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 48: The final mile: avoiding and overcoming viva trip-ups

Dawn C. Duke


This chapter shares stories of researchers in the final stages of their doctoral journey, as they push through the last challenges to become a doctor. It highlights situations in which something has gone a bit wrong, before providing insights not only into how to deal with these situations most effectively, but also into how to avoid these problems in the first instance. All the stories have a happy ending, showing that, even when things go a bit wrong, it is possible to recover. Among the topics discussed are experiencing nightmare examiners, going totally blank and relying on signs during the viva in an attempt to predict the outcome of this event. The final section address corrections block and the chapter ends with ten top tips for not just surviving, but enjoying the final mile.

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