So I passed my viva (with major amendments) on Tuesday. The examiners report arrived and basically I have three big issues I need to correct, but hoping for some advice about the best way to go about it.
I was expecting when the report arrived that there would be a clear list of things I need to revise/ add, but what I have is three pages about why my thesis missed the work of an important contributor in the field.
I have also been asked to justify my methodology, include some more results (basically everything I discounted) and explicitly say how my work contributes to professional practice.
My supervisor suggests I should write to the internal examiner with a plan of what I intend to change and how. Is this a good idea? I kind of just want to get on with it, not wait however long until she says yes (or no).
What happens if she says no? And what happens if she doesn't like my amendments full stop (she didn't seem to like anything I did at my viva)? Do people ever fail to get their doctorate at this point?
I would follow your supervisor's advice. Your examiners are clearly on the ball if you got the report so quickly, so there's no reason why you wouldn't get a quick reply.
Yes you can fail your doctorate if you do not do major corrections to the satisfaction of your examiners. The two cases I know of got M.Phil.s in the end. In both cases neither took the corrections seriously (for different reasons) and made minimal revisions (despite having been given a year, which suggests major changes are needed). If you got major corrections, usually both examiners have to sign off on them, so I imagine your supervisor is suggesting running the changes past the internal because she will have a clear sense of what your external didn't like and won't sign off on as well as her own red lines (and regardless of what impression you got at the viva, your internal has a far stronger investment in getting a successful conclusion for you than your external).
I suspect your supervisor might also be trying to slow you down a bit. My guess is that s/he knows you're hurting and not happy at some of the criticisms and impatient for the whole thing to be over, and wants you to get over that feeling a bit before you start to make the changes, so that you do a good job. Could you perhaps write the letter as suggested and then take a holiday to give yourself time away from the thesis? I think you might feel better then about doing the corrections and do a better job, than you will right now, when it's all a bit raw.
I think it's a good idea to send the internal examiners an outline of your proposed changes, as your supervisor suggested.
After your revision, I'd suggest you tabulate all your revision showing how your corrections respond to the required changes. What I did was to even add a cover letter to thank the examiners for their comments and suggestions (whether or not you agree or disagree with the suggested revision).
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