Literature Review – Update – Despondent with Square Shoulders


14th March 2018

High hopes on round two of the literature review,  2000 words on psychological resilience, a repeat of last month’s request although this time I am optimistic.  I have used Grace Poulters “do a little often” method for critical reading and writing.  I discovered more about the literature and read over 50 articles, some end to end, others, skimming sections or linked items which signposted me to new insights.  I then sent my first draft to Grace Poulter (academic writing advisor) on the 10th of February for oversight and check from an academic writing perspective.  However, I ran out of time to apply the suggested changes due to my trip to New York.  Therefore, the literature review I submitted to my supervisory team was peppered with academic writing errors.  I missed my opportunity to absorb the guidance and adapt my work, note to self:

If I ask for support and receive support, I then have to implement the suggested changes before sending my lit review to the supervisory team.  

I am once again reminded that I am not an academic and scratching the surface at Professional Doctorate level is just not enough.  I am also more aware of the time it takes to review and reflect upon academic work and apply changes.  My academic supervisors asked me what were the lessons learned from the academic feedback which I have received from Grace Poulter:

Reply: To allow time for the work to rest before I submit and to be more aware of my spelling and grammar as errors detract from content and can dissolve my hard work.  David McGuire (supervisor) stated there were two important reasons:

  1. To allow space to see errors, and do corrections.
  2. More importantly, to review the original literature and ensure understanding is projected within the literature review as it was intended.

Further feedback from the supervisory team was to incorporate theory within the literature review and identify themes, all very supportive and informative.  On leaving the meeting I felt despondent; so much time, work and effort.  An old familiar feeling of failure and frustration crept through me, a reminder that my ambition and capability do not always match.

On returning to my office I found myself immediately sharing my experience with the #ProfDockers WhatsApp group.  This group communication has become a phenomenal source of support over the past 2/3 years.  In times of trouble, there is usually someone who will send a supportive text, or a funny emoji, which lifts and distracts from the challenges.  Within a few minutes of sending my “just finished my supervision meeting and want to cry” text, several of my cohort had responded with words of doctoral support, kindness, and encouragement.  Pat had gone to the trouble of calling me which was enormously supportive given he is also facing these challenges himself.

Although despondent, I am enormously grateful and thankful for the support from both my supervisory team and my WhatsApp group, Cohort 10 and for their continued belief in me, even when I lack belief in myself.  I have squared my shoulders again and begun the process of absorbing the feedback from a more proactive perspective with a new delivery date.  Back to work!!!!!


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