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Succeeding in a Research Higher Degree

Doing a Research Higher Degree (like a PhD) is hard, but lots of people have succeeded and you can too. It’s easier if you understand how it works, this blog gives you the insider view.

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When talking in seminars makes you feel like you don’t belong

Some workplaces and research cultures explicitly or implicitly run so that every conversation is actually a battle for airtime, and it’s common to try to sabotage other people’s chances. We should be working towards the exact opposite: energising, authentic, worthwhile, academic conversations. That’s what we love about getting together with our nerd pals.

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When reading makes you feel like an imposter

What these students show is they see reading as an intelligence test. (To be fair, they probably learned this from school.) As a graduate student, they have been a ‘smart’ person all their life, but maybe now they are not smart, or not smart enough.

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Communicating well in a mask

COVID-19 keeps presenting us with communication challenges—and as professional communicators who deliver complex, new and sensitive information usually in face-to-face contexts, academics are right at

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You don’t have to feel ready to take action

All of this works because we start doing the work. By not delaying the real work through endless reading and procrastination, we start working towards our end goal, in ways that actually contribute to our goals. That is, we start making words on the page that can be added to and refined until you have enough good enough words to submit a passable PhD thesis.

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Resources

Books

For more insider tips, techniques and insights, check out my books.

Level Up Your Essays

Level Up Your Essays is the essential guide to essay writing for university students. Written by the people who mark your essays, it will show you step-by-step how to write high-quality essays that will get you top marks.

Your PhD Survival Guide

The ‘Insider Guides to Success in Academia’ offers support and practical advice to doctoral students and early-career researchers. These neat pocket guides fill specific and significant gaps in current literature. 

How to Fix Your Academic Writing Trouble

This clear and accessible guide to decoding academic feedback will help you interpret what your lecturer or research supervisor is really trying to tell you about your writing – and show you how to fix it.

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