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This page introduces the modules chosen for the collection, Becoming a Professional Scholar while in Graduate Student

Becoming a professional scholar while in graduate school

One of the most thrilling and challenging parts of graduate school is developing a professional identity as a scholar with demonstrable expertise in a special field. As an undergraduates, students begin as novices, gain an overview of their major, and some depth of knowledge about the field’s major methods, historical contributions, and problem-solving approaches. As graduate students, candidates need to develop an identity as a professional scholar: a person who can

  • place particular issues in the context of past and current work,
  • explain those issues’ importance and the methods that have been used to address them,
  • summarize the findings of key research efforts, and
  • undertake research, individually or with others, on specific problems or questions that will advance the field’s knowledge and possibly benefit society or industry through particular applications.

While this exciting end-point of graduate school is easy to visualize, the road ahead can be daunting. The modules that follow in this collection can help graduate students (and the people advising them) in achieving just this sort of expert identity. Several of these are quite brief.

Reading as a professional scholar

To develop a personal sense of the important work that has gone on in one’s field, one must learn to read published articles and glean the important aspects in a memorable form. So many new articles are published every day that a professional scholar cannot re-read entire articles again and again. A convenient management tool for one’s reading, such as the free Zotero (www.zotero.org) or the commercially available EndNote (http://www.endnote.com) will help a student develop a collection of notes, summaries, and electronic documents or images. However, these software tools cannot tell the reader what is important to note and remember. The module, How to Read a Scientific Article (m15912), will teach readers what to look for, jot down, and summarize. The template at the end of the model can be used in a print version or used in conjunction with the bibliographic software mentioned above. Imagine the template as the spyglass in a detective’s hand. It helps the reader detect those clues in the article that matter in the investigations of that particular field.

Reporting scholarly work

A graduate student’s first scholarly work may consist of writing papers in graduate courses, laboratory reports, or participating as a co-author in a research article for publication. However, a fairly large number of graduate students do not prepare many written accounts of their work until they are asked to propose a thesis or dissertation. This requirement can cause dismay just because it seems unfamiliar. The module, Thesis Overview (m15923), explains what goes in a thesis, what questions it must answer, and how to plan for a successful thesis. Another module, Ten Mistakes to Avoid While Writing a Thesis (m16583), suggests how to avoid the most common mistakes graduate students make when attempting a thesis or other major writing project. Brief Introduction to Technical Style (m16059) explains the keys to writing energetic, readable prose in spite of complex subject matter. This module will help graduate students in other fields as well. Finally, fifteen basic editing tips are summarized in Tips on Polishing a Report (m16600).

In a few universities, a report or a combination of reports substitutes for a master’s thesis. In such reports the objective is still to demonstrate the candidate’s contribution to new knowledge in the field, even though the work may not resemble traditional research. For those asked to prepare this kind of evidence of professional identity, consult Demonstrating Your Knowledge and Contributions to a Profession: The Management Report and the Technical Report for the Professional Science Master’s Degree (m16582).

Resources for coaching others

Many graduate students are asked to be responsible for some undergraduate instruction while they are in graduate school. Three basic resources can help graduate students mentor undergraduate writers. These are available on the Connexions Web Site (http://cnx.org). Writing Module Three: Five Essential Parts of Argument (m17224), summarizes the basic moves of argument; the Manual for Writing Mentors (m15909) is a training manual (with student writing examples) to practice evaluating student writing; and Graduate Seminar Mentoring (m16591) explains how a graduate student can mentor small groups of undergraduates or graduate students on their written or oral assignments.

Each of the resources mentioned in this collection was prepared by one or more members of the Cain Project in Engineering and Professional Communication at Rice University (2008): Dr. Janice Hewitt, Dr. Mary Purugganan, or Dr. Linda Driskill.

Questions & Answers

find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
I know this work
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
I got X =-6
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
oops. ignore that.
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
is it a question of log
I rally confuse this number And equations too I need exactly help
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Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
im all ears I need to learn
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what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
Kevin Reply
a perfect square v²+2v+_
Dearan Reply
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Abdirahman Reply
algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
Kim Reply
or infinite solutions?
The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
Embra Reply
if |A| not equal to 0 and order of A is n prove that adj (adj A = |A|
Nancy Reply
rolling four fair dice and getting an even number an all four dice
ramon Reply
Kristine 2*2*2=8
Bridget Reply
Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
Emedobi Reply
No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
Mary Reply
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Becoming a professional scholar. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10871/1.2
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