“I am a PhD student at Queen Mary University, and I attended your ‘Psychology of Writing’ course.
I wanted to email you to tell you how much of a positive impact on me this course has had.
In January I had just restarted working on my PhD after a 2 month interruption due to 2 family bereavements, and I was finding things difficult. Even prior to my interruption I had been struggling with my PhD generally. I had been working on my research for 2 years at this point and still felt like I had no idea what I was doing or why.
I have also always struggled with writing. I was diagnosed with dyslexia during my first year of undergraduate studies which gave some reason as to why I struggled so much. That is why your course first caught my eye. I thought it would be interesting to gain a bit more understanding of writing which would hopefully help to make it easier. And I was right. Your course was brilliant and I felt like I learnt a lot form it.
There was one particular moment though which I can pinpoint as my eureka moment. It was towards the end of the second session and you were going through the poster. One element of this was creating a Venn diagram of where our research fit. At first, I did it with 3 rings (like your example) but then you said we can have as many rings as we wanted and suddenly it all made sense. Just adding in a 4th ring made me realise exactly where my research sat. I could see the 4 areas and that there was a gap in the middle where they all overlapped which is exactly where my research sat.
For the first time in 2 years I felt like I had a grasp on my research area. Since that moment I have re-found my love for my research. I have been really productive and have been making so much more progress. I recently completed my 2 year review and included my Venn diagram in my slides and my supervisory team were really impressed. It also gave me so much more confidence to talk about my research because I knew where it was coming from.
I just wanted to let you know what impact this had on me, it has honestly been fantastic. My renewed gusto for my research (and the progress I’ve been making) has really improved my mental health and had a positive impact on all aspects of my life.
So thank you, I will forever be grateful for this eureka moment.”
Queen Mary University of London
“Natalie was my supervisor whilst I was writing my second MSc dissertation. Without her depth of knowledge, academic rigour and imagination,
I feel my dissertation would not have had the breadth in the subject area, structure and insights it now has. Writing my dissertation became an experience with Natalie, not a process. Her feedback was via Loom (face to face and recorded) and it was prompt and fearless, with her personality and humour in there too.
I never felt she was inhibited about how I was going to hear the feedback. She didn’t waste time on trying to package it. I liked her precision and clear style – it was very motivating. I looked forward to receiving her feedback as I knew as a result of it, my knowledge and research capability was going to increase and my dissertation was going to improve. Natalie’s feedback included structure, order, grammar, subject matter, pairing of ideas, bringing insights to the surface, drawing out my own style, and being braver in my assertions and contribution to the field. Natalie left it up to me as to whether I incorporated her feedback but her feedback was immediate (literally within 4 minutes of sending her something once), instinctive, and grounded in logic and the subject matter so it was difficult not to.
Natalie identified links I hadn’t noticed, and at the same time, was very generous to the work, and appreciated that it was my idea we were trying to craft, and she ensured that that remained the purpose, but took it to a level I hadn’t appreciated. I completed by dissertation whilst working full time and it wouldn’t have worked if I hadn’t experienced her conscientiousness and discipline.
My words to Natalie at the end of my academic journey with Natalie was ‘your supervision is the best I’ve ever experienced, prompt and fearless, exactly what you need to write something worth reading’”