End of the Very Long Road?


I had my viva 9 months ago and was given major corrections (see my previous posts for full info). I spent a good 3 months struggling to do the corrections and found them very heavy and lacking in detail. Anyway, come the beginning of the summer I dedicated all my time to getting the corrections done and 'found my flow' again as such. I worked incredibly hard and followed my viva report as closely as possible. Six months later and I am on track to meet my deadline of submitting my thesis 3 months ahead of schedule.

This celebration has, however, been somewhat short lived. I've recently been told by my supervisor that my writing isn't up to academic standard and that he would fail me if he was my examiner. This comes after he gave the go ahead for me to submit my thesis in the first place last year and after a long summer of him giving me very little guidance. He's told me to get in touch with the university's writing support service which, at this stage, feels beyond humiliating. However, I've swallowed my pride and done it, whilst also getting some feedback from paid-for online editing services. Now my head is in a complete spin as everyone - the support service, 2 editing services & my supervisor - are all giving me completely different feedback.

And, to top it all off, the biggest praise I got from my examiners was that my thesis was - and I quote - "very well written". My supervisor, however, is now saying it never was and still is not. He has also assumed my 'quick' turn around of corrections (I don't deem 6 months as being that quick) is a rushed job. This is not the case at all and I am absolutely determined to get this right.

I can feel that my health is deteriorating (again) and I am sinking into PhDepression at a stage where I thought I was almost ready to resubmit. Has anyone else been given this kind of shitty advice so late?


Hmm, academics can be egotistical creatures... Had your supervisor previously voiced concerns about your writing style? Could it be that he feels your viva verdict reflects badly on him so he's trying to blame it on this? Or he might be hesitant to give you the go-ahead to resubmit it since he thought it was fine the first time round and has lost confidence in his own judgement. Whatever the case, if your examiners said it was well written then it probably was! This may be a situation where you need to trust your own instinct about whether you've responded to the corrections and, if so, just go for it and resubmit.

Having said that, I work alongside my university's writing support service and would stress that there is absolutely no need to feel humiliated. If they are as professional as our staff, I would prioritise their feedback as they'll be well versed in dealing with PhD students with all sorts of issues. I'm sure most students could benefit from their advice.


hi anz07, I am so sorry that you're going through this, I really hope you pull through. But you have passed, right, passed with major corrections? I can understand the frustration of getting different feedback, you need to take a step back and go easy on yourself, don't allow yourself to feel humiliated, since you have done what was asked of you (writing service etc.), and you still have time before submitting again, go over your work, and see what feels right, and what can be made better, or leave it as it is, whatever you feel is right, and then re-submit.

I have been through humiliation, like everyone else -- but remember what you feel is only emotions, actually "it" can't hurt you, it can only hurt you if you allow it to.

love satchi


Hi Anz. If the examiners have no issue with the writing and the writing service have said it's up to scratch and have helped you out then I agree with other posters that go for submission. At the end of the day it is not your supervisor who is examining the thesis and requested the changes, the examiners requested the changes and these were not to do with writing style. Good luck. :D


Unless your supervisor can give you specific sections where your writing needs improving and can rewrite it better to show you as an example, I wouldn't worry about it.