front cover of 57 Ways to Screw Up in Grad School
57 Ways to Screw Up in Grad School
Perverse Professional Lessons for Graduate Students
Kevin D. Haggerty and Aaron Doyle
University of Chicago Press, 2015
Don’t think about why you’re applying. Select a topic for entirely strategic reasons. Choose the coolest supervisor. Write only to deadlines. Expect people to hold your hand. Become “that” student.

When it comes to a masters or PhD program, most graduate students don’t deliberately set out to  fail. Yet, of the nearly 500,000 people who start a graduate program each year, up to half will never complete their degree. Books abound on acing the admissions process, but there is little on what to do once the acceptance letter arrives. Veteran graduate directors Kevin D. Haggerty and Aaron Doyle have set out to demystify the world of advanced education. Taking a wry, frank approach, they explain the common mistakes that can trip up a new graduate student and lay out practical advice about how to avoid the pitfalls. Along the way they relate stories from their decades of mentorship and even share some slip-ups from their own grad experiences.

The litany of foul-ups is organized by theme and covers the grad school experience from beginning to end: selecting the university and program, interacting with advisors and fellow students, balancing personal and scholarly lives, navigating a thesis, and creating a life after academia. Although the tone is engagingly tongue-in-cheek, the lessons are crucial to anyone attending or contemplating grad school. 57 Ways to Screw Up in Grad School allows you to learn from others’ mistakes rather than making them yourself.
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American Indian Studies
Native PhD Graduates Gift Their Stories
Edited by Mark L. M. Blair, Mary Jo Tippeconnic Fox, and Kestrel A. Smith
University of Arizona Press, 2022

In American Indian Studies, Native PhD graduates share their personal stories about their educational experiences and how doctoral education has shaped their identities, lives, relationships, and careers.

This collection of personal narratives from Native graduates of the University of Arizona’s American Indian Studies (AIS) doctoral program, the first such program of its kind, gifts stories of endurance and resiliency, hardship and struggle, and accomplishment and success. It provides insight into the diverse and dynamic experiences of Native graduate students. The narratives address family and kinship, mentorship, and service and giving back. Essayists share the benefits of having an AIS program at a mainstream academic institution—not just for the students enrolled but also for their communities.

This book offers Native students aspiring to a PhD a realistic picture of what it takes. While each student has their own path to walk, these stories provide the gift of encouragement and serve to empower Native students to reach their educational goals, whether it be in an AIS program or other fields of study.

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The Graduate Advisor Handbook
A Student-Centered Approach
Bruce M. Shore
University of Chicago Press, 2014
In the sink-or-swim world of academia, a great graduate advising can be a lifesaver. But with university budgets shrinking and free time evaporating, advisors often need a mentor themselves to learn how to best support their advisees. Bruce M. Shore, an award-winning advisor with more than forty years of advising experience, is just the coach that graduate advisors need. With The Graduate Advisor Handbook: A Student-Centered Approach, Shore demystifies the advisor-student relationship, providing tips and practical advice that will help both students and advisors thrive.

One of the first books to approach advising from the advisor’s point of view, the handbook highlights the importance of a partnership in which both parties need to be invested. Shore emphasizes the interpersonal relationships at the heart of advising and reveals how advisors can draw on their own strengths to create a rewarding rapport.

The Graduate Advisor Handbook moves chronologically through the advising process, from the first knock on the door to the last reference letter. Along the way it covers transparent communication, effective motivation, and cooperative troubleshooting. Its clear-eyed approach also tackles touchy subjects, including what to do when personal boundaries are crossed and how to deliver difficult news. Sample scripts help advisors find the right words for even the toughest situations.

With resources dwindling and student and advising loads increasing, graduate advisors need all the resources they can find to give their students the help they need. The Graduate Advisor Handbook has the cool-headed advice and comprehensive coverage that advisors need to make the advising relationship not just effective but also enjoyable.
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The Land Beyond
A Memoir
Jack Ives
University of Alaska Press, 2010

Geographer Jack Ives moved to Canada in 1954, and soon after he played an instrumental role in the establishment of the McGill Sub-Arctic Research Laboratory in central Labrador-Ungava. This fascinating account of his fifty-plus years living and working in the arctic is simultaneously a light-hearted, winning memoir and a call to action on the issues of environmental awareness and conservation that are inextricably intertwined with life in the north. Mixing personal impressions of key figures of the postwar scientific boom with the intellectual drama of field research, The Land Beyond is a memorable depiction of a life in science.

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The Latinx Guide to Graduate School
Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales and Magdalena L. Barrera
Duke University Press, 2023
In The Latinx Guide to Graduate School Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales and Magdalena L. Barrera provide prospective and current Latinx graduate students in the humanities and social sciences fields with a roadmap for surviving and thriving in advanced-degree programs. They document the unwritten rules of graduate education that impact Latinx students, demystifying and clarifying the essential requirements for navigating graduate school that Latinx students may not know because they are often the first in their families to walk that path. Topics range from identifying the purpose of graduate research, finding the right program, and putting together a strong application to developing a graduate student identity, cultivating professional and personal relationships, and mapping out a post--graduate school career. The book also includes resources for undocumented students. Equal parts how-to guide, personal reflection, manifesto, and academic musing, this book gives a culturally resonant perspective that speaks to the unique Latinx graduate student experience.
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The Next Draft
Inspiring Craft Talks from the Rainier Writing Workshop
Brenda Miller, Editor
University of Michigan Press, 2024
The Next Draft: Inspiring Craft Talks from the Rainier Writing Workshop brings together a selection of the “morning talks” delivered by the renowned authors who teach at the prestigious Rainier Writing Workshop MFA program. These morning talks are a highlight of the residencies at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, featuring inspiring, innovative approaches to writing and literature across genres. For this collection, Brenda Miller has selected essays that feature diverse and illustrious writers such as Geffrey Davis, Marjorie Sandor, Barrie Jean Borich, Jenny Johnson, Oliver de la Paz, Lia Purpura, Kent Myers, Rebecca McClanahan, and others. Ranging from reading and writing in the Jewish tradition of midrash to the role of the writer as cultural critic in the 21st century, The Next Draft brings to life the kind of intellectual and creative excitement that underlies the intensive MFA experience at Pacific Lutheran University. Not only do these talks show innovative approaches to writing and literature across genres, they inspire the reader to think about how to read differently and thus bring their own work to a new level. 
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Putting the Humanities PhD to Work
Thriving in and beyond the Classroom
Katina L. Rogers
Duke University Press, 2020
In Putting the Humanities PhD to Work Katina L. Rogers grounds practical career advice in a nuanced consideration of the current landscape of the academic workforce. Drawing on surveys, interviews, and personal experience, Rogers explores the evolving rhetoric and practices regarding career preparation and how those changes intersect with admissions practices, scholarly reward structures, and academic labor practices—especially the increasing reliance on contingent labor. Rogers invites readers to consider how graduate training can lead to meaningful and significant careers beyond the academy. She provides graduate students with context and analysis to inform the ways they discern their own potential career paths while taking an activist perspective that moves toward individual success and systemic change. For those in positions to make decisions in humanities departments or programs, Rogers outlines the circumstances and pressures that students face and gives examples of programmatic reform that address career matters in structural ways. Throughout, Rogers highlights the important possibility that different kinds of careers offer engaging, fulfilling, and even unexpected pathways for students who seek them out.
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Re/Writing the Center
Approaches to Supporting Graduate Students in the Writing Center
Susan Lawrence
Utah State University Press, 2018
Re/Writing the Center illuminates how core writing center pedagogies and institutional arrangements are complicated by the need to create intentional, targeted support for advanced graduate writers. Most writing center tutors are undergraduates, whose lack of familiarity with the genres, preparatory knowledge, and research processes integral to graduate-level writing can leave them underprepared to assist graduate students. Complicating the issue is that many of the graduate students who take advantage of writing center support are international students.
 
The essays in this volume show how to navigate the divide between traditional writing center theory and practices, developed to support undergraduate writers, and the growing demand for writing centers to meet the needs of advanced graduate writers. Contributors address core assumptions of writing center pedagogy, such as the concept of peers and peer tutoring, the emphasis on one-to-one tutorials, the positioning of tutors as generalists rather than specialists, and even the notion of the writing center as the primary location or center of the tutoring process. Re/Writing the Center offers an imaginative perspective on the benefits writing centers can offer to graduate students and on the new possibilities for inquiry and practice graduate students can inspire in the writing center.
 
Contributors: Laura Brady, Michelle Cox, Thomas Deans, Paula Gillespie​, Mary Glavan, Marilyn Gray​, James Holsinger​, Elena Kallestinova, Tika Lamsal​, Patrick S. Lawrence, Elizabeth Lenaghan, Michael A. Pemberton​, Sherry Wynn Perdue​, Doug Phillips, Juliann Reineke​, Adam Robinson​, Steve Simpson, Nathalie Singh-Corcoran​, Ashly Bender Smith, Sarah Summers​, Molly Tetreault​, Joan Turner, Bronwyn T. Williams, Joanna Wolfe
 
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"So What Are You Going to Do with That?"
Finding Careers Outside Academia
Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius
University of Chicago Press, 2007
Graduate schools churn out tens of thousands of Ph.D.’s and M.A.’s every year. Half of all college courses are taught by adjunct faculty. The chances of an academic landing a tenure-track job seem only to shrink as student loan and credit card debts grow. What’s a frustrated would-be scholar to do? Can he really leave academia? Can a non-academic job really be rewarding—and will anyone want to hire a grad-school refugee?

With “So What Are You Going to Do with That?” Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius—Ph.D.’s themselves—answer all those questions with a resounding “Yes!” A witty, accessible guide full of concrete advice for anyone contemplating the jump from scholarship to the outside world, “So What Are You Going to Do with That?” covers topics ranging from career counseling to interview etiquette to translating skills learned in the academy into terms an employer can understand and appreciate. Packed with examples and stories from real people who have successfully made this daunting—but potentially rewarding— transition, and written with a deep understanding of both the joys and difficulties of the academic life, this fully revised and up-to-date edition will be indispensable for any graduate student or professor who has ever glanced at her CV, flipped through the want ads, and wondered, “What if?”
 
“I will absolutely be recommending this book to our graduate students exploring their career options—I’d love to see it on the coffee tables in department lounges!”—Robin B. Wagner, former associate director for graduate career services, University of Chicago
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"So What Are You Going to Do with That?"
Finding Careers Outside Academia, Third Edition
Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius
University of Chicago Press, 2014
Graduate schools churn out tens of thousands of PhDs and MAs every year. Yet more than half of all college courses are taught by adjunct faculty, which means that the chances of an academic landing a tenure-track job seem only to shrink as student loan and credit card debts grow. What’s a frustrated would-be scholar to do? Can she really leave academia? Can a job outside the academy really be rewarding? And could anyone want to hire a grad-school refugee?

In this third edition of “So What Are You Going to Do with That?”, thoroughly revised with new advice for students in the sciences, Susan Basalla and Maggie Debelius—PhDs themselves—answer all those questions with a resounding “Yes!” A witty, accessible guide full of concrete advice for anyone contemplating the jump from scholarship to the outside world, “So What Are You Going to Do with That?” covers topics ranging from career counseling to interview etiquette to how to translate skills learned in the academy into terms an employer can understand and appreciate. Packed with examples and stories from real people who have successfully made this daunting—but potentially rewarding—transition, and written with a deep understanding of both the joys and difficulties of the academic life, this fully updated guide will be indispensable for any graduate student or professor who has ever glanced at his or her CV, flipped through the want ads, and wondered, “What if?”
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Stories of Becoming
Demystifying the Professoriate for Graduate Students in Composition and Rhetoric
Claire Lutkewitte
Utah State University Press, 2021
Based on findings from a multiyear, nationwide study of new faculty in the field of rhetoric and composition, Stories of Becoming provides graduate students—and those who train them—with specific strategies for preparing for a career in the professoriate. Through the use of stories, the authors invite readers to experience their collaborative research processes for conducting a nationwide survey, qualitative interviews, and textual analysis of professional documents.
 
Using data from the study, the authors offer six specific strategies—including how to manage time, how to create a work/life balance, and how to collaborate with others—that readers can use to prepare for the composition and rhetoric job market and to begin their careers as full-time faculty members. Readers will learn about the possible responsibilities they may take on as new faculty, particularly those that go beyond teaching, research, service, and administration to include navigating the politics of higher education and negotiating professional identity construction. And they will also engage in activities and answer questions designed to deepen their understanding of the field and help them identify their own values and desired career trajectory.
 
Stories of Becoming demystifies the professoriate, compares what current new faculty have to say of their job expectations with the realities that students might face when on the job, and brings to light the invisible, behind-the-scenes work done by new faculty. It will be invaluable to graduate students, those who teach graduate students, new faculty, and hiring administrators in composition and rhetoric.
 
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We Are All Zimbabweans Now
James Kilgore
Ohio University Press, 2011
We Are All Zimbabweans Now is a political thriller set in Zimbabwe in the hopeful, early days of Robert Mugabe’s rise to power in the late 1980s. When Ben Dabney, a Wisconsin graduate student, arrives in the country, he is enamored with Mugabe and the promises of his government’s model of racial reconciliation. But as Ben begins his research and delves more deeply into his hero’s life, he finds fatal flaws. Ultimately Ben reconsiders not only his understanding of Mugabe, but his own professional and personal life. James Kilgore brings an authentic voice to a work of youthful hope, disillusionment, and unsettling resolution.
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