Signup date: 06 Feb 2013 at 10:30pm
Last login: 14 Feb 2014 at 3:47pm
Post count: 10
The following is usually a good guide to writing effectively, especially if English is not your first language: The rule of CARROT.
C = Content. Have you addressed the questions and explained your answers fully? E.g. the second question about commitment has not been answered. Also, be specific with your answers – you say you have made findings but how did you make them? Website, Open Day etc.
A = Accuracy. In this case, research and equipment are uncountable nouns (this means you never put them in the plural). I really recommend you get a teacher/parent/friend to proofread your writing.
R = Register. Have you used formal language? E.g. hacking, stuff, contractions such as don’t (write do not) etc.
Range = Have you demonstrated that you can use technical language without going into jargon? I don’t know anything about computing but I imagine “hacking” could be changed for something more technical, you could describe something specific about the “state of the art equipment” that you liked, and you could elaborate on the practical experience you would like.
O = Organisation. Where are your paragraphs? Does what you’re writing flow logically? For example, every time you give a separate reason for wanting to do your course, start another paragraph. 2-3 sentences per paragraph is fine and remember your linking words/connectives e.g. however, furthermore, in addition etc. (Also check your wordcount.)
T = Target Audience. What is the reader going to think after they’ve read your work? Imagine it’s Friday afternoon and this poor reader has read 99 applications which are all roughly the same. Would you sit up and take notice of what you’ve written or roll your eyes and move on to the next one?
Related to this part, I’d also recommend not talking yourself into trouble i.e. don’t say that you haven’t done much practical experience – it’s a reason for the reader not to take you on. It’s enough to say you want to develop it and give some good reasons.
Hope this helps.
Hi mookins! it really varies - I applied to 3 universities. 1 was instant, one took a month and King's College took 6 months. They all said yes so length of waiting time doesn't seem to mean anything. Best of luck!
I'm in the same position and have decided to go part time for the first year (or as long as I can't get funding). There seem to be so many financial advantages, not least the fact that you can do internships while studying, and you can work so you won't need a CDL at all.
It also helps that one of my friends did their PhD part time and submitted in 4 1/2 years while working full time and just doing a couple of hours study in the evening every day. It can be done!
Hi Ian. Thanks for your response. I think you're right so i'll go part time while working and maybe go full time if I manage to secure funding.
I'm starting my PhD in September but managed to miss the university funding deadlines which were in February this year. I'm concerned about the possibility of getting funding after starting my studies. Should I defer and try to get funding over the next year or just go for it and try to get funding along the way?
Hi ninja. Sorry to hear about your situation. I am a teacher and when my students have similar problems to yours we do a few different things:
1 - the best way to learn is to teach. Have you considered doing some coaching/mentoring? When you have to explain something, it really sticks. (also good for extra cash.) If you don't want to teach talk about your project to your friends and family.
2 - most people don't learn well by reading, they learn by doing. Make cards to match up, play pelmanism with connected concepts, use physical objects to represent things.
3 - brainstorm. Despite what you think, it sounds like you know quite a lot. Do this without reading anything first because you might surprise yourself. Choose specific topics to begin with otherwise you'll go blank. (if someone says "tell me a joke" it's impossible but if someone says "tell me a joke about pirates" it's easier - why are pirates called pirates? because they arrr.)
Keep going! Good luck!
I will be starting a PhD in October but it's unfunded and I, not being a millionaire, will need to work at least 25 hours a week to keep myself in gin and other necessaries, leaving an absolute maximum of 35 hours to study per week. How long do you spend studying per week aand do you include things like conferences and publishing in journals in this time? Should I change my application to part time?
Hi majar. It sounds as though your work is still valid because you've tested your hypotheses thoroughly enough to discover that they weren't correct. Does anyone else propose the same hypotheses? It seems that you have 2 options: 1) use your new analysis to compare what you originally thought and what you've now discovered explaining your reasons or 2) find others who proposed your original hypotheses and explain why they are mistaken. Above all, you really need to see your supervisor - this is what they're there for. Good luck!
Thanks for the advice everyone. I did go back.and revise my structure leading to a couple of offers (unfunded but I'm going to work) so hope to start in October!
I am trying to apply for a PhD but am having some problems. I was given the advice of sending a brief synopsis of my research to various professors (potential supervisors) to get their advice/ask about their research interests and start a dialogue but have been universally told by them to apply first and then they'll consider what I have to say. So I have now submitted some applications and am being told that I should have asked for help because they're not right. What's going on? Have I missed something?
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