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squiggles
Thursday, 13 March 2008 at 10:45am
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 at 1:01pm
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Thread: Help - getting nowhere and fearing failure

posted
26-Dec-08, 21:17
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 12 years ago
Quote From jade:

thank you ju-ju...i love posts like urs.. gives me the right kick up the b******e! and i do certainly need that to get me going (up) xxxx


I agree! ;-)

And thank you rjb203 for your advice - I know I shouldn't compare myself to other students, but it's hard not to when you share an office and hear about what goes on with other supervisors etc. I suppose I just need to remember that a PhD is a very personal project and I shouldn't be influenced by other people.

I have tried to change supervisor, or at least I tried to get an 'additional' supervisor, but obviously it's quite an awkward situation and didn't really go in my favour. And my sup hasn't actually done anything wrong...

Thanks for the book advice too - will see if I can get hold of it.

Thread: Help - getting nowhere and fearing failure

posted
19-Dec-08, 10:15
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 12 years ago
Quote From bettyspaghetti:

The more papers you attempt to read, the more you'll understand because you'll start picking up bits of terminology and an understanding about the way ideas are expressed in your field (both necessary for your own thesis-writing). Once you've made steps to do something positive about the situation, you'll feel much better.

Why not give this a go:

1. Get together some of the papers you want to read and decide at first glance which seems the most manageable.

2. You, the chosen paper, a notebook and a pen go to the library together (I'm suggesting a non-computerised form of note-taking to avoid the temptations of wi-fi).

3. Read the paper and summarise the content of each paragraph as you go - don't get hung up on the meaning of specific sentences but go for an overall sense of what the author's saying.

4. Underline any sentences or terminology that are impeding your understanding (but be strict - only the ones that really, properly, truly get in the way of meaning!)

5. When you've finished reading the whole paper do some research about the terminology / expressions / concepts that have stumped you: Google them, refer to text books or manuals, ask other people, ask your supervisor.

6. Consider these details in light of your paragraph-by-paragraph summary.

Hopefully after doing this you should have an overall understanding of the paper. It might also be worth trying to do your reading and researching in a set time limit depending how long the paper is, and as you move onto the next paper it will get easier and quicker.

Good luck

8-)



Thank you so much for your advice - I think that sounds like a good plan. I think I tend to worry too much about specific details rather than looking at the bigger picture. So yes, a trip to the library with a pile of papers will be in order soon!

Thread: Help - getting nowhere and fearing failure

posted
18-Dec-08, 11:39
edited about 23 seconds later
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 12 years ago
Just thought I'd have a moan - perhaps I'll feel better once I've got it out of my system!

I'm in the third year of my PhD and, mainly because of a lousy supervisor, feel that I'm getting nowhere. I have barely enough work to make up one chapter, and don't really have a set idea of what to do next. I've spoken to my supervisor about this and he gave me some vague ideas, but nothing concrete - basically along the lines of 'go and read lots of papers to see what's already been done'. I agree that I need to do that, but I feel that time is running out, and it takes me so long to read papers, let alone understand what's actually been done. I was also told by another member of staff to stop worrying so much. I have funding for three and a half years, so it's not as if I have a tight deadline looming (as long as we finish in 4 years, we're ok).

I feel like such a fraud - every other student seems to be working away and knows what they're doing. They also seem to know so much - I worry that if I ever get to the viva stage, I'll be totally clueless! It's partly my own fault - I procrastinate too much when I don't know what to do next, and often look at a paper and feel that it's completely beyond me to understand it.

Anyway, rant over. Just thought I would share my woes with you all!

Thread: Can I include my own published work in my thesis?

posted
28-Nov-08, 15:45
edited about 25 seconds later
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 12 years ago
Well I've been having a look at a thesis which was done by someone with the same supervisor as me. At the beginning of his thesis, he points out that 'the work in chapter 3 appears in ...', and references his own paper (co-authored by his supervisor). Chapter 3 is basically the same as the paper with a few extra lines and explanations added. So it seems to be ok as long as you make a reference to your own paper (and presumably don't copy and paste the paper into your thesis word for word).

Thread: Can I include my own published work in my thesis?

posted
28-Nov-08, 14:23
edited about 5 seconds later
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 12 years ago
I know this is a silly question that's probably been asked before...
If I publish a paper (i.e. jointly with my supervisor), I just wanted to double-check that I can still include that in my thesis? Presumably I can include the published paper word for word since it's my own work? What I'm planning to publish will probably make up a big chunk of a chapter in my thesis.

Many thanks for your help!,-)

Thread: working: from home vs uni

posted
25-Aug-08, 15:32
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 12 years ago
Well I'm going to dare to be different. I very rarely work from home - although I can understand the attractions (i.e. no noise, distractions from others etc), and on the rare occasions that I do work at home, I can concentrate better than in uni - I would get very isolated if I worked at home every day. My department has very good provisions for pgs (large desk in a shared office, laptops), and it means I can go and see my supervisor for a brief chat whenever I feel like it, rather than having to schedule a meeting. I think I would feel I was missing out if I wasn't in the department - even just on office gossip. I enjoy having a routine of going into the office every day and knowing that when I get home, I can switch off from work. Another reason for not staying at home is that I wouldn't have the house to myself (annoying retired parent!), so I'm sure I would be distracted very easily!

Thread: Four Letter Word--Change one letter

posted
19-Aug-08, 12:04
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 12 years ago
SALT

Thread: Holist or Serialist?

posted
23-Jul-08, 09:30
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posted about 12 years ago
and a serialist someone who studies cornflakes...

Thread: What is a VIVA?

posted
23-Jul-08, 09:29
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 12 years ago
It's a few hours of hell at the end of your PhD where you finally discover whether your 3+ years of hard work have paid off, or if it's all been a complete waste of time...

Thread: Life after PhD - 'proper' job or postdoc?

posted
23-Jul-08, 09:25
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 12 years ago
Yes, I often feel the same way - it definitely doesn't do your confidence much good, and being constantly worried about getting results doesn't make for a very pleasant life!

Thread: Life after PhD - 'proper' job or postdoc?

posted
22-Jul-08, 21:38
edited about 7 seconds later
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 12 years ago
Thanks, bewildered - I'll have a look at the site you mentioned. And I guess a back up plan would be a good idea since postdocs seem few and far between!
Badhaircut - did you manage to find a postdoc quite easily? And how did you go about finding it - did you approach potential supervisors and ask if they'd be willing to take you on, or did you apply for an advertised postdoc?

Thread: Holiday, anyone? [filling to comply with the rules of the forum which require more than three but less than 25 words in the Topic Title

posted
22-Jul-08, 12:02
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 12 years ago
Cakegirl - I have exactly the same problem. I always find that it takes me days to get back into working mode after a holiday. I guess the only solution would be to try and think about work a little while you're on holiday, but I suppose that defeats the purpose of having the holiday in the first place!

Thread: Life after PhD - 'proper' job or postdoc?

posted
22-Jul-08, 11:59
edited about 8 seconds later
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 12 years ago
2. Is doing a postdoc as isolating as I think it is? A lot of the postdocs here seem to work work work, and very rarely socialise with either PhD students or staff.

3. Do people do a postdoc and then leave academia afterwards?

I think what attracts me to the academic route are the wrong sorts of things - the fact that there is so much more freedom than in other professions (no 9-5 working hours, no boss watching over your shoulder etc.) What worries me is that I don't feel up to it academically - I often feel incredibly stupid, as if I don't know anything, and the thought of becoming an academic and having to work under my own steam without a supervisor helping me along really scares me. So I guess I've almost talked myself out of it already...

Apologies for the long post, just wanted to get some advice!

Thread: Life after PhD - 'proper' job or postdoc?

posted
22-Jul-08, 11:59
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 12 years ago
Hi guys

I've recently been making a somewhat half-hearted attempt at thinking about my future after the PhD is finally over (which seems a long way off at the moment!). I hadn't really considered going down the academic route and doing a postdoc - I always felt that I'd prefer a 'real' job outside academia with no pressures of finding funding and having to move location frequently etc etc. But I was thinking about the postdoc route recently and have a few niggling queries:

1. Would it be realistic to expect to find a postdoc in (pretty much) the same area as my PhD thesis, or would I have to branch out into a related area that I may not know much about? Even within my research group, the interests of the members varies widely, and I feel that I know very little about work outside my own little 'bubble'.

Thread: Thinking of quitting

posted
18-Jul-08, 09:07
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for squiggles
posted about 12 years ago
Have you spoken to someone about this? Maybe your second supervisor or someone else not connected to your work would be able to offer some good advice. I always find that staff are very approachable if you have concerns and want a chat.

Maybe you could also do with a break from work? i.e. a few days where you don't think about work at all and just take time out to enjoy yourself and do what you want. It would also give you time to consider your position and decide whether you really do want to quit. Plus a break might be just what you need - you'd come back refreshed and perhaps more able to tackle your work if you want to continue. But I'd definitely suggest talking to someone first.
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