Graduate school is a unique experience and though it’s cliché, it really is what you make of it. Whether you’re attending an in-person program, low-residency program, or completely online program, it’s important to make the most of it, no matter what that might look like for you. Some people will join all the graduate student groups and throw themselves into departmental events, while others will pick and choose, find a smaller niche, and go from there. The trick is to find out what’s important to you, and create an experience that will allow you to not just succeed, but thrive.

A trusted, experienced editor, along with a methodologist or statistician, can be invaluable to your graduate school experience, especially once you start working on your dissertation. Our team of editors and statisticians can help you through the process and help you take your work to the next level.

Here are five tips for making the most of your time in graduate school:

  1. Create a weekly schedule. No matter what kind of program you’re in, a schedule will be important, especially if you have job or family obligations on top of your schoolwork. In a low-residency or online program, it’s also really important, since you won’t have specific class meeting times or meetings with professors or advisers. It can be helpful to block off time each week to go over the lesson, do the assigned readings and assignments, study periods, and any miscellany that needs to be done – ie, administrative issues, emailing classmates or professors, and so forth. Treating school like a job, with deadlines and obligations, can help you stay on track, especially in programs that are more self-directed.

  2. Find (or create!) a Facebook group with classmates or cohort members. Many low-residency or online-only programs have Facebook groups for each cohort or program, in order to create a focused community. In these groups, you can share research articles, ask questions about research or assignments, commiserate about your research or writing progress, and support each other during difficult times.

  3. Network. We know, we know – it’s not easy, and it can feel a bit disingenuous at times. Try to think of networking as simply meeting others in your field and getting to know them and their work, including your classmates and those ahead of you in the program. Go to departmental events and try to go to conferences, and when you’re an alum, go to occasional alumni events.

  4. Accept that there will be sacrifices. No matter what kind of program you’re in, there will be things you’ll have to give up, there’s no doubt about that. Whether it’s a vacation, cutting costs in your budget, or rearranging time and schedules, graduate school requires commitment and sacrifice. Just know it will be worth it in the end, and keep your eye on the prize.

  5. Get to know your advisor, and if possible, find a mentor. Checking in with your advisor regularly, even if it’s once or twice a semester, can be so important, especially if you’re starting to flounder. Your advisor can help you develop a plan of action with studying and organizing your dissertation course, and also make sure you’re on track to graduate. They can point you to resources at the school and even outside of the school or program, and a mentor be an additional support emotionally and professionally. Check out our post here on finding a mentor while in graduate school.

Here at Dissertation Editor, we know what graduate school is like. Our entire staff, from project managers to editors and statisticians, to the CEO, has gone through graduate school and written their own theses and/or dissertations. Our expertise enables us to assist you throughout your research and writing process. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help!

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Dr. Roda and his team at D.E. are the editors for my academic writing. My story with Dr. Roda is that I am a clinical assistant professor at a medical school. To move my career forward I am writing to increase the quantity and quality of my published scholarship. Because my appointment is clinical, all these efforts are on my own time and I have no secretarial help. In these circumstances DE has been supportive in the most essential way. They are available to help with all phases of my writing projects, starting with choosing the best journal, editing drafts, in house peer-review, formatting the citations to those exact specifications, from the latest edition of the APA Publication Manual or the Turabian manual. Finally, they are helpful as I must revise and answer the reviewers in subsequent revisions. For a physician without any administrative resources, DE has helped fill-in all those gaps. Presently, we are working on my second big writing project with DE editors. My first paper with DE as my editors was accepted by the first journal by all the reviewers on the first submission without any recommended editorial changes. As author with more than five years of work with DE editors, I anticipate continued success with these competant and helpful editors.


- Dr. Mike

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