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PhD Discussion Forum

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This Category:   PostgraduateForum.com > Writing up / Vivas


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Wanting to submit soon but supervisor not read anything!


User: GrumpyMule - 16 January 2016 10:53

This is a particular issue that has been bothering me more and more over the past 12 months. I currently have over 80,000 words drafted and 5 full chapter drafts have been sent to my supervisor over the course of the last 2 years. I haven't had any feedback on my draft chapters.

I'm now at the point where I'm writing my discussion chapter and wondering if the whole thing is all complete rubbish. My confidence in my work is waning because I honestly don't know if it's good enough.

The only encouragement I have is the fact that my supervisor and I have co-authored a couple of short book chapters and a paper together (not on my thesis) and so he knows what my writing style is like. He has apologised for not getting around to reading anything yet.

I'm concerned about so many things, my argument and the quality of it, my use of theory and focus of my findings. I've been in desperate need to get feedback on my writing for some time.

Here is the thing though... I actually have a meeting planned for a couple of weeks time and my supervisor has explicitly said that he will have read my work by then. This is surely a good thing but it's been so long and my confidence is so rocky at the moment, I'm terrified of what he is going to say. The first draft chapter was written so long ago, l know it needs lots of work and then there's the worry that the most recent chapters are just as bad in his eyes.

I used to be reasonably confident in my thesis, it was something colleagues used to comment on. I don't know where that has gone. I'm struggling with motivation now I'm approaching the end and can see all the problems that need to be fixed and absolutely dreading this meeting with my supervisor.

Advice, kind/harsh words or virtual hugs welcome!

User: glowworm - 16 January 2016 12:28

This sounds very unreasonable on the part of your supervisor. How long is it since you sent him the work - I know you say over the course of the last 2 years, but has he really not given you any feedback in that time? Have you sent it piece by piece or all in one go? Do you have any agreement about how long feedback etc. should take?

From my experience, I would say that this is completely unacceptable. What you do about it is a different matter. Have you emailed asking him about feedback at all? Is there anyone else you can speak to about this? Sorry - I know I'm posing more questions than answering, but I'm really surprised. I think you need to speak to someone else - perhaps before your planning meeting with your supervisor - to work out a plan of attack. I don't think the department / university would find this acceptable. It may be that he's happy with everything you've sent. But, you need some feedback - whether it be good or bad - to know if you're on the right lines.

Sending you a massive virtual hug! I"m so sorry you're going through this.

User: TreeofLife - 16 January 2016 13:28

I think you're going to be alright Grumpy. I bet, like you said, he knows your writing style, and he's probably glanced through stuff and seen it's ok and therefore he has put off actually doing the bulk of the reading.

I wouldn't worry now, I would wait and see how the meeting goes.



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