Tag: PhD writing

Day “0” has finally come 

Today morning I sent the final version of my PhD proposal to my supervisor and hopefully I will present it this month on a Faculty Committee meeting. Because of unexpected changes I couldn’t submit the previous version, and I needed to rearrange my topic and a level of analysis again. I wasn’t so active on the blog in December because I was finishing the joint paper, I was working on my paper, I was improving my PhD proposal, I started working on another joint research, and I was thinking about the sense of my PhD in general. 

Today is a BIG DAY,

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When enough is enough? – about a literature review

It is a question which I still don’t know how to answer….
I have this tendency, and I am not sure if it is because curiosity or perfectionism, that I want to include in my writing (no matter if it is a thesis or a paper) almost all literature which exists in a particular topic. I am totally crazy with “original sources” (my students from Bremen know something about that ;)), that is why I always try to go to this very old books, and papers, and read them by myself than “cite someone who cite someone”, and rely on what other people wrote about this or that work. In the end I spend hours going from one book to another, from a reference list in one article to dozens of new pdf. downloaded, and it is like a ”never-ending story”….

And I always ask myself the question – when enough is enough?

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Good plan is a half of success

as we say in Polish.

Also Sabine Lerch underlined importance of a good plan and preparation phase. She showed as how to divide our projects on the smallest possible tasks and then plan how much time and other assets we need to invest.

My old PhD writing plan:


To organise and plan my work, and to control time spent on different types of tasks (to help myself plan similar tasks in future) I use teamworkprojects application (probably there is a lot of similar applications, this one recommended me my Husband). I can make a list of main tasks of my PhD project, and smaller tasks and the smallest one (I use free 2-project version, where the first project is my PhD, and the second one – so called “side projects”. I plan deadlines and time which I estimate to spend on the task. And  I can control my work progress every week checking reports 🙂

To be able to write this post, I needed to motivate myself to plan new version of my PhD project – Sabine would be proud of me 🙂 I divided my work on PhD into parts (chapters), and then a work on each chapter I divided into subtasks, and I set deadlines, and estimated time spend. If I work according this plan I should finish in the mid-July 2017…

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Sabine changed my life

During my 9-months research scholarship in Bremen (financed by DAAD) I attended a few workshops organised by ProUB centrum. One of it “Self and time management” leaded by Sabine Lerch changed my life totally.

I learned:

  • how to treat my PhD thesis as a project
  • how to organise my work
  • how to avoid distractions
  • how to recognise my natural work rhythm
  • how to keep life-work balance

We were discussing also our values, and what motivate us. We wrote on cards private (red cards) and professional (blue cards) values:


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How is your writing going?

-the most often heard question, when you are PhD student. Nobody likes it, and everybody asks it, even me 😉

Last Tuesday I passed my very last exam in my 3 years PhD program. I had 38 courses in total, half of them finished with exams, half with essays or presentations. There was not too much time for writing, especially that I spent half of this 3 years on scholarships abroad. Now I still have one year of studies, free of courses, and finally I can focus on my PhD thesis writing.

In Poland, in my field, at my University we still write a monography (not cumulative disseration), at least 150 pages with proper theoretical introduction, methodological explanation, and empirical part. My plan is to finish the thesis in August 2017. 11 months it is not too much, not too little. For now I have just my PhD research proposal written (still not read by my supervisor), collected literature (but not read yet), and I am waiting to access to micordata. So most of a work is still to do.

I’ve thought that writing about my writing process will help me to motivate myself and to monitor my progress, to share my doubts and successes. And in the same place I can answer “How is your writing going?” question 😉

I feel like I am preparing myself for a 11-months battle. I need good plan, I need to be well-organised, I need to be focused. I also have prepared armament:

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