This post is by Cassily Charles from Charles Sturt University – a fellow thesis Whisperer. Cassily is the academic writing coordinator for Higher Degree Research Students in the CSU Academic Support Unit. Cassily discusses misunderstandings about writing style and how they can lead to conflict between students and supervisors. This post is enlightening to me as an educator – I hope you will be enlightened too.
This is a story about a doctoral student named Laura (a real person, but not her real name) and how she came to pull her hair out (well a few hairs anyway).
Laura began her PhD this year and really hit the ground running – within a few weeks, she was giving her supervisors many many pages about the literature on her topic. Laura’s supervisors are conscientious, organised and well-intentioned. They gave her masses of feedback on her drafts, with many helpful comments about content, style and structure, including comments such as: ‘good observation – now relate this to an over-all argument’ and ‘engage critically with these definitions’.
This is where things went wrong and Laura pulled some hairs out…
Many research students in Australia will be planning to submit their thesis next month. Let’s fast forward to that sweet moment you find out your examiners reports are back, or completed your Viva and been told you have passed. Congratulations! Time to ring up the bank and the passport office to get that long awaited […]
Two of my favourite people in the academic world are my friends Rachael Pitt (aka @thefellowette) and Nigel Palmer. Whenever we have a catch up, which is sadly rare, we have a fine old time talking shop over beer and chips (well lemonade in my case, but you get the picture). Some time ago ago […]
For most students, the problems will be temporary and relatively easily dealt with. Taking up a complaint with the person concerned is the usual, and usually successful, first step. Most complaints never get lodged under formal complaint policies, however this is not always the case as some disputes and concerns cannot be resolved so simply… read on to find out how to complain – and be heard.
When I asked on Twitter what people were buying their PhD supervisor I was surprised by the range of different responses…
Do you sometimes think about giving up? Should you entertain this notion seriously, or ignore it? When is it right to walk away?
It’s an important issue which we haven’t really tackled much on the blog to date, which is why I was pleased when B.J. Epstein, a lecturer in literature and translation at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England offered to write a post on the topic.
Everyone loves dogs don’t they? How would dogs go about doing a PhD? This light hearted piece is by ‘Florian’, as told to Professor Peter Downton, a very experienced supervisor from the School of Architecture and design at RMIT University. Florian is a very handsome poodle, as we can see by the picture. I think […]
I have a friend, let’s call him Peter…
It’s been a while since we heard from the Student up the Back on the Left – the alter ego of RMIT teaching and learning advisor Ruth Mueller (who actually taught me how to teach long ago). Now we are in second semester the Student up the Back on the Left has a few words to say about the feedback you gave them on their essay.
Yesterday on Twitter @kikidotca asked me “was wondering if you have some advice about making a list of possible examiners for a PhD?”. I contemplated answering in 140 characters or less, but I wanted to avoid writing a journal article, so I volunteered a blog post instead.