Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Email etiquette - 10 things to get right

Ten things to get right when sending emails. Whether it's to a tutor, lecturer, colleague, client, peer or potential employer.

1. Use a salutation. I prefer Good morning/ afternoon. This also depends on how well you know the recipient as 'hi' may also be appropriate.
2. Use kind regards, your name, rather than KR, your name (I saw this just yesterday!)
3. Keep it simple without 'text talk'. For example 'u' for 'you'
4 once 'send' is pressed, it's gone so re-read before sending
5. If you are unsure whether to send it- don't
6. When bulk emailing, use BCC (blind carbon copy) to keep addresses confidential. Use your own email in the 'to' line.
7. Always be polite- email is not necessarily confidential and is proof in digital form.
8. Check that you have an appropriate subject line. Use maximum of three words if possible to sum up what your email is about
9. Don't send an email full of negative emotion. Leave it a day or two and then decide whether you need to change the email or if it is worth sending at all.
10. Check you have attached the file if you are sending one with the email.

There you have it. StudyBreak's top 10 'rules' for writing and sending an email.

Do you have any email 'rules' you could add?

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Top 10 ways to keep writing

It can be hard to keep writing and find new words so here are StudyBreak's best tips for writing.

StudyBreak’s top 10 writing tips

*  Just start writing – begin with 10- 15 minutes

*  Don’t worry about editing and correct references for first draft

*  Keep all versions of your work e.g. titlev1, titlev2

*  Work out your best writing time

*  Set aside at least 2 hours, three days a week for ‘Golden Writing’ time.

*  Take an idea/question from today’s writing to explore tomorrow

*  Write about everything. E.g. If you read then write, summarise workshops you attend

*  Blog about your research journey

*  Use ‘frame writing’ to get started

*  To conquer writer’s block – record your thoughts verbally and write from the recordings

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Heartbreak in the PhD: My supervisor is breaking up with me!

I'm heartbroken. I never thought this would happen to me. My supervisor is breaking up with me. We have seen through a Master's thesis together and he has been my rock. How could he take up a post at another University let alone in another state?!

I text my Principal supervisor in a daze. She said there was no need to panic and we would sort it out. The positives are it isn't her that's leaving and I only have to find a new co-supervisor. Thinking more clearly now, my supervisor has introduced me to some great academics so it shouldn't be a problem. It's just that I had rapport with my co-supervisor and a relationship built up over years. 

This post has now led me to: what should I look for in a supervisor?
I believe choosing a supervisor is key to a good working relationship and completing your thesis.
Luckily for me, choosing and asking an academic to be my co-supervisor is made easier because I have already started my PHD, I know some academics in my school and it is a co-supervisor I need not a Principal supervisor so they won't have the bulk of the supervisory part.

Things to look for in a supervisor:
Personality - would you be able to work with them?
Number of research students they have seen through to completion 
Number of students they currently have under their wing
Expertise in your field- look at their publications 
Position- go for the experienced and highly regarded member of the academic staff

Is there anything you would add?