> Do Research
The research part of getting a Ph.D. degree consists of the following
- Select a research area. Other people should care about this
area, especially people in places where you want to get your job.
The area should be narrow enough that you should be able to read
almost all the research papers in 5-10 month.
- While reading the research papers, identify the independent
variables (the different factors that may cause the results to
vary) and the dependent variables (the different aspects of the
result). Summarize the different philosophies people had adopted
in the past research.
- Draw a map of all the past research and the hole, with regard
to the independent and dependent variables. Modify these variables
- Come up with a different philosophy, or a new combination of
the treatment in the different variables. Your research should
fill a hole in the framework of past research.
- Come up with one or more hypotheses, and a validation plan.
Make sure the plan can be executed in the period of time you want
to finish your degree. Also make sure that your getting the degree
is not dependent on the research results being one way or the
other (i.e. supporting or not supporting your hypotheses).
- During the whole process, consistently talk to your advisor
and anyone who may understand what your are trying to do. Also
try to publish some interim results at conferences. They way you
will have your research plan critiqued by colleagues outside your