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anxiety / depression with lit review?

======= Date Modified 12 Nov 2010 19:52:44 =======
I'm a new PhD student myself and still in the reading phase - haven't started writing yet.

I like the idea of the three circles. My plan is to take the quotes that I've noted from the papers I've read and write a little around each of them to describe what they mean.

At the bigger level, I've got a mind map linking the bigger themes together, so my plan is to write and link, write and link a little at a time. Then I will have content for each big theme and I can see what else I need to read. The thought of starting with a blank page is scary.

Have you got access to the book 'how to write a thesis?'. I find it has some great ideas on how to get started. It suggests exercises in writing to get you started.

Are PhD standards slipping?

It's probably unlikely that lots of examiners are dyslexic. I would think people would take enough pride in their work and would not want it to look like they didn't bother to read it over before submission.

I don't agree that the spelling doesn't matter - it's supposed to be a really high quality piece of work. Quality of writing includes spelling and grammar.

Are PhD standards slipping?

I was glad to see your comment Red.

I've just started on my PhD and I've read two theses which give a background to my subject. One (from the University I am at) is full of spelling mistakes and typos, and even has the full stop on the final sentence of the final page missing - how shoddy is that!

The second one carried out fieldwork in an area near where I live, and they not only spelled it wrong throughout, but the name they are giving the location is geographically incorrect (there's none of the particular type of organisation they are working with in the area they claim to have researched).

The irony being that the supervisor of thesis two gave the writer of thesis one a really hard time in their Viva because they consider themselves to be the top of their field. How can you be top of your field when you supervise a PhD student who doesn't know where they are doing their fieldwork?

To be honest with you, reading them both made me feel really disappointed about the standard of what I was reading. On the plus side, I read them both thinking that mine will be miles better. The thought of my thesis being on a library shelf filled with spelling mistakes and basic errors would keep me awake nights!!

My supervisor doesn't seem overly surprised by this, but I find it worrying that I will have the same award as someone who can't really be bothered reading their work over, or an examination team who think spelling isn't important.

standing at the base of the mountain

Hi Cornflower,

I am in the same position as you - I start in October. I have a lot of the same 'fears' as you too, I've been out in the real world for seven years so hoping I adjust well to my new life.

The advice so far has been great - hopefully all us new un's can support each other on here.