Everyone Makes Miskates

Corrections aren’t a sign you’ve necessarily done something wrong in your thesis. The request from your examiners is a helping hand to make your thesis as good as it could reasonably be, given that your thesis is a permanent contribution to knowledge. They want to help.

Most PhD candidates are asked to complete corrections. This doesn’t mean that most candidates are failing somehow or that most candidates don’t care.

It shows that writing is hard. Writing long, involved texts – books! – is hard.

Practice helps. Feedback helps. Investing time purposefully to get better, of course, helps. Proofreading and editing and revising all help.

And after all of that you can still miss things.

When you’re asked to complete corrections, as you most likely will be, just remember that it’s another part of the PhD process. You didn’t do anything wrong; you now have the chance to make things better.

 

A short post that occurred to me today, as I sit slightly stunned that this is my 1500th daily post on the blog – and I remember the many, many mistakes I’ve made over the course of nearly 250,000 words!

Arbitrary Milestones

You might need to set some for your viva prep. They’re arbitrary in the sense that they’re not fixed by a strict process, but by your needs, your circumstances. For example, there isn’t a deadline for when you must have read your thesis, or you have to have a mock viva. Annotating your thesis can be really valuable, and you can do it whenever you need to. It helps not to do it on the morning of your viva, of course.

It’s useful to think about your prep ahead of time and set milestones for yourself. They’re just for you, to help your prep be as stress-free as possible and guide you into feeling ready for the challenge of your viva. Look ahead to the time around your viva and consider what milestones can help your personal journey to being ready.