Signup date: 26 Nov 2008 at 5:54pm
Last login: 27 Aug 2012 at 10:33pm
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======= Date Modified 12 Nov 2010 14:59:10 =======
The advice above is really good. I would also bear in mind that you're unlikely to write the whole lit review in one draft. It's a process of writing, revision and editing until you craft something you're happy with. So don't try and get everything perfect first time. Let yourself go with your thoughts, no matter how stupid they seem at the time, then go back and re-draft. In other words 'make a mess and then clean it up'.:-)
As Chuff says, this sort of thing is all part of the process. We have ALL been there!
I’m thinking about it y’all. I’ve loved doing my PhD and everything around it but I know my chances of getting a secure academic job when I finish are slim to none (I’m aiming to submit in a year’s time). I enjoy the research, the challenges, the variety of tasks you have to complete, but thinking about being exhausted, stressed and insecure for the rest of my life is becoming rapidly less attractive.
So...where do you go from here? I’m totally clueless about what else I would like to do or what I might be qualified to do. My PhD is in literature...something to do with books seems feasible and appealing. Librarian? Editor? Of course I know both of these careers would also be intensely competitive but I’d rather get some sense of the career path I’d like to attempt than wait until I finish and see what jobs come up. I’m too much of a control freak for that.
Is anybody in a similar position? Any recommendations for books or articles or just general advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your post and advice Bleebles. Originally they were supposed to swap their papers with the person sat next to them, so all feedback would be face-to-face. However, when I suggested this a few weeks before the assignments were due, they were horrified. So I asked if it would be easier if we circulated papers around the class so feedback would be semi-anonymous, and they were happier with that. Maybe it's my fault for not realizing the first way would be better. Either way, I see what you're saying- that the task was at fault, not me. I hope they see it that way too.
Did I personally think the exercise was a good idea? I knew they would find it difficult but I can definitely see the advantages. Perhaps I misjudged their confidence levels as undergrads (second year) but I didn't think they would have been as affected by it as they were. I had to do a similiar exercise in a creative writing module which in many ways was harder because we our work was much more personal, and I didn't mind it. Also, they were told to write 3 things they liked about the piece and 3 things they could improve upon, so they weren't set up to give harsh feedback and the vast majority didn't.
======= Date Modified 19 53 2010 23:53:14 =======
Sorry for my general absence around the forum (as if anyone would miss me anyway! ,-)). I feel like I only pop up on here when I need advice but find myself clueless when it comes to helping others these days.
Anywho. My students on Monday had to hand in formative assessments which were then circulated around the class for others to read and add comments. They aren't graded, and I take them all back in and give my feedback too, so they aren't missing out on that.
There were quite a few complaints when I was going round the classes trying to help them with what to write. One girl basically refused to write anything saying 'she doesn't learn that way' so it was pointless. Others said they didn't feel qualified to comment on their classmate's work. I pointed out over and over again that the point wasn't to pick fault with other's work, but to help them. It means they get two sets of feedbacks and they get to see lots of other models of written essays. I didn't devise the exercise but it seems to be what tutors on this module have done for a while.
SO. Tonight I got an e-mail from a girl who is very upset because her classmate has given what she says is very harsh feedback, and she says he has used it as an excuse to make personal comments about her outside of class. I know who marked it and when I saw what he was writing in class I told him to tone down his comments and try to be constructive, which I thought he'd taken on board.
I'll speak to the head of the module about this tomorrow and do what he says, etc. but on an extremely selfish note I'm just having a little panic that the whole thing has been a disaster and my classes think it was pointless and I'm responsible. I'm not particularly confident when it comes to teaching anyway and I've sensed hostility from students over other things too. Sigh. I'm not sure there's any advice anyone can give me but I'm holding out hope...
======= Date Modified 06 40 2010 20:40:50 =======
Me and a fellow PhD-er at my university have set up a staff/student reading group and I'll be leading the first session on Friday. It's based around a broad topic and every month we circulate a couple of short texts with the aim that people will turn up ready for stimulating debate!
Has anybody here done something anything before and could give me some tips on how to lead the debate? I have a grand total of one day to prepare so all help is most welcome!
I'm just about to publish my first journal paper and I can honestly say the only way I got it to publishable standard was to go over it again and again. It wasn't a case of two drafts and out. I sent it to as many people as possible, integrated their feedback and then just continued polishing it until it was finally ready. I'm in the humanities so maybe it's a different process for others but in my field it can take a long time to get a paper ready - just don't expect your first version to be your best, allow yourself time to write badly and then correct it :-)
This video is good, if a little repetitive:
Thanks for all your good wishes and advice. I got a taxi back over there, which I should have thought of at the beginning but never mind! Fee situation was sorted out straightaway. Rest of the conference was fine, I didn't talk to many people and didn't pluck up the courage to stay for the reception at the end but I'm not too worried about that. As long as I can get through it and present my paper well, I'll be happy.
On the way back I went to the harbour and city centre which were actually amazingly beautiful, so that made my day.
Overall I'm feeling much better. I feel proud of myself for even coming out here on my own as I wouldn't have been brave enough a couple of years ago.
Baby steps :-)
I'm in the exact same position myself at the moment. I'm giving a paper on Wednesday and have decided for the first time to just keep it really simple and try and inject a bit of humour. It's a bit of a double-edged sword for me because the topic I'm discussing is something which people are likely to see as 'lowbrow' and 'fun' anyway- so I'm planning to use that to my advantage while hopefully showing them that actually it's more complex and interesting than might first appear.
When I think back over all the papers I've seen at conferences, the only ones I can really remember were ones which followed the format everyone has suggested. NOBODY can follow the really weighty, theoretical ones unless they already know loads about the subject. So I think that if you actually want to communicate your research, rather than just look clever, you have to make it possible for your audience to follow your argument.
It's entirely possible that people will just laugh at me, given the very serious tone of the conference, but I'lllet you know how it goes :-)
I'm such a big girl.
I'm in a country I've never been to before for a week, by myself, for a conference. This morning I set out to find the conference building and got totally lost so I came back and e-mailed the organizers to say I couldn't find my way. All they said was that registration was on all day, so could I come later. They also said they haven't received payment for the conference - they have though, because I got a receipt from the bank. Now I feel like they're annoyed at me and I was already nervous about going.
The city isn't particularly nice either so there's not much to enjoy in terms of architecture or weather. I usually don't mind being on my own but I'm really feeling it now and I want to go home :-(
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