I've had enough


I've been writing a paper that is now going to comprise my upgrading report for months. I've had it back AGAIN from my supervisor who says that its not structured in the way that she thinks make sense. Problem is, I've been doing it for so long, and I've re-written it so many times, that I just don't know what she wants. I obviously am just not capable of writing up this literature in a cohearent way. I've just had enough. I want to quit. I don't know how much more of it I can take. I've asked her to explain what she means, but everytime she tells me, I make the modifications, but its still not right. I'm at the end of my teather. I don't know what to do any more.


That must be so annoying. Can you ask her to give you an example; a chapter from someone else's work to compare etc?


Yeah, sounds like she could give you some guidance. Its worth sticking at for the one time it will actually tentatively come together...


If this is the first time in your PhD life that such a disappointment has happened, or you are still in liking of your field/work, you should give it another try. However, remember that success can be found along many different paths, so don't stick to rituals and trends, keep your options open.


That is annoying. Have you said to her directly that you have made her changes, and you do not understand why she is still not happy (easier said than done, I know)?

My supervisor told me once that he submitted his thesis 11 times before it was accepted: by the 11th time, his supervisor was making changes that took it right back to the original, unmodified, draft: so clearly his supervisor wasn't paying too much attention but making changes for the sake of it!


i think we have all been there, probably more than once. I submitted something to the powers that be not so long ago, and they asked for something to be added, which I and my supervisor did, and now they are saying it is too much! It is annoying and frustrating but you get though it, don't give up because of this, here they call it 'playing the game' just hang on in there, just think, once you have it right you will be able to move on to the next bit and can cross it off the 'to do' list :-)


i just got out of a mess like yours. Mine lasted for four months and included more than 600 versions of the work. I felt pathetic when my computer asked me whether I was sure I wanted to save version 603 of this document.....So what I've learnt, Bobby, is that you keep two versions running simultaneously. One for your supervisor and one where you feel confident and have made earlier adjustments the supervisor came up with. You'd be surprised how many of the old, complied with and later discarded supervisor's wishes turn up again! I guess supervisors need time to make up their mind and need to see the material in "several colours" before they can decide anything.
Another thing i tried is to rewrite the whole thing in a completely new style after I showed it to a person who isn't an academic to see what they think. It helped a lot, so if it's feasible for you to do so, you may want to try it. Keep strong!;-)


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I've PMed you :)


It may help if you actually spell correctly. Coherent, not cohearent. I would quit if I were you. Spelling is a basic! And also, fyi, tether doesn't have an a in it....Leave uni is my advice. Go work in Asda.

Avatar for Eska

Oi Bailey, this is a support forum - not a take it all out on someone else arena. If the moderators have any sense they will strike your comment off.


Hmmm, that reply was really quite out of order, please ignore him/her Bobby! I do think you need to ask for more advice, something clearly isn't clicking for your supervisor, and I guess you really need to find out what that is.

Anyway, inspired by the thread title, thought this might cheer you up a little!:p



Bailey: You are out of order.  I sincerely hope you receive some helpful advice akin to your post at some point in your PhD - you might then discover how unhelpful it is.  It's a typo, not the Nobel Prize.  Incidentally, you missed a colon - the correct sentence would read: "It may help if you actually spell correctly: coherent, not cohearent" and began a sentence with a conjunction, both of which are indicative of poor grammar skills.  Pot, kettle, black.

Bobby: I would recommend taking a break from writing for a few days; sounds like you know your [written] work inside-and-out, which is not helpful when trying to write. Take a step back, ignore it completely for a few days and come back to it with a fresh perspective.  That may help but remember: at the end of the day, it's your work.


Bailey. I would think it's a very silly thing to go slag off someone elses grammer and spelling when your own isn't perfect.

Nearly every person I've ever heard requires some minor corrections after their PhD viva and it is usually in the form correcting spelling and grammer mistakes!!

I doubt your PhD thesis will be flawless. Assuming you pass it in the first place that it :-)


I always think it is ironic when people spell grammar incorrectly - Rjb203!! I'm a complete pedant but I think Bailey's comment was out of order. And Rjb203, no offence meant to you. I get so annoyed when I see spelling mistakes etc, then I read something I've just written and find I've put 'there' instead of 'their' and realise I'm a derr brain! Point is we can all get things wrong, especially when typing fast and exhausted. OK, yes in the thesis everything needs to be perfect, but along the way,things are bound to have mistakes now and then.But it's no big deal!


Bad Bailey, kicking Bobby when he/she does not need it. Tut! Tut. Bobby, take our advice and sleep on it for a few days. Then get a good friend to edit what you've written. If that is still not good enough for your sup, trust your own instincts. You know, sups are not always right. Give yourself some credit. Chin up and keep us posted.;-);-)