Monday, September 26, 2011

In search of a PhD

Revisiting something that I posted on Facebook some time ago, and have decided to repost and revise with my current reading.

Those seeking to get into a PhD program should read the following books:

The postgraduate research handbook :succeed with your MA, MPhil, EdD and PhD /Gina Wisker.
Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

How to get a PhD :a handbook for students and their supervisors /Estelle M. Phillips and Derek S. Pugh.
Buckingham [England] ; Philadelphia : Open University Press, 2000.

While they don't tell you how to get into a PhD Programme, they do tell you what to do when you are in. However, they have been useful in giving me hints about what potential supervisors or faculty evaluating PhD applications will look for in the applications process.

Definitely, those who review the applications will want a student who has a narrow topic, that is already refined, and also demonstrates the capability to take on independent research and are almost confident in what they are going to do. Further, that one must have a research idea that is original, an idea that will make an original contribution to the discipline, as a PhD must offer some innovative and new knowledge to the discipline.

It is also best that you test out your methods of research before grad school. You can undertake this either in your Masters research or just in your own attempt to get a publication in a journal. I got from the books that I need to acquaint myself with what PhD work looks like in order to know what is expected of me when I do my PhD.

Today I learned more about what it is - a 'book-length manuscript' often 200 pages in lenght, with a 'statement of a well-defined problem within an area', 'a review of how the problem' has been dealt with in the literature and a 'statement of a new approach to the problem' (Goldsmith,  Gold and Komlos 2001).


Goldsmith, J. A., Gold, P. S., & Komlos, J. (2001). The Chicago guide to your academic career: A portable mentor for scholars from graduate school through tenure. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

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