======= Date Modified 12 Nov 2011 16:40:17 =======
I am currently at the beginning of the third year of my History PhD. At this point, I just want to be done with it and nothing else. I have no interest in an academic career, just want to tick the box now and move on. What I am wondering about now is this: How difficult is it to just pass (say, with minor corrections) as opposed to producing a piece of work that will get me that much-vaunted academic position. If there is one thing that has bugged me throughout my PhD work, it is that I feel utterly unable to properly gauge the expected bare minimum expected. I know that sounds cynical... but hey, things doing a PhD does to you, right? Would be interested in hearing your insights and experiences.
======= Date Modified 12 Nov 2011 18:55:51 =======
I think the problem lies in the fact you HAVE to show a contribution to knowledge (something that isn't out there at the moment). It might be that this contribution comes readily to you and you find it easy, but I don't know anyone that has done. You don't say which area your PhD study is in. If it is a science then any contribution you *think* you have made will require rigorous analysis and this in itself is not easy, I'm assuming it is the same in the Arts.
I think you can't gauge an expected bare minimum as there ISN'T such a thing. You are either on your way to providing some new innovative contribution to your area or you are not.
I completely understand the need to want to have it done, tick the box, and forget you ever thought doing a PhD was a good idea. I felt that myself on MANY occasions throughout the journey, to the point of three weeks to hand in I was actually going to throw the towel in completely (not such a good idea after four years work). Fortunately for me I had someone recognise the all time low I'd hit and they gave me a big hard rough PUSH to get it handed in.
With the deepest respect, regardless of what you might be thinking of an academic career ( YEP, just got through my viva and after that, at present I'm feeling EXACTLY the same), I think you've hit a low point. However, you can use this low point to try and figure out what is the shortest route to covering everything you need to cover (again, I'm not sure as I did a science so it is hard to advise). Then you can get cracking!
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