Surviving Your Thesis

Surviving Your Thesis

Surviving Your Thesis

Surviving Your Thesis


For those undertaking a higher degree research qualification, 'How To Survive Your Thesis' describes clearly the challenges and complexities of successfully engaging in both the research process and thesis writing.


Peter Steane and Suzan Burton

This is a book about capacity. in particular, it's about increasing your capacity to complete a thesis. It's about the practical skills of starting, doing and completing a research thesis. We don't believe that successful postgraduate students have unique or particular skills; completing a thesis relies on the ability to seek out and listen to good advice, to structure and develop a coherent and well planned project, good writing skills and the drive to achieve a difficult goal. These skills can be learned and improved by anyone. They can be used to sustain you in your project and can collectively provide the resilience sometimes necessary to adapt to, and overcome, setbacks in the task of completing a thesis.

This book arose from two sources. First, it grew out of our experience in teaching on structured doctoral and masters' programmes offered by Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Australia and Asia. From running these courses, we knew there was a range of skills that research students often needed, and we also knew that the existing books of advice for research students didn't offer the sort of practical, step-by-step advice that many students wanted. Second, the book arose from discussions between the editors, and the realization that we wanted to capture the resilience that we learnt to enable us to survive when we were doctoral students, and now (years later) to try to pass on that resilience to our doctoral students in our teaching and supervision. As a result, we chose to collect the advice from a range of experts in different areas of doing research, to compile what we believe is a comprehensive overview of the skills and tasks that are important in any dissertation project.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back after setbacks and to remain focused on a goal, yet to be adaptable enough to modify how the goal is to be achieved. There is increasing evidence that people who are resilient are more successful in life, because they are better able to cope with setbacks. Resilience is an apt quality for a person to develop if they seek to complete a postgraduate research

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