Did you have a break over Christmas / New Years? I hope so. It’s summer here in Australia, so we are rolling into the quiet month of January. For the second year in a row, we have a low fire danger summer, instead of a repeat of the horror of 2019. In fact, it pretty …continue reading.
It’s the end of #acwrimo!! Did you take part in Academic Writing Month this year? I certainly did. It was lockdown, so this year we made a big deal of it at ANU. Not to put too fine a point on it, I taught my ass off. You can see some of the workshops I …continue reading.
Probably should start this one with a content warning. I try to be upbeat and helpful, but I am touching on mental health issues here, including anxiety and depression. If you’d rather not go there today, click away now. Here’s a gif of a kitten before you go: If you believe the ‘The Illustrated Guide …continue reading.
Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of requests to run my workshop called ‘How to finish that big writing project (and get on with your life)’. I’m guessing it’s a sign of pandemic fatigue: everyone close to the end of a PhD just wants it to be, well – over. I feel you. I’m not …continue reading.
I started the Thesis Whisperer to help PhD students finish. In the last five years I’ve extended that mission to helping people get jobs after they graduate. It’s my firm belief that, although the world has 99 problems right now, research can fix a lot of them. Therefore researchers need to be able to put …continue reading.
There’s a period of PhD study that I have come to call ‘the loopy la-las’: when you become highly capable of doing PhD work, but start to become incompetent at, well – almost everything else. I remember the day it started to happen to me. It was 2008 and I was deep in a Foucault …continue reading.
Email is the lifeblood of university communications: quick, easy, painless… and so very easy to get wrong. We humans are a curious lot. We are highly social creatures but idiosyncratic. There is a lot of love, but also a lot of jostling for status and power. Academia, with its deeply middle class, coded language and …continue reading.
To generalise ridiculously, there are three types of people: People who start a research project intending to finish it on time. People who start a project not really caring when they finish it. People who don’t care about finishing a project on time until they fly past the deadline. If you are doing a PhD …continue reading.
Most people come into a PhD program with well developed writing skills but a dissertation – or as it is called in Australia, a Thesis, is a very particular kind of writing challenge. All thesis writers must bend their existing skills to the appropriate ‘thesis style’. Ironically, the people I have seen struggle the most …continue reading.
For the last 20 years I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect academic note taking system. I abandoned paper in 2005 when I realised my notebooks were the place my ideas went to die. Although writing into a notebook felt useful at the time it was hard to find stuff later. Flipping fruitlessly …continue reading.