Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

Finishing the PhD

9. Finding my own voice (Finishing the PhD)

(Part 9 of 10)

Fairly simple point, but harder, perhaps, to get right.

When someone reads your thesis can they clearly distinguishing you and your arguments in there. It’s all about communicating your own contribution clearly. In the midst of citations, quotations, footnotes and comparing/contrasting ideas it’s important to be heard clearly. Are my views, opinions and arguments clearly differentiated from the wider discussion. Sometime it may feel like you’re shouting at the examiner/reader, or that it’s obvious that this section is your own contribution, but better to be safe than sorry.

In a couple of places one of my examiners thought I’d said something that I definitely hadn’t. I could point that out in the oral exam, but it would have been nicer to have been clearer on those points at first reading.

Also, good to have a consistent style or voice throughout the whole thesis. Because it’s written over a ‘long’ period it’s easy for subtle differences in writing styles to creep in.

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