Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series
Edited by Robert Stimson
If you are reading this chapter it is likely that you have embarked on the journey of undertaking doctoral research. You have thought of a topic, your enrolment is secured and you think: ‘I can do this’. But then doubt creeps in. You begin to wonder why so few have successfully obtained a postgraduate qualification. Before you know it the ‘I’ and the ‘can’ switch places, and the statement turns into a question as you ask yourself: ‘Can I do this?’ Fortunately, the answer is a qualified ‘Yes’. Navigating a successful candidature is indeed challenging, but with the right tools, it is certainly achievable. From our experience, what will get a student across the line is not just intelligence, but determination, perseverance and a high degree of organization. Each student will eventually develop a system that works for them, but there are several tried and true processes that will help you to get your dissertation in on time and develop the necessary skills and attributes that will contribute to your success long after the doctorate is conferred. There are several texts which comprehensively cover the doctoral experience, including the development of the research project and negotiating the processes associated with the doctoral candidature (a list of recommended reading is provided at the end of this chapter). These books will be as important to you as a Lonely Planet guide is to an unseasoned traveller.
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