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software to write the thesis, except word and latex

I used microsoft words on mac - bad idea. All the images would mess up if you tried opening it on a windows machine (which I had to in order to print my thesis out at uni). You could PDF it to print, but then if you flip between portrait and landscape, they'll come out as seperate files.... so lot of issues.

If you are using just one operating system, you'll be fine, but if you are flipping between windows/mac, just make sure that the software you use is actually truly compatable.

Mental health difficulties

I had to take three six-months breaks throughout my PhD, and then went part time after the last bad bout. Although going part-time was the year before the final year, I don't see why you couldn't go part-time. Have you spoken to the graduate office (or whoever deals with the admin side of your PhD)? Gather as much info as you can, because then you can make decision on what would be best for you.

calling all post viva people!

I read through my thesis over one week. As I read them, I wrote down a short sentence (around 5 words) on what each paragraph said (so that I could find things easier).

I highlighted the findings and implications of each chapter, and put a post it not so they were easy to find. Also post it note on other key pages like list of research questions, list of findings, limitations.

Put post it notes for the start of each chapter (just so that it's easier to find).

list strength and weaknesses of each chapter. what would you do differently if you had another go at it?

I read all those 'viva questions' available online and on this forum and THOUGHT about what I would say. However, none of these questions ever came up in my viva so I am glad I didn't spend too much time on this. It just helped to settle my nerves knowing that should they ask these hard questions, then had a rough idea of how to answer them.

Think of what other directions you could take your work in the future (other than the ones you have already listed in your thesis). Have a look at your examiners' background and see if there's any new angle that they would like you to see from.

Biggest tip of all is to not stress, get enough sleep, don't do any work the day before and relax! Good luck!!

past tense

hate to put a spanner in the works, but in my particular field, it's past tense all the way, because you're reporting about work that has been done already in the literature review, and studies that you carried out in the past...

sloppy mistake-what would you do?

if it makes you feel better, I had one of those sentences too. Say I was comparing red with blue, I said:

"study of blue provided far more infomation than studying the blue alone"

obviously, I meant study of RED provided far more info than blue....

The examiner noticed it (which told me that he really read through my thesis), simply asked me if it was a typo, I said yes, and it went on the correction list, no biggies :)

sloppy mistake-what would you do?

to be honest, I think it's a minor minor minor error. Anyone can get the month wrong easily. I would:

a) not worry so much about it
b) make note of the correction to be done
c) don't mention it at the viva
d) if examiner does mention it, just say it was a typo (which it was)

Bad Conclusions feeling inadequate can they fail me?

How about what you would've done differently or what else you could've done that you didn't cover in your thesis?

I think writing about what each result meant in your conclusion is great, but do you think you could pad out the one or two sentences per point to a paragraph each?

For my thesis, I had:
a summary of the thesis (as in 'the thesis of this work is blah blah blah") with justifications to that thesis
a list of major and minor contributions of the thesis
what else I could've done (this was the section the examiners wanted me to add)
The limitations (or applicability) of my work
Future work
last page about how the whole PhD has been for me (as a personal touch).

hope this helps :)

Deadline is this summer - let's do it together!

Thanks for that Dunni, it's so great to see that we all did so fantastically well :D

I don't know what I had done without this thread. Thank you all for keeping me going through the rough patches. It was an amazing experience to be able to share the process and be part of the process.


3 months corrections and feeling stressed and burnt out

@Ady, no you didn't miss it, I haven't posted about it. Things got crazy at work straight after my viva and so I didn't get the chance to post about it, and then it felt a bit weird to say 'hey, I passed my viva three weeks ago'. I only managed to log in to here yesterday - felt great to swap my ear muffs for the proper motar board :D Thank you for congratulating me, you're the first :)

(sorry OP for highjacking your thread....)

3 months corrections and feeling stressed and burnt out

I agree with what DrCorrine says - the corrections always look so much harder than it actually is. I was scared that I wasn't going to have time to do my corrections and that I was going to have to work day and night (in between normal work) to get it done. In the end, I managed to do all correction in two half-day sittings.

Do your minor corrections such as typos first, then tackle each item on the correction list that are the easiest to do. If you are going to have 3 very difficult tasks to deal with in your corrections, it's emotionally a lot easier to have just 3 difficult items at the end rather than 3 very difficult items plus 20 other issues that you have to deal with.

Good luck with your corrections, you've come this far, you're only a step away from the end!


is it possible that it#'s actually the lack of feedback that is making you feel like this? I felt the same just about half way through writing my thesis, because I didn't know if my thesis was good enough or not.... no one can tell you that until you finish writing the whole thing. My superviosr did give me feedback on each chapter as I wrote them, but you think 'ok sup said this chapter is good, but all the other chapters I am yet to write could be AWFUL... then I'll fail my PhD... then I had wasted x years of my life, oh gwad, I'm not good enough to be writing a PhD thesis, etc. etc.'

Also, it's really difficult to feel good about something that is half formed... it's a bit like you are half way through making a sculpture of a person. You've sculptured the best pair of legs, but depending on how you sculpt the upper body and face, it could turn either way - really beautiful or really ugly. you have no idea how it'll end up looking, so how can you feel confident?

I can assure you that once your thesis is written and you get feedback on the whole thing, your feeling of inadequacy will fade away - simply because you HAVE done it!

Have you already published some of your work?


yes, they will do induction stuff both within your school and across the campus so there will be lots of oppotunities to meet other PhD students. The graduate program also runs all year round, which is across campus, so opportunities aren't just restrained to the induction week.

I agree with you on accomodation! I really hope it works out for you :)

Have you already had the enrolement letters?


I'm just about finishing my PhD :)

They'll give you a whole week of induction for you to get settled in :)

If you are already in the area, the fresher's week (for undergrads) is on this week with fresher's fair happening tomorrow (I think...).

Are you going into halls?


Hi Emmaki, I think we all know exactly how you feel!

Can you tell me whether this has been caused by something specific (such as someone making an off hand comment) or something that has been brewing in the background for ages?


Hi SevenfoldGirl, welcome to the forum :)

what department are you going to be doing your PhD in?