thesis know how – don’t write an essay

Hmm, interesting.


Examiners do not want to read a thesis that contains a lot of mini-essays. To understand the problem with the thesis-as-essay, imagine the examiner reading a methods chapter. It starts off badly. While not in these words, the writer basically says … first of all I’m going to tell you all about the differences between quantitative and qualitative research, then I’m going to tell you all of the possible methods I could have used for my research, then I’m going to tell you a lot of things about the interview…. at this point the examiner rolls their eyes and goes off to make a cup of tea.

The vast majority of examiners don’t want a summary of what you learnt in your methods courses. You passed the assignments right? So you don’t need to do them again. The examiner doesn’t want you to trawl the literatures. What they want to know…

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Book Review: Ethics and Values in Social Research, Paul Ransome

Thanks Thesis Whisperer!

The Thesis Whisperer

Here at the Whisperer we try to make your life easier by reading books and doing reviews. We try to review books which would appeal to most researchers, but some of the books we get sent have more specific audiences in mind. “Ethics and Values in Social research” by Paul Ransome is clearly designed for those in the humanities and social sciences doing field based research. I decided it had just wide enough appeal for us to review, but if you are in the sciences you might want to stop reading now (I wont be offended).

I was lucky enough to find two students engaged exactly this kind of research to review the book for us. Sandra Lauer is a volunteer member of the NSW Rural Fire Service, and is studying rural fire brigades and the concept of “shared responsibility” for her PhD at ANU. Jennifer Upchurch is a member…

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Information and Invitation: Persona Studies Working Papers Symposium

For those interested in Persona Studies of which is relevant to my PhD

Communication Mediated

The persona cluster of the Persona Celebrity Publics Research Group warmly invites you to join us for an afternoon of scholarship and discussion with local and international colleagues.

When:  Thursday February 5th, 1-5pm, afternoon tea provided, followed by drinks at Mrs Robinsons

Where: Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood.

Building BC, Burwood Corporate Centre, Level 2 (the new highway frontage building)

Room East 1 – Please see reception on arrival.

To register your attendance, please email

Persona studies is an emerging area of cross-disciplinary study that investigates the presentation of the self and the masks that we use as we construct ourselves in real and virtual settings and worlds. It is an exploration of the public self and how these versions of identity come to prominence in contemporary culture. It acknowledges that we all negotiate and construct personas that we deploy and employ in work and professional…

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