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PhD Life

a blog about the PhD student experience, University of Warwick

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Research process

Letting Go

The common jokes about academia tend to think of graduate experience as a choice away from life, or something that locks us in libraries and labs, but besides that it is a very rich, complex and intense life. In this... Continue Reading →

Confessions of a Perfectionist

In the academic world, we can feel a lot of pressure trying to do our consistent best as PhD students, so much so that we might find ourselves getting stuck in perfectionism. Jenny Mak offers two tips for the recovering... Continue Reading →

Being Efficient

Efficiency is something that can come and go during your PhD. It's normal to have a few weeks buzzing with productivity, and then weeks where you barely seem to cross more than one task off of your to-do list. ChengCheng... Continue Reading →

Winging it at question time (a primer)

Adrian Martin has given you advice on preparing for a conference presentation. Now, he points out that you must not ‘collapse’ the moment you’ve read the final, prepared word of your paper: save some strength (and brain waves) for the... Continue Reading →

Becoming kind to others’ writing

To be kind to your writing, you can practice by also learning to be kind to others’ writing. In this post Aya Nassar reflects on how a different approach to reading texts could help with your academic writing...   In... Continue Reading →

Work in progress

This post is about one of the key strategies I’ve put into practice this year: finding the best work space based on the task at hand. By limiting the work that I do to a specific place, I have purpose... Continue Reading →

Becoming kind to your writing

Academic writing is a key challenge in academia. Yet there is no reason why it shouldn’t bring you joy. Here Aya Nassar reflects on how creative analytical writing helped her approach her writing with kindness... I have always regarded writing... Continue Reading →

3 things you need to know about the field

Preparing for fieldwork? Read about Tomi's experience in Nigeria and three key points she learnt from her fieldwork trip. I have been on the field, Nigeria, for the past couple of months. As is Warwick tradition (and in other universities... Continue Reading →

Keeping an Annotated Bibliography

As your PhD or research project evolves, so too must your literature review. As Charlotte Mathieson suggests in Writing a literature review, you can make things easier for yourself by keeping an annotated bibliography. Here is Charlotte’s guide to starting... Continue Reading →

Writing a literature review

In Planning a literature review Charlotte Mathieson explained the purpose and scope of a literature review. Now, all you need to do is write one! As this is easier said than done, here Charlotte guides you through writing your review... Continue Reading →

Planning a literature review

As you embark on your PhD, or indeed any research undertaking, you will need to produce a literature review. Not sure exactly what a literature review is, or why it is necessary? Here Charlotte Mathieson outlines the purpose and scope... Continue Reading →

Starting a research group

Starting a research group can have numerous benefits, but can also be a daunting prospect. Here Lauren Thompson gives you some tips on setting up your own research group as a postgraduate researcher. Benefits of starting a research group As... Continue Reading →

Participating in a research group

Ever thought about participating in a research group? What would the benefits be? How can you find a suitable group? Being an active member of a research group can help you become part of a broader research culture. Here Lauren... Continue Reading →

Finding books for your research

The good, old fashioned book is often a good place to start your research, but how will you know which books will you need? How will you find them? Here Helen Yendell provides a guide to optimising your book searches,... Continue Reading →

Creating a search strategy

If you feel as if you spend your entire life trawling through databases, then this article is for you. Following on from her guide to searching for journal articles, here Helen Yendall provides essential advice on getting the most out... Continue Reading →

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