A new app for your writing

Juan Castro wrote to me earlier this year to show me his new, free application 'writefull' designed for people who are doing their thesis in English when it is not their first language. I'll admit, as a native English speaker and confident writer I'd never thought to use the Google technique he described, but it … Continue reading A new app for your writing

The positives of PhD parenting

As I've noted before, PhD parenting can be difficult. But do we sometimes ignore the positives? In this lovely post, Rebecca Turvill, PhD student and parent, considers the positives. Rebecca is a 1st year PhD student at Brunel University, London. Her research focuses on how young children develop ‘number sense’ in schools, for which she … Continue reading The positives of PhD parenting

Two exercises to help you with your writing life

I love books on writing. I have many, many books on the subject, but I continue to buy more because, well - I simply can't resist them. Just as it's more relaxing to watch people cook and do gardening on the TV, often reading about writing is so much nicer than actually doing it. One … Continue reading Two exercises to help you with your writing life

The ‘ex-wife strategy’ and other tips for acting like a meerkat

This post is by Cassily Charles from Charles Sturt University where she is the academic writing coordinator for Higher Degree Research Students in the CSU Academic Support Unit. (ie: another thesis Whisperer). In this post Cassily picks up on an earlier post from February on the topic of PhD student as Meerkat - a powerful … Continue reading The ‘ex-wife strategy’ and other tips for acting like a meerkat

Conflicting advice: Just whose PhD is this anyway?

Dr Evelyn Tsitas used to be a journalist and works at the RMIT University Gallery. Last year she was awarded a PhD in Creative Writing in the Media and Communications at RMIT about Werewolves and Vampires (amongst other things). In her first post for the Whisperer Evelyn told us the fun side of having a … Continue reading Conflicting advice: Just whose PhD is this anyway?

How to write faster

In a blog post a while back I suggested being a fast writer can be a career 'edge'. Afterwards a surprisingly large number of people wrote to me wanting to become faster writers, or questioning whether learning to write faster was possible. I was a bit taken aback by the questions as I assumed there … Continue reading How to write faster

PhD lifestyle guilt

This post was written by Paula Hanasz who is currently writing a thesis on the geopolitics of water security in South Asia at The ANU. She is enrolled at the Australia National University but currently spends more time on her couch than in her office or the library. I’m going to take a moment out … Continue reading PhD lifestyle guilt

How to create ‘authoritative voice’ in your writing

For some inexplicable reason, perhaps to do with Woodstock, kaftans, free love and the rest, the education department in Australia decided to abandon the teaching of grammar in the late sixties and didn't start again, as far as I can tell, until the mid 80s. I am the ultimate product of a 1970's education, therefore … Continue reading How to create ‘authoritative voice’ in your writing

Are you on the same page as your supervisor?

This post is by Cassily Charles from Charles Sturt University - a fellow thesis Whisperer. Cassily is the academic writing coordinator for Higher Degree Research Students in the CSU Academic Support Unit. Cassily discusses misunderstandings about writing style and how they can lead to conflict between students and supervisors. This post is enlightening to me as an educator - I hope you will be enlightened too. This is a story about a doctoral student named Laura (a real person, but not her real name) and how she came to pull her hair out (well a few hairs anyway). Laura began her PhD this year and really hit the ground running – within a few weeks, she was giving her supervisors many many pages about the literature on her topic. Laura’s supervisors are conscientious, organised and well-intentioned. They gave her masses of feedback on her drafts, with many helpful comments about content, style and structure, including comments such as: ‘good observation – now relate this to an over-all argument’ and ‘engage critically with these definitions’. This is where things went wrong and Laura pulled some hairs out...