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Next September I will be starting the most important part of my Ph.D in Mathematics: the "go and do something original!" part. To be honest, as someone who never did reseach before, I am a bit scared about it. As I am sure there are many many people in my situation, I would like to ask a question on Academia with the purpose of compiling a list of some of the most important things one can do to increase the chances of succefully going through (and completing) a Ph.D. Of course, I am not looking for general things like "work hard everyday"; ideally, it would be more specific and helpful things.

I am sure that the large experience of the community members would make this possible, and that some valuable tips would certainly arise; but is this question too broad and/ or too opinion-based to fit here?

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From the help center:

Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.

There are entire books that (attempt to) answer this question. For example: Steven Krantz's A Mathematician's Survival Guide: Graduate School and Early Career Development.

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    I would say that there are entire books that address the question, if you take my meaning. – Pete L. Clark Feb 20 '15 at 15:17
  • @PeteL.Clark: Good point, I didn't mean to imply that Krantz or anyone else has all the answers. Edited. – Nate Eldredge Feb 20 '15 at 15:21
  • oh! perhaps this is just the thing I was looking for. thank you! – essay Feb 24 '15 at 15:36
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In its current form, I do think this question is too broad/opinion based.

You write

Of course, I am not looking for general things like "work hard everyday"; ideally, it would be more specific and helpful things.

But in order to avoid answers like that, you need to draft a more specific, focused question.

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