Ghost writer (Ethereal's professional doctorate blog)

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    I am late to this, I know, but I am on the final straight now and this might keep me at it.

    I am researching for a professional doctorate, so the structure is different to a traditional PhD. It lasts 3 years still (although they have taken pity on future cohorts and are giving them 4 years - boooooo!) and is done around a full-time job. It is roughly 80-90 thousand words, split up into 5 documents. The documents are submitted as we go along and are marked at doctorate standard from the start - so no learning curve ... it's instant sink or swim! Our final document is the one on which we are vivad.

    I have designed my documents so they fit together as chapters of a continuous piece of research. I have just finished my chapter 4, and will be starting the final chapter next week (having this week off!).

    I decided, because I'm an idiot, to draft legislation as part of mine - so the 30,000 word final chapter is really going to be significantly more writing because of the annexed legislation.

    First thing first, though, I am starting work on a philosophical framework mixing legal theory and the rule of law. So nothing too difficult (!)

    I imagine the next 6/7 months are going to be quite the rollercoaster - and you will be able to read all the highs and lows here!
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    You can do this
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    Start as you mean to go on - I've just had a week off all forms of law and spent it having a rest. Travelling back now, and so using the journey to plan my next little chunk of work. I will be getting into the detail of my theoretical framework, so it's going to be lots of reading and lots of cold towels on the head!

    The thing I am most struggling with at the moment is how best to divide up the words (this final piece is 30k) as I feel like I still have a lot of ground to cover and not an awful lot of words to do it in!
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    (Original post by Ethereal)
    Start as you mean to go on - I've just had a week off all forms of law and spent it having a rest. Travelling back now, and so using the journey to plan my next little chunk of work. I will be getting into the detail of my theoretical framework, so it's going to be lots of reading and lots of cold towels on the head!

    The thing I am most struggling with at the moment is how best to divide up the words (this final piece is 30k) as I feel like I still have a lot of ground to cover and not an awful lot of words to do it in!
    Does your uni library have copies of previous student's work? If so, could you look at some to see if you can get an idea of how many words (roughly) people have assigned to each section?
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    (Original post by Pixsoul)
    Does your uni library have copies of previous student's work? If so, could you look at some to see if you can get an idea of how many words (roughly) people have assigned to each section?
    They do, but annoyingly nothing using my methodology or structure. I think I may just need to suck it and see...
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    You'll get there with it. Is time on your side?
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    (Original post by Pixsoul)


    You'll get there with it. Is time on your side?
    No, but that's the fun of it :p:
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    Haha are you a self-inflicted 'leave it to the last minute' person too?



    Edit: that's probably just me! I guess the madness of work doesn't help - you always seem insanely busy.
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    Mine is about a ratio of 4:3:3:3 (lit review, methodology, results, discussion respectively). Maybe that? Or something to ask your supervisor!
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    Subscribing as a fellow professional doctorate researcher - although ours is a different structure (maximum 5 years, 'portfolio' written in the first two years, then an upgrade viva before embarking on the substantive research)
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    Subscribing. :cookie:
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    I have decided the best thing to do is to just start writing and see what comes. It will probably be a combination of gems and turds, and as turds can't be polished I'll delete them and stick with the gems.

    I realised my philosophical framework is going to require some quite intricate weaving in order to read well and to work, and that I don't have anywhere near enough of the literature read that I need to set it out and defend it so there are a long few weeks coming up!
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    Do you get to use an Appendix ? If so you can cut down you word count by presenting some of your supporting arguments (those that are usefull but not highly ranked in terms of importance) as articles or documents within the appendix !

    Another trick is to shift some of the words into figures - so tables or diagrams. That also helps cut down the official word count.

    Then after you have written a bit - re-read your paragraphs and see if you can combines them - cutting out some uneccesary words in the process.
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    (Original post by DoctorDC)
    Do you get to use an Appendix ? If so you can cut down you word count by presenting some of your supporting arguments (those that are usefull but not highly ranked in terms of importance) as articles or documents within the appendix !

    Another trick is to shift some of the words into figures - so tables or diagrams. That also helps cut down the official word count.

    Then after you have written a bit - re-read your paragraphs and see if you can combines them - cutting out some uneccesary words in the process.
    Some unis (like mine) count the tables and figures in the word count so that idea may not work unfortunately
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    (Original post by DoctorDC)
    Do you get to use an Appendix ? If so you can cut down you word count by presenting some of your supporting arguments (those that are usefull but not highly ranked in terms of importance) as articles or documents within the appendix !

    Another trick is to shift some of the words into figures - so tables or diagrams. That also helps cut down the official word count.

    Then after you have written a bit - re-read your paragraphs and see if you can combines them - cutting out some uneccesary words in the process.
    Hello,

    We can use appendices, but we can't use them to make arguments which are necessary/central to the thesis. I think they are intended to be more a case of results, examples of questionnaires etc.

    I think my biggest risk of turd writing is because I get bored of making the philosophical arguments, but I really need them to be squared away properly because they form the entire basis of my thesis. In order to write my framework I am combining legal philosophy with a particular concept of the rule of law, so I have to establish and defend both choices and then weave the two together in a coherent way...
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    Just got notification that I passed the document I submitted in may. I only have my last document to do and then the viva and I'm done
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    (Original post by Ethereal)
    Just got notification that I passed the document I submitted in may. I only have my last document to do and then the viva and I'm done
    Super speedy :headfire:

    Go you!

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