Answers On A Postcard

A viva prep idea that seems apt for summertime: use postcards to make notes about key reflective questions for your research and thesis.

Get half a dozen different postcards (choose your images carefully). Use half of each one to answer a big picture question like those below:

  • How did I get interested in this topic?
  • What’s my key contribution?
  • What are my three main results?
  • What is my methodology?
  • Who is my research important to?
  • What are my three most important references?

Use the other half, where one would typically write an address, to capture a few keywords, an extra short note or perhaps an important reference or two.


There are three useful elements here. First, the answer in a small, restricted space gives a concise reflection. Second, a few points or helpful things that jump out. Finally, the image of the postcard to build memory associations.

Index cards are often used to help with revising something, but I’ve never come across postcards. What do you think? Useful or not?