Major decision needed today. I'm supposed to give notice to submit today. I've had an 11th hour email from my second supervisor very late last night (who departmentally is more senior than my main) basically kiboshing todays notice of submission in a very passive aggressive way. It is tied up with niceties where has written he understands he's the bad guy and I find his abrupt criticism of my writing difficult (these are assumptions he has written). He always apologises in his feedback that his criticism is harsh and says things like, sorry if this is hurtful. He states he doesn't want an unpassable thesis with possible R&R to tinge my future career, whilst also mentioning how he supported me onto his project (a 12 month 0.4 RA post). Whilst he is not saying he will outright block,as a Prof and basically one of my bosses, this really puts me in a sticky position because I fundamentally disagree with his assessment of the thesis. I'm using a new method he really doesn't get (he is a traditional theorist) but my proposed examiner is an expert in this method. My reasoning for submission is that my writing is never good enough for him, ever, and I think some of that is because he is not using my methods - but my examiner is. TBH I'd rather get R&R from an examiner who can guide me in my chosen methods (which are experimental for my field) rather than spend another 6-12 months drifting in the wasteland. I also suspect some of his comments are tied up in the fact he's away now for a while (over my supposed submission period) and would rather deal with my submission on his return. Am I crazy to submit against his advice?
Main says it's a risk and to go in expecting majors and be surprised if you get minors but supporting my decision and also saying that in the last few weeks my writing has hugely improved. However, I must stress that neither use my methods. I could do 12 months writing for them and it still be wrong. My thinking is have the conversation now (viva) with someone using my methods and if I get majors or R&R at least I am writing something of value.
Is there any way to get someone who does use your methods to cast an eye over even part of your work before the submission date? The reason I am suggesting this is that I am using methods my supervisors haven't used, and I've been able to link up with a group of people who do this type of research and have had some discussions/got some feedback this way. I'm just wondering if this would help reassure your supervisors. The other thing would be to try submitting a paper if time permits, and get comments.
Just a comment that I was not able to submit for thesis for examination without getting it 'signed off' by my main supervisor. I assume that universities have different submission procedures, so maybe look into yours if you haven't already done so, to see if you can submit without their backing.
And I agree with TreeofLife. I would have an open conversation with them regarding your reasons for wanting to submit at this stage.
Both your supervisors have told you that your writing is not good enough. Ignore that at your peril. You seem sure that the fact that you are using a new method is at the root of their concern but I get the impression from what you have said that it is the quality of your writing which is the issue. It might be worth stepping back here and making absolutely certain you inderstand why neither wants you to submit right now.
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