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.

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December 6, 2023

My favourite ChatGPT (ChattieG!) writing prompts

We have to talk about ChatGPT, or as my sister @anitranot styles it, ‘ChattieG.’ (which is both funnier and easier to say). The reaction to Chattie in academia seems to oscillate between moral panic (“OMG, The Youngs will cheat on their assignments!!”) and world-weary cynicism (“it writes like shit anyway”). Very few people seem tocontinue reading.

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November 1, 2023

More thoughts on the enshittification of academic social media

A couple of months ago I wrote a post called ‘The enshittification of academic social media’, riffing on ideas put in the world by Cory Doctorow. It’s fair to say, this post was a minor viral hit, resulting in me being interviewed by Geraldine Dougue on ABC radio, and a piece in The Australian, whichcontinue reading.

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October 3, 2023

Academic gossip and artisanal bullshit

It is a truth almost never acknowledged, that university communities are absolutely, totally, tragically addicted to gossip. I was reminded of this truth when the identity of the new ANU VC was announced last week. It was goodbye to the much celebrated and respected Brian Schmidt and hello to the much celebrated and respected Genevievecontinue reading.

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July 10, 2023

The enshittification of academic social media

If I started Thesis Whisperer today, 10th of July 2023, you would never hear about me. I built a readership in my little corner of academia, and some measure of influence, by sharing my work online. When people ask how I got to 100,000 followers on social media, I used to share two tips: 1)continue reading.

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July 5, 2023

On neurodiversity in the PhD – the silence is deafening?

Hey, before I start this post, I’ve got a couple more events coming up at Cambridge if you are around: On 11 July we are holding a forum for ThinkLab at Cambridge for PhDs and PostDocs who are interested in accessing the non-academic research job market (no online option, sorry). You can book for freecontinue reading.

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May 26, 2023

Mind the gap (in the literature)

Hey – Before I start, here are some upcoming events I’m doing at Cambridge University, which are open to the public: A lecture at Wolfson College, Cambridge on Tuesday 6 June at 5:30pm, which touches on themes from my new book with Simon Clews ‘Be visible or Vanish’. There’s an in-person option if you cancontinue reading.

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May 2, 2023

Using ChatGPT (ChattieG) to write good

I’m on sabbatical for the next three months and have committed to doing a literature review on neurodiversity and PhD study. Ugh. I hate doing literature reviews. I’m just going to say it: most academic writing is BORING and doing a big review means reading lots of it. The thought of reading more than 200continue reading.

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April 1, 2023

Zombie projects and the ‘forever homework’ of academic life

Like many academics, I have too many things on. By ‘things’ I mean projects of all shapes and sizes, from ‘write a book on neurodiversity and the PhD’, to ‘Fix up the Bootcamp page on the ANU website’. Exhibit A: I’m going on Sabbatical in the UK from May to August. To minimise disruption tocontinue reading.

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March 1, 2023

Preparing for a binge writing session

It’s been a busy month here at Thesis Whisperer HQ… I am doing #LazyPost this month by recycling a bit of my teaching content. This post is about organising yourself for a ‘binge writing’ session. While ‘snack writing’ (writing small amounts, consistently) is good practice, there comes a time when deadlines require the strict applicationcontinue reading.

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February 1, 2023

Building a second brain for writing – with Obsidian

Writing a thesis or book is an enormous task that takes years and involves reading hundreds, sometimes thousands, of books, papers and articles. At the same time, you must produce your own words and make sure you don’t accidentally plagiarise other people. People end up with all kinds of home-brew solutions to solve this epiccontinue reading.

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