An important part of your work as a research student is sharing and presenting your work in progress with others. Research is a contribution to knowledge and to ideas in the subject(s) and, as a researcher, you are part of a larger research community that shares its ideas and moves forward through that sharing. Additionally, sharing your work with others helps you to clarify, control and evaluate it. It also enables you to seek analytical responses from others, and this can help you develop in your work. You might well be worried that such sharing can show up the faults in your work, and you could also be rather apprehensive about the public appraisal presentation seems to offer. But a well-planned presentation of work in progress can provide immensely useful feedback to help you in your research work. Attending the presentations of others can enable you to stand back from your own work, advise them on points in theirs, and reflect on the ways in which you can develop your own, illuminated by strategies others have adopted. Sharing your work in a research community is not about giving it away but, rather, about supportive, analytical critique for constructive purposes. If you decide to become involved in work-in-progress seminars, it is important to ensure that a structured, constructive response is part of the ground rules.
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