Deadline is this summer - let's do it together!


That's great news about the feedback so far on your thesis. You're our inspiration in this thread Dunni. I can't wait 'til I'm looking at printers and binding. You're soooooo close now :-)


Thanks Ady & Florence for the encouragement... its good to know we're all in the same boat and I think this post will help motivate me at least :)
Tusco -I'm the same, no pushy supervisors so I just let my own deadlines slip and slip...
Patience - seems like we're at a simliar stage - and I think I am underplaying how tough writing will be as well - in my head all along i've been thinking when I get to that stage it will be OK, and now its finally looming I'm wondering if I was wrong!
Well done, Dunni sounds like you are making great progress and almost there, must be a great feeling!


How is everyone getting on this week? I am finding it rather slow going, struggling to get much done.

Ribenagirl & Tusco - I suffered from the slipping deadlines too. It's a hard act to balance for the sup though, as I think there were certain times in my PhD where I would've quite if my sup pushed me. I am finding it however that end of registration period looming is a REALLY good motivator!!

Dunni, I am so impressed at how quickly your supervisor got back to you! You must be so happy that it's so nearly ready for submission, you will be finished in no time! I am very much looking forward to being where you are in a few months time. Well done, you have worked SO hard.

Ady & Patience - it will be amazing if you two finish in 3 years, that shows how hard you two have worked! (you're talking to someone that has taken nearly 6 years to complete, although I was ill for 2 years of that...) I really really hope you guys finish in the time frame that you want, let's keep each other motivated :)


Hi everyone. Hope you all having a good week churning out the goods.

I am struggling this week with SPSS trying to make head or tail of my data. Because I'm not writing and just repeatedly trying to get to grips with cross-tabs, descriptives, etc I feel I'm not producing any words. I know I have to do the analysis in order to write about it but it soooo tedious.
I wish I could just pay a statistician to do this for me. It would be so much quicker. I don't really know why we can't - I'm not going to be examined on how good a statisitician I am, but on how good my interpretation of the data is.

Plodding on....


Patience, I totally sympathise with you on this, as I have been going through exactly the same thing for the last 10 days. I too feel totally lost, and not confident at all with my decisions. Do you have anyone that can double check your choices of tests for you? I'm sending a brief outline of my studies (in term of stats) with the tests I've selected to my supervisor, just to tell me I did make the right choice.


Yes we do have a stats service that help a little although they don't really understand what I'm trying to look for in the stats. No one in our department has used SPSS in this way before so I'm on my own really and the text-books and tutorial on SPSS are all a little prescriptive if you know what I mean.
Got to confess that I sat this morning and watched an old black and white romantic French film that I remember from when I was young, had some fennel tea and ate some 100% chocolate (my favourite treats) because I needed a break. Feel really guilty now!!
Back to the grind now though.


Hi gals and guys,

Thanks Pink_numbers for starting this post. My funding runs out in September 2011 which means I will have to submit my thesis on the 1st of October! I have sort of decent results which I can put into my thesis but I need considerable data to generate which I am working on. I am right now stuck with a problem which I am trying to solve and hopefully I will be able to crack it by the end of this week. I have had delays in starting my work as I did not get the necessary tool/software for my project. But anyway it is better to be late than never. So I have been putting up the bits and pieces together and am at the final step. I have started writing up fairly recently and have outlined the structure of my thesis and have created the template with chapters, sections and subsections and filling it up slowly. Taking February out I just have 7 months to get quite some results and to write up as well. I am a very hard worker and I am quite confident that I will make it (hopefully)!!!;-)


Welcome to the thread screwedup :) It sounds like you got a clear plan to finishing, which I think is so important to us at this stage. I keep looking at the diary to make sure I still have enough time for everything. I am sure your username does not match you in real life at all! How many studies do you think you will need to complete?

Patience, please don't feel guilty about taking time out! a) we all need and deserve regular time outs, and b) you have enough pressure and stresses as it is, you don't need to pile guilt onto that as well. As for your stats, is it something that you can outline (not the experiement itself but the bits that are to do with deciding how to approach it statistically) on the forum to ask for some advice? Also, I found reading papers that did similar things (statistically speaking) really helped to guide me through some sticky stats that I had no idea how to do previously. Hope this helps you in any way :)

OK, I have a question to ask... how long on average (yes I know, how long is a piece of string...) have you guys spent on the first draft of each chapter? I am taking anything between a day (published work) to two weeks (from scratch chapters). I'm starting to suspect that I am expecting too much from my chapters at the moment and parhaps spending too long on some of them... I would really appreciate seeing how long others are taking to write chapters that they know quite well. Thank you :)


You're a lot faster than me, Pink. My lit review which I wrote from scratch but was able to copy 'n paste some pieces from elsewhere took me six weeks. My methodology took me four. At the moment I am re-drafting both after supv's comments and don't think they'll be ready to re-submit until mid March.


Pink_Numbers, it took me a term to do my lit review, but it is pretty good (if I say so myself!!).

I have about 7- 8 chapters and each one has taken about a term to complete. We have a system where we have to pass Doctorate modules 2 -3 times a year at my uni and for each of mine I have submitted a draft chapter to be assessed, so I have quite a few draft chapters ready. Unfortunately a lot of the stuff has now turned out to be not quite as relevant as I would like so they will have to be redrafted over the next few months but at least this system has MADE me write stuff as I go along.

The draft data analysis chapter will be my next one and that is programmed to be finished by April....some hope although I still have two months!!


Hi everyone!
Looks like everyone is plodding along nicely! I’m just coming to end of my third week of full time work and trying to finish writing up. It is so incredibly difficulty. I think that I am finding enough time to work on everything, but I feel pretty guilty most of the time that I’m not doing something else (work/phd/spend time with husband/clean the house). For now the guilt is making me want to finish asap, so I hope I can stick with this feeling, and not become too discouraged.
I just got some feedback from one sup about my most recent paper, and in the notes that she sent me she says that the “paper has the potential to be interesting, but in its current form focus is unclear”, which is fine, and really this is what I expected, but she then goes on to say that I should “clarify the issues I [she] have raised, whilst reorganising the presentation” but she didn’t give me any real feedback or suggestions about the presentation of the result s, and no feedback other than editorial comments throughout the document. So I’m feeling a little frustrate about it at the moment. Sigh
On a brighter note work is amazing! The workplace is great, the work is interesting and inspiring and the people are really friendly.
This weekend I will either go back to this paper and try to make the suggested changes or I might move onto the next (and final) paper while I wait for sup 2’s comments.
Ady, I am really intrigued about your use of boxes. I use a few boxes along the way for quotes, but I really like the idea of having a more consistent theme with the boxes. I might have to have a think about that – sounds like a fantastic idea.
Pink – I spend a looong time on my first drafts. At least 4 weeks for most of them, but closer to 6 or 8 for others. But, I am not an excellent writer first off. I need to do a lot of drafting to get my ideas right, and I often ‘essay plan’ a few times to get my thoughts in order.
Wishing everyone a productive end of the week!
F (sprout) (mince) (turkey)


Hi Pink Numbers, my draft chapters were written from scratch and I spent about 2-4 weeks on each. I had allowed about 2-3 months in my plan as I am working part-time so was surprised about how quickly I got them drafted! The lit review took the longest and some of that was cut and pasted from previously written docs. The methodology chapters took less time as they were similar in structure, although the stats/graphs were the slowing point on these. After drafting the chapters I spent about 6-8 weeks putting it all together as a thesis, ie title pages, declarations, contents pages, inserting appendices and figures etc. The editing was also done at the same time which was a massive 20% overworded lol. I think you need to plan some extra time for formatting the draft chapters into a thesis and possible editing if overworded. This was not in my original plan but as I was ahead this could be added into the timeframe.

Patience - I hope the stats is going ok. I remember sitting down with the SPSS programme for what seemed like hours of tedious stats. This is software that I love to hate! I found it very user unfriendly and alien, but later I had it all sussed out with regards the tests I was using. The only good thing was being able to import my excel data into SPSS so saving me time inputting lots of numbers.


thank you all so much for sharing your writing times with me :) I am so grateful for the support that is available on here, you guys always make me feel so much better, thank you :)

I have got May & June for putting things together and editing... I'm hoping to get two versions of the thesis out to the appropriate people in that time. at the moment, my schedule looks like this:

week begining - task
14 Feb - methodology
21 Feb - methodology & finish a small section from another chapter that I didn't do before
28 Feb - Lit 1 (I'm doing things backwards)
7 Mar - Lit 1
14 Mar - Analysis
21 Mar - Analysis
28 Mar - Intro & Conclusion
4 Apr - write up bits I haven't finished
11 Apr - write up bits I haven't finished
18 Apr - roughly put together into one document
25 Apr - do edits already given, then send out to sup

May & June - keep editing until it's done! :)

I really hope this schedule is going to work out ok for me, I'm notoriously bad for not sticking to schedule though.....


Thanks Pink_numbers. He he, I chose my name almost one year ago when I was really so!! Things have gotten better but still way more to go.

My god, am so impressed with you Fm! I can't manage just myself and you are running around doing a full time work, without compromising your personal life and doing a PhD. Bravo!!

Today has been a disaster for me, I have been spending the whole day trying to solve the problem which I have but in vain. It is sometimes frustrating to spend days together doing nothing but trouble shooting. I have decided to take a break this evening, so going to watch the Black Swan in the cinema.

Everyone, have a good week end!! (up)


Hey Pink Numbers, great timetable! You have a few weeks in April where you can finish bits off so this will allow things to slide a little. Just keep track of it by ticking off the weeks and what you accomplished during them. Keep us posted on here too! A plan is a start to progress (up)