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Defining a Research Focus

Page history last edited by Steve Moss 12 years, 4 months ago Saved with comment

'Defining a research focus: writing a thesis out of a jigsaw puzzle of notes, data and reading'


#phdchat tweet log - 4th January 2012


@NSRiazat - @profkrg #phdchat topic 'defining a research focus: writing a thesis out of a jigsaw puzzle of notes, data and reading'. 7.30-8.30pm GMT

@DoctorJLB - @NSRiazat @profkrg #Apologies for #phdchat. Meetings back to back. Will read later. Enjoy all!

@lizith - here and ready to learn #phdchat

@dratarrant - Defining a topic for #phd probably took 3 years if 3.5 #phdchat

@one_tim_martin - @dratarrant how soon realistically does project need to be defined? #phdchat .?

@rob_dphillips - Far to often we doubt, then a virtual person helps you, restoring faith... Thanks @matt_dexter #phdchat

@dratarrant - @one_tim_martin #phdchat I would say before you design your methods/methodology. you need data that has some relevancy to your topic

@srossmktg - @dratarrant Mine was developed over 2 years, crashed, then had to be reset (metaphorically speaking). #phdchat

@one_tim_martin - Sometimes with so many ideas it's hard to define project! Is there any online software that captures ideas and facilitates #phdchat

@profkrg - @NSRiazat that puzzle gave me some major stress this morning! How to organize it all... #phdchat

@RuthFT - The humanities/arts/soc sci suffer the extremes of this - sci/tech tends to be naturally more delinieated from the off #phdchat

@dratarrant - @srossmktg eep! Do u feel back on track? #phdchat

@debbiefuco - Back to work full-time, will try to peek in when I can and catch up later. #phdchat

@one_tim_martin - @dratarrant I think for a phd you need to realise quickly there is no right answer in the beginning...? #phdchat

@profkrg - I didn't have a difficult time with my topic, although it had to be refocused. #phdchat

@dratarrant - @RuthFT #phdchat there is a social sci/science difference based on shared office of #geographers I liked the flexibility of social sco

@profkrg - My issue now is organizing all of the lit and remembering what I've read. It's overwhelming! #phdchat

@dratarrant - @one_tim_martin yes absolutely, only a very convincing, well justified argument, the nature of academic thinking #phdchat

@srossmktg - @dratarrant Totally, if not ahead of the game. I'm on building integrative theory and experimentally testing, rather than construx. #phdchat

@profkrg - Truth. RT @one_tim_martin @dratarrant I think for a phd you need to realise quickly there is no right answer in the beginning...? #phdchat

@dratarrant - @profkrg I reorganised my literature to mirror my analysis chapters #phdchat ensured relevancy and argument progression

@profkrg - @srossmktg hi, friend! #phdchat

@srossmktg - @one_tim_martin Reading my SOP is laughable now. #phdchat

@srossmktg - @profkrg Hi! #phdchat

@ianrobsons - Will watch in but am making notes on book #phdchat

@DoctorJLB - #phdchat I think it is driven by methodology choices. Must lock in topic early in most quantitative research. Qual is derived over time.

@profkrg - @dratarrant how physically did you organize the documents? Digital? Paper? #phdchat

@dratarrant - @srossmktg awesome news!! It's great you have bounced back! Its scary, especially with funded research that it might not run smooth #phdchat

@profkrg - @srossmktg Happy holidays? Productive? #phdchat

@profkrg - My current method is print, read, highlight, take notes, type notes into single document organized based on outline. It's bulky. #phdchat

@dratarrant - @profkrg for me digitally, writing and rewriting, saving and re-saving, I found endnote useful too for storing relevant articles #phdchat

@srossmktg - @profkrg Not as much as I'd like it to be, but yes, moving forward... #phdchat

@lizith - @profkrg I've re-ordered my lit several times - chopping stuff out and making new linkages - it's a very iterative process imo #phdchat

@RuthFT - I find embedding literature in various themed chapters much better and easier to keep relevant than a formal 'lit review chapter'. #phdchat

@srossmktg - @dratarrant Funding? What's that? We don't get grants or anything... But yes, the thinking is bigger and bolder now. #phdchat

@profkrg - @dratarrant my problem is that I prefer reading on paper. This adds steps, I'm afraid. #phdchat

@profkrg - @srossmktg I think it's never as much as we'd like. #phdchat

@profkrg - @lizith what about how you organize what you reference? Do you print other studies, take notes, etc. #phdchat

@profkrg - @RuthFT do you have a new document for each chapter or a single document? #phdchat

@one_tim_martin - @srossmktg funding in business/marketing hard to secure @dratarrant #phdchat

@dratarrant - @srossmktg I had a 3 year stipend that I applied for in uk, when that ran out I got a part time job. Here it has to b done 4 yrs #phdchat

@lizith - @profkrg whole mix - use EndNote as citation mgr but vary notes from Livescribe, to typed notes to writing straight into draft #phdchat

@erinrbreedlove - Anybody know any awesome #GRE apps for iPhone? #geekfun #gradschool #PhDchat

@lizith - @profkrg I read some stuff on iPad and print other stuff - very dependent on mood & how much been starting at screen #phdchat

@profkrg - @lizith it just feels so disorganized to me. #phdchat

@RuthFT - @profkrg I use Scriviner - it is a really good way of handling multiple chapters, sections, books, appendices and swapping about #phdchat

@srossmktg - @dratarrant Ah. Yeah, we're funded 4 years, based on 2 years of GA work and 2 years of teaching... #phdchat

@lizith - @profkrg think it got more organised once I started pulling some sort of drafts together, but still messy #phdchat

@dratarrant - @profkrg I've become more inclined to paper recently, it adds steps bit somehow feels more proactive #phdchat

@NSRiazat - @profkrg - took me a while to put pieces of research together. Easy to do individual sections but harder to merge it all. #phdchat

@LBA_OX12 - How do you sustain the 'golden thread' or 'story line'? #phdchat

@profkrg - @lizith how do you make sure to get relevant info in your study with notes in various places. #phdchat

@Janshs - I'm on for a bit of #PhDChat what's the topic?

@MichaelCCoulter - @lizith @profkrg I tend to write notes on to copies of journals and make a point of writing chapter sections as I go #phdchat

@dratarrant - @LBA_OX12 #phdchat it helped me to revisit my thesis outline regularly ie chapters/content, envisaged linkages between

@lizith - @profkrg one of reason I use Livescribe is because the notes are searchable - but so much literature, cannot include all relevant #phdchat

@profkrg - @dratarrant it also seems to help me focus. #phdchat

@dratarrant - #phdchat i found splitting qual data into 3 discreet yet connected chapters tricky!

@profkrg - @dratarrant it also seems to help me focus. #phdchat

@dratarrant - #phdchat i found splitting qual data into 3 discreet yet connected chapters tricky!

@srossmktg - In chatting with a friend just now, I managed to write out a chunk of work I needed to get done today. Woo! #phdchat

@ai1sa - woops will have to catch up on tweets later, hello all #phdchat

@lizith - @ai1sa hiya - good too see you #phdchat

@dratarrant - @dratarrant now finding splitting them into journal articles trickier #phdchat #PhDPostDoc

@JoannWayman - I can't speak for Ruth, but I had a new document for each chapter. Also #'d versions of each chapter Helped to org @profkrg @RuthFT #PhDChat

@dratarrant - me 2 @JoannWayman: I had a new document for each chapter. Also #'d versions of each chapter Helped to org @profkrg @RuthFT #PhDChat

@ai1sa - @lizith :) got distracted trying to mkke a venn diagram, sometimes pen and paper r easier #phdchat

@lizith - @ai1sa I use pen and paper a lot :) #phdchat

@srossmktg - @lizith @ai1sa I totally structured this first essay using pen and a legal pad. #phdchat

@RuthFT - @dratarrant @JoannWayman @profkrg In Scriviner you basically do that! Incl drag/drop them around etc Split-screen 2x doc views help #phdchat

@ai1sa - its just a d#mn diagram 2hrs later...4 circle shapes, several arrow heads grrrr #phdchat

@one_tim_martin - @lizith pen, paper and don't forget the moleskine notebook - great combination! #phdchat

@srossmktg - @one_tim_martin It's kind of funny that biz is research cash cow, yet getting funding is problematic. #phdchat

@profkrg - It seems that the most rudimentary tools (pen and paper) still are best. #phdchat

@ai1sa - i find it very hard to stay on track, i find the trajectory retrospectively, then delete what distracted from it, #phdchat

@MichaelCCoulter - @dratarrant @joannwayman @profkrg @ruthft I'm just working with 1 doc - but still got a long way to go #phdchat

@RuthFT - This is what a Scriviner file looks like - see chapter folders containing section docs left, 2xdoc right #phdchat http://t.co/1UJy9PMI

@ai1sa - does a word search on scrivener search all files or one at a time like word? #phdchat

@MichaelCCoulter - @profkrg I agree; writing, underlining etc help me to focus #phdchat

@profkrg - I'm thinking of getting a huge bulletin board to hang in my office and using it for my conceptual model. #phdchat

@profkrg - @RuthFT so you have to be at your computer to use it? #phdchat

@ai1sa - @profkrg the other thing that works is a ranch slider window and a whiteboard pen :) #phdchat

@srossmktg - @profkrg Whiteboards. Everywhere. Whiteboards on all accessible spaces. http://t.co/ahFr5GVe #phdchat

@NSRiazat - @Janshs #phdchat topic 'defining a research focus: writing a thesis out of a jigsaw puzzle of notes, data and reading'.

@RuthFT - @ai1sa All, or one, or titles, or unseen notes, or keywords (tags) or labels (i.e. first draft) you've given each section... #phdchat

@profkrg - @lizith don't you need a special pen and paper for LiveScribe? #phdchat

@srossmktg - @profkrg Alternately, thanks to my nagging and my wife's obliging, bathtub crayons... http://t.co/EqpAqUHv #phdchat

@ai1sa - @RuthFT i am really going to have to play with scrivener, but since im close to end it wont be for the phd #phdchat

@RuthFT - @profkrg Yes :) I don't think there is an app for it yet! #phdchat

@dratarrant - @RuthFT I think I may need to give scrivener a go!! #phdchat

@lizith - @profkrg yep - that is the drawback, but it is the best tech investment I've made #phdchat

@profkrg - @srossmktg this could be good! I just didn't want to hang something ugly because it's my home office. #phdchat

@profkrg - @ai1sa using your resources! #phdchat

@dratarrant - #phdchat to crack the puzzle u need patience, ability to deal with 1 step forward, 2 back and acceptance that it will never b finished!

@RuthFT - @dratarrant I can really recommend Scriv. I still use Word, but ported almost everything over. Was very easy. #phdchat

@SueFolley - Happy New Year to all at #phdchat - sorry really late for today's chat but trying to catch up. Hope you all had a good Christmas :)

@ai1sa - @srossmktg mmm wondering if whiteboard pens work on the bathroom wall *goes off to check* #phdchat

@srossmktg - @profkrg When I get TT, I'm turning all reachable office wallspace into dry-erase. #phdchat

@profkrg - @srossmktg I have give those to student editors to mock up page design in the shower, where they say they get creative ideas. #phdchat

@profkrg - @lizith I've certainly looked at it and wondered. #phdchat

@RuthFT - Also, I love one citation function, which allows inline (Haxell, 2008) citation but converts 2 footnotes on compiling to Word file! #phdchat

@srossmktg - @ai1sa Ewwwww, not sure if you'll get them off. These bathtub crayons are great. Wipe off easy, but not rinse. #phdchat

@ai1sa - Heh whiteboard pen and large bathroom mirror are excellent!!! #phdchat

@strictlykaren - "@LBA_OX12: How do you sustain the 'golden thread' or 'story line'? #phdchat"good q still working on it

@lizith - @profkrg there were some good deals before christmas - you only need the cheapest one unless using it as recorder #phdchat

@profkrg - @srossmktg most of my office is covered in bookshelves. #addiction #phdchat

@srossmktg - @profkrg Thats where mine come from. I had good proposition wording in there the other day and lost it when I got out. Last straw. #phdchat

@profkrg - @lizith it comes with the computer program, yes? #phdchat

@srossmktg - @profkrg I've brought 2 whiteboards to my cube... #phdchat

@profkrg - @srossmktg yep. Shower and driving = creative thinking. #phdchat

@profkrg - @SueFolley hey, Sue. Happy New Year to you! #phdchat

@profkrg - Well? RT @ai1sa @srossmktg mmm wondering if whiteboard pens work on the bathroom wall *goes off to check* #phdchat

@lizith - @profkrg yep - you can buy OCR s/w to0 , but I rarely use it and not necessary IMO - consumables cost a bit, but pens&paper cost #phdchat

@SueFolley - @profkrg Hello!! Yes and to you :) #phdchat

@ai1sa - wish all my ducks would line up in a row and write the conclusion themselves #phdchat

@profkrg - Yes, but I think it'll be bad if you leave it too long. RT @ai1sa Heh whiteboard pen and large bathroom mirror are excellent!!! #phdchat

@srossmktg - MT @ai1sa: wish all my ducks would line up in a row and write the dissertation themselves #phdchat

@lizith - @profkrg I've had mine 2 years now and still very happy with it - only improvement would be if it came as fountain pen :) #phdchat

@ai1sa - @profkrg i found the mirror was excellent with whiteboard pens; must post pics later, when im not in my nightie! #phdchat

@profkrg - @ai1sa you're writing the conclusion, I'm writing the intro. Be proud of your progress! #phdchat

@ai1sa - @profkrg had used stickynotes on walls b4 but they flutter off #phdchat

@profkrg - Check out this rec, #phdchat RT @kmatthews Been recommended to me to get shower board at Home Depot, makes a great (GIANT) white board.

@lindathestar - #phdchat I find walking or swimming great for allowing my head to synthesise ideas and form sentences to explain them

@lizith - @RuthFT only need OCR to convert to type - you can upload handwriting & search it - I find that is sufficient & write from notes #phdchat

@lindathestar - #phdchat Good morning chatters! I'm pleased to be awake early enough to join in today.

@lizith - @lindathestar hiya linda - what time is it where you are? #phdchat

@srossmktg - @profkrg I'll stick with my crayons. Cheaper and no bulk in the shower. #phdchat

@lindathestar - @lizith #phdchat it's 7.30, not screamingly early for some but it is for me

@profkrg - True! Or this, #phdchat RT @spiegelmama You could just paint a wall with whiteboard paint.

@lizith - @lindathestar early enough :) #phdchat

@Janshs - @NSRiazat sorry I wondered off again and missed it - will catch up #PhDchat

@NSRiazat - Hope everyone enjoyed #phdchat tonight - 8.30pm brings us to the end of another session. Thanks for everyone's contributions tonight. :)

@profkrg - @srossmktg but you have to wash it off. Pic first? #phdchat

@profkrg - @NSRiazat thanks for another helpful #phdchat!

@santinoregilme - @ProfessorIsIn my take: when in doubt, don't do it - at least in this case. #highered #phdchat #jobs #empowerment

@lindathestar - #phdchat I formed a lot of my masters thesis analysis while swimming laps. I walk rather than swim now, more distractions, not as effective

@srossmktg - @profkrg What do you mean you have to wash it off. You don't have to. Not sure how to describe but it is/n't water resistant. #phdchat

@NSRiazat - @lindathestar @lizith - that is also early for me. Middle of the night time that is! :) #phdchat

@dratarrant - @NSRiazat thanks #phdchat

@lizith - right - I'm off now to see if there is anything worth watching on TV - see you guys around the place #phdchat

@MichaelCCoulter - First time on a #phdchat session. v.interesting. Now off to buy some pens for the bath tub Thanks

@qui_oui - Familiar... RT @hypatia58: Beginning to see a tunnel at the end of the light - that can't be good can it? #PhDchat

@one_tim_martin - @NSRiazat thanks for facilitating and bring #phdchat together

@cheeflo - 5 Things You Didn't Know About #Fulbright #Grants. #funding #phdchat http://t.co/WtkvqqoQ

@lindathestar - @HelenHickson #phdchat Swimming is rhythmic, meditative, other distractions not present. Challenge is to remember & record ideas afterwards.

@Jo_Ragen - I need all the help i can get! Thanks @ScrivenerApp for this handy writing tool. #phdchat

@LisaDKellenb - Toe buffer, decalcifier, boxes of blood smears...common in biomedical science labs. Never trust a #scientist. #HowToGetRidOfABody #phdchat

@aprecious - I have worked every day since boxing day, I'm behind schedule and I'll be lucky to hit target BUT I do feel on the right track #phdchat

@Bjoern_Buss - Ich bin begeistert von @methodenlehre & ihrer URL http://t.co/mQKSYRuJ. #Sozialwissenschaft #Methoden #Statistik #Studium #phdchat

@DavidHolzmer - Dean Larry Preston opening keynote dinner featuring Dr. George Shulman. #phdchat

@qui_oui - Wallowing in dissertation work. Typing up notes, sorting "data"/documents, filling in gaps, etc. #PhDchat


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