Viva Panic!!! Stupis mistake?


======= Date Modified 25 Nov 2010 12:52:21 =======
Obviously that should read 'Stupid Mistake!' Duh!

Hi Everyone, I hope this doesn't sound too stupid but I will be having my PhD viva on Tuesday and it has just occurred to me that I could be in a bit of trouble. In my acknowledgements I thanked both my supervisor and a friend for their editing skills, even elaborating in the case of my friend that she had 'tamed' my more offbeat flights of prose.
I wasn't really thinking about semantics properly when I wrote this in my haze of submission- both my PhD and my supervisor actually proofread my thesis rather than edited it and the way that my friend 'tamed' my sentences was that she pointed out where extra punctuation might be helpful in my overlong Victorianist sentences!

Anyway, it never occurred to me that this might be a problem until a couple of days ago when my supervisor told me not use the word 'edit' in conjunction with anyone else doing anything to my thesis. I have been panicking ever since! I've emailed her but she hasn't replied yet which probably means she is busy or might mean she is a bit cross with me!

So, what I'm asking really do people think that examiners actually read the acknowledgements? And if they do am I going to be in trouble for writing this? Do you think they will accept my explanation that it was me being a bit thick about the difference between proofreading and editing? I really did do all the editing myself and merely accepted suggestions from both supervisor and friend.

I especially need my work proofreading as I have double strabismus in my eyes (both eyes turn at different times and I have double vision when I concentrate or if I relax them my brain effectively blocks out the vision in my left eye!) which means I sometimes miss details. Normally I don't even think about it but it got quite pronounced towards the end of writing up!

I've been through blood, sweat and tears of doing this PhD part-time over 8 years whilst usually working full time jobs and it would kill me if I was failed over this thoughtlessness.

Any thought gratefully received!



don#t worry!! I really don't think examiners read the acknowledgements, and even if they do - be calm, it is no biggy! I think your stress is making you blow this all out of proportion! :-)


Hey! I don't think you have anything to worry about- they probably won't even notice. The worst case scenario is that they see it and ask what you mean by 'editing', then you can explain that perhaps you meant 'proof-reading' and point out that no-one actually edited your work except for yourself. I really don't think you need to worry about it! Good luck with the viva! KB


Do not panic at this stage. It's tomorrow so just be prepared to explain what you meant ONLY if they ask, otherwise forget about it and try to answer what really matters about the work you did. I'm also someone who panics over little things like this, but lets keep these in the back of our mind and prepare for the real work that needs to be done.
Good luck! update us


I agree. Don't panic! When you are already really stressed things like this can seem massive but they always turn out to be much less of a big deal or are something that can be fairly easily solved.
When I was learning to drive my instructor said something which really helped me in my test. She said: "At some point you are going to make a mistake. And you will feel like it's the end of the world. In fact, you'll almost certainly think "right, that's it, I've failed". The most important thing you can do in this test is to ignore that voice. Stay calm, carry on doing your best, focus on what the examiner is asking you to do right then and there."
I did have that experience, I did stay calm and as it turned out the "catastrophe" was put down as a minor error and I passed first time.
Same goes for this. Ignore that panic voice. Focus on answering each question as best as you can. They are going to be interested in the thesis as a whole and your defence of that thesis. Don't focus on this one point.
Plus one of the main reasons for having a viva is to check that the student isn't handing in something someone else has written. So, showing them you know your stuff (which you do) is the best possible way forward.


Thanks everyone- you all made me feel loads better with all your kind words and support and I just heard from my supervisor who said not to worry either! I think that I was just finding something to focus on. She said if they do ask don't make a big deal of it and just explain about my eyes!

Viva is next Tuesday but since I work in another University now they have kindly given me the time off as 'research leave' to prepare. Will let you know how it goes

Thanks again!


======= Date Modified 25 Nov 2010 21:36:29 =======
I wouldn't worry either, and good luck for tomorrow!!!

Edit - just saw it's next Tuesday, so good luck for then, also just realised tomorrow is Friday, not Tuesday...oops!


In answer to the question what does a PhD do to you, see below ;-)

Quote From algaequeen:

======= Date Modified 25 Nov 2010 21:36:29 =======
I wouldn't worry either, and good luck for tomorrow!!!

Edit - just saw it's next Tuesday, so good luck for then, also just realised tomorrow is Friday, not Tuesday...oops!

All the best for your references tonight AQ, other thread, may the force be with you. the final push now. (up)


It does seem to turn everyone's brain to mush!
We must be a bunch of masochists...

Thanks everyone for all your good wishes!:-)
Will let you all know how Tuesday goes and good luck to you all too, whatever stage you're at!


Hello everyone!
Somehow made it back home through the snow yesterday after a very successful viva on Tuesday. Passed with (very) minor corrections!

It was my dream viva really- they told me at the beginning I had passed and that they loved it and it really then was just 2 hours of really interesting debate, particularly with the external who I know already and is just wonderful to talk to. They advised that I approach the very top publishing house in my field as well! Didn't ask me anything about editing and authorship after all that worry!
My supervisor said I did brilliantly! And while I was in there I got a phone call that I have an interview for a permanent job (which are like hens teeth in my field at the moment) at the University where I'm already working so things are looking very positive!

What a relief!

Thanks everyone:-)


Ah congratulations TheHuxter!! Sounds like a wonderful viva, what a day!! I hope you give yourself plenty of time to celebrate it and enjoy being a little bit free again!!



Thank you Algaequeen!
I wish! straight back to work, alas, and now have to prepare for this interview next week then I'm off on a research trip! I'll put my feet up at Christmas!