Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

THE Scholarly Web

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

THE Scholarly Web

Article excerpt

Weekly transmissions from the blogosphere.

What kind of PhD student are you? asks doctoral candidate Constance Iloh on the University of Southern California's 21st Century Scholar blog ( She believes that aspiring PhDs around the world can be slotted neatly into five groups that resonate way beyond the realms of academia.

First up is the "Oh You Study That? I Do Too!" PhD student. "This type of student is either interested in so many things that their interests seem to span their entire field of study, or they are on a lifelong quest to relate to everyone," Ms Iloh writes. "Nevertheless when you inquire what they are studying, you might be inundated with more topics than you bargained for."

She warns that students in this category could be conveying more confusion than clarity, and advises them to develop a "strong" pitch where they can communicate research 'concisely and in a manner that is cohesive rather than disparate".

Next is the "I am a Successful Procrastinator" group. Members of this classification have developed bad habits from their undergraduate days and persist in the belief that work improves as deadlines approach.

"Many of these students find procrastination to be an asset. I hate to break it to you (and myself) but this might be quite flawed and counter to your goals. Not only can this bring on unnecessary stress, it can also shorten time you could use to get valuable feedback."

The lesson here is simple: "Don't try to run against time. Use it to your advantage."

Third on the list are the PhD students who consider themselves "Kind of a Big Deal". …

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