PhD Survival Guide

As a companion to my ‘Interested in a NT PhD?’ page, I thought I would also do a how-to guide for PhD studies in NT. Now, instead of reinventing the wheel, I figured that many of the posts I have already done are quite relevant. So, below you will find links to many of my blog posts, but here they will be organized in a more useful way. NKG

The PHD Process

As you begin your PhD, you may feel lost (like I did). See some of my process-oriented posts.

IF I COULD HAVE GONE BACK…

I GOT INTO A PHD PROGRAM IN THE UK, NOW WHAT???

CHOOSING A RESEARCH TOPIC

Life as a Researcher

SOME ADVICE FROM A WISE SCHOLAR

MORE RESEARCH ADVICE FROM A TENURED SCHOLAR

Writing Skills

WHEN TO QUOTE

Viva.

VIVA TIPS

Developing Academic Skills

Paper presentations. I significant element of being a research student is learning how to get a paper accepted to present at a conference and also to present it in a clear and appealing way. See my posts below

PRESENTING AN ACADEMIC PAPER (VIS-A-VIS SBL)

WHAT I LEARNED FROM READING MY FIRST PAPER AT A CONFERENCE

THOUGHTS ON PRESENTING A SCHOLARLY PAPER

Book Reviews. I love writing book reviews because it keeps me up to speed on a number of areas and, frankly, I love free books! See some of my posts on the hows and whys.

GETTING STARTED IN BOOK REVIEWS

WRITING A BOOK REVIEW

READING CRITICALLY

REFLECTIONS ON SOME BOOK REVIEWS I HAVE DONE

WRITING BOOK REVIEWS ON COMMENTARIES

Publishing Articles.

PUBLISHING ARTICLES: A CAVEAT

Networking and Scholarly Interaction.

ACADEMIC ETIQUETTE AND EMAIL

General Resources and Helps

COMMON LATIN WORDS AND ABBREVIATIONS

GERMAN AND FRENCH ONLINE HELPS

SCHOLARS WHO HAVE INFLUENCED ME MOST

6 thoughts on “PhD Survival Guide

  1. Thanks for your excellent website. Always very helpful. The link to “Choosing a Research Topic” is broken. Could you restore it? I am very keen to hear what you have to say about the subject.

  2. Great resources. Thanks for taking the time to post them. I noticed, however, that the link for ‘Choosing a Research Topic’ doesn’t work. I would be interested in reading that article if you can repair the link. Many thanks!

  3. Question From An Undergrad:

    Mr. Gupta,

    As an undergrad in my Sr. year, I have reached the point of my academic career where all of my courses function around writing research papers (this semester Hermeneutics, New Testament Theology, a practicum with my adviser, and an internship with a local Center for Holy Land Studies all have me doing research and writing). It finally hit me that doing research is a skill, and if you’re going to do it seriously or for a living, which I plan to, you can’t bumble your way through the process—you can’t afford to waste time and “brain power” so to speak. Now that I’m thoroughly comfortable with spending my waking hours in a library and know where to find resources, who and what to look for, and how to read a text, etc., what I really need to work on—as basic as it sounds—is note taking.

    So I was wondering if you could convey how you keep track of your research and how you use what you’ve read to further along the process of your study? Throughout the process you’re reading various primary texts (hopefully) and secondary material, but how are you keeping track of your notes? Note cards? Word document? Evernote? It’s a little embarrassing to ask, but I’ve been taught WHERE to look, but not how to incorporate what I’ve found.

    Also, I don’t know how your undergraduate days were, but for most of mine I’ve noticed that many of my peers and I tend to write papers like one builds a Lego tower. You find sources for your passage/topic, you take notes assuming that this or that phrase might be important, and you then try to figure out how to incorporate it into some kind of argument. That fact is, I hate this. It’s never truly genuine; you feel like you’re just repeating what other authors say. It’s absolutely laborious to write anything when you don’t have that “spark” in your mind (so to speak) or when you yourself don’t actually have a question to solve—hard to find when your prof says, “Write a paper on Philippians 1:27-30,” and you’re thinking, “What’s the problem? It seems pretty easy to understand to me, but you want me to write a 20 page paper on it? The guy in the commentary only wrote one page.

    . . . not that, that ever happened.

    Maybe a more general question is: any advice for the undergrad? My own passion is in Ancient Judaism and Christian origins. I’ve read your book “Prepare, Succeed, Advance.” Thank you! It was tremendously helpful to know what the process and the adventure looks like, and what to expect. In fact, I gave it to our Theology department with the suggestion they make it available to those students who think they want to pursue graduate work in Biblical Studies.

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