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maxhgns last won the day on May 14

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About maxhgns

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  1. Ask your supervisor for some guidance. That's what they're there for.
  2. Like Hope.for.the.best said, whenever you think you're ready to start. Actually, IMO you should start before you feel confident that you're ready, because the writing process can help to shape the direction of your research, and keep you appropriately focused. Also, too many people fall into the trap of postponing writing until they've read all the things or done all the tests, and that's a recipe for never actually writing anything at all. Note, however, that this does not mean that you'll be ready to submit soon after you start writing. It could take years to bring your paper up to snuff. But the sooner you start trying, the better. There are different ways to do this, and the best strategies of course depend on where you are in your career. When you're aiming for 2+ a year because you're on the tenure-track at an R1, you'll want to adopt a shotgun-style approach--that is, you'll want to have 5-10 papers under review at all times, at a mix of journals (some top subfield, some second-tier subfield, some top generalist, some second-tier generalist, etc.). And exactly which journals you select will depend on fit and--especially--their average time to reach a verdict, and how soon you need that pub. Right now, I think that you should identify the three best journals for which your paper is an excellent fit, and start by sending to the first (I'm assuming, of course, that time-to-verdict doesn't matter so much for an MA student. I might be wrong about that!), and work your way down from there. I'm guessing those'll be subfield journals, but maybe one is a generalist journal. Shrug. (I'm not in a field where impact factor counts for anything, so I'm not sure how to advise you on that point. My intuition is that the best journals in your subfield will have decent impact factors.) The best remedy is to write, and have people (friends, colleagues) read your work and help you. You can always return the favour for them--in French, yes, but also in English (even if you don't catch their mistakes or can't help them with the actual writing, you can help them at the levels of content and clarity of exposition). You could, for example, start a weekly workshop group, with five or so participants, where each week you read and discuss and comment on one person's paper or chapter. Regularly reading in English (especially at the level you want to emulate: so, academic writing) will also help a lot. You can certainly hire a copy editor, but I wouldn't bother. It's going to be extremely expensive. (I should know, I've been one!) Some journals do offer a free help service for people whose native language isn't English, however. Check the journal's author guidelines.
  3. maxhgns

    Failing to meet language requirements? What happens?

    Nobody can answer this except for people in your department. Specifically, ask whoever the graduate chair/coordinator/director of graduate studies (or equivalent) is. You may also have a program handbook that spells out the policy's details. At my program, students could complete the language requirement at any time during their enrollment in the PhD program, and could take the test(s) any number of times. The logic requirement, however, had to be passed by the end of our second year, and we only got two tries. (With appropriate exceptions for medical problems, leave, etc.)
  4. maxhgns

    Total Number of PhD Applicants per year?

    There's no official count that I'm aware of. When I was applying (in '08 and '09), even pretty low-ranked programs were getting 300-400+ applicants. Things have definitely slowed down a lot since then, so I'd guess that the total number of applicants (if you count applicants overseas, those who only apply to one or two programs, and applications to non-PGR-ranked programs [including VERY unranked programs]) is <1000 for Anglophone programs. I'd put it at somewhere in the vicinity of 500-600. But that's a total guesstimate based on little more than intuition.
  5. maxhgns

    Applying to phd programs with an interdisciplinary MA?

    Queen's (Kingston, Canada) is very strong in social and political, and has a tops public policy department. Also very strong in bioethics. But they're a bit of a boutique program in that respect.
  6. Being ABD counts for nothing, especially if it's never followed up with a PhD. Students put it on their CVs when they're applying for jobs to indicate that they're job market-ready, and will have the PhD in hand by the start date. But it isn't a credential, and shouldn't go on your CV if that's where your studies left off. At best, academic employers will think you're unprofessional; at worst, they'll feel duped and hold it against you. Non-academic employers, on the other hand, won't give it any credit or credence. So, if the options are MS or ABD, then an MS is the way to go. An MS is a real credential, and one you'll have earned--the only hitch being that it's redundant if you've already got one in the same subject. If that's the case, then a second one won't make you any more competitive. Community college jobs are increasingly going to people with PhDs. I don't know how widespread this is in math yet, but it may be worth factoring into your decision. What you should probably do is spend some time going through recent community college job ads and talking to/emailing people currently working at community colleges to get their take on their hiring practices.
  7. maxhgns

    Job Placement Concerns in Academia

    I'm in a different (but related) humanities(ish) field, but... Pedigree is (depressingly) important on the job market. It makes you a contender for a lot more jobs, and helps you stand out from the crowd. It'll even do this for people who didn't have superstar advisors. On the other hand, your letters will mean a lot on the market, too. And having strong letters from superstars intimately familiar with you and your work will help a lot, and will help you stand out from the crowd. They can also do more to help you build a network. And it actually shows when an applicant attended a program that's very strong in their area of specialization, and had stellar advisors (as opposed to students who went to higher-ranking programs weaker in their areas of specialization). So my advice would be to try as hard as you can to get into a high-ranking program. But it's defeasible advice, especially if your alternate program is tops in your area of specialization. (I, for example, opted to attend a relatively low-ranking program so that I could work with one of the top living scholars in my area of specialization. It's worked out well for me so far (especially for jobs in my AOS), although I've definitely noticed the absence of a prestige bump when I apply to jobs listing open specializations. Note, however, that a program is tops in an area because it has well-established first-rate scholars working in that area. Up-and-coming doesn't quite cut the mustard yet.
  8. maxhgns

    Typos/errors in published pieces?

    Turns out my first publication has a typo in the title that's not replicated elsewhere in the text. I don't know if it's my fault or the copy editor's, and it can't be changed. But it's no big deal. Most people won't notice it (it's a 'c' for an 's', and everyone will assume it's a British vs. American English thing. But I know it's not, and that the word in the title designates something slightly different.) I only noticed it because I was recently refereeing a reply, and so re-read my paper. So there you have it. At least your typos weren't in the title!
  9. maxhgns

    B+ in PhilMind

    Forget about it. It doesn't matter.
  10. A master's degree, like a PhD, should be funded by your department, otherwise it's not really worth it. Many MAs in philosophy are funded, although not all are (especially in Europe and the UK). If you're Canadian, then you can apply to SSHRC for funding to do your degree anywhere; if you're from Québec, you can do the same with the FRQSC (but I think it's limited to universities in Québec); if you're from Ontario, apply to OGS (for a degree at an institution in Ontario). One thing you'll have to decide is whether you're aiming for an MSC in logic, or an MA in philosophy with a focus on logic and mathematics. The range of options for the MSC is a lot narrower, but will obviously afford you much greater competence in the subject. On the other hand, the MA will probably give you broader competence in philosophy itself, and there are lots of departments with very strong logicians and philosophers of mathematics. For the MSC in logic, I know that Amsterdam and CMU both offer it. I think these are probably your strongest options. IIRC the LSE and Paris 7 also offer a master's-level degree in logic. Manchester does, too, but it's through the maths department. For the MA, you're right to think of Western. I'd add Calgary as a possibility. On the PhD front, it's worth noting that Berkeley has a straight-up PhD in logic run by the philosophy department.
  11. maxhgns

    Publishing in predatory journals?

    Identifying appropriate venues for publication (and developing a rough sense of journal rankings) is an important aspect of socialization into the profession. If you don't know yet, then that's probably a sign that you're not quite ready (although that's not to say that you shouldn't be taking steps to get properly socialized!). The first step is to identify the journals that are publishing the articles you read, and those you want to read. The next step is to sort the journals according to what kind of stuff they're publishing: some will focus primarily on a particular subfield, whereas others will be more generalist in orientation. You need to figure out which are the main outlets for work in your subfield, which are secondary outlets, which tertiary, etc. And you need to do the same thing for the generalist journals, and it's useful to get a sense of what the main outlets are for other subfields, too.That means spending a fair bit of time reading things, skimming recent issues for interesting titles or abstracts, checking the CVs of people in the profession whose career trajectory you want to emulate (to see where they're publishing), etc. When you're ready to send something out there, my advice is not to start low. Aim high, and go down the ladder as it's rejected. You don't want to short-change your work, and having some well-ranked pubs will open more doors--even at teaching schools--than a slew of very low-ranked ones will. For the teaching schools, a mix (one or two T1/T2, several T3/4) will probably give you the best shot. To do that, the usual advice is to be an R-selector: always have 5-10 papers out there under review at a mix of journals. That's hard to do while you're working on the dissertation, so most grad students end up K-selecting; but if that's what you're doing, then you're better served by aiming high since if you aim too low and it's accepted, you've now got just one not-very-impressive pub, and still need to come up with a few more to impress the teaching school crowd.
  12. maxhgns

    Publishing in predatory journals?

    I don't have anything to add to TakerUK's excellent response above, so I'll just reiterate their point (2), which I think is the most important from an ethical standpoint: these journals and conferences are a scam, and exist to (1) swindle the unwary, and (2) profit from the unscrupulous. By affiliating yourself with them, you help them to perpetrate harm against (A) members of the profession (and if they're being swindled, they're usually vulnerable in some way), and (B) the profession (by legitimizing the unscrupulous and their piss-poor work, some of which is then picked up by politicians, corporations, etc. to legitimize whatever piss-poor view they're peddling; also by harming the most vulnerable in the profession). Your work belongs in the journals you read or recognize, not just any old outlet. Yes, that's fine. And if you look at the CVs of senior members of your profession--especially at research-oriented schools--you'll see that their publication strategies shift over time. For many of those who don't end up as deadwood, they start publishing more and more in less prestigious outlets once they've got tenure, and especially once they make full. This work is not necessarily of low quality; the idea is just that they no longer have much incentive to shoot primarily for prestigious journals, and instead they have a greater incentive to just get their ideas out there in print, where others can find them. One thing we've recently realized in my field is that teaching-focused institutions don't mind if your pubs are in tier-2 or tier-3 journals, as long as you have several and show that you'll be able to churn out whatever the requisite number for tenure is supposed to be. Having publications thus matters more than the prestige of those publications (for those jobs, and in my field). That said, don't rush off to find the crappiest journals you can. People at teaching schools know which journals are which, and they'll still expect you to be publishing in venues appropriate for your work. Besides which, you want to make yourself as attractive as possible to as wide a range of jobs as you can, which means publishing in decent outlets. Teaching schools aren't all the same, and some care more about quality or prestige of research than others.
  13. maxhgns

    Cv/resume question

    In my field, it would go under a section devoted to public engagement/outreach or media appearances. I don't know about your field, but I expect there's something similar out there. Have a look around at the CVs of people who are further ahead than you are, and get a sense of how they're dealing with it.
  14. The letterhead is entirely unnecessary. It's used for official communications from your position in the department (e.g. writing someone a reference letter), or on behalf of the department as a whole. It can also be used to prepare cover letters for job applications. But not a whole lot more, and as a grad student the only relevant potential use is the last one. Cover letters accompanying journal submissions run the gamut from trivial and irrelevant to a serious requirement. From what you've said, it sounds like yours is mostly just a formality used by the editors to screen the submission/find referees, and then to contact you later (which is to say, to help them identify which paper was yours; contact will almost certainly be by email). Sometimes journals want a more involved cover letter, in which case you should give a few sentences summing up your paper's argument, why it's a good fit for the journal, how it fits in with recent work published in the journal, etc. Alternately, if you have a weird paper, the cover letter is your chance to convince the editors to give it a chance (and to help them find suitable referees by being upfront about its weird content). I have a weird paper coming out soon in a really good journal that was like that: it marries the methods and results of three disciplines to get a handle on a single problem, and opens an entirely unexplored avenue of historical research in the process. It flunked hard, over and over again, for years and years, until I realized that I could pre-empt a lot of the pushback I was getting by explaining, in my cover letter, exactly why the approach I took was necessary, being clear about its interdisciplinary nature, and telling the editors just what I thought upshot was for work in my discipline. I immediately got much better-qualified and more supportive referees, and the editors themselves seem to have had a lot more faith in the paper. As I said, yours sounds like it doesn't need to be anything like so involved! I just thought it might be handy to say a bit more, in case you or anyone else ever needs to write a more involved cover letter.
  15. maxhgns

    Humanities PhD: what are non-academia options?

    It's pretty field-dependent. E.g. there's curating/restoration for art history, museum work or being a seasonal interpreter in a national park for history, ministry for religious studies and theology, ethics consulting for some branches of philosophy (esp. applies ethics), speech-language pathology for linguistics, etc. But the "research and no teaching" portion does rule out a lot. You can always just research in your spare time, if you really want to. As for alt-ac jobs for humanities PhDs more generally... there's content marketing (which is where editorial jobs are, although they usually require experience/an internship), graphic design, non-profit admin, university admin, government analyst, and so on. Content marketing isn't bad, though, and there are quite a few jobs in that area. They're contract jobs, but they don't pay too badly.

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