Resources for Grads and ECRs

This page gives a quick link to all the posts that I’ve written for grad students and ECRs. I hope you will find them useful and please do get in touch if there are any other topics that you’d like me to cover!

General advice:

NEW! Top Tips: How to Write a PhD Proposal

Wondering where to start when you’re thinking about writing a PhD proposal? Top tips from twitter and my own experience will get you started!

Top Tips for Starting a PhD

Practical tips for starting your PhD, from how to approach such a big task to getting yourself organised and building your support networks.

(If you’re applying for a Medieval PhD in the UK there’s a great post on the TORCH website by Caroline Batten, Mary Boyle, and Alexandra Vukovich, available here).

Practical Tips for dealing with Imposter Syndrome and Negative Thoughts

Advice on how to deal with the anxieties caused by feelings of inadequacy and a lack of confidence in our academic abilities.

Tomato Timers, Research Days, and Coffee with your Project: How to Balance Teaching and Research Top tips on how to keep the research going when you have a heavy teaching load (or another kind of a packed schedule- part-time PhDs might find this useful too! NB this was written pre-pandemic)

On academic writing and reading:

Reflections on Rejection, Revision, and Resubmission

Discusses strategies for dealing with rejection, the dreaded reviewer 2, and revising materials for resubmission.

When ‘revisions’ are really about ‘re-vision’

Reflections on revising an article for resubmission when the feedback is good but it takes a long time and the article needs an overhaul! Strategies for getting back into material and reenergising your thinking.

Top Tips for Writing your First Journal Article (Where to start, how to choose a journal, and much more!)

The Monograph: Thoughts and Reflections

Discusses my experience of writing my monograph and includes top tips on book proposals, publishers, reworking the PhD, and more! (Please ask if you would like to read my book proposal)

How to do your first peer review

Advice on how to approach your first peer review, from general principles to practical tips.

How To: Critical Reading and Note-Taking

Advice on how to approach reading a monograph when you’re starting your PhD and suggestions for note-taking strategies.

On ‘Getting Your Work Out There’ online:

Academic Blogging: Top Tips and Advice

Thinking about starting a blog? Then this is the post for you!

Social Media for Grad Students

Tips, tricks, benefits and practical advice!

On conferences:

How to write a conference abstract

Practical advice on how to write a conference abstract.

How to give a good conference paper

Practical advice from me and JD Sargan on giving a good conference paper.

The bumper blogpost of conference planning

Practical advice on how to organise and run an academic conference.

On teaching and learning:

Top Tips for Approaching Palaeography, a Guest Post from Daniel Sawyer

Many thanks to my colleague Daniel Sawyer for writing this useful and reassuring post about approaching palaeography for the first time.

Dissertation Preparation

Discusses how I prepare my students for undergraduate dissertations (including top tips at the end).

Teaching Margery Kempe (hosted by the Margery Kempe Society)

On teaching The Book of Margery Kempe in the context of medieval religious culture.

Teaching Race and Middle English Literature

Discusses my strategy and content for a class on race and Middle English literature (including links to online resources and discussions).

Teaching medieval gender in the modern class

My roundtable contribution to the Medieval Gender conference in 2018 on teaching gender (with reference to the Virgin Mary and Thomas Hoccleve’s ‘Compleynte Paramont’).

Teaching with Twitter

Discusses my experiment teaching Chaucer’s ‘Troilus and Criseyde’ with twitter.