Blog

Three Cute metaphors for getting your thesis written

This is the first in a series of 3 posts: cute, quick metaphors (from the Greek, to carry across one kind of meaning into another realm, to make a connection), that might give you an ‘ahah!’ moment. 

Mr Will-Do-for-Dinner, not Mr Right.

Lots of doctoral candidates I see worry about making proposals and plans, or committing, early, to a line or argument or theory.  They worry because it won’t be complete, it won’t be True, or Right, or forever.

However, this stuff is like dating.

There are two kinds of awful date.  The first kind is never actually at the table with you.  They are always checking their phone,  even Facebook flirting with other people while they wait for you to come back from the bathroom. “For goodness sake,” you think, “I’m just asking for you to have dinner with me for 2 hours”.

The second kind is just as bad, but in the other direction.  They want to know your views about wedding presents, dividing the housework, what your retirement scheme is, what kinds of schools you want to send your children too.  “Okay,” you think, ‘this is a bit intense.  Can we get to know each other first?”

It’s the same with your thesis.  Your Confirmation document, your Research Proposal, your Chapter plan is a plan, not a contract.  But you are demonstrating that you know how to make a plan. Demonstrating you know how to make a good argument for now, a good plan for now, means I’m more likely to invite you back for another date (or at least a second year of the PhD).

In your introduction, you need to settle on one argument, a definite argument; even if it’s not definitive, even if it’s only an argument for now.

You aren’t a total idea whore, flitting around unable to commit to anything for a moment in case something better comes along.  But if the love of your life turns up next week, the plan will understand if it get’s dumped (just don’t do it by text).

Man holding flower with woman in park
By Laurasaurus Rex
SHARE

Succeeding in a Research Higher Degree

Doing a Research Higher Degree (like a PhD) is hard, but lots of people have succeeded and you can too. It’s easier if you understand how it works, this blog gives you the insider view.

Contact

Related Posts

Between the paragraph and the word is the ‘line edit’

There is another intermediate stage of editing, which is typically called ‘line edits’ in creative writing. This is the edit that is all about style and grace, about flow, about clarity and voice. In other words, this the edit that is absolutely not essential and many academic writers don’t bother with it. It’s a ‘nice to have’, a cherry on the cake, which is why I haven’t written about it before.

Read More

Getting back into the swing of this

The book is now in with the series editor and going out to reviewers (2 weeks late, but also 2 weeks before the deadline I had written on my otherwise trusty whiteboard… a story for a later post!!). So in this little writing block I had in my day—too small for getting back into another big project—I thought I’d warm up the blog machine.

Read More

Five finger exercises for academic writing

If you have ever learned the piano, you may have had to do ‘five finger exercises’—little pieces that are less about their musical value, and more about making you use all five fingers on your hands, to improve your technique. They are warm-ups, strengthening and skill-building exercises. They are part of the invisible part of performing music—I have never seen a concert performance of these exercises, but I’m also certain that every concert pianist I have ever paid to listen to, has done hours and hours of them in their time.

Read More

Get the latest blog posts