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The Unwritten Rules Of Phd Research (Open Up Study Skills) Paperback – 1 Feb 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Open University Press; 2 edition (1 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0335237029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0335237029
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.9 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gordon Rugg is a former timberyard worker and English lecturer turned field archaeologist, whose PhD was in psychology, and who is now a computer scientist at Keele University, UK. His research includes finding a solution to the centuries-old cryptographic mystery of the Voynich Manuscript. He is co-author of several books on research methods, and of Blind Spot, a book about how people make mistakes. He lives in Shropshire, UK.

Product Description

About the Author

Dr Marian Petre is Professor of Computing at the Open University, UK, and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder. Her experience includes establishing a PhD programme, running doctoral consortia at international conferences, giving 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 University Press, 2007).

Gordon and Marian are also the authors of A Gentle Guide to Research Methods (Open University Press, 2006).


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this book BRILLIANT! As a PhD student going through the notorious 'second-year blues', this book saved me and sorted me out!!

I think whether you love or hate this book really depends on your personality. If you are quite an organized, methodological research student who is looking for formal advice, I would say maybe it isn't for you - in this context I can see how some reviewers found the book patronizing. Likewise, if you find that skills like self-discipline, assertiveness, professionalism and time management come fairly naturally to you, maybe look elsewhere.

However, if you are a PhD student who is struggling in any of these areas, please do give this book a try. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your PhD, unsure of what you should be doing/not doing, feel like you're falling into a hole or backed into a corner, if your head is MELTED, and you are starting to hate yourself and/or your supervisor... this book may help!! It gives GREAT advice, and is a source of very practical and warm wisdom in what is often an isolating experience. It helped me to step back from my feelings of frustration, boredom and despair (I was about to drop out), and really assess the professional and intellectual directions my research was taking, what was actually going on in my supervisory relationship, and how I was unintentionally self-sabotaging - it really helped me to identify my strengths and weaknesses. I didn't realise what a PhD really was until reading this book. The authors take a look-outside-the-box approach to all stages of the PhD, and every chapter is a kick up the ass, in the nicest and most constructive possible way!

I have such a renewed enthusiasm for my PhD since reading this - it all seems much more doable now, and I finally feel like I have direction and ownership over it. I go back to this book again and again. I really hope some of you fellow lost PhD souls find it as good as I did. Good luck! :)
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Petre and Rugg's (2010) "The unwritten rules of PhD research" is an excellent demystification of the arcane arts of PhD scholarship. The book opens up the doors to many of the behind-the-scenes activities that punctuate a post-graduate student's life, from day-to-day etiquette of dealing with supervisors, fellow students and other academics, through to realistic expectations of the calibre of work required of students at this level and the mysterious (and often threatening) milestone event of the viva voce and how to survive, if not flourish in, that whole process.

The book is well organised, provides useful summary points at the end of the chapters, and offers a calming and reassuring voice for students who may have already started their PhDs as well as for those who - like me - are due to start shortly. The authors use the analogy of cabinet making to put the whole process of doing a PhD into perspective: a PhD student is an apprentice, one who is required to demonstrate that they are able to organise and coordinate a complete research project independently that is at the standard that peer reviewed journals would be willing to publish. The authors reassure students that they are not expected to produce brand new theories or to overturn the last century of scientific advances in their specialist field - just to produce a cabinet (i.e. a finished research project) from conception to actual delivery (thesis) and defense (viva) that can stand on its own merits and which makes a significant and original contribution to the field.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed reading this book and learning about the PhD process. Excellent advice is given about supervisors, reading, writing, conferences, networking, critical evaluation and conducting research. I found it brilliant at giving invaluable information about the wider picture of research and how a PhD fits into this. I thought that the analogies used helped to explain some of the difficult content very well. Loved the story about the PhD student that studied mushrooms as it gives a great example of how something simple can be overlooked if care is not taken. I have decided to read the book twice as the information is so useful for anyone thinking about embarking on a PhD and then looking to get into research or teach afterwards.

I have read a few PhD books so far and this is the best. It does exactly what it says and gives advice which is unwritten about anywhere else.
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I bought this book between securing a place and beginning my PhD and found it to be exactly what I needed. It is a light and jolly read which personally, I didn't find in the least patronising (and I'd previously considered myself to have a pretty low threshold in such matters!)
It provides good practical guidance for all Doctoral students but is probably of greatest relevance to newbies like me - 3 years down the line I too may tut and say "Of course one does an annotated bibliography" but I am delighted someone has told me these little "tricks" before I have lost all record of that vital paper...
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Format: Paperback
My order arrived speedily and in excellent condition. I would not hesitate to use this seller again nor to recommend him/her to family and friends. The activities and summary tables within the text are well structured and provide excellent support to PhD candidates. I own both a Kindle and a paperback version.
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