Mind the Gap

Confused about this ‘gap’ in the literature that you are meant to find? This post is by Associate Professor Martin Davies; Principal Fellow in Higher Education in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education and a Senior Learning Advisor working with HDRs and staff at Federation University. He has written six books, including Study Skills for … Continue reading Mind the Gap

Learning from Eminem?

Dr Bronwyn Eager spent nearly a decade running her own creative business before completing a PhD in entrepreneurship and joining the ranks of academia. She is motivated by a desire to improve the lives of entrepreneurs and through integrating enterprise skills across the Academy. In her spare time (!?) she aims to foster research outputs … Continue reading Learning from Eminem?

When is it ‘enough’?

I have worked exclusively with PhD students for over a decade now. I have clocked up the 10,000 hours Malcolm Gladwell says you need to be an expert, so I hereby declare myself an expert in the problems of research education. One sign that you can genuinely claim the title of ‘expert’ is when you … Continue reading When is it ‘enough’?

Some new books on writing

There’s a LOT of books out there on how to do a thesis/dissertation (some of them written by me). I’ve managed to plough through a couple of new books on the subject recently and this post is a compilation of my reviews plus one reader review from Jasmine Jenson at the end. There’s still a … Continue reading Some new books on writing

On finishing ‘early’

Recently I published a post from Carmen Blythe on finishing the PhD in 2 years, which provoked a storm of comments. Some people pointed out the many advantages that Carmen had, which helped her finish in such a short time. You might have been left wondering: what about ‘normal people’ – can they finish early to? … Continue reading On finishing ‘early’

How to stop ‘flipping’ (and write a good to-do list)

At a dinner party some time ago, an academic’s husband pointed out that there are many similarities between being an academic and running a small, not very profitable business. I laughed, but since I briefly ran a small business the comment struck a chord with me. After much thought, I think small business owners and … Continue reading How to stop ‘flipping’ (and write a good to-do list)

How do I write the discussion section?

Some time ago, on the advice of my good friend and efficiency guru Jason Downs, I read The 80/20 principle: how to achieve more by doing less by Richard Koch. To be fair, Jason did tell me, in the spirit of efficiency, that I didn’t really need to read the book. The main message, he said, … Continue reading How do I write the discussion section?

Using diagrams as research aides

I hate doing literature reviews. I always feel I have not read enough. I worry that what I write will be ‘wrong’ because I have missed some vital piece of literature. These feelings never seem to entirely go away, even though I have been publishing papers for over a decade. I can certainly relate to … Continue reading Using diagrams as research aides

Help – I’m drowning in my own notes!

One of the delightful things about blogging is letters from readers; an endless source of delightful validation and sometimes, interesting problems to try to solve. This letter is a case in point. Dora, a reader from Croatia writes: The situation I find myself in is, I think, one that all researchers have found themselves in… … Continue reading Help – I’m drowning in my own notes!