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PhD Discussion Forum

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This Category:   PostgraduateForum.com > PhD Advice / Support


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Final year support thread


User: Hugh - 22 January 2016 17:44

Hi,

I thought it would be nice to have a final year support thread! Anyone want to join in? *waves* We could track our progress every few days and chat to keep us sane!

I am currently analyzing results of my final study, and I have written up about 4 chapters (but they need serious editing!). I have got another 5 chapters to write yet! I finish at the end of the year. How are you all doing?

(If this thread takes off; moderators, please could it be a sticky topic? Thanks)

User: Pjlu - 22 January 2016 21:39

Hi Hugh, thanks for creating this thread. I have read other versions of these over my years on this forum, for my Masters and now the PhD, with delight that it is happening for others and also envy (not malicious envy-just wishing I was there myself...).

This is my final year (or should be all going relatively well). I have just completed a full draft of eight chapters, including intro and conclusion.

I will need to add bits to my lit review, draw out all of the links and probably rewrite sections and parts of chapters-make sure tables are formatted correctly, citation and bibliography are perfect... and just do a host of things to make this up to submission stage. I'm part-time and have just recommenced work for the year, so would probably be able to post an update weekly or fortnightly during term time. If I was full time, I think I would be estimating around 4-6 months for this process but I will do only small amounts during busy school terms and then larger chunks in the school holidays.

Like you, I would love to read about the progress of others and have some form of accountability thread in the final parts. I might seem not far way in that I do have a full draft, but it is the way I write-quickly. I know the thesis still needs a lot of work, because I am a messy writer who is a sort of backward planner. Others work in different ways so Hugh, you may well find that in this last year you overtake me well and truly before submission. My date is January 17 2017 and after this I plan on rewarding myself with a holiday of some sort.

User: chickpea - 22 January 2016 22:18

I'm in the final year of my PhD too and definitely up for a support/goals/accountability thread! I'm still collecting data which has gone on for way longer than it should have - the joys of needing to recruit from a very specific group of people and finding that it takes forever! I've drafted about three chapters so far (I say 'about' because I have a habit of saving all sorts of documents and bits of writing and then changing my mind about where in the thesis I want to use them!).

Pjlu, have you had a fixed submission date from the start? Is this something you negotiate with your supervisor? All I know is my funding will run out in the autumn, but I have noticed others have a firm idea of when they should submit and I don't!

User: Pjlu - 23 January 2016 02:06



Pjlu, have you had a fixed submission date from the start? Is this something you negotiate with your supervisor? All I know is my funding will run out in the autumn, but I have noticed others have a firm idea of when they should submit and I don't!

Because I am part-time, I have an official date and an 'earliest submission date' based on the date I started. My university will allow part-timers to submit at the 5 year mark, but not before. Their general time frame is 6-8 years all up (no extensions beyond 8 years for part-timers) My thesis is in an area that I work within and have some prior knowledge and more than a decade of personal experience in, so I will be able to submit at the earliest possible time-if it weren't related to my work I think I would have needed at least 6 years and possibly more.

Yes, also to answer your question more specifically Chickpea, at my last annual review in December, my main supervisor and the research coordinator for the faculty discussed my intention to submit (which I outlined to them during the meeting) and my supervisor gave the nod that she believed this was a reasonable aim so after some discussion the Coordinator signed off on it. I will also have to complete another form, noting intention to submit 3 months before the date as well-and have to get their permission again for this-but unless something is really wrong, this 3 month meeting will be a formality.

User: Pjlu - 25 January 2016 11:56

Hey there must be some others in their final year on the forum surely?

User: Hugh - 25 January 2016 12:02

I have had a very relaxed approach from my supervisors about the deadline. In our department, there's almost an unsaid assumption that everyone goes over the deadline. I don't understand how they expect us to live without funding though.

However, I really need to make a move on and finish! I do write fast generally, but I've had alot of critical feedback in the past, and I'm actually scared to submit a chapter, because I'm worried its just going to be returned after one page of faults marked up!

User: Hugh - 25 January 2016 12:02

Btw, are you all funded for 3 years or longer?

User: chickpea - 25 January 2016 13:52

Thanks for the info about submission dates, Pjlu - I'm due an annual review in a couple of months, so I guess the finish date will be discussed then. I think, like Hugh said, there's also an assumption in my department that most people go over their funded period - I will need to go part-time in that case, and work as well. I had three years funding Hugh, which runs out in the autumn.

User: litphdgirl - 25 January 2016 18:06

Hi all,

In final year here as well. Currently finishing up Chapter 3 of 5 at the moment, with a view to handing it to my supervisor by the weekend. I'm doing a 'thesis boot camp' in February where the goal is to write a chapter in a weekend so hoping to have 4/5 drafted by the end of Feb. I turn 31 in late-March so hoping to put my head down from now til then and have a full draft written, with a June/July submission date.

It's been a really tough journey, looking forward to finishing this year.

User: Hugh - 26 January 2016 12:57

Quote From litphdgirl:
Hi all,

In final year here as well. Currently finishing up Chapter 3 of 5 at the moment, with a view to handing it to my supervisor by the weekend. I'm doing a 'thesis boot camp' in February where the goal is to write a chapter in a weekend so hoping to have 4/5 drafted by the end of Feb. I turn 31 in late-March so hoping to put my head down from now til then and have a full draft written, with a June/July submission date.

It's been a really tough journey, looking forward to finishing this year.

Thesis Boot Camp sounds lovely! :) If I could take my computer and rather large screen with me, I would consider it :)

I've just completed one chapter, but feeling anxious to hand it in. I should find another PhD student to read through it before I hand it in.

User: strawberrygirl - 27 January 2016 12:07

Hi all - I'm in my final year too. I posted on another thread so won't repeat it all here but I'm due to submit in four months and still have most of my thesis to write although I have early drafts of most of it. So I'm feeling quite overwhelmed.
I'd like to use this thread for checking in and reporting on progress.

User: Hugh - 27 January 2016 12:11

Quote From strawberrygirl:
Hi all - I'm in my final year too. I posted on another thread so won't repeat it all here but I'm due to submit in four months and still have most of my thesis to write although I have early drafts of most of it. So I'm feeling quite overwhelmed.
I'd like to use this thread for checking in and reporting on progress.

Sounds good!

Do you have a plan in place with dates etc to hand in and finish by?

I've had a rubbish morning. I'm waiting for an email which is holding me back a bit. But I need to crack on. I find it easier and better to focus on one section/chapter at a time, so I'm avoiding starting to write up the other chapter, whilst I am waiting. Which I should do I suppose.

User: strawberrygirl - 27 January 2016 12:19

Quote From Hugh:
Quote From strawberrygirl:
Hi all - I'm in my final year too. I posted on another thread so won't repeat it all here but I'm due to submit in four months and still have most of my thesis to write although I have early drafts of most of it. So I'm feeling quite overwhelmed.
I'd like to use this thread for checking in and reporting on progress.

Sounds good!

Do you have a plan in place with dates etc to hand in and finish by?

I've had a rubbish morning. I'm waiting for an email which is holding me back a bit. But I need to crack on. I find it easier and better to focus on one section/chapter at a time, so I'm avoiding starting to write up the other chapter, whilst I am waiting. Which I should do I suppose.

Hi Hugh - I've got dates in place but I don't know how realistic they are and I'm already behind on the first one! I am generally aiming to do one chapter at a time. But I am also going to try and write one of the chapters on one day a week over several weeks alongside working on the others as i don't have enough time to do them all chronologically. Not sure how that will work though. I changed my thesis quite significantly part way through and earlier chapters I wrote I am now not using at al which is why I'm behind.

Sorry to hear you are having a bad morning. One thing that really helped me when I was in a very bad place with writing was committing to a really small amount of time each day. Just an hour or even half an hour of writing. I would do that for a few days and then gradually get back up to a few hours.

User: Hugh - 27 January 2016 12:37



Sorry to hear you are having a bad morning. One thing that really helped me when I was in a very bad place with writing was committing to a really small amount of time each day. Just an hour or even half an hour of writing. I would do that for a few days and then gradually get back up to a few hours.

That's a very good idea! I find editing the most difficult stage. I tend to write as close as possible to the final draft, but once I've written it, trying to improve it just leaves me 'stuck'.

User: chickpea - 27 January 2016 13:01

I am writing in a bit of a scattershot way at the moment, having documents on the go for each of my chapters and writing bits as they occur to me. I've also gone back to using my handwritten research journal, which I'd neglected for over a year! I'm finding that on 'poor attention' days (i.e. most of them!) it helps me to hop about and add little bits to various things.



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