I can’t believe that I have missed another month, I thought that I had written a blog entry in April but it does seem that I missed it, yikes!
First I must write on my where I am up to with my Ph.D. I have turned in my final draft, I say it is my final draft because I am over it for awhile. It can be so isolating sitting and thinking and writing day after day. It has now blown out to 95 thousand words, yikes. I will most likely have to reduce this again when I get it back, but for now, I really can’t bear to think about it. I have spent so many agonising days, thinking and writing. I need some space now. Well at least for a couple of days while I mark some assignments. So, I think it would be helpful if I write a few things that I think would be helpful to others while I am thinking about it all.
# First make sure that you whittle down your topic to the lowest common denominator, check that your research question is the smallest that it can be. It is much easier at the end if your research is refined at the start. Just one small question can elicit enormous data even if you think it won’t. Keep asking yourself why and how until there is no answer
#At the start of the PhD journey make many mind maps, bubbles that are linked to chapters in this way you will have a clear direction forward. Bubbles are easy to move around and delete and add if you need to.
# Within these bubbles add ideas, ask yourself further questions, until you can’t ask any other questions. Write down what comes up, this can all be done while you are sorting out the paperwork and enrolling in the course unit. Each time you ask another question and write it down you will be getting clearer on the topic
# There is a tendency not to talk to others about your topic. This could be due to many reasons, professional jealousy, topic sharing, or embarrassment because you don’t think it is worthy. So find someone who you can talk too. The more you discuss your topic and issues with a buddy the clearer you will be able to articulate your research and this will be important when it comes to understanding the literature and asking more questions. Especially when you asked if there are any questions and how can you know if you do not know what is ahead or what is required.
# If you can’t find enough material then you are most likely not reading widely enough then if you have too much material you have read enough, be aware that it is time to stop reading.
# If you like writing then write, do not stop because someone thinks that you are writing too much. If I had not been writing when the pen struck then I would not have had enough material when I couldn’t write due to headaches, babysitting, illness, and work. I am grateful that my writing was constant and continuous. Having more material enabled me to fill in the gaps to cut out pieces, exchange pieces and make sense of it all
#Attend conferences, this was one of the strongest points for me, it enabled the movement of ideas, it enabled me to gather my ideas and make sense of my work as it progressed. It also gave me some outcomes towards the end of my Ph.D
# Make sure you use your topic question throughout your writing this will bring you back to the core of your question and keep you on track and focused on the question.
# Don’t get offended if your work is returned with lots of red marks on it. This is great at least it has been reviewed. And while anyone can read it and ask why or how this bit fits others will also make those connections so consider this a blessing and keep working don’t get discouraged at it will definitely lead to a refined end product. One that you can be proud of.
Right then that’s it for now…..to be continued