August 21, 2019

How your writing centre can help you finish your PhD

Being a research developer is a bit like being a GP: problems looked at early can be treated easily, but the longer the patient waits, the less we can help.  This post is on the value of getting problems in writing treated early and is by Dr. G. David “Dave” Beasley. Dave completed his PhD incontinue reading.

July 31, 2019

Keep the quirky bits! Turing your PhD into a best selling book

Dr Lynne Kelly has authored and sold more books than anyone else I know – and I live a life surrounded by people who write and publish for a living. I’ve known Lynne for many years, both personally and professionally. She wrote non-fiction books before she started her PhD so perhaps it is no surprise thatcontinue reading.

July 17, 2019

A 5 step program for finishing your PhD (finally!)

Part of the fun of being Thesis Whisperer is the emails I get from all around the world. Many of them outline classic PhD student dilemmas, which are excellent blog fodder, such as this one, from Laura S: Have you, or have you considered anything along the lines of *actually finishing* writing? I can producecontinue reading.

July 3, 2019

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 acontinue reading.

June 19, 2019

The artisanal PhD

I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for anything ‘artisanal’. I love homeware shops full of hand crafted ceramic bowls, grocery stores with local honey and cafes with stripped brick walls and special regional coffees. I am nearly 50 (I know, I can hardly believe it either) so as soon as I become aware that acontinue reading.

May 22, 2019

How to harness the power of semantic gravity in your writing

A month or two ago, I wrote a post called ‘The Uneven U’ which outlined ideas about paragraph structure from Eric Hayot’s book “The elements of academic style: writing for the humanities”. Briefly, Hayot claims that there are five levels of abstraction in sentence structure: Level five: Abstract; general, oriented toward a solution or conclusioncontinue reading.

April 17, 2019

Who needs an editor? You.

Karin Hosking is a Canberra-based editor and proofreader. She specialises in thesis editing and particularly enjoys working with students and academics from non-English speaking backgrounds. Her LinkedIn profile is here and she can be contacted via email at In this post Karin explains the basic work of an editor and what you can expect them tocontinue reading.

March 20, 2019

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 forcontinue reading.

March 6, 2019

What nobody tells you about ‘minor corrections’

Have you ever wondered what happens after the examiners give you feedback on your dissertation? In the UK and many other countries, this feedback is given in an oral presentation called the Viva. The viva is becoming more common in Australia, but most people will still get a written report from the examiners. It iscontinue reading.

February 13, 2019

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 ofcontinue reading.

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