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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