Friday, 18 October 2013

Gah!! It's back to the grindstone!

Well, the jury's in.  Revise and resubmit.  Gah!!!!!!

One examiner thought it was "a solid piece of work,"  that the "quality of the thesis is of generally of a high standard" with "relatively few errors" and the conclusions contributed to "the body of knowledge for both researcher and practitioner."

Another thought it was "of interest and substance" and that I met my goals in all but the acoustic analysis and discussion in the arena of acoustic science; that I hadn't proved that I knew what I was talking about.  That just made them more irritated by formatting errors (don't rely on word large documents to pick up things like ?? for you - apparently it's a proper word and don't whatever you do expect the printed form to bear any resemblance to the on screen form) and other things that might have been minor amendments.

The third examiner commended me for my approach but had the same serious concerns about the acoustic analysis, commented briefly about errors and then proceeded to give me very helpful suggestions regarding plugging the gaps including a reading list that mostly post-dated the work I had done.  The perils of taking too long to write the rotten thing.

The whole thing is quite frustrating because much of the information was there, in an appendix that was referred to in the text, and it would seem that no-one got that far.  I had been told that there was too much information, that it just sort of sat there not doing anything.  I insisted that it needed to be there, but in the end I moved it out.  What I should have done was to find a better way to incorporate it with the dissertation.

It is also frustrating because no-one on my panel picked up the problem, no-one, not even in my final pre-submission presentation, which heavily relied on acoustic analysis.  I was worried about my conclusions, about the biographical chapter, about the formatting, about the tale I was telling but apparently I left some ducks out of the line-up.

Back to the drawing board.  Most of the work has in fact been done (to quote the wise BJ), time to make it all work properly.


  1. Hi Mathilde,

    Chin up. Sadly this is normal for a large number of PhDs, and to a large extent it's just a function of a subjective examining system. I nearly went berserk and came very close to not resubmitting because I couldn't face putting back all the commas that my supervisor had taken out (against my better judgement) and the examiner wanted back in. Your advisors and your examiners obviously came from different camps. I'd recommend a week of fuming before you get back to it, and then just plod through what they've asked you to do. Good luck - and lots of love. SR

    1. Thank-you my dear. That is very reassuring. I'm becoming more level headed about it as we speak (after my husband plied me with alcohol last night.

  2. I'm glad the voice of real experience got to you right away. Not to mention the booze. Sounds consistent with the vibes I got from that other office, back in the day.

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