How to Keep your Doctorate on Track
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How to Keep your Doctorate on Track

Insights from Students’ and Supervisors’ Experiences

Edited by Keith Townsend, Mark N.K. Saunders, Rebecca Loudoun and Emily A. Morrison

The path of a doctoral student can feel challenging and isolating. This guide provides doctoral students with key ideas and support to kick-start a doctoral journey, inspire progress and complete their thesis or dissertation. Featuring observations from experienced supervisors, as well as the reflections of current and recent postgraduate researchers, this intimate and entertaining book offers vital insights into the critical moments in any doctoral experience.
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Chapter 13: Getting your research philosophy clear

Rosanna Cole


In this chapter, the author shares her experiences as a part-time doctoral student at a UK university, including how she managed to clarify her thoughts and what she learnt during the process. She begins by outlining the importance of research philosophy. Next, she explores its complexity. She continues by describing her progress, including a crucial eureka moment in which she realised what type of philosophical stance would be most suitable for her thesis. Following this, she provides advice on where to get help, before suggesting what to do when your philosophy is questioned. Finally, she reflects on her progress since completing her PhD and offers some key learning points, which will be of use to anyone presently at work on a doctoral thesis.

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