Saturday, 30 April 2011

Revising and writing papers

Phew! I just uploaded a conference paper "Cycles of Engagement", due in today!

Revising my work for the viva started with
  1. reviewing generic viva questions,
  2. then the more specific ones that came up in the mock viva.
  3. A third approach is to write a paper for a conference, and that's been the focus of my work over the last couple of weeks.
Of course, this conference paper for the Management Consulting Division biennial conference has got my supervisors' names on it, and deservedly so. After speaking with someone from the MCD at the Academy of Management conference last August, I was encouraged to present at the PhD consortium, but once I approached the MCD they suggested I presented a paper at the full conference. I wrote a proposal, and they accepted it, to my surprise and delight. But I shouldn't be so surprised, because now at the end of my PhD, I know what I have to say, so perhaps I wrote a sensible and interesting proposal.

After the mock viva, my supervisors offered to help me to write this paper, and I'm glad they did, because, in the last few weeks, I've learned a lot from the way they write. One supervisor addressed the challenge of how to put all the richness and detail that makes a PhD study what it is - into just 8000 words, restructuring the original paper I wrote; the other has greatly improved the flow of the argument. Whenever am I going to learn to write like this!

Why write a paper before your viva? Because it:
  • helps you to identify the key points of your thesis,
  • makes you reread parts of your thesis,
  • helps you spot typos and mistakes before the examiner points them out to you
If the conference were before my viva, I'd also have practised speaking the points I'm learning by heart for the viva. But the viva is in May (probably) and the conference is in June. Look here for the paper if you want to read it because it's a good summary of my work.

I'll welcome constructive feedback, so do contact me through this web form.


Sophia said...

Good work, eliz. Sophia

mqtran said...

hey Liz,

I would love to read the paper. It is password protected on the conference website though, so I can't access it. Is it stored anywhere else?

Also, congrats on getting a full paper accepted at an international conference!

eLizH said...


I hadn't thought of it as "getting a full paper accepted at an international conference" Thanks for drawing my attention to it. I shall glow with pride.

Although I wrote the orginal application and the initial proposal, my supervisors did almost all the writing for the submitted paper.

I've sent you a copy via email.