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PhD: An uncommon guide to research, writing & PhD life by [Hayton, James]
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PhD: An uncommon guide to research, writing & PhD life Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 212 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

“I started my PhD in September 2003, but it wasn’t long before I realised that it’s much easier to get onto a PhD programme than it is to complete one…”

If the aim of a PhD is to develop the skills of a professional academic researcher, how should you go about it? Using the principles of skill development as a foundation, this book provides a unique approach to the most common challenges of PhD research, including:

Getting to know the literature in your field
Developing your research ideas
Becoming a better academic writer
Coping with the stress and unpredictability of research
Publications and presentations
Writing, submitting and defending your thesis

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2138 KB
  • Print Length: 212 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0993174108
  • Publisher: James Hayton PhD; 1 edition (10 April 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #91,558 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read many books and followed a lot of advice on how to approach writing my thesis. I'm yet to find a way that works for me. I read this book in one day, on the edge of defeat and can honestly say I'm excited to write again.

Going against everyone else's advice gives this book a refreshing and real feel, and it makes so much sense! Highly recommended reading - especially if you're in your final year.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very helpful book that I would recommend to anyone doing a PhD. Very honest and practical.
One of the best Ive read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what I loved most about this book was that it leaves you ... 18 August 2016
By TR - Published on
Verified Purchase
The title captures the content really well: it really is an uncommon guide to research, writing, and PhD life. Let me start by saying what this is not: it is not a sequel to a how-to-get-into-grad-school guidebook, i.e. it doesn't give you a to-do list of how to talk to your advisor, how to decide what classes to take, how to make a timeline, when and how to apply for fellowships, etc. It is also not a guide to research that tells you how to select your topic, how to theorize, etc. I can only think of describing this as a book that guides you how to think rather than what to do (although the author does give some practical tips for dealing with writer's block, proofreading, editing, etc.).

At this point in my PhD (one month before my classes begin), I found this book extremely helpful in mentally preparing me for the years that lie ahead in terms of how to think about my work/career, how to approach my classes, how to keep my work organized, how to manage my time, how to associate with my colleagues, etc. Again, this is not really a how-to-do guide, it is a how-to-approach-stuff guide.

This book answers all the questions that people have about PhD life but wouldn't be able to articulate them or know who to ask. I have actually tried asking current/recent students questions about some of the topics that this book touches upon. However, I think it's hard to get objective answers from current/recent PhDs because people's experiences and feelings about those experiences vary a lot. Only once you have stepped out of the experience completely are you able to reflect upon it in an unbiased way - which this author does to perfection.

Finally, what I loved most about this book was that it leaves you feeling in control. The author discusses many setbacks he had during his PhD and how he overcame them and what worked and what didn't work. All of this makes you see the largely amorphous process of PhD as something which some amount of structure and predictability, while also learning to incorporate the unpredictability of certain parts of research (experiments/results) into your workplan.

This is an excellent book if you are starting your PhD or are feeling stuck in the middle of your PhD. Go for it! :)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Outline if Considering a PhD 2 October 2016
By Erich Ball - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been considering starting a PhD for some time but really understood little of the overall process. This book outlines the process from start to finish nicely. In some areas it lacks detail, e.g. in how to pick your thesis topic, but there are plenty of other books that focus on the areas of lack. The strength of this book lies in clarifying the broad picture.

I had no real idea of what an oral defence entailed, for example, and was concerned about that aspect of the process. I now have a far better idea of it as well as a solid approach that could be used.

The book is structured in a linear way, with clear examples. The author is an experimental physicist, yet this is not obtrusive. His writing, in plain language, is equally applicable to any other discipline.

Highly recommended as a starting point if you are considering treading this path.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to earn your PhD "one bite at a time" while remembering you're human 4 March 2016
By Tom Briggs (twbriggs) - Published on
Verified Purchase
Hayton opens with an admission of being a sort of accidental PhD student, using what he was told in one failed admission interview to game the next one. I appreciate his honesty. Where he succeeds in this book, subtitled an "uncommon guide to research, writing, & PhD life" is offering both practical strategies and also a reasoned understanding of human nature, citing Daniel Kahneman as one of his major influences. Even though his PhD was in applied physics, Hayton did a nice job generalizing his experience and what he learned about the process of PhD study so that it applies to other fields.

His thoughts on skill development during a PhD are probably the best part of the book, as are his perspectives on what earning a PhD actually means rather than what people often imagine it to mean. He gently disagrees with some ideas like writing garbage and fixing it later and offers alternatives. Many of the other ideas he shares are not new per se (e.g., cut off internet access), but he wraps them together in a slim and accessible volume. The first two-thirds of the book cover bigger-picture issues like research, academic literature, academic writing, publishing, and conferences. The final third of the book focuses specifically on writing a dissertation or thesis, building on earlier ideas in the book.

The book suffers from a handful of editing mishaps - an irony considering Hayton's insistence on relatively careful writing and the editing process - and it was much less comprehensive than other books in this genre. I think the US $30 list price was a bit of a stretch considering it's a small short book with very wide margins, but it's certainly worth US $13 if you are pursuing a PhD.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His tips are useful and help clear my vision towards Ph 1 March 2015
By Thada - Published on
Verified Purchase
His tips are useful and help clear my vision towards Ph.D. life.
Although many of them seem common sense, people, including me, overlook them when facing tons of information under time pressure.
Also, the book answers several questions I used to have in mind but didn't know who I should consult with.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahhhhh! 24 May 2015
By Andrea A. Feldman - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This helped alleviate my extreme anxiety about my slow progress in my PhD journey. Hayes has provided a great repertoire of strategies on all stages before, during, and after the process. Thank you!!!