Monday, 4 February 2019

How to Become a Doctorate: Cannot Bear Criticism?

Criticism is natural and will come in the process of you becoming a Doctorate.


For you to not feel de-motivated and accept criticism on your work, I bring to you some pointers that will help you reflect upon them maturely.
  1. Replace the word "Criticism" with "Feedback". Feedback sounds much better and has no negative/remorse/hurt feeling attached like the word criticism has.
  2. Every researcher is criticised. And, it is because a researcher is trying to say something through a research which has not been told before or not explored. Therefore, rather than accepting criticism as a negative feedback on your work, see criticisms as a counter-argument to what you are trying to say.
  3. Do not take criticism personally. One of the reasons why criticisms hurt is because we think that the critic hates me and no matter what I do or write, will always oppose me. This attitude is wrong when doing research. Infact, criticism is a valuable tool to know what we missed in our research that the critic just pointed out! Elaborate it and assess it instead. And, in this manner, you will be transforming a criticism into constructive criticism that turned out to be in your favour.
  4. Talk not argue with your Supervisor when he/she criticizes your work. Your Supervisor is your guide and advisor and it is their duty to point out your laggards. And, they will continue to do so till the last date of your submission. Your Supervisor is not for complimenting you everyday. For more understanding on this issue click to read Supervisor-Student Relationship.
  5. For a PhD scholar, criticism will come from not just your own Supervisor but from editors in whose journals and books you will be publishing articles and chapters. In this case, the criticism is primarily because your piece doesn't come into the confines of the journal's theme or issue-area. Again, nothing is personal here. The editors want you to reassess your written piece and cancel out those portions that is irrelevant.
  6. Take some time-off. A way out to deal with criticism and again revert back to serious research is giving yourself a break from mundane activities. Travel for a few days. Read books other than your subject. Start a fiction novel. See a movie. Decorate or renovate your living space. Shop something for your study room. Basically, anything that helps you release happy hormones.
  7. Join groups and communities dedicated to PhD and research. Social media is filled with such forums that allow information sharing, queries, and all sorts of help from people far and wide. This is also a great way to know that not just you but many fellow PhD seekers are swimming in the same boat and facing good and bad feedback on their work.
Click to read previous topic - How to master literature review?
Click to read next topic - What are research questions?


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