On surviving a Ph.D.

I just discovered (H/T Daily Dish) Matt Might’s website and his writings on graduate school, academia, and the professoriate. Matt is funny, cogent and most importantly insightful. I recommend his writing to anybody who is interested in getting into graduate school, or is currently in a graduate/Ph.D. program. Despite the fact that Matt is in the sciences, what he writes is quite applicable to graduate students in the social sciences and fields such as education. Here are links to some of his more interesting pieces:

  • The illustrated guide to a Ph.D.
    • This is absolutely a brilliant visual argument. A must read for any serious scholar.
  • Recommended reading for grad students.
    • A useful set of resources. My list (or yours) may be different but that’s not the point.
  • 3 qualities of successful Ph.D. students
    • Among other things, this piece contains a key survival strategy, one that I often used when I felt my Ph.D. wasn’t moving along.

“Whenever I felt depressed in grad school–when I worried I wasn’t going to finish my Ph.D.–I looked at the people dumber than me finishing theirs, and I would think to myself, if that idiot can get a Ph.D., dammit, so can I.

  • A Ph.D. thesis proposal is a contract
    • Addresses a key misconception most doctoral students have, i.e. Students tend to invert the importance of the proposal and the defense: they see the proposal as the formality and the defense as the challenge.

There are many more such nuggets on his site. Explore at your leisure…

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