I'm confused now. I have my viva in 3 weeks' time and everywhere I read about original contribution it says that it can be as simple as an application of a concept to a new context, or examination of an already existing model? So what did you say your contribution was in the end? In what way were you evaluative and critical? Of the literature and the field or....? I'm sorry if this is a stupid question, just trying to understand and learn while I still can.
P.S. I've read quite a lot of viva accounts on this forum and every time somebody is actually thinking 'that might be fun, I'm looking onward ti it' it goes downhill.
Had my Viva last Friday (Halloween Eve) and the calendar setting end up being quite appropriate! I posted about it on another thread.
I also barely made it. I wrote up in limited time, and under a lot of pressure. The viva was challenging, and they recommended lots of revisions, but somehow, they recommended pass with minor corrections. I knew things weren't going well when the external said perhaps I should remove the main chapter. I thought this would mean major. But they told me to remove the main chapter, and make adjustments to the rest. The reason for removing the main chapter is the wrong framework. It didn’t make sense to the external, or I couldn’t explain it well. To be honest, having finished the corrections, I understand what was the problem there. I think I got minor corrections because I had another chapter that used the right framework to back up the arguments in the main chapter. I think that if I hadn’t had this additional chapter, the outcome could have been major corrections because I would have to come up with a new skeleton for the work.
The funny thing is that I have never really left this thesis behind. Even though it was not a very good critical argument, it did contain many, many hours of research. One way of looking at it is to say that it was 'raw data'. That is, I had masses of uncritically analysed research.
I have now written two articles based on thesis, although only one is published. They certainly contain critical argument now. I learnt that lesson the hard way.
Umma08 - I glad you got to the end with a slight detour! I read that candidates who actually make it to the second submission normally make it. The problem is that it can be so disheartening that people often just drop out after they don't make the first viva. It is certainly the experience of a lifetime!
Help me keep this thread going with tips etc. I sort of want to get some the key messages 'out there'.
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