Hi. My name is Sherran and I am a recently graduated PhD student. I was encouraged during my PhD by a couple of friends and my lovely, clever husband to write something about researching, writing and thinking obsessively about a PhD. Academic writing is my business, as it were; when I was not working on my PhD or hanging out with my two sons and my husband I ran a university writing centre in Cape Town. There I mentored tutors to work with students on their writing, and I helped other academics with writing for publication. Now I am working on publishing from my thesis, learning how to supervise postgraduate students, and coaching early career researcher-writers formally and informally.
I kept a research journal as a chronicle of my own PhD journey as a full-time working mom and academic and some of these musings and scribbles will appear here. I have found that many ‘how to write your PhD’ books didn’t speak to me, because they seemed to be written for students who are not like me: full time students, or single people, or people with lots of research leave and funding. This blog is my small contribution to the field of writing about writing a PhD that fills some of these gaps. Although most of these posts, especially since the beginning of 2015, are written with PhD scholars and post-doctoral researchers in mind, there are also posts here that apply to Masters-level studies as well.
The title of this blog is slightly cheeky – it’s a play on a ‘how to do XYZ in 5 easy steps’ type theme – and it hopefully captures the spirit of the blog, which is lighthearted, funny, helpful and fun to write and read. I hope you enjoy reading and find yourself in some of these posts if these gaps are there for you too.