Do you dream about getting a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree, but hesitate to take the first step? What holds you back from bringing your dreams to life?
You don’t have to be a genius to get a Ph.D. If you are passionate about studying and want to contribute to your field, you should apply for a doctoral program. Here are five tips that will help you to become a Doctor of Philosophy.
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Choose a Ph.D. research topic mindfully
Probably one of the most challenging parts of writing a Doctor of Philosophy dissertation is choosing the right topic. Here are a few things to consider before you make a final choice:
- Think of topics you have a genuine interest in. Be aware that if you pick a topic you are not enthusiastic about, dissertation writing will be a struggle for you.
- Check whether a chosen topic is manageable and whether research materials are available. No matter how brilliant your topic idea is, you will not be able to write a great dissertation if there are no relevant materials available online and offline.
- Make sure that you will be able to complete your research within a given timeframe. Don’t opt for complex topics that require many years of research.
- Come up with an original research topic that can contribute to the field of study.
Develop a good relationship with your Ph.D. supervisor
Every Ph.D. student has an assigned supervisor, and you will also have one. A qualified supervisor will advise and guide you through research. Besides, this person will ensure that you maintain constant progress toward finishing your Doctor of Philosophy within the intended timeframe.
Your task is to make the most out of the relationship with your dissertation supervisor. You should follow these rules:
- Define your expectations. Agree from the outset what you expect from your supervisor and what the supervisor expects from you.
- Show respect. Don’t skip meetings. Submit work on time and be ready to receive positive and negative feedback.
- Ensure that your supervisor is not overly supportive – that may create dependency, and you will be unable to work on your dissertation on your own.
Set up your Ph.D. timeline and milestones
The work on your Ph.D. project will take you from three to four years. Sounds like lots of time to get things done, isn’t it?
But the truth is that once you start working on your research project, you will see that time flies fast. And it will be challenging for you to get yourself to work on the project day by day, week by week, for a few years in a row.
If you have already decided to enroll in a doctoral program, we highly suggest you set up a timeline and milestones for your project. It will help you stay accountable and on track and ensure that you will complete your project on time.
Get help if needed
If you want to write an outstanding dissertation, you shouldn’t feel ashamed to ask for assistance. Admit the fact that you need help with dissertation writing and collaborate with researchers in your field. It will allow you to access the necessary materials while also help you make the right connections for your career.
Use research and collaboration tools
The advanced technologies significantly simplify the process of dissertation writing. With the help of tools like EndNote and Zotero, you can manage citations with ease. Using platforms like Elsevier’s Science Direct, Scopus, and Web of Science, you can stay informed about the latest related studies and connect with researchers around the world.
Find time to learn how to use these online tools. By embrace new technologies, you will boost your efforts and improve your performance.
Even though dissertation writing is a time-consuming and challenging task, the results are worth it. Once you get a Doctor of Philosophy degree, you will become a recognized expert in your field. You will get an opportunity to apply for highly-paid jobs that require you to have a Ph.D. or equivalent. And most importantly, you and your family will be proud of you.
BIO: Michael Carr is an educator and a former reporter. He is passionate about sharing his experience and inspiring others to grow personally and professionally.
Featured Image by David Mark from Pixabay