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Posts under ‘Study Tips’

Writing a thesis is like…

I read this beautifully crafted metaphor for the PhD process as a weaving project. It really captures the dedication and labour of love, and I liked it so much, that it has inspired me to list a few of the metaphors I use. I’ve found about PhD research is that it’s far too big and […]

How to apply for Postgrad funding – How to make a strong application

So, once you’ve you’ve decided you want to apply for further study, at whatever level, you’ll want to think about the practicalities. As discussed in other posts, deciding to go back to school will have a big impact on your life and the lives of those around you. One of your first concerns will be […]

How to apply for postgrad funding – where to look

So, once you’ve you’ve decided you want to apply for further study, at whatever level, you’ll want to think about the practicalities. As discussed in other posts, deciding to go back to school will have a big impact on your life and the lives of those around you. One of your first concerns will be […]

How to write a Research Proposal

‘To apply for a PhD’ says the University website ‘send us a completed application form…’ – relatively straight forward – ‘…and a copy of your research proposal’ ….a what? I spent ages turning in circles asking ‘what is a research proposal’? What should it contain? In how much detail? How long should be? Nowhere does […]

How to formulate a research question

I had difficulty nailing down the thing I was interested in as a researchable question for my Masters dissertation. I found ‘The Craft of Research by Booth, Colomb and Williams’ (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing and Publishing) really helpful then, and also for trying to formulate a research question for my PhD. This book has […]

Should I apply for a PhD?

This is the $64,000 question that many grad students will be asking themselves about now – you enjoyed your first degree, maybe you’ve gotten interested in a particular topic in a postgrad course, and you’re wondering if the PhD route is for you. I’m currently an Arts & Humanities PhD student in the UK system […]

The It’s-Not-Rocket-Science approach to study

Here are a few simple tips I’ve picked up during my first term as a research student, mostly by making mistake and learning from them. The blindingly obvious is sometimes very easy to miss. I’m sure you can apply these to any subject at any level, including rocket science research if that’s your thing.

Using post-it notes to plan your writing

I read this post by Lizzie about using post-it notes as a motivational device on Zen College Life – a brilliant idea I’d never thought of before – and it made me think about my favourite uses for post-its. Sure they’re useful for urgent reminders and as I high school student I papered half the […]

Five things I learned during my MA (that weren’t on the syllabus)

According to research by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, ‘about half of the PhD candidates in our sample had completed a research preparation Master’s degree before their doctorate. Almost everyone who had done so found the Master’s course of value’*. I certainly learned a lot from my Master’s degree, but there were a few […]

Getting to grips with how you study

There’s plenty of good advice online about improving various aspects of your study technique. But to apply these ideas, you need to understand where you are starting from. Understanding how you study allows you to consider whether you could do it better and adapt your methods to changes. When I returned to university after a […]