~ A talk by Prof. Charles Oppenheim (Loughborough University, UK) ~UQ Graduate Student Week - 14-22 April 2009- courtesy from my friend at Brisbane....
Love what you do!
- be enthuasiastic abt your topic
-trust your work
- uncertainty is inherent
-expect the "getting nowhere syndrome"
-don't lose sleep
- anxiety is part of the bargain
- be an optimist (but getting depressed about lack of progress is very common)
-plan regular holidays (Really important!)
The dissertation emotion rollercoaster
*high and lows
*many dead ends
Planning and organisation
-write a plan with and objectives and refer/revise it regularly
-dont get too sidetracked
-dont get obsessive about dotting i's and crossing t's at the expense of making real progress-establish a good work/life balance
-organise your hard drive
-organise your time
-organise your priorities
-progress often slower than expected
-know your strengths and weaknesess;play to the strenghts and work on the weaknesses
- invest in relationships with other research students
-take and make opportunities
-attend conferences, build your network
-join discussion lists, groups, professional societies
-write a quality website, start blogging and twiterring
Writting -start writing NOW (not literally :D)
-It's amazing how many 'obviuos' things you'll forget after a period of time
-writing clarifies thoughts and assumptions
-good practice for you're the final dissertation
-write for publication
- dont be scared
-make them a friend
-they want you to succed
-long term professional relationship
- agree your ground rules at the start
-be honest and keep them informed
-hold regular meetings
-keep a record of meetings and actions
-dont be a nuisance or make excessive demands
Questions to ask yourself
-why did I choose the topic? (have a GOOD reason, not just because your supervisor suggested it)
Why is it important
-is the literature review complete and up to date-is the sample (if you used one) large enough/appropriate?
If I used statistics, how confident am I about the techniques used?
-are the results clearly presented
-does the discussion explore the findings/results and comment on them?
-do i reflect on where my results fit into the literature on the topic
-do the conclusions/recommendations follow logically from the results and address my aims/objectives?
-How did I overcome any problems encountered?
-what are the implications of my work?
Can it be taken further?
-What is the "value added", innovative or creative about the work-what weaknesses are there in the research? Be honest about that!
-Be honest and realistic
-Be in control
But if you dont do everything all the time (and you wont),
dont beat yourself up about it. GOOD LUCK!