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Resources for Graduate Students

There is some advice that is useful for both undergraduate and graduate students, but I find that these posts fit more the needs of Masters’ and Doctoral candidates. Obviously, if you’re looking for advice on Academic Writing, Literature Reviews, Reading Strategies, Organization and Time Management, all of these can be found in their own sub-pages.

If you are looking for my Reading Notes of Books Related to How to Write a Doctoral Dissertation, you can find all those posts by clicking on the hyperlink above.

Preparing for the doctoral dissertation defense (”the viva”)

In this blog post, I share the strategy I followed to prepare to defend my PhD dissertation, and how I help my own doctoral students prepare for theirs. I did my PhD in Canada, so I discuss that particular style of doctoral defense.

What is a PhD, and what does undertaking a PhD entail?
This is a question I get asked often, so I wrote this blog post so my own students keep in mind what the main goal is.

The “Dissertation Two Pager (DTP)” method to maintain a panoramic view of the doctoral dissertation.

I teach my doctoral students this method (the DTP) so they can keep track of how their argument, research and empirics develop through time.

Identifying gaps in the literature, Explaining a research problem, and Demonstrating contributions to and mastery of scholarship: Advancing to Doctoral Candidacy.

I wrote this blog post to help guide my own students (and others) through the process of identifying research gaps, explaining the boundaries and components of their study, and demonstrating how their work contributes to the field and scholarship at large.

Developing research questions

One of my biggest frustrations whenever I attend doctoral candidates’ presentations is that often they don’t have a defined research question that drives their work. I wrote this blog post to guide my students through this process, but I also wanted to share it with others in hopes it can help students draft good research questions.

Planning for the summer as PhD students

I wrote this blog post to help PhD students plan their activities over an extended period of time, which usually may be the most unstructured (summer).

Preparing the overall elements of a doctoral thesis or dissertation before the defense or viva.

As I’ve graduated several PhD students and I myself have gone through the process of preparing and defending a doctoral dissertation, I decided to write a blog post where I summarized what I think are the core elements of a doctoral dissertation and how should a PhD student present those elements in a doctoral thesis defense or PhD viva.

Preparing for comprehensive-qualifying-preliminary doctoral exams

This is the process I followed to prepare for my comps, hopefully it will be useful to others!

Narrowing the thesis/dissertation topic

It’s always hard to convince an eager graduate student to narrow their topic to make the research more manageable. I decided to blog about this issue.

A few common mistakes that I’ve seen in academic job market applications

It’s hard to provide academic job market advice since the number of tenure-track positions is quickly dwindling. However, I figured this post might be helpful to those who are seeking those positions.

How to write an academic CV

I have chaired a few searches and participated in several others, so I wrote this blog post to provide some guidance on how to write academic CVs, using examples from scholars at all stages of their careers.

Planning a doctoral (or Masters or undergraduate) thesis

This post explains the process I follow to teach my students how to plan their progress, based on their development of a Gantt Chart for their entire project, and then backcasting their thesis into monthly plans.

Resources for non-native English speakers who are writing doctoral dissertations in English.

I wrote this post out of frustration with poor feedback from PhD advisors to non-native English speakers. A lot of graduate students who are doing their theses in a different language than theirs (usually English) often ask me what they can do to improve their written academic prose. This post is inspired by, and for them.

12 tips to give solid talks within a 10-12 minute time frame.

Most graduate students I know will at some point end up presenting at major academic conferences and workshop. This blog post offers strategies to ensure that their talk goes smoothly.

Time management during grad school: If you must work, work on Sundays

My PhD advisor suggested that, no matter how hard I had to work and how many hours I had to put in, I always had to take AT LEAST one day off. I experimented doing both, then Saturday, and then I settled on Sunday. This post explains a few reasons why.

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