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Is it alright to use 'instant' thesis bookbinding service?

Firstly, double check that your regs. allow this.

Secondly - varies on quality. Ask around, or ask to see an example of their work.

I took mine to Office World - great because they were open til 8pm, and I had to have my thesis in the next day! They usually have someone who is specially allocated this job, so it's generally no that bad (mine was perfectly acceptable, though they didn't have a very wide range of comb sizes, so the ones I ended up with looked a bit big)

PS - if costs are a worry, buy your own card and film for the covers! This soon adds up (mine cost around £14, just for this)

acceptable no. typos for a pass?

what's the highest no. of typos anyone has had, and still achieved a pass? I'm guessing a few are OK, but what generally might be considered as reasonable, according to your experiences?

(I'm dyslexic, but my disabled student allowance funding didn't come through in time to arrange a proof-reader before submission - so this is a major worry)

It takes me a very long time to read - over 2 weeks to re-read my thesis - and having just finished doing this, horrifically, I've found over 200 typos (which includes problems with inconsistent capitalisation - this is a difficulty for me, as the 'rules' just don't make sense), so guess I may end up with a fail?

I'm certain I'll have at least seriously tested the patience of my examiners - I was going to go in with a list of typos, but with this amount, waving such a large document around will surely only rub my 'sloppiness' in their face?

advise please - viva days away & don't believe my thesis!

Thanks Bilbobaggins

(For the moment) my crisis in confidence has subsided a little, having read this:


In formulating a key argument (that I'm now repeating as a mantra in order to memorise it for the viva), I realised that, although I'm none too comfortable with some of the assertions, I still agree with my overall conclusion, and feel that I've made a valuable contribution (I feel a bit brazen making such claims, but I guess I'd better get used to doing so for the viva!)


advise please - viva days away & don't believe my thesis!

In my pre-submission draft I had suggested that the evidence suggested 1 of 2 possible conclusions (both of which I've varyingly favoured over the years), but was told that I had to stick with one or the other when submitting my thesis (it's the application of a particular social science theory within a particular context). I asked for an opportunity to thrash-out the ideas before deciding on how to procede, but as my meeting were few & far between (1 year I only had 3!), they were mostly for admin. & my sup. never really discussed my ideas with me.

Before submitting my thesis I told my sup. that I had concerns over whether I would be able to defend the main conclusion that I ended up in my thesis, and that I felt I should revise my interpretation to the other alternative - but he told me not to bother, and be brave. Very uneasily, I submitted (time unexpectedly ran out, due to reg. change).

I requested mock viva, but he's been away most of the time since my submission, so this hasn't happened.

I've just finished re-reading my thesis, and (on stepping back from my thesis for a couple of weeks - never been able to do this before, as haven't had a holiday, evening, or weekend off since I began rewriting after my last leave of absence) feel that the main conclusion is indefensible. I feel the alternative argument that I in the end removed is more probable.

I've also finally been able to get hold of the paper by my extn. examiner's that crosses over with my field, and find that he demolishes the equivalent of my conclusion, but supports the one that I ended up removing

So I have to go into the viva being more sympathetic with him, with no hope of defending the thesis as I submitted it. Confidence was going to be pretty low, but now I'm wondering if I should even bother going :-(

Any advice on how I should handle this situation?

PMT/PhD: they almost rhym!

Quote From phdbug:

Eska, Stressed and I are perhaps ToM sisters. (time o the month TOM)

Me too - wonder how many more of us are in sync?!

Be interesting if it's discipline-related (I'm social sciences)!

Just submitted - worst time of year? Any experiences?

I submitted 29 June and have my viva mid aug. - but it was tricky working around staff holidays.

If all concerned have had their hols., should be possible for you to get the viva organised by the end of sept., (and I imagine examiners will want to get it sorted before then). All depends on your uni. though.

Good luck!

I've got an MA distintion but...

Hi Williambriggs79,

I hope I'm not hijacking your post by extending your question to that of whether a 2:1 generally affects post-doc applications?

I too have a BA 2:1 & MA distinction - I didn't get funding for my PhD, and thought this was due to my 2:1 (several people told me this was the case) - so I'm gratified to hear that funding with a 2:1 can be achieved

Wishing you well with your applications! (and congrats on the distinction and top marks!)

PhD and Dyslexia

Hi, pre_phd,

it can be tough, but it's certainly possible.

I play it by ear as regards disclosing - some people are not very understanding!

Disclosure is not about being able to use excuses (I'm not suggesting this is your aim!) - it's more about supporting you in working around particular problems that disadvantage you when compared to non-dyslexics; the rules are usually quite specific that you'll not be given any favours re exams. etc., and that standards will have to be maintained (i.e. your thesis will have to be of the same literary quality as everyone else)

For me (I have memory & note-taking problems, for instance), it means e.g. I can take a recording device into the viva, so that I can clearly recall the instructions given to me re. changes that will be needed to pass (as most people would be able to write notes above my speed - which under a pressure can be that of a 3 year old!). I have also had a mentor to help me organise

It has taken me a long time to get things done - reading papers etc. and writing takes me at least 3 times longer than most people. But I have found doing a PhD has helped me to develop strategies of coping with the difficulties

In retrospect, I would have got help before, because my uni. offers literacy classes and one-to-one dyslexia support sessions, where they give advise on organisation etc., and I think this would have sped things up somewhat

I would advise you to consider approaching the uni disability services - your dyslexia can go on record, but only those that //you want to know within your dept. need be told, when /you/ want to, and they can advise in lots of ways. Initially, it might be worth you taking a look on the uni webpage - there should be some info. re. dyslexia support. Mentors can be quite useful in helping you keep things together and liasing

Good luck!

viva panic - can any kind souls offer words of comfort?!

Thanks, Stressed

(I too have TMJ - I'm going, yet again, to have my teeth ground down a week before the viva, to try to correct this particular problem - even though this is a horrible process that just doesn't work for me. Unfortunately, I'm my dentist's pet project, and he keeps experimenting on me! I hope I recover in time. Humph!!)

I do feel a sense of achievement in getting this far - but I realise that 11 years looks a bit c**p! (My CV's quite rubbish)

The encouragement is much appreciated!

viva panic - can any kind souls offer words of comfort?!

Thanks bilbobaggins.

I am sorry to hear about your own disability, but very gratified that it can be done, despite such difficulties - congratulations for getting through it

I've heard about the book that you mentioned - wish I'd have had time to read it, but only submitted quite recently, and have been ill since

I did wonder about taking in a typo list, so hope to do this (as it sounds useful)

To concentrate on the key areas that you outlined seems sensible - I'll also write myself (and try to memorise) a summary

I think half of the battle for confidence is in at least feeling prepared, and so long as I'm working on revision, I'm not too freaked out (it's when I stop at night that I start getting really scared, as I have time to dwell on it!)

Thanks for the good wishes!

Less than 2 months to go!!

It's amazing what can and does get done in the last couple of months - I think the excitement and anticipation gives us that little extra 'push'.

Can't your supervisors be a bit more encouraging, and tell you /exactly/ what they think is needed to get you through with minor corrections?!
(I think they've forgotten what it's like to be in this position)

Sounds like you're in a good position re. examiner -if they're positive about your topic before they even read your thesis, this surely can't do you any harm!

It also sounds like you may be able to get some teaching / collaborative work when you've finished??

Just keep at it, and good luck!

viva panic - can any kind souls offer words of comfort?!

Thank you very much for your sensible advice - I'm going in with my list of areas of my thesis that I /know/ I can improve (I'm re-reading it now, with post-its and pencil in hand), and am just hoping that I'm not too way off in my thinking (I've sort of ended up with a 'big theory' - this wasn't the intention. Would rather have made a nice /little/ contribution - definitely easier to defend).

My supervisor tells me to relax, and that it'll be fine, but I've not had a great deal of input from him with regards discussion of my ideas (and their validity). (Though he's very nice & supportive, I think he came to think that I'd never submit - and I can't blame the poor man.) He's a very busy man (took 3 1/2 months to go over my penultimate draft) - and won't have time to give me a mock viva (there's also no one else in the dept. with time to read my thesis and do this).  I perhaps wouldn't feel so worried if the last student of his that did research in my field, failed outright (and he was / is brilliant - and I'm certainly not!)

Cheers for the support!

viva panic - can any kind souls offer words of comfort?!

OK, now that Chrisrolinski has gone through the mill and come out the other side with great results (congrats!), I'll throw my hat into the ring.

My viva is a fortnight on Tuesday, and I'm barely continent with worry.

My problem is that it all means just that bit /too/ much to me.

I'm sure there are others out there in a similar situation - gone through life being bullied for being 'stupid', and then getting to Uni, decent lecturers noticing there's something 'different', and finding out (after grilling assessments, by the way, for those that doubt this difficulty) that dyslexia accounts for many of the problems in reading, writing and organisation

For me, doing a PhD has been challenging, but research drives me, and having ideas that others can use and develop, and that can challenge the way we think about the world (for the better), is so exciting (much of my work is social science based) - I can't bear to think of not having this in my life!

But it's difficult to throw off the taunts (as a mature student, these have become somewhat ingrained) - so I have a lot at stake in this. I can't /help/ feeling that doing a PhD can help me prove to myself that I'm not stupid after all.

Consequently, it's almost like 'fail' the viva (and I'm anticipating major corrections) and, well, maybe the loud-mouth bullies are right - bearing in mind the regs. that essentially say 'not good enough for a PhD' for this outcome? (Even though I'm expecting this outcome - my thesis is way too long - I know I'll be devastated and heartbroken)

I have also invested a 1/4 of my life in this darned PhD. I have in the past posted on this forum and received some quite unkind and impolite responses when I've mentioned that I've been doing my PhD for so long (now nearly 11 years - PT - which has included about 2 1/2 yrs. sick leave / LoA). But I've had more than enough problems to work around - some rather unpleasant child and family issues, PTSD (basically 'shell-shock', for those who don't know) and chronic (constant) pain (atypical neuralgia) - and all the accompanying mind-bending meds., which on top of (for a long time undiagnosed) dyslexia has slowed things down a deal. (I'm not on a sympathy trip here - just explaining why it's taken so long.).

Basically, I'm frightened almost out of my wits - not just that I'm going to fail, but over how I'll respond if & when I'm told at the viva that I've not passed (making a fool of myself won't help my job prospects, I'm sure). And this anxiety isn't going to provide me with the most clear mind for defending my (rather controversial) thesis.

So if someone out there can wish me well (not necessarily through the forum, but in their hearts), this would be nice, and if anyone can find it in their hearts to offer kind words towards someone whose cr***ing themselves over their up and coming vivas, I'd appreciate it.

If there are any tips for coping with a viva when overly nerved-up, I'd be glad of these!

Rant thread

I have 3 children living across the road from me - and a dog. I dread the sunshine - then they're outside from 7.30 am to 8.30pm. On their trampoline. They must bounce in sequence - not the dog! As each bounces, they scream at the highest pitch I've ever heard - and the dog barks at this.

So that's about one high pitched scream every 30 seconds, followed by a dog bark, for around 13 hours - minus 15 mins. feeding - about 20 ft. away from me.

Whilst I'm writing hard-core social science theory

Oh joy. I used to love the summer.

Rant over.

Feel like I am stuck in a rut...upset post sorry

Hi Natassia,

Firstly, I'm sure many are pleased to hear that you have found a way of gaining a bit of 'normaility' after a clearly painful bereavment.

Doing a PhD can take a toll on mental health, so if you can start off from a point of relative health, this is preferable - you've done exactly the right thing to prepare yourself in this way

Secondly, as regards your worries for completing your MSc - you may be 'owed' a short extension from when you were depressed, perhaps? Most Uni's are OK with you starting a PhD later than Oct., if you have good reason - which you have due to depression

It would also be useful to arrange a timetable for completion with your supervisor when they return - but try not to worry about it too much!

I have had a horrendous time with my PhD (11 years now) - as I have not looked after my mental health, and have given myself no social life. Please learn from my mistakes!! I have worked about 60-80 hrs. most weeks - and still things aren't good (aiming for perfection is a no-no, I've realised to my cost)

Although when there are deadlines, then yes, 12 hrs a day x 7 is common, I've realised that most usually there's no need for this. But you DO need a bit of normality at the weekends - for sanity sake. Having a night off, say, every fortnight, should be the aim - at least

My obsession has all blown up in my face - I have seen so many PhDs come and go during my tenure, and am very misserable (but very happy for them!). The most recent to graduate was happy, sociable, and insisted on only working 9-5, 5 days per week, and had 1 months holiday per year (I have had 1-3 days p.a.). She passed straight away, on time, but wasn't brilliant by any means (really!). An extra lesson to be learned from her is that her PhD was restricted to a very limited topic!

Good luck, and look after yourself!