Overview of vernontrafford

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It hath been done. :) (handed in)

Well done Chrisrolinski
Great stuff and be happy. Dont be too amazed at the quality and sophistication of your thesis, its argumnts and contributions to knowledge when you revisit it sometime this summer . . . It is all yours and you wrote it. Enjoy it.
BYE vernontrafford

VIVA next week

Hello Amanda
Don't saturate youreslf re-re-re-reading your thesis. You know what it contains and it will all flow when you start to talk with enthusiasm about it. It is YOUR work!! If you have made a page of notes, and tagged the important pages of your thesis, that's it?
If you need more ~ have a look at chapters 11 and 12 in Trafford and Leshem, 2008.
Go and enjoy it! Best wishes ~ luck doesn't come into does it?

BYE vernon (up)(up)(up)

defining a research topic

Helo Pollyd

The link is good because it deals with the essential points. Also, have a look at: Andrews, R. 2003. Research questions. London: Continuum. ISBN 0-826476-9. This will focus your thoughts on what you want to discover ~ and it avoids giving 'aims', 'purposes', 'objectives' that are seldom precise or met.INSTEAD ~ What is the gap in knowldge that you expect to contribute to, and how do you propose to do that? Answering those questions will give you a focus if set in appropriate theoretical perspectives. How many words are now left over . . . . ?
Best wishes vernon trafford (up)

Viva in 2 weeks

Hello Liminalplace

Some more tips . . . . .

Make brief notes of your 'good ideas.' Recognise that you are the person they have all come to hear and be very happy about that. Your work over the past years has been at a high level of scholarship ~ otherwise you would ot have reached this position now. So discuss your approach with a trusted colleague and make sure that you are clear on your conceptualisation and in particular how you arrived at your conceptual conclusions. Know how your work accords with other schoolds of thinking in your area and be ready to cite and quote if necessary to support your arguments. Protect your research boundaries.

You can do it!

BYE vernontrafford

quick Q

Hello Sneaks
Depending on the publication you might refer to it as a Professional Journal.

Or how about Additional Sources?

BYE vernontrafford

Viva in 2 weeks

Hello Liminalplace

You have reached the end of your doctoral research AND submitted your thesis. Be happy! Many doctoral candidates don't get that far. Liminality does involve feeling rather lost and unsure ~ but it also includes knowing that there is a way forward. So move onwards confidently through the threshold portal of understanding.

Mock vivas are an opportunity for YOU to discuss and defend your work. You will find that you know far more about it than those who are the mock-examiners. They may well ask searching questions but this is what a scholarly discussion is all about. Enter into it and respond as an equal. Be willing to disagree on issues where you know that you are on safe grounds. Also be willing to accept alternative ways of seeing your work ~ as different paradigm perspectives. Then use the experience as a dry-run at your proper viva. You can learn from it but it is only a mock and not the real thing!

Be resilient and schoalry and enjoy it!

BYE vernontrafford


On verge of quitting my PhD - I just don't know what to do

Hello Miscully
YOU have demonstrated great potential already by being accepted for a doctorate in a department other than where you did your masters degree. Many doctoral applicants don't achieve that. So well done!

YOUR enthusiasm and excitement for research is stronger and more resilient than the rude and trivialising supervisor that you described. YOU can rise above it and procede with the research that you want to do at the doctoral level.

YOU may be fed up with the behaviour of that supervisor, but ignore it by replacing your annoyance with the determination to plan your research, and then move gradually through it. No doubt you need to '''present''' draft text to your supervisor(s) for comment. Do it. If there are any specific issues of your work on which you would like to have advice, additional references, or help then list these for the attention of the supervisor(s). If you disagree fundamentally with any of their comments then ask for clarification and explanation ~ recognising that scholarship involves differences of opinion. Be creative and use any opposing views thay may offer ~ exploit those counter ideas by including them as a counter argument in your own argument! OK??

The University expects supervisors to respond to your draft text, as well as to any detailed request for help, and to be positively helpful to you as the candidate. That is what supervisors are required to provide to their doctoral candiates. It is inescapable.

YOU must keep a date-and-time diary of everything that you do, plus everything that the supervisors do. In addition to these things, make sure that you are totally familiar with the time schedule that the University has for full/part-time candidates ~ noting that the timetable for mid-term reviews, annual monitoring etc may differ for full and part-time registrations. Note the times and do meet those deadlines. By doing that you cannot be criticised by your supervisors ~ but if they miss them they can be criticised by their Head of Department or Dean of Faculty. Ha Ha Ha...

Dont give up. Remember, as you walk across the stage to receive YOUR doctorate fully gowned and wearing YOUR robes, that rudeness and ignorance by those supervisors did not prevent YOU completing YOUR doctorate successfully. We are all with you.

BYE vernontrafford(up)(up)(up)

VIVA questions?

Hello Amanda
I am sure that your supervisor(s) have asked you many questions during your study (Socratically?!!) so you should have been prepeared for the questions in your viva already.
Irrespective of the discipline or topic or focus our ten years of research shows that the majority of vivas will include the question 'Why did you choose this topic for your doctoral research?' The examiners are seriously curious about your choice and want to hear you talk about it. Usually it is the first 'opening' question. If you have already answered that question in Chapter One of your thesis, they may still ask it as an ice-breaker for the subsequent discussion. See: Trafford, V.N. and Leshem, S. 2002. Starting at the end to undertake doctoral research: predictable questions as stepping stones. Higher Education Review. 34.1. 31-49.

Hope this helps! Best wishes. BYE vernontrafford(up)

Book on designing questionnaires and surveys

Hello Rebel
The two texts that you could use are:

1  Oppenheim, A.n. 1992 Questionaire design, interviewing and attitude measurement. London: Pinter. ISBN 1-85567-044-5.  This provides the most comprehensive account of data colectons and anaysis processes that will see you well into the text below.

2 Hewson, C., Yule,P., Laurent, D. and Vogel, C. 2003. Internet research methods. London: Sage. ISBN 0-7619-5920-3. You should find answers to your question in chapter 5 ~ How to design and implement an internet survey.

Best wishes vernontrafford (up)

Another Appendix thread

Hello 404
Think of your Appendices as a filing cabinet where relevant materials are kept that are not directly immediate to the text and argument in your thesis. So ~ use the Appendices to contain SUPPORTING items that you must refer to in the text, but are supplementary to that text. Provide a line or two of explanation in the text so that your readers appreciate what is in the Appendix. They may or may not then refer to the Appendix ~ but you have given them the choice. Appendices are a way to reduce the word count of your thesis as well!

Why not use the words INDUCTIVE and DEDUCTIVE instead of qualitative and quantitative approaches to research? These words more accurately reflect what Thomas Kuhn wrote about in explaining the significance of paradigms ~ ways of seeing the world. (See: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions) They are concerned with epistemologies and so the former concerns the development of theory as a means of adding to knowledge, whilst the latter concerns additions to knowldge as a result of testing theory. OK??

Even grounded theory ~ often seen as typifying '''qualitative reseach''' depends on high levels of numeric/statistical activity to 'prove' the conclusions fromdata analysis!!! (See the final chapters of Corbin and Strauss.)
Hope that this help you. BYE vernontrafford

Passed viva - wahoo!

Congratulations BilboBaggins. You have much to celebrate.
Now enjoy YOUR award ceremony!
BYE£ vernontrafford

Forgot a figure in submitted thesis!

Hello Poppy

It happens even though it should not. Firsly, check with your supervisor and the University if they are prpeared to send your revised page to the examiners. The decision on that will be in the regualtions for submission and examination. If it can happen then provide the Univertsity with the corrected page. They will advise you if a letter from you is required to accompany the lateration page accompaning~ quite unlikely. Otherwise take along your corrected page to the viva, hand it over with a sincere apology to the eaxaminers. Most examiners will appreciate your honesty and then they will move on to the business of the viva. Thne, feel better yourself when you have done whichever route is possible.
BYE vernontrafford

Anyone having their viva soon?

Hello SKY100
I hope that you are relaxed about your viva. Think of it as an opportunity for you to talk with peers about the work that you have produced over the past years. Be resilient if need be with questions, but recognise that examijners really only want to hear you explain how you approched your research, why you made the research decisons that you did and how you can justify your conclusions. Asking those question is not a criticisn but geniuine professional scholalry curiousity. Very few doctoral vivas are unpleasant affairs ~ believe me!
You actually started preparing for your viva when you registered for your doctorate . . . . . so use that experience to defend the work that is in your thesis.
Best wishes vernontrafford

First time giving paper at a conference

Hello Larrydavid
Doing a doctorate is one way to enter the academic community. Presnting a conference paper, OR GIVING A POSTER, demonstrate your commitment to your subjct. You can also cite your own work in your thesis because it will have been peer-reviewed. Examiners love that! Dont be overambitious in your proposal but focus on what you have already discovered and make sure that it links to the aims of the conference explicitly. Best Wishes, vernontrafford

Really tired need motivation

Hello Amanda and others
Think of the conclusions chapter as a final door into your thesis for your readers. Many examiners normally read the Abstract first, the Introducions chapter next and then the Conclusions Chapter before they read the entire thesis. I do! Thus, the conclusions chapter is necessarily relatively short, focussed, non-repetitive of earler text and convincing. It needs to justify the scholarly mertit of your work by aligning your conceptual conclusions with extant related published work. Apart from answering your reseach questions and jutifying your research design, this is the most critical feature of the chapter. It is where your to have made a modest contribution to knowldge that is reasonable, supported by evidence and defensible is carefully advanced.
Dont overwrite but do argue your belief in the merit of your scholarship.
Best wishes (up)