This is a guest post by my esteemed former colleague, John Goodrich, who started a year behind me and only finished a few months after me. Even at his lazy pace, he was able to get two articles published by the time he graduated: see NTS 56.1 (2010) on Rom 16.23 and JSNT 32.3 (2010) on Gal 4.1-2. Here’s a few ideas he offers. Thanks for this John.

Things I did that I recommend for others…

Before you start:
– Purchase and familiarize yourself with citation software (I recommend Endnote);
– Learn to utilize the Styles feature in Word;
– Decide on a Greek font early, and definitely consider using Unicode (I recommend Gentium).

During your research:
– Consider scanning, rather than photocopying articles and other works, so you always have them on your hard drive (you can even save them as attachments on Endnote);
– Back up your work regularly (just email it to yourself if you must);
– Enter your meetings with your supervisor with a list of things to discuss;
– Turn in something, anything, for your supervisor to read every time you meet (this will provide you something concrete to discuss in every meeting and an opportunity for your supervisor to see/critique how you write and reason);
– Set deadlines for your work (I scheduled meetings to discuss my work with John several weeks in advance to give me a deadline to shoot for);
– Contact other departments within and without your university for additional insight (classics/ancient history, etc.).
– Study with others, especially those working on similar projects and utilizing similar resources (talking through your work with others forces you to clarify your own thoughts and assumptions).

After you submit:
– Get away from your desk and take a holiday;
– Medicate yourself to heighten your depleted immune system (if you work as hard as I did up to your submission date, your body will be more run down than you think and you may get sick shortly after, as I did).