tame your phd bookIt’s the end of the month. Holidays are over and the kids are back at school. It’s not all bad though –  at least the January Thesis Whisperer newsletter is out.

This month, unfortunately, some obituaries to share. Then, articles I have found on Twitter about writing such as ’10 timeless persuasive writing techniques’ and ‘advice for potential academic bloggers’. In the culture section, research on academic couples and career (dis)advantage and some reflections on dating while academic. In productivity, the 5 sentence email revolution and why knowledge workers are bad at working.

But wait, there’s more.

I never planned to do a print version of my ebook “How to Tame your PhD” when I released it on Amazon, but many people emailed me asking for one. It seems many people still love paper and like lending or giving books to friends. Who am I to argue? I’m flattered that people like it enough to want to give it away. It was surprisngly easy to make a print on demand version through Lulu.com. I was impressed with the quality of the finished artifact when I got my proof copy, which you see in the picture on the left. You can buy it direct from Lulu  or from Amazon, using the link above. It is also available from other online retailers and can be ordered by bookstores.

Thesis Whisperer is, and will remain, not for profit. All proceeds get plowed back into site improvements (which I have started on) and new projects. Speaking of which, I’ve started a free to use “Blackline Masters” series of downloadable resources, which are  available here.

A blackline master is an A4 sheet with exercises or information designed for use in classrooms. You usually find them in primary and secondary schools, but I think they are a handy way to share, recycle and remix teaching materials. The Thesis Whisperer blackline masters series are materials I use in my workshops with research students, but I will keep growing the collection as time goes on. I hope this series will be useful to individual students as stand alone exercises and for facilitators running research student workshops. They can also be used as ‘collateral’ supervisors can have on hand and give to students who are struggling with the problems the exercises are designed to help with. So far in the series there is my ever popular verb cheat sheet as well as Powerful Paragraphs, Thinking Bundles, Tweeting advice for workshops, Using a matrix to take notes, using a spider diagram to ask research questions,

Each blackline master webpage has text, which you can lift for your own purposes, and an attached PDF, which is formatted for easy photocopying. These blackline masters are free to use under the terms of creative commons share alike attribution license. I encourage you to change them to suit your own purposes and send them back to me – I’d love to see the improvements on my originals. I’d like to thank Margaret of the Konstant Kaos blog for giving me the idea.

I’ve started at ANU and I’m having a great time doing all kinds of new stuff. One of the first jobs on my list is to help refresh the centrally run research skills program. I have an online survey here if you want to help us choose a new name for it.

That’s all from me – I hope you have a great month!


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