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Masters Discussion Forum

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Writing a journal article while doing a Masters


User: WineGum - 05 August 2017 19:50

Hi all!

I'm due to start a Social Science Research Masters in October. My aim is to then continue on to do a Phd in Social Policy or Sociology.

I have already completed pieces of research, outside of my undergraduate degree, which I have submitted to an undergraduate journal. This was part of an undergraduate research scheme and was formally recognised meaning I had a supervisor and receiving ethical approval was quicker and simpler etc.

Would I be able to write another paper without the help of a supervisor along side my Masters? I would like to try and get something else published in a postgraduate journal to make my PhD application stronger and because I love writing and sharing my writing. Do many Masters students write journals alongside their studies? Is it even possible?

User: Nad75 - 07 August 2017 12:58

Yes, it actually looks good to have an article in review or published while you are applying for PhD applications. I was in social sciences/arts and wrote an article during the tail-end of the MA, and the potential PhD supervisors said it was a strong consideration in the applications. You also should try to present a couple of papers at some conferences alongside your MA, as that looks great on a CV for later. It's a lot of hard work, but well worth it if you enjoy the challenge of academic writing. (I'm not sure what a postgraduate journal is, you should be able to pitch the article to regular blind peer-reviewed academic journals, I got two rejects before getting it accepted.)

User: WineGum - 07 August 2017 17:21

Quote From Nad75:
Yes, it actually looks good to have an article in review or published while you are applying for PhD applications. I was in social sciences/arts and wrote an article during the tail-end of the MA, and the potential PhD supervisors said it was a strong consideration in the applications. You also should try to present a couple of papers at some conferences alongside your MA, as that looks great on a CV for later. It's a lot of hard work, but well worth it if you enjoy the challenge of academic writing. (I'm not sure what a postgraduate journal is, you should be able to pitch the article to regular blind peer-reviewed academic journals, I got two rejects before getting it accepted.)


Thank for your reply. It was very helpful. When you were writing an article, was it a desk based journal or did it involve fieldwork? Did you have a supervisor?

User: Nad75 - 12 August 2017 13:56

Quote When you were writing an article, was it a desk based journal or did it involve fieldwork? Did you have a supervisor?

It was a critical discourse analysis paper for an academic journal. I didn't have a supervisor, and I basically expanded and went into deeper analysis from a short paper that I handed in and got good marks on in an MA course. I only used my supervisor for my MA dissertation, but haven't asked him to review any article drafts. To find which journal I wanted, I read through some of the top ones in the discipline and chose the ones that matched the 'journal aims' on their websites. I then pitched it, with some rejects but I did get very good constructive criticism that really helped make it into a great article. It is blind peer review, so any rejections or criticism won't really embarrass anyone.




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