chapter, or the final overall discussion and conclusion of the thesis. My supervisor is of the opinion that I should the latter first, but I feel like writing up the literature review first. Which one would you do first?
posted
12-Apr-16, 12:10
edited about 5 seconds later
by Hugh 2 star member
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 9 months ago
Quote From chickpea:
Hope you had a good birthday, Zutterfly!

I'm working on a findings chapter and doing analysis/writing for it in tandem - it is my 'big brute' of a chapter and is definitely going to take me longer than planned! However, I have been telling myself that once this one is out of the way, everything else will seem slightly more manageable in comparison, so I'm trying to hold on to that.


That's a good way to think of it! :) I think the meat of the thesis is completed once the study chapters are written up. However, I think personally I'm going to find the introduction and overall discussion and conclusion most difficult to write,because my three studies are linked together but not in a linear way. My overall research aim and objectives also needs re-writing, but I'm taking consolation in the fact that I don't have to do anymore data collection!
posted
12-Apr-16, 12:27
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 9 months ago
Thank you for the birthday wishes Chickpea!

Hugh- I feel it is best to complete the conclusion first. I am going to be writing my conclusion over May-June before returning to do some heavy editing (or a complete rewrite) of my Literature Review. The only reason I have for doing it in this order is that I feel on a psychological level that it will separate 'finishing' a full (rough) draft and 'editing' the thesis. I feel this may make me more motivated in tackling the Literature Review, edits on my Methods/Methodology and completing the introduction (which I gave up on last year and is just pages of bullet points and quotes!) Not sure if this helps, but I suppose my best advice would be do whatever you feel more motivated to do yourself; if you follow a pattern that you feel unsure about your motivation levels may drop.
posted
12-Apr-16, 12:34
by Hugh 2 star member
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 9 months ago
Thank you zutterfly, that's good advice! :)

I just feel that because I haven't formally written up my literature review, I might find some new findings when writing that up, which wont then be incorporated into the overall discussion and conclusion. I suppose I am worried that I have missed some findings, and don't want to re-write my overall discussion and conclusion.

My supervisor is of the opinion that the conclusion is much more difficult to write, and its best to write it whilst the findings of the stud/ies are fresh in one's head.

Maybe i am delaying it subconsciously because I know the overall discussion and conclusion is much more difficult than the literature review chapter ...
posted
12-Apr-16, 17:08
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 9 months ago
I am not sure about that- I am dreading the LR as I feel that will be much tougher :/

I think that there will always be new findings emerging and it may be that you need to put a 'cap' on integrating new things (unless they are huge and groundbreaking) into your discussion at some point. I doubt the odd paper between now and submission will result in a huge shake up of your findings. If you feel really strongly about integrating something that you find during the writing of your LR, just go to your findings/discussion and leave yourself a note to refer to that particular paper etc. All it takes sometimes is a couple of sentences to integrate a newer piece of literature into a chapter. I am planning on finishing my discussion/conclusions then integrating some of the literature I have cited there in my LR (but not every single piece mentioned as that would not be possible). There are some broader 'themes' in my findings that would be good to include a section on in my LR for instance. I am planning to do one final 'sweep' of journals when writing my LR and only include new things if I think it is undoubtedly necessary; I will be very selective of which new literatures will be included.

On another note, I have had a wildly unproductive day and time is just tick tick ticking away. I had a nap earlier even though I got a lot of sleep last night, and I am just sitting here panicking and eating birthday cake...oh dear!
posted
12-Apr-16, 18:47
Avatar for chickpea
posted about 9 months ago
My day has not been the most productive either. Oh well, onwards and upwards tomorrow, eh?
posted
12-Apr-16, 18:54
edited about 17 seconds later
by Hugh 2 star member
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 9 months ago
Thanks Zutterfly, that's a good way to do it, I think you might have convinced me :)

I'm still not sure actually what I'm going to include in my overall discussion as I've got detailed discussions and recommendations in each chapter for each study. I need to read into that a bit more. Maybe that's another reason I'm putting it off,because I'm not exactly sure what I'll be doing/including. Humm... Maybe I'll move all the recommendations to the end of the thesis instead of having them under each study, and integrate them a bit more together.

Btw if it's any consolation I also had an unplanned afternoon nap. Tomorrow morning will be a fresh start hopefully for all of us! :)
posted
12-Apr-16, 20:58
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 9 months ago
Yes, wishing you both (Chickpea and Hugh) a productive day tomorrow!

I blame the unhealthy sleeping pattern I developed last year when I was drowning in teaching work. I'm most productive early in the morning yet I really should learn that rising early won't happen if I stay up until midnight!

I think moving the recommendations to the end sounds good :) I think sometimes the hardest part is planning how you are going to structure a chapter/collection of chapters. It took me a couple of months last year of just thinking, note-making and mind-map constructing to work out how to structure my findings chapters. I even have a mini introductory chapter just for my findings to justify why I have structured them in the way that I have- maybe you could do something like this once you have completed your findings and discussion to set the reader up for how you have organised it and why?

Also, I am glad I am not the only one who gave in to an afternoon nap!
posted
13-Apr-16, 11:28
edited about 28 seconds later
by Hugh 2 star member
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 9 months ago
Zutterfly, thanks, that's a good idea! I will do that.

I also have the problem of staying up till late, its iPlayer that distracts me.

I'm thinking of including a key findings section in my chapter, with a bullet pointed list (just because my results and discussion is so long - its a heavy study). Has anyone done that before? I'm not sure where to place it, I was thinking maybe between discussion and conclusion? Or should it go after conclusion?

So I've got:

Introduction
Aim
Methods
Results
Discussion
Key Findings
Conclusion
Recommendations

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