Signup date: 04 Dec 2006 at 9:01pm
Last login: 12 Jun 2009 at 6:38pm
Post count: 321
Doing a PhD beats being a goat herder in Basra!
On a serious note though ...
Although education should be a right ... it isn't! So, if you are ever lucky enough to be in a position where someone is actually offering you some money to study - give it serious consideration (although I grabbed it with both hands). Of course, if it makes you that miserable ... leave (worse things have happened at sea!).
You need to talk to someone else (i.e. head of department) about this and - and if you think this would be best for you - request a new supervisor. I know this isn't an easy thing to do, but I've known so many people who have changed supervisors and things have worked out totally fine for them.
Taking the first steps are always difficult but don't be worry ... just do it!!! The long term implications if you don't do something are you'll probably end up being abused for the duration of your PhD and won't get the bit of paper at the end of the process!
On any research project isn't there one 'main' question you should be addressing - which is what your 'sub questions' would emerge out of (if you know what I mean!)???
BUT, more importantly ...
Should an M.Phil student be asking questions about how many questions are appropriate??? ... Now that is the question!!!
You could also send your CV off to other universities that are close to you (and have an undergrad population) - as well as calling them directly to enquire. Most universities have a list of 'part-timers' they call upon to teach additional units (... and priority usually goes to PhD students if the units are 'theory based').
Talk to your supervisor about how you are feeling/your concerns about your work!
I have a fab supervisor who I can always talk to, and I recall telling them in my second year that I was fed up, couldn't see where my research was going and ready to quit. After talking to them I decided to stick at it, but ... things might have been different if I hadn't spoken out and got everything out of my system (i.e. I would probably now be regretting having sacked it all off).
Keep going (and talk to people) ... what you are feeling is all part of the 'PhD Process'.
I know someone who managed to write their entire PhD (arts based) in 2 years, and didn't say anything in their 3rd year so they could collect their bursary. They also passed their viva with minor corrections ... the minor corrections being correcting ONE typo they'd deliberately put in for the examiners to spot!!!
By the way ... this isn't the norm!!!!!
Do you part-time lecture at any uni? If so, you would need a CRB for this (and if you haven't got an up-to-date one, this is an error on the uni's part, and you are - strictly speaking - working illegally).
By pass your department, and go and speak to someone in the graduate school. If you need a CRB to undertake fieldwork, your uni must assist you with this!
What you are feeling is completely normal. The PhD doesn't get easier, it actually gets harder the further down the road you go (although once you hit the 'home straight', you can - at least - finally see how things are going to fall into place).
The only advice I can give is ... get on with it!!! The sooner you finish your analysis, the sooner you can start writing up ... and that means being that bit closer to completing! No-one can force you to sit down and do the work, but I'm still going to say ... GET ON WITH IT! Some people are still dreading collecting their data, so you've managed to get beyond that point.
JUST DO IT!
It's totally fine to hand your supervisor 'crap' work. It is their job to look at what you are doing and advise you if you are going off track. Also, you might think something is 'crap', but your supervisor might think it's good ... let them be the judge!!!
I know how you are feeling (I always dreaded giving my supervisor draft chapters), but honestly, just keep churning out stuff and giving it to them for feedback.
I didn't do any papers/conferences when writing my PhD, as that would have only added more stress to what my objective was (i.e. getting a PhD written and submitted). My supervisor also said that stuff can wait - which I totally agree with!
It's a weird feeling submitting ... I feel kind of relieved that I've handed something in, BUT it ain't over until I hear that 'fat lady singing'!!!
Many thanks for your good wishes.
It's taken me just over 3 years to write up (the thought of a bursary ending is always good for motivation!). With regards to writing up ... everyone has their own system for working, but I found it really helped just to deal with ONE chapter at a time (i.e. do lit review chapters, then methodology, then data analysis, then conclusion, then do introduction last). I also tried to write 'word perfect', so (luckily) did not have too many amendments to make once I had a completed first draft. Having said all that, my supervisor is fab, and if it wasn't for their help I'd still be totally lost.
Awaiting the final hurdle (i.e. viva) which should happen pre-xmas, and am also going to start putting together papers out of my thesis ...
If you don't talk to anyone, put simply ... you've only got yourself to blame if things go pear shaped. Part of the PhD process is about learning to manage your relationship with your supervisor (and other academics)!
It's this simple ... you find someone appropriate to talk to and say ... "I've got some concerns I want to express - x, y and z".
This situation isn't exclusive to doing a PhD - you'll also probably encounter it when you are out there in the 'real' working world.
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