Overview of chuff

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How do I tell people I will be doing a PhD?

"I don't know if in the long run I'm heading towards ..." demonstrating integrity
Good for you. Chuff

How do I tell people I will be doing a PhD?

Hi Linaoo

Congrats on getting a studentship, quite an achievement against very tough competition these days.

In answer to your question, I would unreservedly say that less is more.  Would you 'announce' a failure ? If not, then why 'announce' a win?

I'm sure i sound very British here but its a bit like new money, old money; i.e. showy and tacky against understated and classy.  I know I'm generalising to the hilt here ;-)

Be excited amongst those who are close, amongst others i would show restraint as they may not have been so blessed. 

Enjoy your PhD for its own sake, for yourself ... as its only you that you can do it for.   Chuff

last minute panick: what do I do now?

Hi Corinne,
Its sounds like you've decided but just to say I agree with you! For the cost of a night out getting your thesis as good as it can be will save you so much stress. And to leave it as is seems to negate all the hard work you've done. It, and you, deserve better.
Thankfully you've allowed yourself time for last minute "issues".
Well done for getting this far and all the best for your viva.

Asking work to go part-time for PhD

Hi Prettypollicy

As you seem uncertain I would do nothing for now.

Wait the month until the restructuring is over, I agree with Beefy any hint of a jumper and you'll be pushed. 

With no savings and no other income and, I suspect, the fully funding route being a fierce battle I would find an alternative source of income before doing anything.

PhD part time is a challenge but, again agreeing with Beefy,  it depends why you are doing it.   However, you need to be aware that you will not, i repeat not, be able to think of anything else for the whole time. It will become your world so choose your workplace role carefully.. one where you don't have to think (and pays enough to live) would be preferable :-)

All the best. Chuff 

PhD at age 52

Hi Snowdropbooks

In my experience, older students enjoy the PhD process more than the whipper snappers as they typically have less pressure and, dare i say it, more balanced expectations. 

It also helps that you seem quite insane. Let me clarify this personal affront ;-) 

I read your comments, all very sensible and then your poll question made me laugh out loud so thanks for that! How did you get from one to the other?!  Quite a leap and shows just the sort of lateral thinking and nuttiness that will mean I suspect you will enjoy every minute of your PhD.

You wear what you like dear and i wish you all the very best.

Chuff (middle aged woman)

Viva prep: post it notes for thesis?!?!

Hi dunni73

I used very few post-its and only because i thought i should !

In the end i pointed myself to issues i thought i may need to refer to in the viva. For example, where i describe why i did something "controversial", where i quoted a key source and most important where i described my contribution to knowledge.

In fact, i only used one.. and it was a note on my research approach. "They" didn't like it, didn't agree with it and didn't think it fitted.. i was able to explain why and then refer to the page, quote from Professor Big as to why it was appropriate. Made me feel good :-)

As with most things it is the act of thinking about what the examiners might ask which is useful. Doing something practical at this stage is nice too, its so frustrating isn't it.

Good luck with your viva. Chuff

Article from Research in the Sociology of Organizations

Thanks batfink but i take offence at the old - it's a mere youngster :-)

Article from Research in the Sociology of Organizations

Knoke, D. and C. Wright-Isak. 1982. "Individual Motives and Organizational Incentive Systems." Research in the Sociology of Organizations 1 :209-254.

Hello all.

I can't sleep, its not even 5am on a Sunday morning - eek. I didn't know such an hour existed :-) and to top it all I can't access the above journal paper. Be really grateful if anyone can help.

Thanks Chuff

Drunk and a bit dispairing

Hi KB.

Not wanting to state the obvious but could it be that the sections you are moving onto are more difficult ? If you found the others straightforward, and these are now more challenging and you would naturally get more constructive feedback? You will work through it, you go through days and weeks of not knowing night from day but you will get there... the fact that you are confused means you are a researcher. Only those who are not pushing the boundaries don't get confused.
Keep going but not on the bottle... there's only one place that ends.

Its time

Hi Sneaks.

Fantastic to hear you've been given the time and the target that you need. You will get there ... and you don't need luck !


Length of literature review?

Hi Caterpillar,

agreeing with your last comment, just getting on with it really is the only way to go. Guide numbers of 12k is near enough, mine was about 19k but it "worked" and, as someone else said below, you will find that you will end up following your own lead.. if that makes sense. Your PhD will be different and will require a different approach to most others you'll read.

Getting on with it teaches you as much about what you leave out as what you leave in.

You sound like you have a great attitude and are enjoying it.. what more can you ask for? Chuff

Had my PhD viva

Many congrats Dr W, when you've found your head be great if you could empty it here. (mince)

What a very odd comment(sprout)

Deciding what to call interviewees in findings?


Chuff- I love that idea! Plus it gives me a valid reason to watch Waterloo Road which I already do:$ - it's one of my guilty pleasures! I could go back to my eighties roots and watch archives of Grange Hill or Saved by the Bell!  Your study sounds interesting - if you have a moment, did the question of what you called your interviewees come up in your viva?

Hi Ady,

No, not at all. Not mentioned. 

I used first names only. So yes Grange Hill.  I can only remember Tucker and Stewpot and Gripper. Did any of them have real and or first names I wonder? :-)

My names were mostly common / ordinary but one or two were clearly from one TV show in particular. I think it shows there is a real person behind this thesis,  look I thought enough about my study to give codes names that were suitable.

From a very practical point of view, say you were reading a study where participant 1b said..  then 10 pages on participant 1b then said.  I doubt the names would cause the same connection but if Sandra said X and then later Sandra said something else you would, i would argue, connect the two - the participants have been humanised.  Leading to another point...

Like you I had thought, what do I say if my participant names are brought up in viva.  My answer would have been to appreciate them as people, not just a means to an end etc. Ethics etc.

Hope your research is still going well.  Regards, Chuff

Deciding what to call interviewees in findings?

Hi Ady,

I stated with the main text that all names were anonymised, then pointed to a table in the appendix of my participants with the first column entitled "participant code name".

I then went onto to give them code names from two tv series which were relevant to my study area.  So for example, if you were doing a study of hospitals then why not call them characters from ( and sorry I'm noting UK and US shows here) but Casualty, ER, Holby City, House etc.   If you have 40 teenagers you could name them all teenage shows which would differentiate them.

Just a thought, made me laugh anyway !   Best wishes, Chuff

Presentation of Qualitative Findings

Hi Ady,

That's a lot of data, don't envy you but there is hope. 

I don't know about an 'interesting way' but depending on your approach / question could you structure them around themes - like before, during and after. Or  past, present and future.   Or Why, what and when ? and maybe who?  

You could look to your literature or your methodological approach too and see if there is a structure that you can use that will continue a theme - helps with the feeling of flow, the elusive golden thread. 

Feeling lost is good, anything else and you'll learn nothing !  at least that's what i kept telling myself.

All the best,  Chuff