Posts Tagged ‘Becoming an expert’

Drezner’s 10 tips on how to become an expert

September 5, 2010

Daniel Drezner, who teaches international politics at Tufts University, gave this advice to an inquirer who wanted to know how to become an expert.

1)  Go to school.  There are people out there who are self-taught wunderkinds, capable of long, brilliant disquisitions about the intricacies of international relations after reading Thucydides just once.  There’s a 99% chance that you are not one of these people.  For you and almost everyone else, the path to expertise is paved through college and graduate school.  So go forth and take courses on these subjects.

2)  Read a lot.  I mean, read a whole damn lot.  Don’t just read the books and articles that are assigned to you in class.  Read the stuff that you notice popping up repeatedly in the footnotes and bibliographies of your assigned reading.  Read the classics.  Read cutting edge work.  Read anything that seems of value.  When you get to the point where you think you’re seeing recurring arguments, then you’re approaching the cusp of expertise.