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Getting What You Came for: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning an M.A. or a PH.D.by Robert L Peters
Synopses & Reviews
Don’t think about why you’re applying. Select a topic for entirely strategic reasons. Choose the coolest supervisor. Write only to deadlines. Expect people to hold your hand. Become “that” student.
When it comes to a masters or PhD program, most graduate students don’t deliberately set out to fail. Yet, of the nearly 500,000 people who start a graduate program each year, up to half will never complete their degree. Books abound on acing the admissions process, but there is little on what to do once the acceptance letter arrives. Veteran graduate directors Kevin D. Haggerty and Aaron Doyle have set out to demystify the world of advanced education. Taking a wry, frank approach, they explain the common mistakes that can trip up a new graduate student and lay out practical advice about how to avoid the pitfalls. Along the way they relate stories from their decades of mentorship and even share some slip-ups from their own grad experiences.
The litany of foul-ups is organized by theme and covers the grad school experience from beginning to end: selecting the university and program, interacting with advisors and fellow students, balancing personal and scholarly lives, navigating a thesis, and creating a life after academia. Although the tone is engagingly tongue-in-cheek, the lessons are crucial to anyone attending or contemplating grad school. 57 Ways to Screw Up in Grad School allows you to learn from others’ mistakes rather than making them yourself.
Every year almost half a million people start a graduate program of some sort. For many, grad school is the critical step toward a career as a researcher or teacher in higher education. Others might be pursuing a masters or a doctorate for personal fulfillment or to obtain the skills and credentials for a career outside the academy. No matter which group you are in, this book provides brilliant and unflinching advice about how to make a disaster out of graduate school.Kevin D. Haggerty and Aaron Doyle—two veteran directors of graduate programs and recipients of mentoring awards—have seen it all, the good and the bad. Here in this funny and shrewd book they lay out the fifty-seven ways to screw up grad school so that you can avoid them. Their litanies of foul-ups are organized by theme and cover the grad school experience from beginning to end: from how to select your university and program, to your interactions with your advisor, committee, and fellow students, to balancing your personal and academic lives, through the pitfalls of completing your thesis and hunting for a job or postdoctoral fellowship. Although the authors guarantee that following their 57 step program will result in a spectacular crash and burn, their primary goal is to breathe some life and humor into a concise, accessible, and engaging guide for students and potential students on how to navigate and ultimately succeed in graduate school.
Is graduate school right for you?
Should you get a masters or a Ph.D.?
How can you choose the best possible school?
This classic guide helps students answer these vital questions and much more. It will also help graduate students finish in less time, for less money, and with less trouble.
Based on interviews with career counselors, graduate students, and professors, Getting What You Came For is packed with real-life experiences. It has all the advice a student will need not only to survive but to thrive in graduate school, including: instructions on applying to school and for financial aid; how to excel on qualifying exams; how to manage academic politics—including hostile professors; and how to write and defend a top-notch thesis. Most important, it shows you how to land a job when you graduate.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -386) and index.
About the Author
Kevin D. Haggerty is a Killam Research Laureate and professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Alberta. He is also editor of the Canadian Journal of Sociology. Haggerty’s most recent book is Transparent Lives.
Aaron Doyle is associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University. His most recent book is Eyes Everywhere.
Table of Contents
This book can help (and you probably need it!)--What is graduate school like? — Do you need to go? — Should you work first? — Choosing a school: the thesis adviser — Choosing a school: secondary aspects — Application and admission — Improving your credentials for admission — Financial aid — The master's degree: history and hurdles — The doctorate: history and hurdles — Managing yourself — Playing politics: building a reputation — Master's comprehensive and Ph. D. qualifying examinations — Choosing and managing your thesis committee — The thesis topic: finding it — The thesis proposal — The thesis: writing it — The thesis defense — Oral presentations: the key to being a star — Dealing with stress and depression — The social milieu — Swimming with the mainstream: returning students, women, minorities, and foreign students — Bringing it all together: the job — Appendix A: Buying your computer and software — Appendix B: Useful internet addresses.
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