Tag Archives: being a successful doctoral student

The Month In Review: May 2016 (Or, “Let’s play an impossible game of catch up, shall we?”)

The title of the post says it all–I’ve well over a month’s worth of material to cover, so I’ll just dive right in and here it is: May 2016, redux. May 2016 was spectacularly, almost overwhelmingly chock-full of busy. On … Continue reading

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Teaching: Managing End-Of-Term Stress

Here we are, most of us, at the end of the spring term. For those of us who are teaching as well as finishing up our own reponsibilities as students, things probably seem pretty dicey right about now–papers to write; … Continue reading

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Things To Consider Before Taking an “Incomplete” in Graduate School

I belong to an online forum that comprises a variety of educators at every step of the game, from veteran tenured professors to new graduate teaching assistants. Recently, the discussion turned to the question of taking incompletes in graduate classes, … Continue reading

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Thinking About Comps

Comps are the final preparatory hurdle to clear in a doctoral program before you advance to candidacy and write and defend your dissertation. They are the official means by which your dissertation commmittee tests your readiness to undertake the work of the dissertation. Primarily, they’re meant to gauge your knowledge base in your chosen subject field(s). The basic question they are supposed to answer is: Do you know enough about this material to be able to teach and write effectively about it? Continue reading

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The Week In Review, October 19-25(26), 2015

Research “Histories of Contexts: Form, Argument, and Ideology in A Gest of Robyn Hode Alex Kaufman, in British Outlaws of Literature and History, ed. Alex Kaufman (McFarland, 2011) “Playing With Food: Medieval Manners and Unruly Behavior in the Domestic Space … Continue reading

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Dissertating: Five Fast Ways To Get Five Hundred Words Drafted

The question of course is, how do you get started back into a major writing project after you have taken some time off (whether planned or unplanned)? For me–and hopefully, for some of you, since I’m giving advice about how to do it–the best answer is a pool metaphor: if you know the water’s cold, and you know you’re going to get water up your nose, just jump feet-first into the deep end and get it over with fast. Because, once you’re actually in the pool and the initial shock of the cold and the initial burst of water up your nose is over with, the swimming is deliciously wonderful, right? So, for me, is working on my dissertation–once I’m back into it. It’s the initial re-entry that’s hardest. Continue reading

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Dissertating and the Academic Term (Or, Caution: Slow-Moving Dissertation Ahead)

ABD. For those of us who are hell-bent on the path to the PhD, perhaps the only more thrilling moment is the one when your dissertation committee chair reaches across the table, shakes your hand, and says, “Congratulations, Doctor Professor” … Continue reading

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Just Say “No”…..?

I’m confessing it here for the world to read, even though anyone who has spent a grand total of five minutes with me already knows it: I’m a “yes” girl. I seem to have inherited a “service” gene, one that … Continue reading

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From 65 to (Seemingly) 0 to 65 MPH: (Re) Defining Productivity, The Dissertation Year(s)

I am currently experiencing a phenomenon that I was warned about by friends who are farther along in their degrees that I am or who have finished their degrees, but never really believed could happen to me: I am doing … Continue reading

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SMART New Year’s Resolutions For Graduate Students

It’s January 2. Happy New Year! Statistically speaking, only 8% of Americans who make them achieve their New Year’s resolutions, and most people who go into the new year with a list of resolutions to achieve start out strong and … Continue reading

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