The Best of Beginnings: The First Formal Meeting with Your Supervisor

The Best of Beginnings: The First Formal Meeting with Your Supervisor
As you embark upon the advanced research required for a thesis or dissertation, you may already know or have corresponded extensively with the faculty member who will be your primary guide. Perhaps you have taken courses with that scholar, are an admirer of his or her research or specifically chose that person to supervise your own research. On the other hand, you may have simply been assigned to your supervisor based on your research topic and have little or no personal or professional knowledge of the individual who will prove so important to your academic or scientific work. Whatever your prior experience of your thesis supervisor, dissertation mentor or committee chair may be (terminology varies among universities), your first formal meeting is a vital one, and it is essential to be well prepared and begin your working relationship on a positive and productive note.
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Preparation for the first formal meeting with a thesis supervisor can involve many different things and will vary from student to student and thesis to thesis, but knowledge of two kinds is especially important. For one, you should ensure that you learn as much as possible about your supervisor’s research and publications. You may already have done this thoroughly while choosing your university and supervisor, in which case refreshing your memory of the work you already know or taking the time to read and reflect on your supervisor’s most recent research or publication is a great idea. This is an ideal scenario, but it may be that you have not yet begun investigating the work of your supervisor. If this is the case, you may not have enough time before the first meeting to find and read everything that he or she has published, but one or two pieces closely related to the research you are planning will certainly be worth the effort you invest. The idea behind knowing your supervisor’s research and writing is not attaining the ability to demonstrate your knowledge (though that cannot hurt) or flatter your mentor (which is not the best policy and will likely be detected). Instead, the goal is to determine where your supervisor is coming from in intellectual terms and better understand how to read with accuracy and sophistication and thereby make the most beneficial use of the comments and suggestions he or she offers on your ideas and work.

The primary knowledge you should bring to your first meeting with your supervisor is a clear conception of what you hope to achieve while working on your thesis or dissertation. Your research plan may still be somewhat hazy, but reviewing and clarifying it in your mind with the focus being to share it with your supervisor will help you be more precise and specific while discussing it. On the other hand, you may feel that your intentions are already crystal clear and set in stone, in which case it will be a good idea to accept the possibility of change and compromise, preparing yourself to be flexible so that you can benefit from the greater knowledge and experience of your supervisor. Remember that however you and your new supervisor discuss the work ahead, a friendly and professional relationship will serve your needs best, and such a relationship is based upon mutual respect when opinions differ as well as when they agree.

Why Our Editing and Proofreading Services?
At we offer the highest quality journal article editing, phd thesis editing and proofreading services via our large and extremely dedicated team of academic and scientific professionals. All of our proofreaders and editors are native speakers of English who have earned their own postgraduate degrees, and their areas of specialisation cover such a wide range of disciplines that we are able to help our international clientele with research editing to improve and perfect all kinds of academic manuscripts for successful publication. Many of the carefully trained members of our expert editing and proofreading team work predominantly on articles intended for publication in scholarly journals, applying painstaking journal editing standards to ensure that the references and formatting used in each paper are in conformity with the journal’s instructions for authors and to correct any grammar, spelling, punctuation or simple typing errors. In this way, we enable our clients to report their research in the clear and accurate ways required to impress acquisitions editors and achieve publication.

Our scientific editing services for the authors of a wide variety of scientific journal papers are especially popular, but we also offer manuscript editing services and have the experience and expertise to proofread and edit manuscripts in all scholarly disciplines, as well as beyond them. We have team members who specialise in medical editing services, and some of our experts dedicate their time exclusively to PhD proofreading and master’s proofreading, offering research students the opportunity to improve their use of formatting and language through the most exacting PhD thesis editing and dissertation proofreading practices. Whether you are preparing a conference paper for presentation, polishing a progress report to share with colleagues, or facing the daunting task of editing and perfecting any kind of scholarly document for publication, a qualified member of our professional team can provide invaluable assistance and give you greater confidence in your written work.

If you are in the process of preparing an article for an academic or scientific journal, or planning one for the near future, you may well be interested in a new book, Guide to Journal Publication, which is available on our Tips and Advice on Publishing Research in Journals website.

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