Signup date: 09 Apr 2008 at 4:29pm
Last login: 31 Dec 2009 at 11:28am
Post count: 1960
In my experience, I find the problem with homemade gifts is the time you've bought the ingredients, spent 5 hours making them (burning them), and the buying pretty wrapping, it ends up costing as much as buying something. M&S are selling nice biscuits - two boxes for a fiver.
I reckon many academics would consider gleaming 'intelligence' as tantamount to cheating - afterall, the viva is really about ensuring the candidate wrote their own thesis. Any gleaming of information about the examiners' views would remove the objectivity of that process. But that said, I'm sure candidates often get information prior to the exam, and I would like to think if there is some major problem with my thesis, that my supervisor would let me know before the viva.
Of course, the key is really about chosing the right type of examiners (ie., those who are fair, have been used before, and have a good relationship with one's supervisor). Things seems to go wrong when the examiners have never been used before, and/or the supervisor doesn't really know them.
I've never come across Zetero, but it seems it get v. good reviews. I never liked Endnote, and reverted to using one very long bibliography on a Word doc (simply organised into chapters). None of these software programs are very good when it comes to supporting citation styles for lawyers.
To digress slightly, what is the best software for providing a sophisticated 'favourites' system? I favourite/bookmark an awful lot of webpages, but then they seem to get lost in the vortex of my Favourites list.
I'd also echo to not give up and carry on! After four years you shouldn't walk away from your research (particularly when the problems are beyond your control eg. your supervisor).
My thesis has also taken a lot longer than I expected due to a number of problems, one issue being covering too much material (probably enough for three doctorates). Frankly, I know more people who have taken over the standard 3/4 yrs to complete their thesis, than those who have submitted in good time. But I can totally understand about wanting to pack the whole thing in, but after four years you're probably at the point where it nearer to the finish line, than the starting line, so I would urge you to carry on.
It might be worth taking a few days to really assess where you are in your research and which areas you can cut out. Really try to pin down what you need to do to get your work to a submittable standard, and don't worry about perfectionism (you can always iron things out with corrections).
I am currently using the following Ikea chair http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/20103101, and it's been v. good (my last Ikea one was terrible), but if I had the money I'd invest in a proper ergonomic one.
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