Blogging overload – Week 24 as a PhD student

PhD Life

Repetitive, monotonous, tedious, is how a feel about writing blog posts at the moment. I have been writing blog posts all weekend, and my motivation for writing this one is undoubtedly lower than average. My guest post for the British Nutrition Foundation has been sent back to me with some suggestions and corrections. At first glance, this seems like a bad thing, however, they told me that they definitely want it, after the changes have been made to make it more relevant to their audience. I have never seen so many comments on a word document before It is all a valuable learning experience especially as they phoned me up and went through it with me! I did not expect this to happen, I was waiting for it to be accepted or rejected. Instead, I am getting a mentor on how to write blog posts. A few of the many things I have learnt are:

  1. Be inclusive of everyone. I was using words and sentence that would be specific to people similar to me. An example would be that not everyone understands what the word heuristics means, so I changed it to rules-of-thumb.

  2. Don’t use the same keyword two sentences in a row. For example, Consumers have different levels of sensory perception. Varying levels of perception among individuals lead to different results. Doesn’t read as good as: Consumers have different levels of sensory perception. Individuals sense things to different levels which leads to varying results. This may be a poor example, but hey, what do you want from a noob like me!

I will do a detailed blog of the development of my guest post at some point in the future.

I have got back in the lab this week, which has lifted my spirits a bit; I have been trying to use an ammonia assay kit to determine the quantity of ammonia in plant tissue. Day one of testing with this kit was mixed; I need to find a sample of plant tissue with ammonia in it to confirm if my method is okay. I have also had confirmation that I can go and use the GC-MS equipment next week, so I can do more practical stuff and get out of this writing rut that I am in. I have discovered that I like practical problem solving much more than writing. Don’t get me wrong I don’t hate writing, I have just become a bit tired of it with the amount of it I have been doing lately: I need to find balance in my work.

I have also sent off my 6-month report, which was a document that talked about everything that I have done in the past six months and everything I will do in the next six months. One piece of doubt that is starting to creep into my mind is that I am good at the practical elements and am sure I can meet the end goal of the PhD. However, I am not so confident I can do the writing aspect of the PhD, it is something I am going to have to talk to my supervisors about. I have been thinking about it for a while without acting on it. I shall add it to my diary to make sure I do it!

I spent about £200 of my research budget this week on the ammonia assay kit and a NoIR camera to play with. I am going to try and assess plant health with it. I had a bit of retail therapy, with the house’s money!

Published by Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

10 thoughts on “Blogging overload – Week 24 as a PhD student

  1. My first thought is how much I’ve enjoyed working with editors giving feedback on my work toward publication. However, I know it depends on that relationship. Lots of times I know the editor is right or they’ve asked a good question I will have to think about before I can place the answer in the text. Something like that. Here’s to some good energy for you for writing! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. May I suggest the Hemingway App? It’s free to download and highlights sentences that are hard to read amongst other things. For me, it has been a lesson in the value of brevity. No harm in checking it out. Love your blog. You’ve taught me so much. I’ve increased my following from 6 to 106 in 2 weeks. I’ve made so many WordPress friends and am enjoying the experience. So many interesting people in WordPress world. Wishing you all the best. Margaret

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ugh your blog is so great! I like how you keep us up to date with everything and balance how you’re getting on with the blog as well as with your more personal/academic life. Good job on the guest post for the British Nutrition Foundation! Even though you’ve got stuff to change it’s impressive for you to have landed it and that they like it. I received some rather scathing feedback on an essay last month and am still recovering. I think it’ll be helpful in the long run. Have another long essay to do over the summer so hopefully, using the feedback, I’ll fair better with this time! Maybe your professors will let you read some dissertations from previous students, that might help with the jargon you might need to know, and give you an idea of the level you need to be writing at? And thanks for liking my posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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