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This bestselling book on the process of PhD research provides readers with engaging discussion and comprehensive guidance on aspects that other books don't usually mention.Covering all the key topics of the previous edition, including what a PhD is really about, how to do one well, how to decipher what your supervisor actually means by terms like 'good referencing' and 'clean research question', and how to design, report and defend your research,the authors continue to offer an accessible, down-to-earth, and insightful account of the whole PhD process. Their advice addresses how to avoid some of the pitfalls en route to a successful submission.Updated throughout, the new edition includes new material on: Critical thinking Research skills The route to research independence Different models of study The Unwritten Rules of PhD Researchis essential reading for anyone considering a PhD or embarking on one. It will tell you the things many students wish someone had told them before they started.
Dr Marian Petre is Professor of Computing at the Open University, UK, and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder. Her experience includes estiablishing a PhD programme, running doctoral consortia at international conferences, ginving tutorials on research methods in the UK, US and Europe, and presenting research workshops for PhD students as well as supervising and examining doctoral students. Dr Gordon Rugg is a former field archaeologist and English lecturer turned computer scientist, who is now head of the Knowledge Modelling Group at Keele University. He is the author of Using Statistics (Open Uniersity Press 2007).
Table of Contents
Preface to the first edition
Preface to the second edition
About this book
So you want to do a PhD?
What is a PhD?
Cabinet-making - the PhD as a 'master piece'
Instrumental and expressive behaviour
Criteria for a PhD: some reassurance
The many shapes of the PhD
Different models of study
Different models of supervision
Different models of theses
About processes and procedures
The route to research independence
What does it mean to be an 'independent researcher'?
How skills are embodied in the research programme and dissertation
Developing and documenting skills
How to become an international researcher
The role of the supervisor
The role of the student, or managing expectations
Getting the most from supervisory meetings
Establishing a good relationship
Prevention is better than cure
Strategies for when things go wrong
Building a network
Tools for networking
First contact - cold calls
People you should remember to include in your network
Finding the right references: where do I start?
Other sources of information
Reading between the lines of a paper or dissertation
Using material from the literature
Keeping an annotated bibliography
Designing empirical studies: three key steps
Types of research and research focus: machetes and magnifying glasses
Tales of horror and how to avoid them
The three ignoble truths (with apologies to the three noble truths)
Reprise on a theme: research is a discourse
Critical thinking and how it is manifest
What's theory got to do with it?
Style, epistemology and rigour
More about evidence
Giving structure to thinking
What will you need to write?
The dissertation: core concepts
The process of publication
Papers from theses
Writing structure and style
Academic style: an example
Academic style: sending signals
Academic style: summary
The process of writing
Finding a focus
Allow time for reflection, review and housekeeping
Other handy tips
The three golden rules of public speaking
A brief checklist for presentations
The conference process: a novice's perspective
The organizers' viewpoint
Miscellaneous good advice
Getting the most out of networking at a conference - a checklist
Stories of nasty surprises
Behind the scenes
The day of the viva
The viva: hints, lists and things to remember
Generic viva questions
Sabotage and salvation
Time, sensible planning and useful displacement activities
Professional etiquette: respecting working relationships
Academia or elsewhere?
Academic career types
Various other things
Writing a CV
Applications and cover letters
Some useful terms
Some further reading
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