The 4Ps of Doctoral Study: Participation

One of the secrets of accelerating your progress toward your ultimate goal of earning a doctoral degree is to practice the 4 Ps.


I am not referring to Product, Price, Promotion, and Place, the 4 Ps of Marketing.


Rather, I am referring to an equally important list of Ps related to doctoral study—Planning, Persistence, Patience, and Participation.


In this article, I will discuss the fourth P—Participation.


A doctoral journey is a very special ride; one that you will want to experience to the fullest. You should take every opportunity to meet and share your thoughts, experiences, and questions with others. Both you and those you interact with will be better off for it.


A byproduct of this process of active participation is an inevitable acceleration of your progress. This may come about in any number of ways, such as learning from others more efficient ways to do library research, manage your time, or critically review scholarly books and articles; more effective ways to develop and demonstrate your higher-order critical thing skills; or which faculty members make good committee members.


So, if you are not already actively interacting with others from whom you have something to learn or with whom you have something to share, make every effort to do so from now on, especially at residencies, which represent the biggest single opportunity you have to participate actively in and benefit from membership in your academic community.


To learn more about the secrets to doctoral study success, read Student to Scholar and Dissertation Research.