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The Thesis Whisperer is now over 10 years old! An older blog is a big, confusing attic full of content. On this page you’ll find a selection of low cost books created from the blog content – and a few other surprises. All sales help me sustain the blog. Take a look!

The uneven U

Publishers often send me academic writing books to review. I happily look through every book, but if I think I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it, I just don’t write a review. I don’t want to crush a fellow author’s soul. The rejected titles sit sadly, in small piles of guilt, on the bottom of one of ...continue reading.

Latest articles

May 4, 2022

The feedback loop of shit

I’ve often compared the last part of your PhD to putting your head in a bucket. In the Researcher developer trade we call this last bit of the PhD ‘The Write Up’. ‘Writing up’ involves hours and hours of detailed work; to end up with a manuscript ready for examiners. There’s a sameness to Writingcontinue reading.

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April 5, 2022

How to stop your ideas from being ‘stolen’

Academics are always worried about having their ideas ‘stolen’. This deep cultural anxiety affects PhD students more than almost any other member of the community. There’s a good reason why PhD students should be anxious about protecting their ideas – examination. A PhD is meant to be a signal that you’re fit to be acontinue reading.

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March 2, 2022

What are your post PhD job prospects, 2 years into the pandemic?

As regular readers will know, I am a working researcher with an interest in post PhD employability. For nearly 10 years now my research focus has been on job advertisements for researchers. this post is a detailed update on the academic and non-academic job market, 2 years into the pandemic. If you don’t want tocontinue reading.

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February 2, 2022

The PhD supply chain problem

It’s been a funny old start to the year hey? As I write this, in mid January, the Omicron variant is raging here in Australia. Supply chain problems are resulting as key workers either get sick, or have to isolate. Every visit to the supermarket is an adventure – you don’t know what you arecontinue reading.

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January 5, 2022

How to win at academic tearoom conversations – even when there are no tearooms

Did you have a break over Christmas / New Years? I hope so. It’s summer here in Australia, so we are rolling into the quiet month of January. For the second year in a row, we have a low fire danger summer, instead of a repeat of the horror of 2019. In fact, it prettycontinue reading.

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December 1, 2021

Writing as an imaginary conversation with your reader

It’s the end of #acwrimo!! Did you take part in Academic Writing Month this year? I certainly did. It was lockdown, so this year we made a big deal of it at ANU. Not to put too fine a point on it, I taught my ass off. You can see some of the workshops Icontinue reading.

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November 3, 2021

Why a PhD can feel pointless (and what to do about it)

Probably should start this one with a content warning. I try to be upbeat and helpful, but I am touching on mental health issues here, including anxiety and depression. If you’d rather not go there today, click away now. Here’s a gif of a kitten before you go: If you believe the ‘The Illustrated Guidecontinue reading.

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October 6, 2021

How to finish that big writing project (and get on with your life)

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of requests to run my workshop called ‘How to finish that big writing project (and get on with your life)’. I’m guessing it’s a sign of pandemic fatigue: everyone close to the end of a PhD just wants it to be, well – over. I feel you. I’m notcontinue reading.

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August 25, 2021

Will you get a job after Covid has wrecked Higher Education?

I started the Thesis Whisperer to help PhD students finish. In the last five years I’ve extended that mission to helping people get jobs after they graduate. It’s my firm belief that, although the world has 99 problems right now, research can fix a lot of them. Therefore researchers need to be able to putcontinue reading.

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August 4, 2021

The late stage (or lock down) loopy la-las

There’s a period of PhD study that I have come to call ‘the loopy la-las’: when you become highly capable of doing PhD work, but start to become incompetent at, well – almost everything else. I remember the day it started to happen to me. It was 2008 and I was deep in a Foucaultcontinue reading.

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