Presentation on theme: "+ I’m Almost Done! Preparing your Thesis draft Assoc. Prof. Dr. Neo Mai (Chair, FCM Postgraduate Affairs Committee) Postgraduate Affairs Lecture Series."— Presentation transcript:
+ I’m Almost Done! Preparing your Thesis draft Assoc. Prof. Dr. Neo Mai (Chair, FCM Postgraduate Affairs Committee) Postgraduate Affairs Lecture Series (Talk 3) July 19, 2013
+ You have finished collecting the data and writing up your results, perhaps you have no clue about what to say in the last chapter. what's the answer to your original question? what does it all mean?
+ In the beginning….
+ Sometimes it feels like you've been working on your dissertation for years -- worse, it feels like you'll be working on it forever, and are running out of time and money. Is this EVER going to end? But remember: The single biggest obstacle to completion is psychological.
+ Why dissertations don’t get finished: 1. The task seems overwhelming. The solution: Break the project into small, manageable units. 2. There are no clear deadlines. The solution: Work on sub-sections that you can finish in a predictable amount of time, preferably today. 3. Being overpowered by negative thoughts. Silence your internal critic. Ignore or repress self-defeating thoughts.
+ How to get it done? 1. Remain confident about your work through from regular feedback and acknowledgment from your supervisor
+ How to get it done?
+ Does your desktop look like this?
+ Or this?
+ Or even this?
+ How to get it done? 2. Create a timeline to keep your dissertation on track. Organise your work.
+ Discuss how your results answers your research questions. Go back to literature review. Any link to the work of previous researchers? Do your results agree/disagree with those of other researchers? Do not just summarise results. INTERPRET them. Show whether your results fit or do not fit in with the theory or background of your research. Make recommendations Limitations of the research Writing Ch 4 and 5
+ THE Draft….. 3. Write, write, write…. (it takes MAAAANNNNY tries to get the draft ready) Completing a dissertation, then, is mainly a matter of perseverance.
+ You CAN panic. Find the latest version of your dissertation Focus on clarity instead of trying to sound smart Have a plan B when you get discouraged (do the “brainless work” parts of the thesis – formatting, preliminary pages, etc.) Focus on one chapter at a time (focus on the one that is nearest to completion) Stop mentally revisiting your past failures. Focus on replicating your past successes. Set weekly rewards for yourself. You will NEVER finish if you wait for perfection or if you get too attached to your student status. Thesis drafts let you see your research as a whole. THE Draft…..
+ Take heart. First draft chapters are almost ALWAYS disastrous. Get your work on paper; then you and your mentor can work together to get it into polished form. THE Draft…..
+ THE Draft….
+ THE Draft… many, many, many, many iterations of it.
+ And then it’s done!
+ The Work Completion Defense Defending your work Have you done sufficient work? Do you have enough results to warrant examination? Which chapters to concentrate on? MMU Examiners Title Status Work Completion vs. Thesis Submission
+ What to do in the meantime? Publish your results Network with fellow postgrads in conferences
+ Practising for your Viva Discuss with your supervisor the issues that you feel are likely to be pursued by your examiners during the Viva. Talk to colleagues who have successfully gone through their viva and ask their advice. Ask a friend or colleague to read one section, or perhaps a chapter of your thesis and then ask you questions about it. A mock viva: your supervisor can help to arrange a ‘Mock’ viva.
+ The Viva An oral examination Know your thesis inside out Familiarise yourself with the literature that you have referred to in your thesis Enhance your WCD slides Bring thesis and supporting documents to the examination Go see the exam room Get rest Come early. Test presentation Have quiet time Stay confident and focused Be respectful and humble