Radical Fairy Tales and Little Monsters

I hope you've all been enjoying the succession of CFPs that have severed as substitutes for my updates of late. I'm currently in academic limbo between submission and viva. I've also increased my hours at work, and so have been rather lax on updating here. Submitting was equal parts stressful and underwhelming. Because I now... Continue Reading →

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CFP: Ex Historia

Ex Historia is now accepting submission for publication in the 2016 edition of our journal. We are particularly keen to receive interest from people who share our specialisms: Medieval and Early Modern Studies; Medical History; Maritime History; Imperial and Global History, and War, State and Society, but articles, review articles and book reviews on any historical topic... Continue Reading →

The Hunting of the Snark or In Search of a Final Draft

While I'm back to blogging and sharing CFPs, I'm not quite at the stage of turning the thesis in. I'm awaiting comments from my second supervisor, who is generally more thorough and critical than my first.* Following generally held advice on idle hands and devils' work, I'm re-revising the current thesis draft. One of the critiques... Continue Reading →

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Imposter Syndrome – the cat amongst the pengiuns

Imposter syndrome – we all have it. I’ve yet to meet anyone, academic or otherwise, who hasn’t felt like they were playing at being a grown up. This post from BloggerByResearch sums it up nicely. And I have the same insecurities about being petite and female. I’m not sure if that confirms these insecurities, or just points out that it’s merely physical.

There was a particularly poignant moment a few years ago when Husband had submitted his PhD, but hadn’t yet had his viva and was not getting anywhere with finding a job. I could only reassure him as his wife that he was a smart and capable individual, but not as a fellow academic because we are is very different fields. The best thing I could come up with was to make him watch a graduation commencement speech from the New England Institute of Arts, given by Amanda Palmer on the Fraud Police.

As I’m now pretty close to embarking on exactly the same process, I think it’s time to revisit it for myself. For some reason, knowing that someone who has a pretty successful career as a musician still fears the fraud police is comforting and motivating at the same time. You can watch it here.

As for Husband, the day he passed his viva with minor corrections was also the day he was offered the Post-doctoral Research position he’s in at the moment. I know the chance of lightning striking twice for us is slim, but at least it gives me hope.

bloggerbyresearch

This week I admitted that I worry that I am not good enough to do a PhD. I often think that I don’t have the intelligence or research skills to get anywhere with it. I feel nervous when going for supervision meetings as I don’t think I have done enough work or work of any worth. Coming out of those meetings I feel reassured and quite good about it all and this lasts for about a week until it kicks back in again.

I told a friend about this and she told me about Impostor Syndrome.

Impostor syndrome[1] is a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of…

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Your Minimum Editing Route and How Fonts Can Help You Spot Typos

Proofing and editing is in my future still, nonetheless this is good advice to have to hand.

TheUniversityBlog

Your Minimum Editing Route

I work with words all the time. I have to be careful not to gloss over my writing. If I do, I risk missing typos and worse.

Even with a clear focus, it’s bad enough. Your focus is on conveying meaning more than it is on uncovering typos.

But there’s hope. When you edit your work, go through several runs at the text. First, read for overall flow. Second, read for clarity. Third, read for typos. This should be your minimum editing route.

Editing for different reasons each time helps you to focus on the particular task at hand. These tasks require thinking processes that do not gel with each other. If you tackle them all at the same time, it’s like ineffective multitasking.

Read out loud and look at each word, no matter how trivial. When you read with purpose, you’ll trip over sentences that clearly need…

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thesis know how – beware the quote dump

Reblogging for myself and anyone else who is currently grappling with the balance of their own voices and the voice of the critic in their thesis. I’ve gotten some very good advice on this issue that I’ll be putting into practice today, but as always Patter hits the nail on the head with why we tend to rely on large quotations.

patter

I very often see first drafts of theses – and sometimes completed ones – which suffer from quote dumping. A quote dump is when the writer inserts a very large extract of someone else’s words into a text and then does nothing with it. The quote sits there, highly visible in its indented and italicised state, inert, unyielding, impenetrable.

The quote dump often occurs in literature chapters and/or when the thesis writer is discussing theoretical literatures. It’s sometimes used when people are explaining their methodology. It can happen when people genuinely attempt to engage with other people’s words and ideas and either challenge them, evaluate them or make them into foundations for their own research.

While quote dumping might have been the way to get good marks in essays in undergraduate and Masters work, it is a learned strategy that doesn’t fly so well in a doctoral thesis. Yes, the…

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