The Thesis Whisperer is a ‘not for loss’ blog which is maintained by me (Dr Inger Mewburn) in my own time, with my own money. There are a couple of ways you can help me keep the blog alive.

You can show Thesis Whisperer some regular love by becoming a $1 a month Patreon subscriber. Every little bit really helps!

If you are shopping for books for your PhD on Amazon, you can help me by buying something via the links on my Big List of Excellent books for your PhD

But wait, there’s more! Here are some other options:

Buy the (cheap!) book of the blog ‘Tame Your PhD’, containing the best of 10 years of blogging!

The second edition of my self published book ‘How to tame your PhD’ is available – this time with no typos and just over 36,000 words! ‘How to Tame your PhD’ helps you navigate the major ‘pain points’ of writing a PhD thesis; from thinking up a research question, to working out your discussion section and learning how to pump out 10,000 words a day. I believe in the advice in this book because I followed it myself. I did do my thesis in 3 years while working two days a week – and won my faculty award at the end. This book contains my best tips and tricks. It also has a lovely new cover, designed by Sussanah Low from Wishpom.

The price of the ebook is carefully geared to the cost of a coffee in my home town of Canberra. If you feel the Thesis Whisperer has helped you, and you want to buy me a coffee, this is the way to do it! The paperback is more expensive as I splashed out on a matte cover and expensive paper – I reckon if you are going to buy an actual book, it should be nice. This option is for people who like paper – or want to be able to lend it out to others.

All proceeds from this book go towards Thesis Whisperer running costs and the rest to charity.

Thank you for enabling me to purchase much needed equipment and software. Any money earned above costs is donated to a range of charities, including UN Women, The Peter Macallum Cancer Foundation and Market Forces campaign ‘UniSuper Divest’ – a campaign to stop academic superannuation being used to buy fossil fuel shares.

Purchase options are:

How to Fix your academic writing trouble

My first book on writing techniques was written with my excellent colleagues Shaun Lehmann and Katherine Firth of the Research Insiders Blog. Here’s the back blurb:

This clear and accessible guide to decoding academic feedback will help you interpret what your lecturer or research supervisor is really trying to tell you about your writing – and show you how to fix it. We will help you master a range of techniques and strategies to take your writing to the next level and along the way you’ll learn why academic text looks the way it does, and how to produce that ‘authoritative scholarly voice’ that everyone talks about. This book is an easy to use resource for postgraduate students and researchers in all disciplines, and even professional academics, to diagnose their writing issues and find ways to fix them. This book would also be a valuable text for academic writing courses and writing groups, such as those offered in doctoral and masters by research degree programmes.

Your options are:

  • Buy the book from the US amazon store here
  • Buy it from the UK Amazon store here.
  • The cheapest way for Australian readers to buy this book is straight from the publisher, see link here.
  • In Australia, you should be able to get this book via your local bookstore too. Most university book stores have carried it.

If the book is out of stock in Australia, or you live in a country which doesn’t stock it, you can write directly to me on – I usually have a stash and can arrange to sell you a copy and ship it.

Level up your essays

I’m pleased to share this second collaboration with Katherine firth and Shaun Lehmann: Level up your essays. This is the first book we’ve written for undergraduate and masters students! It shows you how to write a better university essay: one that earns you the marks you deserve for all your hard work. This book is for anyone who needs to write essays in the arts, sciences and professional disciplines, and wants to improve their academic results.

You may feel you are doing everything ‘right’ in your university studies. You might be doing all the reading and spending hours on your essays, but at the end of semester find your grades are still disappointing. There are lots of reasons why someone like you might pick up a book like this, from just wanting to get an idea of what is expected from university-level essay writing, to needing to get good grades so you can go on to the postgraduate or professional pathway of your dreams.

You might have already had a grade you didn’t feel reflected the work you put in, or you might feel like everyone else ‘just gets it’ and you don’t. It’s never too early or too late to read this book and benefit from it!

Buy Direct from the Publisher, or on Booktopia, Amazon Australia, 

How to be an academic

How to be an academic: The Thesis Whisperer reveals all’ is a collection of my writing about academia published through NewSouth Press. There’s a rather nice review on the Australian Review of Books and you can also read a review of the book from the Campus review. 

I requested that the price be kept as low as possible because I am well aware that many PhD students – and working academics for that matter – are on low incomes. Buy it from Amazon in the US for $9.99.

If you’d like a paper copy, you can buy it from a number of places. The  paperback edition can be purchased direction from the NewSouth website (they can deliver internationally), or from Amazon in your country or from Booktopia.

If you live in Australia, you can purchase it from the co-op bookstore on your campus or other good retailers, like Paperchain or Readings.

I’m excited to share that How to be an Academic (a slightly different version) has now been published in the US as ‘Becoming an Academic: how to get through grad school and beyond’ through Johns Hopkins Press! This version is also available in bookstores in the UK. Here is the back blurb (which I love):

Welcome to the university, where the Academic Hunger Games, fueled by precarious employment conditions, is the new reality: a perpetual jostle for short-term contracts and the occasional plum job. But Inger Mewburn is here to tell you that life doesn’t have to be so grim. A veteran of the university gig economy, Mewburn—aka The Thesis Whisperer—is perfectly placed to reflect on her experience and offer a wealth of practical strategies to survive and thrive.

Constructive, inclusive, hands-on, and gloves-off, this book is a survival manual for aspiring and practicing academics, as well as for students who are considering whether to stay in academia. A field guide to living in the academic trenches without losing your mind (or your heart), Becoming an Academic confirms that—no matter what your experience is in academia—you are not alone.

The best way to buy this version of the book is via the US Amazon store here

The Text Expander Guide for Academics

Type Less. Eat more ice-cream.

Welcome to the Mewburn-Downs guide to using TextExpander. Here’s the promise of this book in a nutshell:

Without working any harder, you can save time with TextExpander by typing less, but still producing the same number of words.

TextExpander is an app that runs in the background on your computer; always ready to insert ‘pre-recorded’ text into any application. Little savings gained with TextExpander program can add up  – we think the average academic can save a week a year.

But… Inger initially struggled to harness the power of TextExpander in her academic job. Jason brought Inger up to speed by sharing examples during tapings of On The Reg, our podcast about academic productivity. We realised that what new users need is a ‘look book’ of TextExpander snippets, just for academics. We imagined a book that contained a series of examples and use cases relevant to teaching and researching inside universities.

This book is the first version of that dream.

Buy it directly from Thesis Whisperer here for only $3.99 AUD

We hope you’ll consider buying this book even if you don’t own the software: it will help you assess TextExpander and think about how it might work for you. Our purpose in writing this book is not to make you ‘more productive’ for your university: they get enought out of you already. We want to help you get more time for, well – you. Time you save using TextExpander can be used to eat a proper lunch; sit on a bench on campus and read a book; get some exercise; go home earlier – or whatever takes your fancy.

Don’t have TextExpander yet? Buy TextExpander through this link and save 20%

All proceeds from this book will go towards supporting the ‘On the Reg’ podcast operating expenses, including hosting, software and equipment.


Your Time Starts now: a guide to achieving success in the Three minute thesis competition by Simon Clews

Are you thinking about participating in the Three Minute Thesis competition this year? Thesis Whisperer books has a new book available to help you succeed!

Buy Your Time Starts Now as a PDF for $3.99 AUD

Your Time Starts Now: a guide to achieving success in the Three Minute Thesis Competition is authored by Simon Clews. Now an Honorary (Senior Fellow) with the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity at the University of Melbourne, Simon Clews was the inaugural Director of the Melbourne Engagement Lab at Melbourne University. Here he trained, encouraged and motivated some of Australia’s brightest minds to make their work accessible to non-academic audiences.

Other books I have been involved in

I assisted in the publication and editing of the “Postgraduate Study in the Australia: Surviving and Succeeding” which is presently only available online.

If you’re interested in my more ‘serious’ academic work, check out the upcoming book I have edited with Deborah Lupton and Pat Thomson. The Digital Academic: Critical Perspectives on Digital Technologies in Higher Education. Published through Routledge. For a taste of the book here is a book chapter I wrote about PhD student blogging with Pat Thomson.

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