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ben-ja-men
GOLD Member since Jun 2003

ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide

Total posts: 2474
Posted:so ive finally started writing my thesis and omg its such a daunting task, ive written lots of little bits and pieces over the years but now the though of merging it all into one big cohesive document is just very help footinmouth soapbox mad2 meditate angry censored censored censored mad censored censored rolleyes censored censored meditate mad2 soapbox the literature review is just sooooo boring to write, i know i just need to bite the bullet and write the thing but god dammit anyway, any words of wisdom to ease the suffering from the drs out there?

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:take a night's break before each rewrite so that your editing is less biased from the ferwent pen-to-paper.

gooooood luuuuuuck beeeeen!


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin

Total posts: 2617
Posted:Agghhhhhh man! I don't envy you!

No sliver bullet type advise dude...

As I'm sure you know and probably have been told... start as soon as possible and then sooner than that and then sooner than that...

Read at least 2 other thesis...not read but look at at least...

Hint: do the reference foot notes as you go and don't leave it till the end...it's the last thing you'll want to do...

Meet with your supervisor and show them what you have asap and as often as possible...and listen to them....I wish we had...

Erm yea not too useful advise yet but I'll think about it and see if I can remember anything... shrug

Keep the faith dude hug


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:When you have a day where you're braindead for several hours, calling it a day and doing something relaxing is prolly a good idea.

Otherwise, get yourself on a schedule, eat well, get some good sleep. And try not to be a walking zombie at the end of it like some of my friends have been, but of course you can't always help that....


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:Not a doctor yet... but... don't procrastinate as much as I do whenever I have to write stuff up wink

Literature... hmmmm... try to get hold of reference manager or something like it if you don't have it already, it saves you lots of work. Set yourself a goal for each day (literature about 1 topic, results of 1 section, formatting the graphs, etc).

Only merge it all in 1 document when the sections are completed, otherwise Windows (or whatever you use) will probably punish you.

Good luck hug
If I ever finish mine I'll travel Australia and NZ with the boyfriend, so we can remember the good old writing up times together smile


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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DrBoo
BRONZE Member since Oct 2005

DrBoo

I invented the decaffinated coffee table.
Location: Cornwall

Total posts: 453
Posted:I didn't get a PhD, my Doctorate is in Clinical Psychology, which is a slightly different process - I wrote my thesis over the last year and a bit, while working on clinical placements in the NHS (it's more similar to doing a medical doctorate).
I only handed it in in July, so it's all pretty fresh.
I certainly remember that writing the thing is pants.

My tips:

Break it down into chunks.
Write a schedule and try and stick to it
Send regular drafts to your supervisor
Admit when you're having an "off" day - sometimes it just won't come to you - take a break, and just think about it.
Have very regular breaks. Don't forget to eat
Don't forget to take screen breaks and stretch
Put it straight into the style it needs to be in - ie APA format or whatever, otherwise it'll be a bugger to do afterwards
Get Endnote to do your references for you
If you don't have EndNote remember to write your reference list as you go, it'll save time later
It can be done. I can do it. This is your mantra. Say it regularily.
Plan what you'll do when it's all over - it's something to aim for!
Make sure you've got all the papers you need and file them according to something, anything, just file them - otherwise they'll be everywhere and you won't find the one you need when you need it.
Absolutely make sure you've read some other theses. Keep one near you at all time for inspiration and guidance.
Meet with others doing their Doctorates quite often, you're all sharing the same experience and it can be good to rant together.
Definately rant regularily, scream, cry, throw things, ask for hugs.

Here, have a hug hug
Good luck!

Now get back to work and stop procrastinating!

You can do it! biggrin


Boo x

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If it costs "a penny for your thoughts", but people give you their "two-pence worth", who is getting the extra penny?

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Helz Bellz
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

lovin' it...
Location: Bristol!

Total posts: 2444
Posted:Ben.... I have no advice...
But just wanted to say Good Luck biggrin

I think when you've finished you should reward yourself with a little holiday......in other words, get your ass back over to the UK soon ubbangel biggrin

hug2 hug hug2


Live well, love much, laugh often...

Official O.B.E.S.E. cheerleader

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thegreatBJ


Woman! Not gay Man!
Location: Hull...ish

Total posts: 332
Posted:ohhh this scares me, I have all this to look forward to (I'm hoping to study a English and Journalism degree next year)

em...... I can only give you A-level type advice but.......em....... don't write for more than half an hour without breaks because after half an hour the quality of writing goes seriously downhill (makes you wonder why we have to sit such long exams)

make sur you dont go insane is the best advice I can give you


I AM NOT A GAY MAN!

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NOn


activist for HoPper liberation.
Location: ffidrac

Total posts: 1643
Posted:don't start at the beginning, that would be my advice, i always find it desperately hard to start something big like that from the beginning, so find a nice half way point to start from. good luck!

i want to write a thesis, i just got to find something i can write one for... it's nice to have a big wodge of paper what you wrote yourself.


Aurinko freedom agreement reached 10th Sept 2006

if it makes no sense that's because it's NOn-sense.

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Eera


old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:Every time you sit down, write for 15 mins to half an hour. It doesn't matter if what you write is the biggest pile of drivel (most theses are), it's way easier to edit a document than start from scratch, so once you get things on paper it gets easier.

And remember; who need research when you've got a good conclusion to leap to.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:Keywords. Once you've broken it into sections don't try to write it from the beginning in clear sentences...choose a section that appeals to you at the time you are having a writing session and 'brainstorm' it by writing key words and phrases that come to you in whatever order you like. That gets a mental flow going. Then go back to another section that you have already keyworded and start filling it out. When you get stuck, go to another one. That way you are working with flow rather than getting stuck on sticky bits.

ALso if you are using Word, use the Outline and Styles features, saves heaps of time formatting and makes it easier for you to break things down and order sections. I'm sure other WP programs have similar features...

hug hug


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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jemima (jem)
SILVER Member since Dec 2002

jemima (jem)

Pooh-Bah
Location: london

Total posts: 1750
Posted:I'm about to write a dissertation on otto neurath, gerd arntz, and ISOTYPE lol, yes not easy ubblol

Never assume
Always Acknowledge

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Dr_Molly


Dr_Molly

Pooh-Bah
Location: Away from home

Total posts: 2354
Posted:Have you got something relatively simple like a materials and methods chapter? That's where I'm getting stuck in just now.

For the literature review I started off my writing subheadings and then putting all the relevant references under them. I think that may have been an advanced form of procrastination though shrug

Good luck smile


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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear

Total posts: 4693
Posted:my 3000 word assignment is due next friday or i fail the course, like most things in life, best get it over with.

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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DrBoo
BRONZE Member since Oct 2005

DrBoo

I invented the decaffinated coffee table.
Location: Cornwall

Total posts: 453
Posted:More tips!

Useful Research Phrases and What They Really Mean

"It has long been known" . . .
[I didn't look up the original reference.]

"A definite trend is evident" . . .
[These data are practically meaningless.]

"Of great theoretical and practical importance" . . .
[Interesting to me.]

"While it has not been possible to provide definite answers to these questions" . . .
[An unsuccessful experiment but I still have to get it published.]

"Three of the samples were chosen for detailed study" . . .
[The results of the others didn't make any sense.]

"Typical results are shown" . . .
[The best results are shown.]

"These results will be shown in a subsequent report" . . .
[I might get around to this sometime if I'm pushed.]

"The most reliable results are those obtained by Jones" . . .
[He was my graduate assistant.]

"It is believed that" . . .
[I think]

"It is generally believed that" . . .
[A couple of other guys think so, too.]

"It is clear that much additional work will be required before a complete understanding occurs" . . .
[I don't understand it.]

"Correct within an order of magnitude" . . .
[Wrong]

"It is hoped that this study will stimulate further investigations in this field" . . .
[This is a lousy paper, but so are all the others on this miserable topic.]

"Thanks are due to Joe Blotz for assistance with the experiment and to George Frink for valuable assistance" . . .
[Blotz did the work and Frink explained to me what it meant.]

"A careful analysis of obtainable data" . . .
[Three pages of notes were obliterated when I knocked over a glass of beer.]

"It is clear that much additional work will be required before a complete understanding of this phenomenon occurs"...
[I don't understand it.]

"After additional study by my colleagues"...
[ They don't understand it either.]

"It is hoped that this study will stimulate further investigation in this field"...
[I quit.]

ubblol


Boo x

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If it costs "a penny for your thoughts", but people give you their "two-pence worth", who is getting the extra penny?

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Dr_Molly


Dr_Molly

Pooh-Bah
Location: Away from home

Total posts: 2354
Posted:ubblol

That list makes reading other peoples papers so much more interesting smile


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Tao Star


Tao Star

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1662
Posted:here's a kind of vaguely related question...

what's the difference between a thesis & a dissertation....or are they just different words for the same thing confused


I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.

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NOn


activist for HoPper liberation.
Location: ffidrac

Total posts: 1643
Posted:dissertation is usually a hypothesis that is proved using an analysis of other people's work; and a thesis usually is your own hypothesis that you prove using your own method and research. and it's a lot longer.

or so i've been led to believe, correct me if i'm wrong.


Aurinko freedom agreement reached 10th Sept 2006

if it makes no sense that's because it's NOn-sense.

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DrBoo
BRONZE Member since Oct 2005

DrBoo

I invented the decaffinated coffee table.
Location: Cornwall

Total posts: 453
Posted:Yeah - I agree that is the general difference - but the words are used interchangeably.
Also, people often refer to a master's (or post-grad) dissertation, but a doctoral thesis.


Boo x

I intend to live forever - so far, so good.

If it costs "a penny for your thoughts", but people give you their "two-pence worth", who is getting the extra penny?

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:ubblol

That list is GREAT!

sent it on to another friend working on a phd as well....

he's not up to the writing part yet tho tongue


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!

*jumps up and down a few times*

*stomps floor*

*hits some innocent bystanders*

*throws bits of ripped up paper everywhere*

ubbloco mad censored angry confused2 help censored censored censored

(a bit better now, thanks for asking...)


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Dr_Molly


Dr_Molly

Pooh-Bah
Location: Away from home

Total posts: 2354
Posted:Birgit - hug

you just need to reach the stage where you leave everything that is imperfect / missing / plain wrong for corrections. It's very liberating.

Unfortunately I'm approaching my viva on Monday with the same attitude at the moment. Trying to thoroughly reread my thesis is seriously painful! frown


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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:Right now it's the mix of...



- having 40-odd microarrays to analyse by myself

- things not working that used to be perfect before Christmas

- just getting the first bits with corrections back

- supposedly writing up new stuff while doing that

- AND applying for jobs on top of it all

- and all the "usual" experiments to do while I have nothing better to do



I just don't know where to start frown



Add to that medics in the lab who keep using up your stuff when you really need it and it's not there in the middle of an experiment, so that you have 2 extra hours of work while of course they leave at 5.00 pm and get paid more than twice your salary and it gets slightly frustrating.



Am still debating with myself whether to do Beltane or not, but memories of group organisers that don't really give a damn that you've been working till 7, then have to run to be at practice at 7.30 without dinner and then have a go because you only make it to the other side of town for 7.40 and tell you off for not being committed and respecting your group is not that attractive. (not Ben, Ben was lovely)



As much as I love Beltane and the people, having some undergrad with 15 hours of lectures and an essay a week or someone who can take days off when it suits them (not their supervisors and cell cultures) and arrange practices & costume making to whatever time's best for them telling me that it should be the most important thing in my life right now to be crawling through the mud for group-bonding would probably make me laugh at them. Or throw something heavy ubblol

EDITED_BY: Birgit (1171381748)


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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87wt2gxq7


87wt2gxq7

veteran
Location: Birmingham

Total posts: 1502
Posted:hug!

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Posted:You should post it on hop. That way we can proof-read it biggrin.

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