Signup date: 27 May 2017 at 8:22pm
Last login: 01 Nov 2017 at 12:48pm
Post count: 12
Can you tell me why you feel this (a published work I was discussing in the text) memoir isn't 'literary' or of a high quality? Why did you choose these texts to discuss? Then there were some about the nature of truth, memory, manipulation of events, creativity when writing non-fiction, where the line is drawn with creative handling of real people and real events. It was all very specific to the thesis I'd written.
Hope this helps! If you want to discuss it further you can PM me and we can chat.
Hi PhDPanic, thank you so much! Got my amendments done in a fortnight and passed a few days after submitting! I was very impressed with my university for making it so snappy, which meant I was able to graduate in September. It all feels like a distant memory now, as it's been nearly a year since I first submitted my thesis for examination. However, I'll do my best to answer your question.
The format of your CW thesis is similar to mine – I had a memoir (written like a novel) with a critical and contextual piece. i prepared by having a mini viva with my main supervisor, which consisted of him asking me some generic questions: what's 'novel'/new about your work? What's the original contribution to knowledge? Why does this thesis warrant a PhD? Why write this creative piece as a PhD instead of just writing it as a creative work? And then he also coached me to choose sections I believed were particularly interesting (critical and creative) and to make note of them for discussion. He got me to spend time on finding the authors and works that had influenced me re the creative piece so that I could discuss how my reading had informed my writing – this really did come up in the viva and I felt that my preparation for it was very useful.
As expected, the examiners spent the majority of the viva discussing the critical piece. They said this was because the creative was excellent and they didn't feel it needed any work doing to it. They did ask me a few questions, though, to do with style, voice, use/lack of use of literary devices, characterisation, how I'd ended it, where it fitted in the marketplace, what it was similar to and what it departed from.
As I said in another post, the line of questioning I got with the critical was more like 'do you feel like you've evaluated this text enough?
Hi pm133 – thanks! Yes, I think the changes are minor. There are six pages of them, but a mixture of typos and word changes to additional information required. Also, I only have to show the completed changes to the internal, which suggests they're minor too. I'm sat doing the changes now, but the motivation I had when completing the thesis was far greater than what I currently have. Finished, but not finished. I feel a bit in limbo.
I had my viva two weeks ago and it went really well ending in a pass with minor corrections. However, when I got the corrections list I also received the examiners' reports. The internal's report was positive and only mentioned a few areas that he thought needed clarification. The external's report, on the other hand, was very very critical and negative. It even started with "At present, I am not convinced that this submission is of doctoral quality, although it would make a very decent MPhil" and ended with "At the moment, I am inclined towards MPhil, or resubmission with substantial amendments." So how the hell did I pass? What happened between writing that report and the end of the viva? I'm glad I had no idea of how they felt beforehand or I would have crumbled.
Also, interestingly, the external was lovely during the viva and I felt like it was an enjoyable chat with no harsh or aggressive questioning, so I was expecting to read some complimentary comments in the report. I feel a little deflated now and that I only just scraped through.
Hi Ephiny, thank you so much for your reply. I managed to read it on the day before the viva, so appreciated the encouragement. I took my notes and didn't refer to them once. I think I'd read them so much that I had internalised everything. Anyway, the viva went very well and I really enjoyed it despite thinking it was going to be a battle after reading many horror stories on here and elsewhere. It lasted two hours and they said my memoir was excellent and that we'd mainly be talking about the critical exegesis. Then the questions were more about what I could have added in certain places rather than being critical of what I had written and the conclusions I'd come to. In other words, it was clear from the start that what they were saying was here are the corrections we'd like you to make, or that's what it felt like. So I knew I'd passed. They said the corrections should only take me a couple of weeks to do and that they only need checking by the internal. Also, that the internal can advise me on them, which was a surprise as I thought you were expected to work alone on them. The only thing I was disappointed by was that they said due to the uni's regs the corrections were being regarded as major even though there weren't a lot of them. They said that at the uni I'm at minor amendments only allow for typographical errors and not rewriting. But I think, from what I've read, that usually with major you have to show corrections to both examiners and I don't, so maybe I got the equivalent to minors, but regulations made them put it as majors, Anyone got another view on that?
Hi, anyone got any last minute tips? It's tomorrow and I'm not feeling too bad yet, but can't stop making notes and reading my thesis. I have ten pages of detailed notes I want to take into the viva, but I'm not sure if it will look bad if I have to keep referring to notes.
I never knew this site existed until I recently started searching for viva tips, but I wish I had known about it earlier.
Anyway, here goes, as the title says I have my viva next Wednesday and I am absolutely terrified! I'm looking for advice from people generally and, if available, specifically from PhDs in creative writing who've gone through their viva. My thesis is a memoir, plus a dissertation giving literary historical context, and a commentary on the creative piece. It is 75% creative and 25% critical. Can anyone tell me how much of their CW viva was spent on each element of their thesis? Was the creative element talked about much at all or mostly the critical? Also, when it came to answer what your original contribution to knowledge is, how did you tackle that? How long was your viva? Did you have your supervisor present (I have opted not to, but am now second-guessing myself)? Were you asked whether you had any questions or if there was anything else you'd like to discuss/talk about at the end? If so, what did you ask/say?
I hope that's not too many questions. Also, if you have any other advice or tips for preparation over the next few days or for on the (fateful) day, I'd really appreciate it.
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