Category: The Doctoral Journey

What is a ‘writing audit’ and when should you do one?

When I was part of the La Trobe RED team, and we were running our Accelerated Completion Programme for late-stage PhD candidates, we got people to do a thing we called a ‘writing audit’, where you counted up what was in all the sections of your PhD, and then worked out what was still missing. It could be scary, or a massive relief, but either way it gave you a sense of where you actually were.

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When TurnItIn is wrong about plagiarism

I have a lot of issues with TurnItIn and it’s researcher version Authenticate. (There is also a moral argument, which is very valid! but I’m just talking here about the fact that, as tools, they don’t really work). So it’s not surprising that TurnItIn is wrong about plagiarism’s past too.

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Single use tools

Sometimes you have a task that is essential, but will only need to be done once. It can’t be done with your multi-use tools or even some of the more niche tools you have in your writing tool box. Nope. It needs a specialist, with a specialist tool, to intervene once.

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Gratitude practice for research degree students

I’ve just finished a book, and my co-author and I had fun thinking about who we would like to thank in the Acknowledgements section, and you will need to do the same at some point. But you might also want to make a less formal, less constrained, more honest version!

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How do you ‘break down’ a big project so you meet your goals?

I cannot believe, after all my to-do list and planning your time blog posts, I’ve never actually talked about how to break down a big project, set goals and then plan to meet them: an essential aspect of doing a PhD thesis… Partly because when we teach this in a workshop we know there is so much diversity in the ways that different people achieve the same outcome

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My done-diary

In the post back in January about ‘Not forgetting everything you did last year’ I talked about a new done notebook strategy. Four months later, this is a quick update on how I’m using it right now.

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Are you in a team?

Not all groups of people working together are teams. And when your supervisor is not on your team, then you are definitely going to have a significant problem and you’ll need to think about how to tackle that.

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