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  • Dr S Loretti 6:34 pm on August 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply
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  • Dr S Loretti 4:09 am on April 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    What you should not do to your dissertation prospectus 

    The sooner you meet the eligibility criteria and win the candidacy examination for the doctoral degree, the more important it becomes to prepare a well-defined dissertation prospectus for getting started. Dissertation prospectus is the defined outline of your proposed research and dissertation. It would consist all the relevant details regarding the innovative research you would like to conduct during your PhD. Because your doctoral chair permits you to proceed with the PhD research by examining the prospectus, it becomes a must to write it in a descriptive yet precise manner.

    A deficient prospectus that lacks the conscision and necessary details of your research gets easily rejected by the chair. The rejection at very first step may demotivate you to work further with the research. As per the recent studies, it has been found that the number of candidates who complete their doctoral degree is very less in comparison to the number of people enrolling for it. The drop in the number is majorly because of the rejection of the prospectus and lack of motivation to rectify and submit it again.

    As a rookie, you must have read multiple articles if discussed with your seniors, friends, and colleagues on how to develop your prospectus and what to include in which section of it. But have you got a clear picture of what is required and what is not in your PhD dissertation prospectus? If not, then here’s what you should not do to your dissertation prospectus for gaining instant approval :

    • The first page of your document which your supervisor or the committee sees, covers the title of your research. The title should not be fancy. You are not doing a school project that your title should be tricky for your teacher, rather it should be as clear and concise as it could be. The title has to be to give a clear idea of the prospectus to the committee to look further into the document whereas a complex title would drop the supervisor’s interest in your formal document.
    • Next comes the central question of your research paper. The central question should not exceed more than a paragraph. The paragraph should succinctly address the central question on which your research will be based on. Your prospectus has to end within a maximum number of 10 pages and so the introduction, should not be of more than a page or two. A lengthy central question can not hold the grip of the reader’s interest. It should not lead or dictate the complications of the research or divert it from the topic.
    • The literature review of your prospectus should not be irrelevant and contain unnecessary criticism or pointless new ideas of the previously researched papers. It should highlight the relationship between your proposed research and the literature you reviewed indicating a relation between the history and recent issue. You may also cite examples from the current situation, building the interest of your reader. Irrelevant history of the research will not define your reason to work on this topic and unnecessary criticism will not be considered healthy for your prospectus to be approved.
    • While writing the methodology, you should be clear with the research method (qualitative or quantitative) you are going to use to carry the research forward. You should not be suspicious with the way you are going to collect the data. The methodology should define the study you are going to make progress with. You should be apparent with the plan you have in your mind with the required tools and feasibility to research. Not mentioning the tools, fees, and timeline to complete the research shows that the candidate is less studied for the chosen topic.
    • Your prospectus should never miss the bibliography. A bibliography is a list of references used to collect the material written in the document. The list of references is as important as the title of the prospectus. Your bibliography cites the primary and secondary sources you used to develop the prospectus. You may also include additional readings with it mentioning the papers, articles, or journals you read for the study of the research.
    • Your prospectus should be appealing as well as simple for the committee to read the whole and approve. It should not be messy and complex as it would confuse the reader and your supervisor could reject it as he reviews your academic document.

    Your dissertation prospectus is the final binding for the committee to approve and your chance to prove that this research will bring growth in your academic field. you should finish the process of editing and proofreading before submitting it to your committee.


  • Dr S Loretti 1:02 pm on March 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Your brain needs a break 

    Working consistently on your laptop for hours, struggling with drowsiness is not the solution to complete your research writing. The result won’t come out best even after putting your 100%. Because there is a limit to putting 100%. Your mind undergoes dormancy after a certain period of time , if you are focusing on the same thing for a longer time. You need some diversions. These diversions could be your favorite past time activities or even a short nap.

    Try to be glass half full instead of glass half empty. Inculcate positive attitude. This requires a shift in perspective for those who are more naturally pessimistic. Problems are often a question of perspective. If you change your perspective, you may see your situation from a more positive point of view.”

    Good time management means quality work rather than quantity. Our long-hours culture is a well-known cause of workplace illness. Take some break for music, sports, going for a brisk walk, watching a movie or giving your best tweets.

    Have some “me time”. Keeping by all your thoughts of worry, relax, and think about your positive skills. Find out how can you overcome the obstacles instead of running on the unknown road aimlessly.

    Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling, clearing your thoughts and enabling you to deal with your problems more calmly.

    A problem shared is a problem halved. A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way.


  • Dr S Loretti 5:27 am on February 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    What next after PhD? “Horizons beyond academics” 

    What if research was your passion but academics is not? Is ending up as an academician the only possible destiny after a PhD?? Well, probably not. Here are some other avenues that you might want to explore if academics is not your cup of tea.

    1. Micro-business owner: you may sell a product or maybe a service. Of most importance will be your networking and communication skills if you wish to make it big in business. You may even think of helping out research graduates as a consultant. This might scratch the itch for doing meaningful work.

    2. Novelist: After your research, you will have mastered the art of writing. If you think fiction is where you belong, you can probably try out writing a novel. Your analytical abilities that you develop while researching will be an added advantage here.

    3. Politician : This avenue is particularly attractive when you have a taste for politics and serving public. The world has turned knowledge intensive and thus your expertise in a field is likely to be beneficial. You may even decide to work for a politician if not becoming one yourself.

    4. Public servant: Most public servants undertake a PhD to get promoted. The ability to read, write, analyze and teach that you acquire with your research are likely to help you climb the ladder of ranks rather quickly, because ultimately it will all add up to your efficiency. The only characteristic you need to possess is the commitment to work for the public.

    Let us know if we can add something to this list. We’d be glad to publish your opinions.

    • Lucas 5:35 am on February 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I think becoming a freelance writer is also a good option. Writing you thesis will help you develop excellent writing writing skills. Why not write for a living?

    • V.Kumari 11:42 am on March 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      The post is just apt for those who usually find themselves asking question “what is the use of PhD”. I think PhD requires a lot of efforts from you from the point you start framing your title of research to submitting your thesis. Throughout this journey you not only explore solutions to problems but “how best you were at finding those solutions”. It helps you explore your skills, and gives a better understanding about the world around you. And knowledge never goes redundant. It always adds to qualities while facing day to day issues in life. In short it gives you a pragmatic approach towards life.

    • Hasmiq 6:26 am on March 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I appreciate your post Dr.Loretti, academia is not the only avenue for a Ph.D. , till the time ph.D. gets completed, the scholar become mature enough to understand thy area of interest and accordingly move ahead with the career of own choice.
      Apart from the areas you specified, I would like to throw light on certain other areas that can be of interest to a scholar, and can help him look beyond academia.

      1. Research analyst: A research analyst basically gathers the information relevant to the company and then analyses and formulates in such a way that it is helpful for the company and is understandable as per the needs of business. A Ph.D. Scholar gets a great insight of analysing the things during his research, so this experience can be carried forward and used for a flourishing career of a research analyst.

      2. Consultant: A research scholar can very efficiently analyse the problem, find different techniques to resolve different parts of the problem and suggest best methods to solve the problems. This quality can be carried forward as a thriving career and can be very beneficial for both the individual and to the person he is providing his services to.

      3. Ph.D. Consultant: It is rightly said, knowledge increases by sharing. Pursuing ph.d. Equips an individual with deep knowledge of the subject of his research and also gifts them the hunger to learn new things everytime. This knowledge can bring a new option to them in context of choosing their career.Therefore, Becoming a subject matter expert and providing consulting services to the budding scholars as a freelancer is a very exciting and interesting career option.

  • Dr S Loretti 5:16 am on February 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Beyond Supervisors 

    What to do when your supervisor doesn’t seem to be as supportive? who do you turn to?

    Your friends and colleagues are a good option and the recent trend is blogging! Why are blogs and forums so popular these days? Because they fill the void in a student-supervisor relationship. Here’s how online media can be your knight in a shining armor!

    1. Workable advice

    Online communities, forums and blogs are available 24×7 to solve all your practical questions. What should an RM look like? What statistical tool should you choose? How to start writing? and anything that is related to your PhD can be discussed on these platforms. While your supervisor may have other things to attend to and not be available all the time, you can reach out to these platforms for all sorts of help.

    2. Emotional Support

    Most students will not find it comfortable to discuss emotional issues with their supervisor and thus suffer silently. Mental health crises is common in PhD students. In times when you lack motivation or feel depressed, online platforms serve as the perfect agony aunt! Your issues and comments are anonymous and nobody will judge you. Rather, you are likely to get sound advice from people who’ve been there done that or who are facing similar challenges. You may freely discuss awkward questions, and issues beyond academics.

    3. An accompaniment, not a replacement

    While online platforms are enlightening, they cannot replace supervisors completely. Supervisors, ideally, are supposed to guide and mentor you. They are not exactly super-humans who would know everything and do everything right, but they are experienced, and most importantly, they’re human. Online communities may compliment the role of supervisors in a student’s life but not eliminate the need for!

    • Jeffary 5:40 am on March 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      It is a common case with most of us when we are in lack of positive support from our supervisors. But there are a number of assistance for you. Yes you can go through online forums, post your queries and get the suggestion. Ensure that you visit verified sources for help. Even there are so many blogs which can help you in steps how to proceed with your work. There are platforms which help you through visuals as well . like you may refer to wiki how and you tube.

  • Dr S Loretti 8:00 am on February 1, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    What is a “bad” thesis? 

    If you thesis has any of these elements, its probably a bad one and you are most likely to face rejection.

    1. A repetition of previously presented work.

    2. Inadequate or vague theoretical framework.

    3. A conclusion inconsistent with the introduction or vice-verse.

    4. Largely descriptive implying only a mere data collection exercise.

    5. A confused methodology.

    6. Absence of confidence and assurance in writing.

    7. A clumsy presentation.

    Absolutely avoid all of these to save yourself from rejection!



    • Cindy 5:30 am on February 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      My supervisor keeps telling me i lack expression in writing. How do i improve my writing? please help. I do not want my thesis to be rejected!

  • Dr S Loretti 7:51 am on January 31, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Taking notes for a better literature review 

    As you prepare to write a literature review for your thesis, you will read enormous amount of text. To make sure that you include in your literature review everything useful that you’ve read, it is important that you take notes. Notes will serve as a guide map to your confused and irritated brain!

    • keep a record of the keywords that lead you to useful articles.
    • keep highlighting or marking text that you believe to be probably useful.
    • Use spider diagrams or flow charts to join the dots! This particularly helpful when you need to draw a fresh inference in your research. Diagrams can also be used to study connections.
    • prepare a sheet where you enlist issues to be addressed in your research and against each issue mention whatever useful you read about it. Remember to mention authors and how they look at the issue. some authors may suggest and you may agree. Other times, you may disagree with what an author suggests. Whatever be the case, record it accordingly.
    • you can use a database like Microsoft one note or Evernote; or maybe a PDF markup manager. Reference managers like Zotero, Mendeley and Endnote will also help you organize all your reviewed papers in a systematic manner.
    • Academic phrase bank is a web source that helps you in phrasing your review better.
    • smita 12:06 pm on March 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      How to check the validation of review of literature? There is a plethora of information available. It becomes tedious to know which source is reliable for my research.

    • David 5:42 am on March 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      How to filter content to write concise literature review for my dissertation?

  • Dr S Loretti 12:03 pm on January 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    PhD scholarships : 5 places to focus 

    Here are 5 PhD scholarships to look out fr. They are from the around the world and have varying deadlines. Keep a track of each one if you’re aiming at a funded PhD.

    1. University of Otago, /new Zealand

    2. DFID (Department of International Development), United Kingdom

    3. Macquarie University, Australia

    4. Canadian universities, Canada

    5. University of Southern Queensland, Australia

    Check the eligibility conditions on the official website of each university. Most universities entertain foreign students but may limit the eligibility to nationals of certain specific countries. Most of them are available every year, so if you miss out the deadline this year you can probably aim atfor the next year.

  • Dr S Loretti 9:34 am on January 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    The nerve wracking process of defending you thesis! Try these tips. 

    After you’re done with writing your research comes the dreaded moment of having to defend it. As tricky as it seems, this last segment of your PhD will definitely test your potential. Here are some tips to help you through this task-
    1. Know the format: The format for defending your thesis varies from country to country. You may be required to have a one on one interview or give a presentation to a panel. Whatever the format is, you should be prepared accordingly.
    2. The presentation: Prepare a well studied presentation and practice it to perfection. Know the material thoroughly, note the time taken and refine it. Practice in front of peers and friends to gain confidence and feedback.
    3. The questions: You are required to know a lot about your research and the topic, but not necessarily everything. Its okay of you don’t know the answer to some question. Just acknowledge and mention what you think about it. If you do know the answer, explain it calmly. Take time to breathe and focus on what you are saying.
    4. Its okay to be nervous: Even your examiners expect you to be nervous! Happens with just about everyone. Talking really fast is something that generally happens when we are nervous. So take care to slow down and breathe deep!
    And remember, its all going to be OKAY! A nervous performance and minor goof ups cannot undermine a well researched thesis. Hard work will never go unappreciated.

    • Siemen 5:27 pm on March 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      can you suggest how to respond to a question, the answer to which i don’t know at all? what should be my way to express ?

  • Dr S Loretti 4:42 am on January 28, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    5 mistakes PhD students make and ways to avoid them 

    When you initially start your PhD, you might have a certain mindset. Not all students make mistakes, but if you are doing one of the following, you’re probably going in the wrong direction.

    1. Starting with writing right away!
    Before you actually get down to writing your research, it is better that you perform some writing exercises. after all, writing a research is no cake walk! To start with, write a journal paper or blog away your thoughts.
    2. Seminars are boring?
    Don’t be too busy to attend seminars. There are experienced academicians and professionals out there whose advice comes in handy at most instances. Take time out to listen to these people.
    3. Not making your way to the library
    Now this is a terrible one!PhD demands you to read and explore. There is no better place than a library to start your research. Also, following blogs and forums will also do you good. Check out academic blogs where researchers share their experiences and insights.
    4.Not following procedures
    Believe it or not, procedures and policies are there to help you! complete all mandatory requirements and paperwork and leave nothing unattended.
    5. Keeping away from technology?
    If you think technology is not capable of lending you a hand in your PhD, you are seriously mistaken! Scholarly technology is more like a savior for PhD students. Use social bookmarking sites and software like evernote, mendeley, or a writing software like Scrivener. Social media is also a good research tool if you use it wisely.

    Write to us if you have any issues or wish to discuss your experiences!

    • kelley 5:47 pm on March 29, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      i agree that technology is a helpful tool. Moreover it saves a lot of time which otherwise you would have to devote by just sitting and reading the printed material. Now you have an access to a number of sources. its easy to manage things well. software like SPSS are quite helpful in giving you a flawless data analysis for obtaining results. But you cannot totally depend on technology. your own efforts always count.

    • David 5:44 am on March 30, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      i think blog writing is one of the best ways to improve your writing. Follow some good bloggers to get an inspiration for crisp writing. blogging is both formal an informal means of presenting your views to public. you can accumulate a number of ideas which can help you manage your content well.

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