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Strategies for Successful Doctoral Program Completion

To prepare:

  • Review the Marshall et. al. (2017) Reading Excerpt linked above.

Prompt: What challenges to completion do you anticipate you will encounter in your doctoral program? What strategies for successful completion do you anticipate will be the most useful for you, and how will you work toward implementing these strategies to meet your goals?

The Assignment:

Write a 1-2-page, double-spaced essay in response to the prompt above. To present your strongest writing skills, submit an essay that:

  • Provides a focused and clear central idea that responds to all questions in the assignment prompt with developed ideas;
  • Integrates relevant and accurate paraphrased and/or quoted and cited evidence from the Marshall et al. (2017) reading excerpt in support of the argument, accompanied by appropriate analysis – you may use your preferred citation style;
  • Organizes ideas with logical structure, clear paragraphs, and transitional words/phrases;
  • Uses grammar and mechanics to effectively communicate meaning to readers;
  • Maintains academic integrity by demonstrating your original work and appropriately paraphrasing and citing relevant information from the Marshall et al. (2017) reading excerpt. Including outside sources beyond the Marshall et al. (2017) reading excerpt provided above is not required for this essay; if you use them, however, then you must cite any information you summarize, paraphrase, or quote in your preferred citation style

strategies for successful Doctoral Program Completion

Title: Overcoming Challenges in a Doctoral Program: Strategies for Success

Embarking on a doctoral program is undoubtedly a significant undertaking, one fraught with numerous challenges that can potentially impede completion. Anticipating these challenges and devising strategies to overcome them is essential for successful navigation through the rigorous academic journey. Drawing insights from Marshall et al. (2017), I foresee several hurdles in my doctoral program journey, including time management, research obstacles, and maintaining motivation. However, by implementing proactive strategies such as effective time management techniques, seeking mentorship, and cultivating resilience, I aim to surmount these challenges and attain my academic goals.

One of the foremost challenges I anticipate encountering in my doctoral program is managing time efficiently. Marshall et al. (2017) emphasize the importance of time management skills in doctoral studies, particularly in balancing coursework, research, and personal obligations. With the demanding workload inherent in doctoral programs, it is crucial to allocate time judiciously to ensure progress in all aspects of academic life. To address this challenge, I plan to employ various time management techniques, such as creating weekly schedules, setting realistic goals, and prioritizing tasks based on their significance and deadlines. Additionally, I intend to utilize technology tools like calendar apps and task organizers to streamline my workflow and enhance productivity.

Furthermore, navigating the complex terrain of research poses another significant challenge in doctoral studies. Marshall et al. (2017) underscore the importance of research skills, including literature review, data collection, and analysis, in doctoral program completion. Conducting original research that contributes meaningfully to the academic discourse requires meticulous planning, critical thinking, and methodological rigor. To overcome this challenge, I will actively seek mentorship from experienced faculty members and research advisors who can provide guidance and feedback at various stages of my research endeavors. Moreover, I plan to engage in scholarly communities within my field of study to leverage collective expertise, exchange ideas, and gain insights into emerging research trends and methodologies.

Furthermore, maintaining sustained motivation and resilience throughout the doctoral journey is crucial, especially when faced with setbacks and obstacles. As noted by Marshall et al. (2017), doctoral students often experience moments of self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and burnout, which can hinder progress and erode motivation. To combat these challenges, I will cultivate resilience by adopting a growth mindset and reframing setbacks as opportunities for learning and growth. Additionally, I will prioritize self-care practices such as regular exercise, adequate sleep, and mindfulness meditation to nurture my physical and mental well-being. Moreover, I will seek support from peers, mentors, and support networks to foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie, which can provide encouragement and motivation during challenging times.

In conclusion, embarking on a doctoral program entails navigating a myriad of challenges that require proactive strategies and resilience for successful completion. By addressing potential challenges such as time management, research obstacles, and maintaining motivation, I am confident in my ability to overcome these hurdles and achieve my academic goals. Through effective time management techniques, seeking mentorship, and cultivating resilience, I am committed to realizing my potential as a scholar and contributing meaningfully to my field of study.


Marshall, D. C., Jefferson, A. L., Moye, J., Chimonas, S., & Edlow, J. A. (2017). Academic Medicine. Vol. 92, No. 12S Association of Research Funding and Conclusions in Randomized Drug Trials: A Reflection of Treatment Effectiveness.

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