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10 Most Viewed Posts From 2011

10 Most Viewed Posts In 2011

This is me in Koh Chang (Thailand) during Xmas 2011 holidays

Dear readers, thanks for coming to my site. These are the 10 most viewed posts in my blog during 2011. I started to blog seriously from September 2011 and I am quite happy with the amount of readers I got in 3 months.


How To Identify A Social Media Douchebag

Most of those social media gurus/experts are in fact social media douchebags. Learn how to spot them and stay away from them.

The 4 Hour Workweek Guide To PhD Motivation

Boost your PhD motivation using the learnings from The 4 Hour Workweek. Finish your PhD faster. Increase the quality of your research.

Top 7 Things You Need To Know Before You Start a PhD

7 things you are not told before starting a PhD. Ignore them at your peril, you future PhD student.

Motivation Letter Example For PhD And Graduate Jobs

PhD motivation letter sample that you can use for PhD jobs. Use this cover letter for graduate school when applying for a graduate degree.

5 Phases of PhD Motivation Explained: The Roller Coaster Curve

During a PhD, graduate students go through 5 phases of motivation, here is how they work.

Free Template: Cover Letter Template For Scientific Journal Submission

Useful template for when you are submitting a scientific article and the journal requires a cover letter.

Top 42 Books For PhD And Graduate Students

From writing papers, to giving presentations, to grad school humor. The top 42 books for PhD and graduate students. Read them to survive grad school.

3 Websites For Alternative Income Generation As A Scientist

Generate alternative income as a scientist in your free time. Do freelance work using your expertise.

How To Use The Oxford Comma

How to use correctly the Oxford Comma when enumerating items in English.

Kill Procrastination Guilt With The Pomodoro Technique

Beat procrastination guilt and determine when a day was productive enough with the pomodoro technique. You might be more productive than you think.

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Top 42 Books For PhD And Graduate Students

Little Book Worm (Canon G9)

From writing papers, to giving presentations, to grad school humor. These are the top 42 books for PhD and graduate students. If you want to survive in graduate school, you must read these books.

It is normal to feel lost in the vastness of a PhD project. Graduate school is a though place. You need to learn how to write, how to give presentations, how to do research, and how not to surrender.  And you have to learn fast.

Are you a graduate student that wants to know what (today’s) scientists had to do in order to finish at grad school? What they did to become good researchers? How come they didn’t go nuts in the process?

I expect this 42 books for PhD and graduate students to help in their quest for a career in science. Some of these books I have read myself or are in my to-read list. The remaining books have been recommended by very wise people that have survived and endured a PhD.

You will find all your answers in these books. If there is some missing gem, please let us know in the comments section.


Academic Writing Books

The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition

A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations

How to Write a Better Thesis

Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis

The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success

Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition

Dissertations And Theses from Start to Finish: Psychology And Related Fields

Academic Writing for Graduate Students, Second Edition: Essential Tasks and Skills

How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing

On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction


Presentation Skills Books

The Craft of Scientific Presentations: Critical Steps to Succeed and Critical Errors to Avoid

A Handbook of Public Speaking for Scientists and Engineers

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience

Even a Geek Can Speak

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery

In The SpotLight, Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking and Performing

slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations

Confessions of a Public Speaker

Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences


Graduate School Motivation And General Advice Books

The Craft of Research, Third Edition

The Unwritten Rules of PhD Research

Mastering Your PhD: Survival and Success in the Doctoral Years and Beyond

A PhD Is Not Enough!: A Guide to Survival in Science

Advice for New Faculty Members

What They Didn’t Teach You in Graduate School: 199 Helpful Hints for Success in Your Academic Career

Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student’s Guide to Earning an M.A. or a Ph.D.

Advice for a Young Investigator

Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School

Playing the Game: The Streetsmart Guide to Graduate School

Academics Handbook 2nd Ed

From Student to Scholar: A Candid Guide to Becoming a Professor

How to Survive Your PhD: The Insider’s Guide

The Smart Way to Your Ph.D.: 200 Secrets From 100 Graduates

Read This Before Our Next Meeting


Fun Comics

Piled Higher and Deeper: A Graduate Student Comic Strip Collection

Life is tough and then you graduate: The second Piled Higher and Deeper Comic Strip Collection

Scooped! The Third Piled Higher and Deeper Comic Strip Collection

Academic Stimulus Package (Piled Higher & Deeper)

xkcd: volume 0

5 Very Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides)

I hope some of these books are useful for you. If you think other good books for PhD students should be included in this list, please leave a comment.

UPDATED: Check the Next Scientist

I have started a new blog to help PhD students and young scientist to do better science, get exposure and grow their academic footprint. All using digital hacks, blogging and social media. Check these blog posts, I think you might find them interesting:

Full Metal PhD

You will learn by the numbers! I will teach you!!

Feeling like your Professor is like Gunnery Sergeant Hartman? Then these quotes might sound familiar.


If you ladies leave my group, if you survive recruit training… you will be a weapon, you will be a minister of science, praying for research. But until that day you are pukes! You’re the lowest form of life on Earth. You are not even human fucking beings! You are nothing but unorganized grabasstic pieces of amphibian shit! Because I am hard, you will not like me. But the more you hate me, the more you will learn: I am hard, but I am fair! There is no racial bigotry here! I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops, or greasers; here you are all equally worthless! And my orders are to weed out all non-doctorate who do not pack the gear to serve in my beloved Group! Do you maggots understand that?

Gunnery Professor Hartman


Today… is Christmas! There will be a magic show at zero-nine-thirty! Chaplain Charlie will tell you about how the free world will conquer Plagiarism with the aid of God and a few Scientists! God has a hard-on for Scientists because we test everything we see! He plays His games, we play ours! To show our appreciation for so much power, we keep Heaven packed with fresh souls! God was here before the Science Corps! So you can give your heart to Jesus, but your ass belongs to the Corps! Do you ladies understand?

Gunnery Professor Hartman


Today you people are no longer maggots. Today you are PhDs. You’re part of a brotherhood. [voiceover] From now on, until the day you die, wherever you are, every PhD is your brother. Most of you will go to a postdoc. Some of you will not come back. But always remember this: PhDs die, that’s what we’re here for! But the Science Corps lives forever. And that means you live forever!

Gunnery Professor Hartman


Gunnery Professor Hartman: Jesus H. Christ! PhD student Pyle, why is your lab unlocked?

PhD student Gomer Pyle: Sir, I don’t know, sir!

Gunnery Professor Hartman: Private Pyle, if there is one thing in this world that I hate, it is an unlocked lab! You know that, don’t you?

PhD student Gomer Pyle: Sir, yes, sir!

Gunnery Professor Hartman: If it wasn’t for dickheads like you, there wouldn’t be any thievery in this university, would there?

PhD student Gomer Pyle: Sir, no, sir!

Gunnery Professor Hartman: Get down!

Gunnery Professor Hartman: Well now… let’s just see if there’s anything missing!

Gunnery Professor Hartman: Holy Jesus! What is that? What the fuck is that?[He slowly picks up a New Scientist magazine and holds it in disgust with his fingertips.]

Gunnery Professor HartmanWHAT IS THAT, PhD student PYLE?!

PhD student Gomer Pyle: Sir, a New Scientist magazine, sir!

Gunnery Professor Hartman: A New Scientist magazine?!

PhD student Gomer Pyle: Sir, yes, sir!

Gunnery Professor Hartman: How did it get here?

PhD student Gomer Pyle: Sir, I took it from the mess hall, sir!

Gunnery Professor Hartman: Is crap allowed in the barracks, PhD student Pyle?

PhD student Gomer Pyle: Sir, no, sir!

Gunnery Professor Hartman: Are you allowed to read a New Scientist magazine, PhD student Pyle?

PhD student Gomer Pyle: Sir, no, sir!

Gunnery Professor Hartman: And why not, PhD student Pyle?

PhD student Gomer Pyle: Sir, because I’m too stupid, sir!

Gunnery Professor Hartman: Because you are a disgusting stupid body, PhD student Pyle!

PhD student Gomer Pyle: Sir, yes, sir!

Gunnery Professor Hartman: Then why did you hide a New Scientist magazine in your lab, PhD student Pyle?

PhD student Gomer Pyle: Sir, because I was bored, sir!

Gunnery Professor Hartman: Because you were bored?[Professor Hartman starts to walk down the line of recruits, with the New Scientist magazine still at hand.]

Gunnery Professor Hartman: PhD student Pyle has dishonored himself and dishonored the platoon! I have tried to help him, but I have failed! I have failed because you have not helped me! You people have not given PhD student Pyle the proper motivation! So, from now on, whenever PhD student Pyle fucks up, I will not punish him, I will punish all of you! And the way I see it, ladies, you owe me for one New Scientist magazine! Now, get on your faces![The other recruits get in front-leaning-rest position.]

Gunnery Professor Hartman[to Pyle] Open your mouth![He shoves the New Scientist magazine into Pyle’s mouth.]

Gunnery Professor Hartman: They’re paying for it, you eat it!

PhD Tip: Dare

(Photo: Bonolux)

Dare to think big, because a paper in Nature makes you work harder than a paper for the neighborhood newspaper.

Dare to approach a big name, because you need some godfathers in your network.

Dare to say no, because it is your time, your project, your ideas.

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