Disseration data analysis anxiety

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anniecat
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 6:45 pm

Disseration data analysis anxiety

Post by anniecat » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:27 am

Hello everyone

I am in the middle of a Masters dissertation which has to be submitted at the end of July. My supervisor has disappeared and I am in a real panic. I only found out about this last Tuesday and still don't really know what is going on (whether he is ill or something has happened in his life) and my uni have so far been really vague about a plan. One part of me wants to kick up a fuss but I am (a) anxious about future references and (b) feel I would prefer to keep my focus on what is really important now which is getting this dissertation done. They will have to find me someone else but there is not much time and I would rather do whatever I can to get on with this.

To make matters worse, research design and stats are really not my strong point. My first degree is in an arts subject and we have had pretty minimal RMs training on this Masters. I wondered if there is anyone who might have any suggestions about where I could get some guidance around the analysis of my data at this late stage (I can probably figure out the rest myself). TBH I didn't have much help in the planning stage and (probably helped along by the state of panic I am in!) feel like I am staring at a number soup. I don't have much money but would be willing to pay for a couple of sessions of tutoring/guidance if anyone knows of anyone who might be in a position to offer this.

Many thanks

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sarahg
Posts: 614
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:46 am

Re: Disseration data analysis anxiety

Post by sarahg » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:02 pm

Hello,

I'm now sending you a PM :) Don't panic, everything will be fine!

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ell
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:45 pm

Re: Disseration data analysis anxiety

Post by ell » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:38 pm

Hi anniecat,

Welcome to the forum! I am sorry that your first post has had to be about such a stressful situation.

I see that sarahg has kindly offered you some assistance - she is a stats queen, so you are in good hands!

I was just wondering if it would be useful to try and contact whoever teaches stats on your course, to see if you can get some pointers? It would be worth having a think through what you think the best stats approach might be, and then you can get their point of view on the situation. I would also be thinking about contacting the head of the department to meet to discuss what support you will be getting while your supervisor is unavailable, and if that will be nothing, then to ask how you go about requesting an extension. You are paying for your MSc (I assume), and while your supervisor's personal circumstances may not be anyone's fault, the department have a responsibility to you. It's not about kicking up a fuss (yet) or being unsympathetic about your supervisor's situation, but rather about having a professional conversation about the best way for you to complete your course to the best of your ability and what the staff in the department can do to assist you.

Sounds like a tricky situation, and I hope things resolve soon. Let us know how it all goes.

haymond
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 2:21 pm

Re: Disseration data analysis anxiety

Post by haymond » Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:39 pm

Hi Anniecat,

In addition to what other people have said, I wonder whether you have encountered a relevant paper that is similar to you study. If so, there statistical analysis may be useful in helping you to think about your statistical approach.

All the best,

Haymond

anniecat
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon May 26, 2014 6:45 pm

Re: Disseration data analysis anxiety

Post by anniecat » Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:25 am

Thank you all for your kind responses. It does feel like a very awkward situation. While I do know that I have paid for a service (and presumably some dissertation supervision) the way the course was taught (all in big lectures of 100 students so no personal contact with anyone except dissertation supervisor) I am worried about references. I badly need a good reference as I did my undergrad 15 years ago. I did (difficult for me!) express my concerns to the Head of Dept. They were very nice but I felt a little fobbed off. I was told that I would be fine as I am a 'very able' student (possibly in some areas but certainly not in stats/RMs!) They have said they will allocate me a new supervisor by the end of this week but I am losing precious days not to mention having kittens on a daily basis. I am also not sure how interested someone will be in picking up something that has to be submitted in six weeks. The deadline for an extension has passed although I could put in for extenuation but could end up capped to 50% that way (unlikely but I would worry!)

I am trying to crack on as best I can but feeling very overwhelmed as I have a fair bit of data. I am particularly stuck converting an Excel file into SPSS. That is fairly simple in itself but the conversion process loses all my data when I try to recode string variables into numeric. Does anyone have any experience of this. Perhaps I will post as a separate thread also.

Thank you all (especially Sarah!) for your help. This is a wonderful forum and I am glad that I came across albeit I wish I had done so under less stressful circumstances!

Thanks again

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