By Cally Guerin
In planning upcoming workshops, I remembered a student who had responded to a long and detailed session by feeling rather discouraged. He had been making good progress with his writing, but the information in the workshop (focused on structure and argumentation) had unsettled him – it suddenly seemed that the ideas being presented undermined his own approach and made him feel that he had failed to pay attention to all sorts of elements that might be important to examiners later on.
For me, this was a valuable reminder not only of how fragile the confidence of doctoral students can be in the face of examination, but also that well-intentioned attempts to provide helpful information can sometimes be destructive. Continue reading