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Ideal write up time

Has your supervisor given you any indication as to how long they think it will take? Especially the analysis stage. And is there any groundwork you can do to make the analysis go faster/smoother?

I know someone who had a lot of interviews, diary data and questionaires to transcribe, break down and look at and they're ahead of me in terms of writing up, and on course to finish in 3 years. They were finished collecting/transcribing by the end of their second year. I don't use similar data so take what I say here with a hefty pinch of salt but I imagine once you've got the transcribing out the way then a year to analyses and write up is doable. A lot of that depends on how fast and intensive the analysis can be done though.

The One Goal Thread

Hola, hope all is well :-)

My goals for today are:
Finished results for chapter 5
Re-check and add to chapters 3,4 and 6. Leaving time for 5 and 7 to be checked tomorrow before sending to my supervisor.

* Puts kettle on *

stupid question

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Quote From phdbug:

I am tending to wake really late surprisingly - and not really get going till after lunch. As for food, regrettably, I am hungry all the time, and enjoy eating a lot of food :-(

I with you phdbug :-( Today's the earliest I've been up in about a week and thats only cos by other half cotton'd on to the fact I was sleeping in, despite my alarms, and rang me to wake me up.

I've got to the odd stage of actually wanting to use my dust gathering exercise bike but half on hour on that is half an hour not writing!

Dilemma about conference

Congrats :-) I shall pay particular attention to your warnings then!

Dilemma about conference

Not looking forward to the final details :-( I have a feeling those are going to be the hardest bits. Are you all finished up Bilbo?

When I've been handing things in I've been trying to keep in mind how long it's going to take my supervisor. He's normally pretty good but even taking that into account I think it's worth being very conservative with estimating how long they'll take. Feedback can be a big job, especially the closer you get to a complete thesis. If you've got something to work on whilst you're waiting to hear back though you can stay productive.

I've gone over my timetable with him though, in detail. Maybe it's worth doing the same Montezuma? My supe knows when I'm handing in first drafts, and when I'm expecting to hand in corrections of those drafts so he knows when I'm expecting things back.

Need a draft thesis by the end of September - Help!

Ah I see. :-)

In that case then if you've got tables and figures to add I'd be tempted to cheat. Instead of making them and putting them in just put a tagline like [Figure 4.5 - Error data] in instead. Saves you time messing about with details that might change and lets them see where things would go still.

Dilemma about conference

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I think I'm working on a similar timetable to you (just without the job or conference :-( !).

So long as all you have to do is write up, so no work to go to etc, then I think you could make it. All you've got stopping you is how fast your supervisor gets back to you. My day consists of getting up, switching on the computer, working for 10 hours, taking a break and then going to bed. If you're putting a similar amount of hours in then I think you can make it.

I'd still be tempted to go for option 2 though. Partly better safe than sorry but also because the less stress the better around that time. Getting to present is a great opportunity but you don't want to be dead on your feet doing it. Is there still the option of submitting a poster instead? That might be more managable but still gets you there and gets you involved with others in the area.

Need a draft thesis by the end of September - Help!

I'm confused? They want a draft for this september but you've got another year and a half? Is it a full draft they want or just an outline/plan? Or something inbetween?

I'm in the process of writing up now and I'm aiming to submit by september at the latest and I've found that one the most usesful things is having a structure. Either through some sort of template or plan you've already written up.

So my plan was something like this

Chapter 1

1.1 Background to X
1.2 Further developments to X and theory Y
1.3 Split between X and Y
1.4 Modern perspectives and focus
1.5 Key research area to thesis


And then each of those sections I broke down with bullet points. I add theories and authors, key studies and so on so that when I did sit down to write I could get on with it instead of faffing about with wondering what I wanted to write. I also found it helpful to go over a lot of research and have brief, but reasonably high quality, summaries written up. So then if I needed to mention them in the thesis I could just copy and paste them over instead of having to read everything again.

When it came to the writing I put down the subsections and headings and then did it bit by bit. It feels more managable to attempt section 1.2 than it does to attempt some of chapter 1. It's all the same really but I think it feels better to break it into chunks.

Moving tables from SPSS to Microsoft Word

What Sneaks said. :-) It should be the same for most SPSS versions. I'm on 14 at home anyway, and 17 at work and it's the same process. The only problem is, as you're probably finding out, is that word and SPSS don't always play well together. To that end whenever we teach undergrads about report writing and spss we tell them to make their own tables, as they look better than the spss ones, and to refer to the output's in the appendicies if they need to. They can be a lot uglier in the appendicies :-)

job application conundrum, any thoughts?

I think you're being fairly realistic. I don't think it'd be a case of you getting ripped off but you'd be in a compromising position. Could you effectively assist if you're playing your cards close to your chest? Would they get the best of out of you and vice versa really.

That said, are you close to submitting? If you are and you're far enough head they might not build up enough speed to scoop you, and once your work is out there it'll be the original and the other work will become the derivative. Again though it's a balancing act, performing your job properly and helping but not getting so involved you sacrifce your work, and also not coming across a saboteur - which you might do if you join the project and then effectively pip them to post.

Walminski's Writing Up Thread

That's a point. Had all the procedure and most of the stats/results done. But I definately wish I'd put together the background literature. I collected it and filed it away to write up 'later'.

Walminski's Writing Up Thread

Don't suppose I'm the only one here who wishes they had a time machine? I'd go back and force myself to write everything up as I went along rather than having the bulk to do at the end :( I've got 5 chapters to hand in on thursday!

Conference proceedings

I've been told I can by my supervisor :)


I'm not sure what you mean by points for publications. Do you mean the h-index? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-index

If you're already published before you apply for a PhD then it should definately help you as it shows you're familiar to some extent with the process of publication and research. You're not expected, usually, to have already published though so not having any publications isn't something that's going to count against you when you apply. Publications at that stage are a bonus rather than a requirement.

race against time soon

Many irons in the fire at the same time seems to be the way around this.

I've given myself a really tight timetable, which I've agreed with my supervisor, so I'm constantly working on something. I worked on chapters 1 and 2 at the same time and handed them in together, and now while I'm waiting for feedback I'm putting together chapters 3 to 7. I don't have to worry if the feedback for the first two takes a while as I've moved on to the next ones, which will all be handed in at the same time. By then I should have the first two back to make changes on along with finishing up chapter 8 (general discussion) and a few bits and pieces....and then once those are in I should have corrections to make on 3-7.

If you constantly cycle work like that, though you may go insane, it should mean slow supervision doesn't matter as there's always something productive to be done rather than wasted time.