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Books on doing graduate research

  1. Jun 27, 2008 #1
    Hi, I was wondering if anyone could recommend books useful for learning how to "do research," to put it bluntly. Almost all the books I could find at my school's wimpy liberal arts library seem concerned with doing research to write a research paper for a class, not on actually doing research on a scientific problem, IE trying to create a literature review etc. for a thesis.

    Any recommendations? What books do grad students read on "how to do research"?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2008 #2
    I'd like to know too. I didn't have one, and I'd like to have one to suggest to others!
  4. Jun 27, 2008 #3


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  5. Jun 27, 2008 #4


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    I have Pat Cryer's "The Research Student's Guide to Success". Its mainly for British Postgrad research students though, but is written with a broad range of subjects in mind and is very general about the methods and practices you need to develop if you want to do well in research.
  6. Jun 27, 2008 #5

    Andy Resnick

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    I have read a few that you may like:

    Ramon y Cajal's "Advice to a Young Investigator" is really good, and probably exactly what you are looking for.

    Truesdell's "An Idiot's Fugitve Essays of Science" is also quite good. More dismissive in tone than Cajal's, but a refreshing perspective, IMO.

    Other than that, there's lot's of "career development" materials available on the internets, usually though professional societies.
  7. Jun 28, 2008 #6
    I have a book on my shelf called "Writing your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day" by Joan Bolker. It is really more about the writing-up process, but I recall it being a decent read.

    One of the first things it says is "Of course, you can't actually write your dissertation in fifteen minutes a day...". I wanted my money back! :lol:
  8. Aug 22, 2008 #7
  9. Aug 24, 2008 #8


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    terence tao has a great article on his webpage.
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