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September 2013 Finish - Hopefully!

Hi Eska, so essentially you've given yourself a year to write up your phd - including editing and proofing? From reading the posts from those who are in the write up stages of their phd I get the impression that they write one draft, get it checked by their supervisor for editing suggestions and structure, and submit maybe 3-6 months from the point they have a full draft. I guess it depends on the discipline, whether you're writing a quant or qual (including those that are mix of qual & quant), and I thought I would be done by now but my supervisor keeps telling me I should spend a good amount of time of at least 6-12 months to fix my work. I get depressed thinking about how long I still have to go even though I know that a year is not a long time in the big scheme of things. I think motivation is just what I need and that's why I've started to jump on the thread with you guys!

September 2013 Finish - Hopefully!

Eska - that sounds amazing and I wish I was at your stage in my writing now but I know that's still probably a few months off! All I can do is to take each day as it comes and tackle the work one section at a time... I must say though, working on the research structure has been enormously a beneficial process (although it's nowhere near perfect) because it helps me to see my thesis as a whole more clearly. It's ridiculous how blind you can be sometimes with your own work but that's what supervisors are for right? And at least once you get there you'll be happy that you've done it. :)

I'm also curious as to what your outline consists of - my equivalent would be an executive summary of the key points that include the description of a research problem, research proposition and theoretical framework, and an explanation of key research objectives. This would be followed by a research structure section that describes what is included in each chapter to help to guide the reader through the document and understand why you've organized it the way you have. My one dilemma was in figuring out how research structure of your thesis is different from the research process (the journey of how you did your research) but I realized that with the humanities and social sciences thesis what's important for your reader is not what you did (steps 1 through to step n+1) but what your overall message is and how you've constructed that argument through various tools of research. You can argue for alternative approaches but at least for me that's how I have come to rationalize my work!

Do you guys think I'm on the right track here?

September 2013 Finish - Hopefully!

Quote From maccle:
Quote From eska:

I find the hardest thing is the amount of formulating I'm doing. For example I've been working on a 6k chapter for the last few weeks and the process has taken the framing of my thesis to another level - that's great but it's much more time consuming than just writing 6k words... The next chapter I'll be doing - which I hope to have finished by Crimbo or thereabouts will be similar. I also find that sometimes I need a day or so inbetween bouts of writing and editing for my ideas to formulate.

I'm definitely finding that framing is the hardest bit (not that the other stuff is easy)! Trying to figure out how to structure such a mass of information... I'm developing a massive hatred of 'linearity', and feel like I can't possibly explain something properly/ convince my imaginary reader of something in one chapter, without their having imaginarily read all the later chapters too! It feels like a great challenge at the moment, and I'm sure that once (/ if) I do figure out the right structure it will be very satisfying, but it's just so frustrating and slow at the moment!

Sorry, just needed to vent there :p Hope everyone else is doing well :-)

Hiya, just a wee bump of this thread to see how everyone's going with their work for finish in September!
I'm going through this exact thing right now where it seems to be taking me forever to establish my thesis structure - my supervisor keeps sending it back and I've worked on it for over 2 months now - which is quite frustrating to say the least! I am just venting but I really hope there is light at the end of this tunnel!!!

Anyone else submitting this summer???

I'd like to join the club too! I have my a very rough first draft... well I shouldn't even call it that - it's more of a brain-dump of everything I would like to include in my thesis, but I've spent the last 2 months figuring out what on earth my phd is about with my supervisor. My phd is in the humanities and I am half way through my 4th year, doing a qualitative research... I have a rough format of my results but it certainly feels like I still don't have a clear idea about where it's actually going or what I'm trying to say with all of this. Trying to not panic... but it's hard to not go crazy unless I tell myself each day that I am only going to chip away one small section at a time, and that is OK!

Good luck to all of us!

9 months left and feel I can't complete


I've seen people finish their masters thesis in 1 month after much deliberation and anxiety over choosing the right research topic. Of course PhD is a different game, but to an extent it is about having the right mindset rather than setting out to complete your phd in an artificially induced deadlines like clockwork. Some people take longer than others, but it says nothing about the individual's intelligence or skills. Life takes over, and $h!7 happens! So we move on... but we're all here because we love what we do...

How do you go about eating an elephant? One piece at a time ;)


9 months left and feel I can't complete

Hang in there guys! You can do it!!!

I have less than 5 months to finish, but I can relate on the feeling of panic and anxiety over not being able to get it done on time! Let me tell you - that feeling doesn't disappear as time goes by - we just have to accept it each day and make the most of each day as they come... it's somehow been the only way that I've been able to get things done in the past, and they do get done!

Also if you haven't done so already, make sure you get all the support you need - sit down with your family and friends, if you can't then pick up the phone - everybody important in your life, not just your supervisors should know so they know what you're going through and be supportive of you - even if it means telling your friends that you will be on social hiatus while you focus on your research. I personally found it very motivating to know that everybody around me understands my situation and not find any more reasons to procrastinate while feeling guilty that you're not working on your thesis or that you're not spending more time with friends and family. You'll have hard days and good days, but they come and go and just take each day as it comes - make the most of it. Think about why you're doing this, and remember how excited we all were on the first day we started our phd... it's a long-term investment in exchange for an intense period of work up front.

Anyone else intimidated by very high achievers?

Quote From wowzers:
No, not intimidated. Thank god for high acheivers, we need them, they are the groundbreakers and thanks to their efforts we've had some amazing advancements in knowledge, medicine and technology.

Hey wowzers,

This is an interesting thread you've found and bumped! Were you specifically looking for it? I have been a long time lurker of this forum and I often just come in to use the search function to find answers to specific questions I have at the time, which has been invaluable throughout my phd process!

To return to the topic, I agree with a lot of what's been said already. I used to be what others would call a very high achiever until recently - full-time phd, part-time work, founding my own charity, multiple high profile leadership positions etc. But then I had an epiphany which you could also describe as being a combination of a burn-out, an existential crisis, or just being brought back down to earth. I realised I was doing all of the above at the expense of spending quality time with my family, friends, and above all, myself. Although my phd was supposed to be my top priority 'on paper', it was my last priority, which built-up inner guilt and stress which affected my health conditions and happiness levels.

I've been so much happier since I've given up several of the high profile roles, handed over my charity to much more competent and energetic successors, and dramatically reduced my work hours. I am only now just beginning to find balance with family, love, and reignited passion for my phd.

Suffice to say I don't miss my old workaholic-self! :)