The most common outcome from a viva is to get minor revisions. ADD however does not know how to handle the ‘minor’ part of the whole thing. The examiners said that there is mainly some copy and pasting and restructuring—when ADD reads the comments ADD thinks the whole dissertation has to be rewritten, starts reading like crazy, is on the brink of a nervous breakdown because of the clutter buzzing around the head, eventually all reason ceases to break through the chaos and panic takes over.
- Get a mantra
- My sister had a great idea. Her argument was that my dissertation is approved and passed, the examiners accepted the arguments. Now all they want is some decoration.
- Everything from now on is only decoration!
- Make a detailed list and stick to it!
- Mind-map all the comments
- Create a hierarchy, begin with the most time-consuming or important
- Work through the list, point by point
- IGNORE the ‘oh I could do this’, ‘uh I could read there’, ‘this may be an interesting argument’, ‘I just could quickly add that’—DO NOT! BIG NO!
- Stick to the list and sit the inner ‘yes, but and then …’ with a red card on the bench!
- Restrict your reading
- A friend suggested asking yourself: What is the minimum effort I can get away with?
- Do you really have to read up on footnotes 1-10?
- Do you really have to read through all the references at the end of an article/book?
- NO—go back to the list, stick to the list
I hope you find some of my strategies helpful and as always do share your own strategies and experiences! Don’t get bogged down if you have a bad day—I am always told how effective and organized I work, little do people know that this is all self-defense. Work on your strategies and please share!