What do you want from your advisor that will make your life as a writer easier?
Great feedback, some feedback, or maybe just feedback once in a while? How about an email saying hello?
If you’re not getting feedback or not even getting answers to your straight-forward questions, here’s one idea. I’m not advising that you take this tack; I offer it with some provisos.
One of my dissertation clients has had great trouble getting his advisor to respond to email.
The student likes and respects his advisor. The two get along extremely well and have a long-standing relationship. The problem is that the advisor travels extensively, juggling a huge amount of work, and you know who and what get overlooked or put on hold.
After waiting weeks and weeks for an answer from his advisor to a fairly straightforward question, my client wrote to a respected member of his committee and asked the specific question. This question was obviously in his advisor’s area of expertise.
Of course, my client cc’d his advisor.
The committee member, well aware of the issues students routinely had with the peripatetic professor, replied at length, also cc’ing the student’s advisor.
Shortly thereafter, the advisor was back in touch.
While the problem has not been completely resolved, my client feels less helpless. And, if need be, he plans to write the other committee member again.
I salute my client for his resourcefulness and courage. This could have blown up in his face. What made this strategy feasible is that my client, no matter what, does everything he can to maintain good relations with the advisor.
What do you think? Could your advisor take being cc’d in this way on an email?
What kind of relationship do you have with your advisor?
I’d love to hear from you. I’d also love to send you a fr.e.e. newsletter. Register on my website at www.nancywhichard.com.
Until next time,
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