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Book Review

Being Bright Is Not Enough: The Unwritten Rules of Doctoral Study (3rd Edition)

This third edition has been well revised and continues with the ideas
expressed in the previous two editions. The details and reactions in light
of experiences of the intervening years have been updated and expanded.
This book is written from a student advocacy perspective, intended to
speak to non-traditional students as well as those typical of past
generations. Specific topics include: (1) how doctoral study differs from
previous pursuits; (2) choosing a dissertation topic; (3) your chair, your
committee, and you; (4) writing the proposal; (5) the dissertation; (6)
defense of the thesis; and (7) spouses, family and friends.

From the Preface: “Looking back upon my academic career, one of the
memories that brings me the most pleasure are the words students used
to pass along to each other, ‘If you have a problem, go see Peggy
Hawley.’ My distress at seeing bright students drop out and my interest in
social science research combined to provide the impetus for writing this
book. On a year-long sabbatical leave I interviewed hundreds of doctoral
students and dozens of professors across the nation. Then as professor
emeritus, I finally found the time to put my thoughts into words . . . . ” In
making the unwritten rules of doctoral study more explicit, the author has
attempted to be insightful rather than scientific, personal rather than
objective, and practical rather than theoretical. This guide will therefore
help to pave the way for those recipients who will pursue and capture
academe’s highest award: the terminal degree in a particular field of