Singing the Alphabet

I’m a PhD student with 12 GCSEs, 3 A levels, 2 AS levels, a first at BA(Hons), and a distinction at MA and I still have to sing the alphabet to know what letter comes after what. This proved to be a bit of a hindrance when I finally got round to alphabetising my notes this weekend. Up until now they’ve just been put in my folder as I’ve read them, which was fine in the beginning. However, eight months in to the Phd my brain has become a soup of nonsense and I have no idea when I read what. To be honest sometimes I don’t even remember if I’ve read something before, I get to the third paragraph and realise ‘this feels strangely familiar’.

Alphabetising my sources #PhD #thesis #alphabet #reading #student #study #work

A post shared by Emma (@emma_spud) on

I’m also in the process of reading back through everything and adding colour coded post-its according to theme for each chapter, but, as you can imagine, that’s quite slow-going. And I’ll admit, it’s really boring, so I’ve not being working as hard as I could be.

Last week after the conference I felt ready to hash out my first chapter, but having had a week with family I’ve kind of lost my motivation. I’m currently dog-sitting at my mum’s (hence the nice fireplace) and won’t be back up north until the weekend, at which point I have a date with a friend to head to a feministy-theatrey-discoy-shindig. So realistically, it’ll likely be Monday before I settle down with my books and get some writing done. I will try and crack on with my colour-coding though…probably.

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3 thoughts on “Singing the Alphabet

  1. I’m hopeless at finding stuff. I’m always scared I’ll never remember where it was so I started using an app called Evernote. It’s been really helpful as I revisit my literature.

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