The ‘ex-wife strategy’ and other tips for acting like a meerkat

This post is by Cassily Charles from Charles Sturt University where she is the academic writing coordinator for Higher Degree Research Students in the CSU Academic Support Unit. (ie: another thesis Whisperer). In this post Cassily picks up on an earlier post from February on the topic of PhD student as Meerkat – a powerful […]

Are you on the same page as your supervisor?

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…

Feedback – From the student up the back, on the left

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.

Small World – The academic conference trek

This is another great post from PhD student, full time gallery worker and mother, Evelyn Tsitsas … who decided a while back to do 3 conference papers just 8 months out from submission. She is now questioning the wisdom of her decision! It seemed like a good idea at the time. Somewhere, among the photocopied […]

Giving feedback on student drafts

This post was written by my fellow blogger Dr Geof Hill a.k.a The Research Supervisor’s friend. This post was written to help supervisors give better feedback, but I asked Geof if I could publish it here. Complaints about quality of feedback from supervisors are common. If your supervisor could do with some pointers, perhaps you could print this out and accidentally on purpose leave it lying in their office…