PhD Info: How To Get A PhD

I mentioned in a previous post that I began reading the book “How To Get A PhD: A Handbook For Students And Their Supervisors” by Estelle M Phillips and Derek S Pugh, and as I get deeper into the book I realize that there are many, many things that I need to remember in order to have a successful journey through doctoral school.

I won’t lie, i’m already having doubts about this decision.  But as a friend reminded me so kindly this morning, major changes can bring a sense of being overwhelmed but that does not mean it will last.  Sometimes I wish I didn’t have as many doubts and that I can tap into my mindfulness and just be a “big girl” about this.  But on the other hand, I think it’s okay to have a little doubt and to challenge myself, after all I am a human being not a pre-programmed robot.  Right? In fact, Phillips and Pugh suggested that there will be times when you experience self doubt as you aim to complete a PhD program.

Since this book has a lot of great information, I would share a few points with you:

* In doctoral education, you have to take responsibility for managing your learning and for getting yourself a PhD (pg 3)

* Quite early on in the process you must begin to read other PhD theses in your field so that you can discover what the standards are (pg 28)

* Always be writing something during your time as a research student (pg 72)

* As part of your development into a fully professional researcher, there are two other important pieces of writing that you should be thinking about as a PhD student – conference papers and journal articles (pg 80)

* Deadlines are important.  Set realistic deadlines and achieve them (pg 83)

* Establish a peer support group (a buddy system) with at least one other PhD student in order to give mutual criticism and encouragement and to act as monitor on time details (pg 84)

I still have a bit of reading to complete in this book, however, I plan to keep this book handy on my shelf throughout this process. As time goes by, I will continue to share tidbits.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”
― Mary Anne Radmacher


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