Your Phd Companion: The Insider Guide to Mastering the Practical Realities of Getting Your Phd


This book guides you through doctoral study from the student's point of view - the challenges, pitfalls, and ups and downs that you're likely to encounter in the course of your PhD.

Inside you'll find:

Advice on doing research

Examples of PhD problems and their resolution

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Your Phd Companion

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This book guides you through doctoral study from the student's point of view - the challenges, pitfalls, and ups and downs that you're likely to encounter in the course of your PhD.

Inside you'll find:

Advice on doing research

Examples of PhD problems and their resolution

Reflections on life as a PhD student

Insights into how the academic system works

Real life cases of famous (and not so famous) PhD students

Over and above what your supervisors and university may have to offer, Your PhD Companion will help explain all kinds of things that no one ever seems to tell you - and you don't necessarily know to ask.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845283926
  • Publisher: How To Books
  • Publication date: 8/15/2010
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 156
  • Sales rank: 914,728
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr STEPHEN MARSHALL and Dr NICK GREEN both gained their doctorates in 2001, and now work in academia.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements ix

Preface xi

1 Introduction 1

What is a PhD? 2

A brief history of the PhD 3

A PhD route map (and guide to this book) 4

2 Embarking on a PhD 7

Wanting to do a PhD 8

Why another degree? 9

Possible reasons for doing a PhD 12

How long will it take? 13

The part-time option 14

Albert Einstein 15

What topic? 15

Some interesting PhD topics 16

The Grand Academy of Lagado 16

Funding 17

Where to do it? 19

Who to do it with? 19

Applying to do a PhD 22

Dragons' Den 24

Ten bits of advice before you start 25

3 You and Your Supervisor 26

Your relationship with your supervisor 27

How to address your supervisor 29

Expectations: you and your supervisor 29

Supervisors: the good, the bad and the ugly 30

Relating to your supervisor's research 31

Ten questions to ask a prospective supervisor 32

Supervisors: when things go wrong . . . 33

Loss of a supervisor 34

Disputes 35

Intellectual property issues 36

Cecilia Payne 38

4 Finding Your Feet (and a Desk to Put Them Under) 40

Your place in the department 41

The academic food chain 43

Your contribution 43

Your space 44

Office facilities 46

Health and safety 48

A fresh start 48

5 Doing the Research 49

Originality and what it means 50

Finding that someone else has 'done your thesis' 51

Searching the literature 51

Information overload 54

PhD as jigsaw 55

Methodology: research as an iterative process 56

Fieldwork and lab work 57

Marie Curie 58

Time management 59

The upgrade report 61

6 Life as a PhD Student 63

Long haul irritations 64

When you're down 65

PhD joys: being paid to do a hobby? 66

PhD progress 67

Meeting people 67

Surviving relationships 68

When will you finish? 69

Diminishing marginal overruns 72

Working while you study (or, in search of cash and kudos) 72

7 Academia 74

Academic research 75

Conferences 76

Book reviews 77

Lab demonstrations 77

Lecturing and tutoring 78

Being a supervisor 78

Marking 78

Invigilation 79

Research employment 79

Ludwig Wittgenstein 80

8 Thesis Construction 83

The big one 84

What the thesis is 84

Narrative structure 85

Thesis components 86

Examples of PhD titles 87

Bibliographic by-ways 90

Language and writing style 92

Writing in English as a foreign language 92

Holding a whole thesis in your head 93

Writing processes 94

Frankenstein's thesis 96

Unwriting 96

The obese thesis 97

Dr Seuss 97

9 Survival 99

Climbing at altitude 100

PhD completion and attrition 101

Mission to Mars 102

Plotting your course in PhD-space 105

Working and writing up 106

Unravelling purposes 108

Unfinished business 108

Magnum opus 109

The Devil's bargain 111

Dr Johnson 113

10 The End Game 114

Entering the end game 115

Knowing the rules 115

Playing the game 117

Preparing for submission: final content check 118

Formatting your thesis 118

Keep a back-up 120

Acknowledgements 120

Final printing 121

Now you see it! 123

. . . . . . and then three come along 123

The person whose dinner guest spilled wine over the final printed version of the thesis 124

Finishing 124

11 The Examination 126

Outcomes of the viva voce 127

Choosing your examiners 127

About the examiner 129

How the examiner may see it 130

Averting corrections 131

Preparing for the exam 135

Defending your thesis 137

Enjoying the viva (it's possible) 139

The day of the viva 139

Heisenberg's viva 140

12 The Afterlife 142

Making corrections after the viva 143

Graduation 144

Isaac Asimov 144

Building on your doctoral research 145

Turning your thesis into a book 147

Top tips on doing a PhD 148

Further Reading 150

Index 151

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