Signup date: 18 Aug 2011 at 3:51pm
Last login: 07 Jan 2017 at 10:55pm
Post count: 159
Firstly, I'm sorry to hear that you've been through such a terrible ordeal. I couldn't agree with you more about your loss of faith in the system. It's the inconsistencies that have made me question the system also.
Can I ask whether you have yet received the examiners' report? I was advised by my supervisor that they cannot fail me if I action EVERYTHING on that report. FYI - I received substantial corrections to be completed in a six month period. The examiners even told me how to layout my resubmission report: correction required, old page number, new page number and a comment how I have addressed the correction.
Just a comment that I was not able to submit for thesis for examination without getting it 'signed off' by my main supervisor. I assume that universities have different submission procedures, so maybe look into yours if you haven't already done so, to see if you can submit without their backing.
And I agree with TreeofLife. I would have an open conversation with them regarding your reasons for wanting to submit at this stage.
I was pulled up in my viva for not clearly detailing the systemic review process used to determine the content of my review of literature chapters, so that the reader could see how my findings added to what was already known regarding my subject.
Based on my personal experience, my advice would be to identify your key search terms, which are usually determined by your research questions/aims/objectives, and limit the content of your review of literature chapter/s to these areas. This includes using the search terms in combination with one another, including any synonyms/variations.
All the best,
I was lucky in that my report was fairly detailed. I even had an opportunity to go back to the examiners and ask them to clarify two points that I was unsure of, which they did and provided equally as detailed and helpful responses. How detailed was your report? Did you have to seek clarification?
Today was my first day back working on the corrections after having to work on and submit a job application on Friday, and not wanting to work on Saturday or Sunday ;) all seemed to be going quite well until I received the clarifications from one of my examiners on the weekend. It looks like one of the corrections is going to take me longer than expected...(AARRGGHH).
After being VERY stressed all morning trying to get my head around it, I've decided to spend the rest of the day preparing for a job interview I've got later this week (and looking on here of course ;)
Did you manage to look at that book? How you feeling about what needs to do?
I am also in the midst of corrections after a viva three weeks ago. They've given me six months to make all the changes, but I'm currently unemployed after relocating back to the UK from another country so plan to use this time wisely.
I am definitely up for being a form of encouragement for one another :)
I would say a bit of both. Some things I hadn't fully clarified in my writing, but others I gave a very similar response to that detailed in my thesis, which they appeared to be happy with and didn't question me any further. I think the latter may have also been due to them not fully being aware/forgetting that I had already covered it elsewhere in my thesis.
I took in so many notes! I had a printed copy of my thesis, with lots of additional handwritten comments. I also had a pile of those small record cards, each with a potential question and my preferred answer. Finally, I had a printed A3 MS Excel table listing the main details of each of the existing studies in my area. The only thing I referred to during the entire viva was my printed thesis, which was to find and direct the examiners to a particular page number to show that I had included something which they said was missing.
- Result: I was awarded a pass subject to substantial corrections, which are to be completed within a 6 month period. I completely agree with their reasoning for giving me substantial corrections. In a nut shell, I need to create a new chapter by taking the findings of two small pre-research studies that are currently placed in the five main results and discussion chapters, to help with clarity and transparency. The other small changes, they said, will help take my PhD to the next level.
- Corrections: The examiners verbally went through what I need to change, but advised me that I would receive a detailed reported outlining exactly what would be required. They even said themselves not to do anymore or any less than what would be detailed in the report.
My key piece of advice to anyone approaching their viva is to pick out the key aspects of their study (definitions, key literature, methodological design, etc.) and get your reasoning for choosing these aspects very clear in your mind. I was subsequently told by my supervisor and the Chair that I defended my thesis very well.
People said to me that it will be an enjoyable experience, as it will likely be the only time I will get to discuss my research in detail with peers. I COULD NOT DISAGREE MORE WITH THIS STATEMENT! I was so nervous of saying the wrong thing, even at the end once the result had been awarded, that I couldn't get out of the room quick enough! I know for a fact that there are people who DID really enjoy the experience. Unfortunately, I was not one of them ;)
Feel free to ask anything that I may not have covered above.
All the best to those still on their PhD journey! I WILL see you all at the finishing line 😊
It's been over a week since I had my viva. I wanted to create a post about my experience as a form of pay back, as I found other similar posts extremely helpful during the run to the dreaded day.
So, the main points I wanted to cover are:
- Structure: I was not required to do a short presentation at the beginning. The Chair began and covered what they needed to cover. After that there was no small talk; the examiners went straight down to business! They started at the beginning of my thesis and went through it chapter by chapter, taking turns to raise any areas of interest/concern.
- Examiners: both my external and internal were fair throughout the entire process and very professional. They never once tried to 'trip me up', but did at points push ever so slightly for a more detailed response to certain questions. My supervisor spent a long time choosing the right people, which came through in the final experience.
- Questions: the examiners asked very pertinent questions, which showed that they read my work in detail. Even though it's called a defense, I didn't fully appreciate the extent in which I would be explaining why I chose to define X in that way, why I used X research design over another, etc. The large majority of questions were within this area. They never questioned me on any of my findings per se. I would describe this part of my viva as more of a discussion than a defense. They did how ask all of the core questions I came across in my viva prep research: Why this topic? What would I do differently?
- Length: in total, the viva itself ran for 55 minutes. After that, I waited another 20 minutes outside of the room with my supervisor. We spent another 15 minutes going through the result and required corrections.
Continued on the next post...
I used Crotty's (1998) four part framework to structure my 'Research Context' chapter: epistemology, theoretical perspective, methodology and methods. The full reference in case you are interested in finding out more:
Crotty, M. (1998). The foundations of social research. Meaning and perspectives in the research process. London: Sage Publications
I couldn't agree more with theboakster.
Plan your days in this way and do not step away from the computer until you achieve your quota. On some days it would take me all day to reach my 500 words a day goal. Yet, on one day, I remember writing over 2000 words!
I'm a massive to-do list fan too, so what I did was make a list with dates on the left hand side of a page and wrote '500' next to each date. When I wrote three days of writing in one day I would scribble off the next three 500s. Seeing that I was three days ahead of schedule was a huge confidence boost and kept me going.
You CAN do this timefortea. You are so close. Don't give up!
I somewhat understand what you are going through at the moment. I also submitted my thesis nearly three months ago and am yet to receive a viva date, for a number of reasons. I have been advised by my supervisor that the university's policy is for the viva to be organised no later than 6 months after submission. As much as it pains me to say, I may well be waiting another three months until I complete my viva! My advice would be to first check your university's policy. Until that period is over, it might be that no formal complaints regarding the delay can be made (or accepted, at least).
All the best
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