It’s about pleasing the examiners!


After nearly 2 years of study I will be submitting my thesis in two weeks. 

A mild panic has set in.

It’s all written. It’s been reviewed by my supervisor and an independent reviewer. I have all of their comments and I’ve worked through them. 

Bluntly, now it’s about pleasing the examiners. 

The real question is what are the examiners going to be looking for? It’s a guessing game. My examiners are familiar with my research method but perhaps not so with the area of research. How can  I be sure they’ll be on my wavelength or perhaps much more importantly that I’ll be on theirs?

I’ve submitted my Abstract to warm them up. 500 words that tells the  story of my 20,0000 word thesis!

Hopefully I’ve nailed it – a valid and reliable study on family wine businesses and what makes them tick!

It’s a story of why these families make and sell wine. A story not about a desire to make money but to do something special, to build solid relationships and to be flexible.  It’s all so logical until you try to write it in a manner which is academically rigorous.

How does it fit with the literature? Which theories are relevant? What research methodology is appropriate?  Are the findings reliable and valid? Answers to each of these and many more are really what the examiners make their decision on. 

No outrageous claims. No eureka moments . It’s a game of inches.

Then there are the practical matters: spelling grammar, typos, referencing. All need to be perfect or as close as humanly possible to it. 

 It’s a relentless excercise.

It’s also a game of diminishing returns. With every read amendments deliver smaller improvements. When is enough, enough?  Unfortunately I suspect that the answer is never!

Oh well,  the end is nigh….


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