I'm new here and I hope I chose a right place to put my post :) I'm a Master's student and I'm struggling now with my dissertation. I have only 2 weeks left to finish my data collection and I'm absolutely stuck. I would really appreciate if you could spend a moment and fill in my survey. It takes around 10 minutes to complete. You will have my eternal gratitude! Every help is highly appreciated! Thank you a lot!
How are you all doing/progressing? I've finished writing up the chapter (finally!), but need to edit it, which is the stage I struggle with the most. It is not the hardest stage by far, but its the stage that I procrastinate the most in, because I find editing boring and monotonous. Also, every time I go through it, I always spot errors. Its hard to reach perfection.
Any suggestions/advice for editing?
Well done Hugh! I set myself the deadline of 30th April for this chapter but it has taken a lot of extra reading to write, so it is taking longer than I expected so I am thinking I need to give myself an extra week. I have also discovered something that may make the rest of my PhD journey difficult...my body can't seem to handle coffee anymore :o I had my usual 2 cups this morning then I had to lay down for two hours due to some intense nausea. So, today has not been productive so far.
I do what I refer to as 'combing' for editing. I go through and highlight sentences, paragraphs etc. I would like to edit which then means I can just jump through the document to each 'item' that needs reworking. I then 'comb' through and edit each one (removing the highlight upon completion of each one) but skip ones that I really cannot be bothered to do at that moment. I then 'comb' through again and address the areas a bit later that I avoided doing earlier. I then give everything a final proof read a couple of times. I hope this helps!
Zutterfly, thanks for sharing your method. I'm going to try it.
Best of luck with your chapter, don't worry, you'd rather take longer and get it perfectly right, than have to come back to it and make substantial changes. I have a feeling my discussion is going to need re-writing. I am however looking forward to moving onto the other chapters.
Oh no, really sorry to hear about your coffee! Would another drink work? Maybe hot chocolate?
I've given myself a longer deadline for the chapter I'm working on, Zutterfly, because it is a big chapter and needs a lot of work and I just want to go about it in a sensible way. I felt instantly less stressed when I shifted the deadline, so I think it was the right thing to do!
I drink loads of herbal teas these days, which I'm sure makes me not a legitimate PhD student at all, but I can't tolerate coffee any more.
Hugh, I think I always underestimate how long editing is going to take - I always think 'I've got lots written for this chapter' and then the editing takes way longer than the writing ever did! I like Zutterfly's 'combing' idea though, will give that a try.
You're welcome Hugh, and I agree with you both Hugh and Chickpea regarding taking a bit longer to avoid difficulties later on. I had to tap into a whole area of literature that I had not previously considered which took a few weeks to accomplish.
Hot chocolate makes me quite sleepy so I am not sure that will cut it haha though I do have a lot of herbal teas in the cupboard Chickpea so I think I shall go and make a cup. I do like lemon and ginger tea!
I am having to juggle my writing time as I have a paper to write for an upcoming conference which is stressing me out a bit actually, but I am sure I will survive.
Zutterfly, good luck with your paper! I'm trying to avoid doing anything extra other than the thesis, though times it is a refreshing change.
I've found another method of editing, and that is reading the chapter on another device like on your iPhone. I've managed to spot so many more errors and things I could change.
I’m new to this forum- and think this thread is brilliant, and may just be the motivation and support that I need to get my PhD finished! I am currently in my last year of funding (final payment end of September) completing a health sciences PhD.
I am really struggling on how to write, I feel overwhelmed at the amount there is to do. Recently I’ve been feeling that I won’t be able to finish, let along finish before the end of my funding.
I do have most my data (I have to complete data collection for my last qualitative study- hoping to by the end of May. But I still need to analyse two quantitative studies (data collection already completed), and another short qualitative study (data analysis completed).
I think in total there will be 7 main chapters in my thesis, and I currently have written in full draft one chapter (review chapter), and two half chapters written (introduction, and theoretical methods). I need to have the introduction and theoretical methods chapters written by the middle and of May as I’ve arranged two deadlines for my supervisors to review the chapters. However- these chapters are the hardest, as conceptually they’ve been extremely challenging.
I also have been working on a paper (covering three studies within the PhD) that I will be submitting hopefully by the end of the month. This has taken a lot of my time, as my supervisors are keen that I get this paper published, as there is a lot of interest in the topic. Anything that’s been taken out of the paper I’ve kept aside to include in the chapters.
I’m hoping the study chapters will be easier to write? As there is a formula I can follow (and these chapters will all have a clinical context that I can draw on).
On average how long does it take you all to finish a first draft of a chapter? Do you find that your writing style has improved? How does everyone else stay motivated and get over self –doubt?
Any advice would be appreciated!
Well guys I have been to the doctors as I was bed ridden with nausea and sickness for the past few days after feeling unwell generally for two weeks and it seems I have a nasty ear infection! Thankfully I have anti nausea tablets now so I may be able to make some progress on the PhD this week finally! I have shifted my deadlines back a week to compensate for the lost time.
What are your aims for this week everyone?
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