Throughout the PhD I've set and easily met all of my deadlines. My difficulty has always been trying to get my supervisors to commit to feedback. It took me 18 months from submitting a literature review to getting feedback (which was only a few lines). I have raised the subject but it gets pushed aside, ignored or I'm told I'll get it as soon as possible. Do your supervisors tell you, or give you a specific date, as to when to expect feedback? It is extremely frustrating to say the least. :-s:-s:-s I could easily be finished by now if it wasn't for them.
Hi Delta. I had two supervisors. One (the non-specialist) provided timely (within two weeks), but useless feedback. The other (specialist) took a year to read three chapters. Any attempt to push for more went unheard. In the end I had enough of waiting and submitted -with their signature, but without proper feedback from neither of them. I never repented that choice, but I know that these are tricky situations. I would probably still be here waiting for attention otherwise, but then this lovely person phoned me to congratulate when I passed the viva with minor corrections!
How is the rest of your thesis? I mean: do you have a full draft completed? Is there anyone else who can help you? Do you have a deadline for submission yet?
I have no idea, but I have the same problem. I recenlty said to my sup I'd like her to read each chapter now I'm re-drafting them, but she said no, and i know there is no point pushing it, as she'll just say yes and then won't do it anyway. :-s I've just started sending chapters to colleagues for advice, but feel guilty cos its not really their job!
I have two supervisors. I learned that if I don't set a specific period for feedbacks, they will never get back to me. So whenever I submit writings to them, I would say I will be in touch, for example in 3 weeks time, to arrange a meeting with them for their feedbacks and ask if the time schedule is good for them. Then, 2 week after, I would send them a reminder about our meeting the week after. In a way, I am reminding them to read my stuff because there has been times when I wrote to them in the week we were suppose to meet, they said they forgot about it and asked to reschedule the meeting.
Glad to know I'm not alone but feel equally sorry for you!
A while back they returned 5 chapters but only gave feedback (a few lines) on one chapter. They indicated they had read them when I questioned it and I'm inclined to believe one but am less sure about the other. I've returned to these with fresh eyes and am happy with them, as far as I'm concerned they're complete and I'd submit these without further feedback. There are two chapters I'm not happy with and I know they'll not pass at this stage and I don't believe I'd have the ability to improve them without feedback. I think parts are clearly wrong but I lack the know how in order to attend to these. It was a set project and I've always been clear about my limitations throughout.
Thanks Delta. I understand your frustration, as I have been there. I had a similar problem, as I wasn't very happy with my first two chapters.
In the end I didn't have to change anything either in the structure or argument. I still think that those two chapters could have been improved, but in the end I must recognise that you cannot expect every page of your thesis to be an example of perfection.
However, if you really think that there are major issues there that can affect the final result, you might try to be persistent. Send an e-mail to both your supervisors explaining clearly what are your difficulties there, and that you really need their help to overcome this last issue by day x. If you don't get any reply you will either have to look for help somewhere else, or go ahead by yourself, I am afraid.
I think I'm now at the point where I'll get it as good as *I* can and then rely on the examiners to give feedback. I'd rather have major amendments than hang around for another 6 momths for my sup to not read stuff! She has the annoying habit of reading the first 2 pages of each chapter and then deciding on what she thinks is relavent (even though she has no idea about the research in my area) and asks me to re-structure, even though she doesn't even glance at how I've actually structured it! :-s
Hey! This is frustrating. I totally gave up on getting feedback from my second supervisor but was lucky because my primary sup was very quick and thorough with her feedback. Could you ask them how long they need to look at each chapter and agree a date by which you will pick the feedback up from them? Or present them with a visual timeline for your work including X number of weeks for feedback for each chapter so they can see how quickly you need it and how it will affect your scedule if they don't stick to their promises? I suppose that's a bit cheeky, but needs must I think! Best, KB
Hi Delta. Well I think that if they are unable to provide satisfactory feedback (or any at all for that matter) then you are perfectly within your rights to ask for help elsewhere. I totally get what you mean about the reference thing, you are most likely to need them sooner or later, so best to keep things as friendly as possible. Having said that, you do need to get feedback and get on with the PhD process. Do you have people in mind who would be willing to look at your drafts? Best, KB
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