PhD Proverbs

Some insights and bits of advice reassert their value over time. Here’s a collection of such proverbs, which is likely to grow over time. Similarly, individual proverbs are likely to find their way into blog discussions.

Research is a discourse.

Good research requires rigour and rhetoric:  do good work; tell a good story. 

The only stupid question is the one you didn’t ask.

Don’t make a statement when you can ask a question.

A PhD is pass/fail.

What ‘everyone understands’ is often wrong.

KISS (i.e., keep it simple, stupid).

You never lose by giving credit.

Assume good faith: when things go wrong, start from ‘cock-up’, not conspiracy. 

Beware error by proxy.

Look before you touch; think before you tinker.