Signup date: 25 May 2007 at 4:37pm
Last login: 21 Sep 2007 at 11:30am
Post count: 290
As to introductions - don't worry too much about repetition - make each chapter a nice little story, and include enough to make it complete. I generally look at papers and how they structure their introductions to give me an idea of how I'd like to structure mine. Though I find it's the hardest part of a chapter to write, and by no means any good at it! Obviously, you don't need to go into as much detail as you would in the lit review introduction chapter - but no harm in picking out little key points.
Hey there, 5 months for 4 chapters is fine (hard work but fine)... trust me! I still have 3 chapters to write in 10 weeks, in addition to editing time... though that's crazy admittedly. Just keep focussed on what needs to go into each chapter and don't get distracted off the topic - I made that mistake with my first chapter which ended up taking 9 months! (Fantastic chapter but did way too much!). Write yourself smaller targets. Chapter 1 by end of first month, Chapter 2 by end of 2nd month etc. then break it down further week by week. Tick them off as you go along. Even if you don't make the targets, it helps. Personally, I'd forget writing papers for now - unless you know you're organised enough to do both (which I certainly wasn't). It helps at the viva but it isn't essential (she says hopefully!!!). Good luck
One of my supervisors has taken over 4 months per chapter. I think giving your supervisors a deadline by which you need comments by is a great idea... 4 months is WAY TOO LONG!!! Hope you hve more luck than me! One of my friends never got comments back from one of her supervisors so she gave up waiting and submitted... though rather fed up admittedly. Good luck (I'm hoping for quicker turn around for my remaining chapters)
Hi, well I know some people who didn't start looking for a job until they submitted, and it took them around 6 months to find job/post-doc positions (within the science field). But during that time they had time to write papers and take a break! I started looking a year before I submitted (submit in 2 months), and have been writing post-doc proposals in the field I'd like to work in as it can take over a year to get the funding (we've had 2 failed proposals so far, waiting to hear on a 3rd application). Some people applied before they'd finished and got post-doc or jobs before they'd finished their PhD's which makes it very difficult to finish when you're working on something else already. A nice secure position perhaps, but neither recommended it having really struggled to try to finish writing on top of a job... though they're not in the financial difficulties I am... so I guess it's swings and roundabouts.
Motivation to write up - well unfortunately money running out didn't seem to make any difference to me :o( What worked for me: having someone else set my deadline for me (but i'm no good at sticking to my own deadlines), having something to look forward to afterwards (holiday), setting myself a daily and weekly schedule (good for getting started even if you don't stick to it), and setting mini targets that you can tick off and feel good about seeing the progress, making sure you take regular breaks (e.g. harry potter) or exercise (e.g thrash out frustration on a squash court). Limiting internet/email time (not worked for me today, not done any work yet!!)
Hmmm. Ok, well both horses and seahorses are vertebrates (have a backbone), but that's the closest they're related... so we're about as related to a seahorse as a horse is.
Horse: A vertebrate - mammal (i.e. have hair and produce milk, there are some egg-laying mammals!) - Eutheria (placental mammal i.e. give birth to live young) - Perissodactyla (odd-toed ungulate like the rhino & tapir... hooved!) - Equus (includes horses, asses, donkeys & zebra)
Seahorse: A vertebrate - Actinopterygii (in the same class as all ray-finned fishes i.e. not sharks but including your Nemo clownfish, herring, sea bass... all those yummy fish we eat!) - Synganthidae - the family which includes all seahorses and pipefish - Hippocampus = seahorse.
p.s. I still have 3 chapters to write and it all to edit within 10 weeks... and I wonder how I manage any semblance of calm. But keep reminding yourself it'll all soon be over!!!!!
pps. healthy food supplementing chocolate will probably help too - I believe diet has a major impact on our emotions - so try and cram in those fruit, veggies, and brain food like almonds & oily fish. I've found a few healthy dishes that require minimal preparation time, and always keep a bag full of nuts and seeds on my desk alongside my bottle of whisky & chocolate to keep me going.
Hi there, I'm in the same boat - in the last 10 weeks... and it's a horribly scary (& exciting!) feeling, but I'd recommend the same as everyone else - try and get in exercise, and breaks. Of course, I'm not always good at keeping to my own advice as last week I didn't manage any exercise and started getting to the stage of not being able to sleep because I was so wired and stressed... I took the weekend off, and feel much better for it. Also, make a plan of how you'll get through the final 10 weeks. I have set myself mini-goals to give myself the self-confidence to know I'll get through the 10 weeks with a thesis. Of course I'm not great at sticking to them (last chapter a couple of weeks late so I'm going to have to cut back on another chapter)... but ticking off my little goals makes me feel better and I feel like I'm progressing, and crying less. Hope you're feeling a little better Good luck!
I find the easiest way to get stuck in (never easy) is to (i) look at papers to see how they structure their discussions/intros; (ii) freewrite - i.e. just write anything that comes into my head about what I'd like in the chapter... then go back and restructure it, elaborate. Freewriting is nice because you're not supposed to care about structure or anything, it's like a continuous writing brainstorm - it helps... trust me! And 6 weeks is a good amount of time to write in... I'm trying to cram mine into a week or two, and getting VERY STRESSED OUT! Grrrrr. You have my sympathies... good luck!
Hmmm, WRITING IS HORRIBLE! I know, I'm trying to write my 3rd chapter at the moment... it's like a battle of wills between me and ... me!!! It's like I physically have to force myself to put words down on paper. For writing a chapter, I find the easiest is to start with methods, then results, you've got a big nice looking chunk done which doesn't require too much brain squeezing... then it's onto the STRUGGLE of the discussion and introduction of the chapter:
Hoo, glad you've got it resolved. If I get to the same situation (which I wouldn't be surprised at given my supervisors general 4 month chapter turn-around). I'm afraid I'm probably going to be rather ruthless and say if I don't get comments by a certain time then I submit regardless... but will do my utmost to get my supervisors to agree to what I decide. My last chapter, I wrote a rather short email saying how disappointed I was not to have comments & how much I value his opinion that I got comments within a week with a note saying he was up till 3am reading it! So pressure appears to do the trick... unfortunately. I don't think either of us like being obstinate but sometimes it's necessary (PhD makes me grumpy).
Hang in there! I recommend not blurting things out when she's likely to be stressed, but I know how difficult that is (I'm not a bottler-upper and tend to let it all out which in stressful situations rarely helps... apart from making me feel offloaded a little). Must be difficult with her so close. Anything you can try to do to take your mind of her? Try and go out with friends more in the evenings. Vent frustrations with exercise... squash is great!
I think the part-time/full-time issue is a personal thing. For my final year of my PhD I was unfunded, and I debated either finishing sooner with debt but starting earning in my new academic career sooner, or working part-time but finishing later (with PhD stress dragging on for longer). I chose the former, but then I know I can get paid work as soon as I finish (though still not looking forward to paying back the debt, which will take longer than the year I spent it in to pay it back... bit like weight loss goes on easily, harder lost). The time you loose by doing it part time, is time you would gain in your new career if you did it full time... but no guarantee of success. Swings and roundabouts - but then many things in life are risks. No answer - but keep on with your PhD if you love doing it! Try to get more balance if your relationship is suffering (in the end that's more important). And if you do part time - stay focussed & don't do more than you need to!
Hi there, gosh so many posts in such a small space of time! To me it sounds like you love your PhD subject - so I think the enthusiasm for your subject will keep you going through the tough times. I have an arts friend who juggled a part-time job, with teaching, with being a deputy warden in a hall, all on no funding, and she finished within 4 years - she loves her topic too & wants a career in academia. I used to do part time studies (OU) on top of a job, and it was manageable (even if I had no life other than work & study!) so I talked them into letting me go 4 days a week. But in arts I would recommend fighting for teaching work, it seems to be vital for an academic career in the arts. Conferences are useful for after PhD options (networking) but later in PhD probably more useful...
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