Help for Ph.D Doctoral Students is Here!

Welcome to DoctoralStudents.org! My name is Dr Randy Parker and my goal is to help doctoral students succeed. I created this site because I want to help students that are struggling. I'm currently focused on publishing helpful articles on the site, but my long term vision is for this site to become a community of like-minded individuals who share ideas, discuss topics, and encourage one another. Contact me if you need help or want to contribute to the website.

Latest Articles

My New Website is PHDHELP.ORG
By Admin - 12/4/2013 I have a new website at www.phdhelp.org and I will be posting all of my new articles and eBooks on that site from now on. I will not post new articles to this site (doctoralstudents.org) anymore so please be sure to visit phdhelp.org and add it to your favorites!

Do People Say You Are In Denial? Good!
By Admin - 8/20/2013 The attractive twenty something nurse was driving on a beautiful spring day. She placed the glass beverage container between her knees to reach over and adjust the radio station. She never saw the drunk who ran the stop sign and hit her car at high speed. As she recovered they explained that over 90 percent of her inner leg muscle on each leg had been severed by the glass container and could not be repaired. Despite her desperate pleas she was to be trained to use a wheelchair since no one could walk with that little muscle on both legs. The insurance company and her doctors agreed that a wheelchair was her only option.

Problem: "There is so much I do not know!"
By Admin - 1/4/2013 So many students have talked about being overwhelmed by all of the small things that they did not know about the day to day doctoral tasks. Little of this information was covered with the advisors or committee. Social networking helped but it looked rather weak to be asking so many questions and who knows where the electronic copies of the communications will end up? Verbal venting takes place for many students and even worse are written venting comments made that are sent to a professor or a committee. So another approach is needed.

All You Zombies Come Back to Us!
By Admin - 10/10/2012 A zombie student is any student that deep in his or her heart does not believe that they can finish the doctoral degree. I am not talking about occasional doubt or anxiety. I mean down deep the student suddenly is unable to see him or herself being able to finish. They can be a freshly made zombie who is just slightly behind the quickly running live doctoral students. Or they can be a much older zombie who seldom goes to the library, works with his data or writes part of his/her dissertation. The older zombie is starting to fall apart and is tottering along far behind the quickly running live doctoral students. While the newly made zombie can still say things like “analysis of variance, nonparametric methods or multiple regression analysis” the older zombie says things like “gurrrr, argggg, and I will do it tomorrow”.

Visitor Question: How to Stay Motivated
By Admin - 8/27/2012 Response to an E-mailed question of how to stay motivated while taking classes, taking care of the family and completing the doctoral work?

Can I Reduce the Number of Times a Chapter is Reviewed?
By Admin - 8/14/2012 A simple technique was passed down to reduce the number of times a chapter is turned into your committee. It was so simple that many of us ignored it and other doctoral students I have talked with were unaware of it.

Do Not Listen To Others
By Admin - 5/12/2012 I was going to write about the technique to reduce the number of times that you hand in a chapter to your committee then I heard the news story about only 50% of the recent graduates obtaining a job. It also sounded like half of those who did have a job are underemployed as waiters, waitresses and baristas. We need to talk about that kind of sensational information and how it affects you.

What About My Educational Debt?
By Admin - 3/30/2012 Your doctoral debt is a lot like having a big pimple pop out on your forehead when you are in high school. You constantly know it is there but you do not want to think about it or look at it. You for sure do not want to talk about it with anyone. You may use some of these techniques when you graduate and are ready to pay off the school related debt. Others might use some of these ideas if they decide to drop out of the doctoral process.

How Do I Come Up with a Thesis Idea?
By Admin - 2/14/2012 The years go by as you complete your classes. Each new class you get handed a syllabus and you follow each step. Towards the end of your course work, you begin to wonder what in the heck am I going to write a small book (doctoral dissertation) about. Many students then go to the library and they look at the rows of doctoral dissertations. Each is a small book and the student skims a few to see what is expected in order to graduate. Each completed doctoral dissertation is filled with advanced statistics, technical language and many references. Each is long, technical and very impressive. Many students at this point wonder “How in the hell am I going to be able to do this?”

A Seldom Used Ally
By Admin - 1/30/2012 A number of doctoral students mentioned that they have never used reference librarians. There are stories of rude librarians, unresponsive librarians and the student fumbling when asking for help. The fumbling probably came from asking an unclear question. If the librarian is not able to answer or understand what you are looking for, then this is excellent feedback that you are not quite clear where you are going. It is like trying to navigate around Chicago with a New York map.

Frequently Asked Questions
By Admin - 1/3/2012 Here is a list of frequently asked questions about the doctoralstudents.org website and the author, Dr. Randy Parker.

Holidays: A Great Time to Catch Up?
By Admin - 12/29/2011 I urge you to stay away from thinking this way. You are in the degree process which is a long slow process. Your professors are off as well as the people running the college.  You need to walk away from your paper even if you are behind. In fact, hide the work so you do not see it every time you walk past. Others have told me they tossed a bed sheet over the desk and did not go near it for the duration of the holiday. Just the sight of the study materials is aversive and can cause stress and worry. A holiday is a time to relax, enjoy loved ones and recharge.

Don't Lose Your Marriage While Getting Your Doctorate
By Admin - 11/8/2011 Sound crazy? It’s not. For some reason getting a doctorate becomes the center of your life. Many couples end up divorcing. It is always on your mind and you feel as though you can never relax or have fun. You expect everyone else, especially your spouse to understand what you are going through, yet you are constantly tense and angry which pushes them away. As working on the doctorate goes on and on and on, there is no light at the end of the tunnel. It seems like it will never end. It feels like hell and you are never going to get off this treadmill. Fun is not even a word you remember.

Help! What Type of Statistics Should I Use for My Dissertation?
By Admin - 10/14/2011 First of all, take a deep breath and try not to panic. This does not have to be as difficult as it first appears. Few people are really great at statistics and excelling at it in a classroom can be totally different then actually applying it in a real life situation (dissertation). It is very common to feel totally lost at this point but don’t get disheartened because the following steps/ideas should help you on your way.

We are still active at phdhelp.org

Doctoral Students,

This web site provider was nice enough to keep this site active. But I am operating out of PhDhelp.org and on Facebook with the same name. The Facebook account gets most of the postings but some do not come through from the website. 

The site is for the doctoral student and has a focus to keep you going. There are many fine books on how to write and how to do research. My area is keeping going as the world weighs down on you and the years go by and the degree sometimes seems farther away then when you started. Many bright folks start a doctoral degree but many less finish. I just want a few more to make it. 

So visit us over at the new site. This site could disappear at any time. My best to you all. 



You are not alone!

"My professor responded back to me less and less often and after a while I stopped calling. I had completed all my classes and was exhausted. I was working full time and the dissertation just got away from me. I was afraid to anger the professor.  I could have paid off my mortgage on what I paid to the college for a degree I never got”.

-Former doctoral student

 

Dissertation GPS: Navigating the disseration process, by Dr Randy Parker