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 18: Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, how am I making sense of it all?

Merrel Knox


The title of this chapter reflects the journey taken by doctoral students and scholars, a voyage of discovery that involves examining and re-examining research questions, methods and decisions, and making sense of it all. The author draws on her own PhD experiences to address a number of areas. She starts by discussing her research question, before looking at justifying methods and the supervisory process. She also articulates her research position, recalling what she wanted to do (the desirable) versus what was possible. Furthermore, she shows how she adapted her research methods and describes her learning along the doctoral route. Having noted that choosing and justifying research methods provides a key learning process, she offers five lessons for keeping your doctorate on track.

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