I attended the 'Developing Your PhD Theory Framework' to help me understand exactly what was meant by concepts and theory and how concepts, theory and the thesis engage with each other.
Although I took the information I needed away from the session, I felt the session could have been presented in a more coherent structure - the topics jumped around, which was distracting and (at times) confusing. It also felt there was a great deal of repetition.
This could have been resolved using more visuals within the presentation - for example, a funnel with concepts at the wide and theory at the narrow end. As the presnter built on the use of concepts and theory, this visual could be built upon.
Likewise, one case study could be used, rather than changing between case studies. And student difficulties/challenges could have been presented first and 'unpacked' during the presentation.
In summary, although I received the information I needed from the session (and I won't hesitate to attend future sessions), the learnings could have been achieved in less presentation time, more discussion/thinking time, and with a more structured, coherent approach.
Thank you so much for an excellent presentation by Prof. Jerry Wellington on Introductions, Abstracts and Conclusions - immensely helpful!
I 'reached out' because I am currently drafting my thesis and floundering a bit in too many words/lack of conciseness and SIGNPOSTING failure! Structure is a major challenge in terms of cohesion, obviously, but also, re economy. This session's guidance on word length, content and functions of sections at the top and bottom of a thesis, helped me greatly with understanding the role and nature of signposting, and the importance of making explicit what the contribution of the thesis is. This will really help me organise, place and direct my writing. Thank you, again.
The best thing about your service is how encouraging and supportive you are. The whole interface with us is so 'human' and so honest about this rather daunting undertaking ... So glad I found you!
I found the session very valuable. This session gave me new tips and understanding (and confirmations) of how these two pillars support the core chapters. Prof Wellington's expertise and openness was elegant and his guidance was compelling.
I couldn't have done it without Professor Smith. Working with him on the mock viva was fantastic - he was kind, supportive and he really helped build my confidence. In particular, he helped me to speak clearly about my research and my contribution to my discipline. After the practice oral, I read the key research of my examiners and then spoke about how my research linked to their research, which made them really happy!
I got in touch with the PhD Proofreaders for a Mock Viva, as I was not sure whether my supervisors and I would manage to do one because of time issues. Peter replied really fast and suggested a date - the procedure was very easy going. I sent my thesis and about ten days later we had the Mock Viva. I really enjoyed talking about my thesis, and found the questions Peter asked really helpful. They were broad and detailed questions, which made me think again and see things from another perspective. Thank you for having such a uncomplicated and easy-going service, which is on point and gives a very good sense of what to expect in the real-world viva! Thank you for the support and feedback Peter, you are doing very great work!
Very keen to get this expert guidance regarding working on PhD framework. It was inspiring to hear from the very global group who gathered for this genuinely supportive Zoom mtg. The ‘review information’ sent after is great!
Thanks so much for the mock-viva. Professor Peter Smith is an absolute gem, and I still cannot figure out how he primed the confidence of a shy nerd like me to exhaust 2 strict viva examiners, one of whom was so aggressive he raised the eyebrows of the chair-lady many times, and he was unhappy about giving me any break 😊 The other examiner had to take headache medication during to get through the whole 3-hour exam (she finished her questions after the first hour). This would normally prompt me to run for the hills, but I remembered Professor Smith’s words that I knew more about what I had done than any examiner could and did surprise myself – for one time in my life when it mattered most, I was unflappable. They complimented me on my “preparation”, but Professor Smith was my real guide. It left me with a successful viva and a great story over a pint with my supervisors in the pub afterwards.
Your attention to detail with the proofreading and your generosity in not charging anything to finalise the corrections further confirmed my impression of your integrity and professionalism with all that you do.
Having taken the PhD Proofreaders course, and attending many of your company’s seminars made all the difference. It is a pity that even the best universities find it difficult to fully see the PhD journey from the student’s perspective and practical day-to-day difficulties. We are very fortunate that you do. I hope you are also very proud of what you do and your great achievement.
I'm greatly thankful and grateful for your help and support through that critical stage of my PhD journney, both objectively and subjectively. You really helped me clarify things and understand examiners' expectations which gave me invaluable confidence and reassurance to keep going. I wish you all the best and please keep doing what you're doing, it's much appreciated. I'm sure you're part of many PhD students' success stories and you're certainly part of mine.
As a Professional Doctorate student it can be very overwhelming. Trying to embark on a research journey and working full time I was at a loss where to start. This course provided the guidance needed to direct me and give me the confidence I needed. The structure of the course has also allowed me to fit around work and complete at my own pace. I just wish I had found at the start of my study, although it has been invaluable even after my ethics approval to develop my skills, knowledge and most importantly motivation.
Starting a PhD can be daunting, attending the PhD masterclass on Supervision clarified what will be expected of me and how to get the best out of my supervision relationship. It was very helpful.
Diane Elizabeth Huntingon Loring
I'm not sure where I saw the prompt for PhD Proofreaders but it triggered an immediate response of interest.
I enjoyed the PhD Masterclass with Professor Peter Smith immensely!
The lecture was everything I had been looking for and hoping for - for nearly a year now. I am having my first annual review next week better understanding the value of the advice I have been given by my supervisors, as well as what I have achieved so far in writing my thesis.
The most important part of the lecture, among many, was the explanation of critical thinking and writing, this has been a very difficult aspect for me to comprehend all along.
Many thanks to Professor Smith who articulated and explained perfectly all that I need to know!
I am very excited about the other offerings as well from PhD Proofreaders!
Thank you again,
Diane Elizabeth Huntington Loring
The quality of the proof reading was fantastic, clear and concise comments that proved really useful.
The session was interactive and really very useful. The facilitator was knowledgeable and engaging. These kinds of sessions with experts in the field can really boost an understanding of what is required and the self confidence to move forward. It was unfortunate that participants chose to have theor cameras off
I started my PhD two years ago and I felt like I was running in circles. My chair told me I did not seem to understand what a PhD was about so I took a year off to get some clarity. I took this course to help me gain that clarity. Lesson nine was the most impactful as I struggle with imposter syndrome.
I loved how the information was given in bite sized pieces so that I could progress at my own pace. I see myself going through the lessons over and over as my knowledge and skills grow.
Thank you for making this resource available.
Overall, a useful session and very helpful tips. However, I would have liked to dedicate more time to editing and reviewing. It seems that we only got to the "meat and bones" of this towards the end. I did not think that the exercise about the 3-minute thesis was useful given the length of the session. This might have been a nice ice-breaker for a longer seminar though.
I reached to you because I received minimal support from my university. Your work just I focus on mock viva was very beneficial and ease my stress. I recommend PhD students to have their mock viva with Dr. Peter Smith. The best thing about the mock viva that It was done by an expert researcher.
I'm running behind with my schedule, fairly low in energy and in a slight psychological panic about finishing off my last project, editing two chapters AND getting cracking with my intro and conclusion in a way that does not feel like starting yet another a new project. I want to hit the ground runing without too many uncertainties and questionmarks holding me back about how best to present these sections. This session prvided a full and informative, yet informal and enjoyable open discussion regarding these matters, and the level of interaction allowed for very targeted and bespoke learning and problem solving. This was a very affordable session for the 1.5hrs of high quality advice and guidance it provided - thank you!
danilo D di emidio
I needed some support aside my supervisory team and you offered the best support I could find, in every aspects of a PhD journey, from moral support to technical one, which is a nice mix. Well done, D
I am currently writing my systematic literature review for my PhD studies. I asked for support with grammar and to ensure my writing flowed and made sense! The feedback I received was incredibly helpful- thank you.