“I’m writing a book no one will read” and other reasons the PhD can get you down

The Thesis Whisperer

This post is by Inez Von Weitershausen, a PhD student at the London School of Economics who blogs on people, thoughts, experiences, feelings on the Epiphany blog.

Inez first came to my attention when she wrote an interesting article in the Guardian about PhD survival strategies, so I was happy when she sent me this article on why we say the PhD gets us down – I think you’ll find it thought provoking.

The other day I received an email from a stranger. A final year PhD student wrote to my to thank me for the piece on PhD “survival strategies” that I wrote recently for the Guardian and to which many others contributed.

I have to admit that this kind of feedback, as well as the comments the piece received online, the tweets and facebook shares, made me feel good. After all, they suggest that what I do…

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Why you should use Twitter during your PhD


The Thesis Whisperer

This post is by Sheree Bekker, who is originally from South Africa and now based in Australia as an international PhD scholar at the Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (ACRISP), Federation University Australia. Her research centres around sports safety. Follow her on twitter @shereebekker

twitter-follow-achieverTwitter, according to Wikipedia (yes – how terribly un-scientific of me), is an online social networking and micro-blogging service that enables users to send and read “tweets”, which are text messages limited to 140 characters. Twitter is vital to the success of your PhD. Yes, you heard me read me correctly, a seemingly superficial social media site is a fundamental element that will contribute to the success of your PhD – if you embrace it!

Let me tell you my story.

I was a Masters student in South Africa, where I had completed my undergraduate studies and an Honours…

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Writing frenzy

The end of the school year heralded the commencement of my writing frenzy. After reading almost 50 academic journals it was time to write the section on ASD. After 7 500 words it was time to stop and reflect. Numerous edits were made and I needed to let it go to my Supervisor for feedback. Although satisfied what I had drafted I have omitted a section which will need to be added. No point in relaying this to my supervisor as this can be discussed when we next meet. It is still quite hard to let something you write go off for perusal when you are aware it needs further tweeking. At least my writing over the past year has developed a more richer academic discourse.

Now I need to refresh my mind in preparation for the last summer school. My PowerPoint has been redrafted 4 times now. I have decided that I need not fret as my presentation is to demonstrate to the Course Supervisors that I am well and truly on track, have a working plan and am eager to practise my presentation skills.

This research project is important to me. It aims to address a problem related to the way teacher attitudes can shape the way students diagnosed with ASD are catered for in the mainstream classroom due to a limited understanding of the lifelong condition. A student diagnosed with ASD has great potential to contribute to a mainstream classroom, their peers and their teacher. My youngest son has demonstrated this to me, his peers and educators he has interacted with during 2014. He is my champion as he will now re-enter mainstream full time for the first time in 4 years.

I am safely on the base.


Observing the Transition of Year 7 into Secondary in Queensland schools

The Private Teacher

Geography class. [Photography]. Retrieved from Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest.  http://quest.eb.com/#/search/139_1931997/1/139_1931997/cite Geography class. [Photography]. Retrieved from Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest.
http://quest.eb.com/#/search/139_1931997/1/139_1931997/cite Over the last few months I have been fortunate enough to make two visits to a primary school as part of program to  shadow and observe a year 7 teacher and their class in preparation for the transition of year seven into secondary at my current school. This program has been an invaluable experience as it has allowed me to consider how I would alter my practice to cater for the entrance of younger students into the secondary environment.  Even though, I only visited one particular school, I thought I would share my three biggest observations from this experience to assist those educators who are also preparing for the addition of Year 7 into their secondary school.

Integration of Learning Opportunities

Firstly, in a secondary environment, we are used to dividing learning into subjects with few connections or interactions between the…

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Facts and Opinions

Year Five 2014

Year Five are currently learning about informative texts. Informative texts contain factual information, not opinions.

Take a look at the YouTube clip below which explains the difference between facts and opinions.

The students below did a great job at locating facts about animals and sharing their opinions about them.

Click here, select an animal and leave a comment with facts and opinions about the animal. 

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Thought provoking

Year Five 2014

Writing is an essential and very important life skill. Year Five have been practising their writing skills all year using great books, however Miss Azzopardi and Mrs Elchaar have noticed that most students write simple sentences and do not include compound or complex sentences very often.

Simple sentence: The dog barked.

Compound sentence: The dog barked, the cat meowed and the rabbit chewed. 

Complex sentence: The dog howled loudly although he was well fed. 

You should try to incorporate the following into your writing.


  • So
  • As a result
  • As a consequence
  • Therefore
  • Consequently
  • Due to
  • Thus
  • Hence
  • Because


  • Obviously
  • Generally
  • In fact
  • Especially
  • Importantly
  • Clearly

Contrast / Comparison

  • However
  • Nonetheless
  • Although
  • Even though
  • Despite
  • In contrast to
  • In comparison
  • While
  • Whereas
  • On the other hand
  • Similarly
  • Likewise
  • Compared with
  • Compared to


  • Tough
  • Extremely
  • Malicious
  • Enormous etc


  • Loudly
  • Quickly
  • Slowly
  • Quietly
  • Softly
  • Gracefully
  • Courageously
  • Generously

Figurative Language

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