Comparing a Dissertation to a Long Term Paper

I affirmed that I can achieve a goal I set for myself by using intelligence, a combination of prior experience, hard work, determination, and focused effort. Writing a dissertation is not a difficult task once you have established your priorities and have the desire to complete it. I had the desire and made writing the dissertation a priority in my life. My will and determination helped me along the way. Nothing you have done in your academic career is quite like writing a dissertation. But...

Conducting Your Study

By thinking of it as small parts theoretical rationale, research design, etc. I was able to divide the project into smaller, more manageable units and thereby was able to reduce the pressure on myself, and make it possible to see progress on this immense project. One thing the dissertation forced me to do was to reflect on what I was doing. This time to reflect was a gift. With your committee's approval, you are now ready to do your study. This is a most exhilarating time in the research...

Developing a Productive Setting

Kanter Theory Tokenism

I learned to trust my instincts to trust my ability to infer what is behind a person's words, actions, or at least my ability to propose a few possibilities for explaining their words, actions, etc. As I wrote my dissertation, I learned to appreciate the questioner within myself. It helped me move beyond the obvious and to work through the blocks as I investigated and analyzed my data. I also saw how important my goal-setting skills are when I want to complete something. I learned to have a...

Drafting and Editing Your Dissertation

Towards the completion of it all, it seemed that a new world had opened up to The accomplishment of completing a rigorous academic effort is quite uplifting. You are now ready to write up your findings in a polished state for public scrutiny. And scrutiny is the operative term. Expect that each of your findings will be subjected to intensive study. You will initially draft some organizational strategies projecting the potential contents of sections of your chapters. You will place in these...

Identifying Your Dissertation Topic and Your Research Questions

The opportunity to take a topic of importance to me and concentrate on it for extended periods of time persisting with an idea and seeing how it develops over time a pure luxury and I loved it. I enjoyed doing the review of the literature. I imagined myself a great detective, tracking down leads one after another. Or it was a chain reaction one article's bibliography would lead to another great source. The best was when I hit the mother lode, research directly related to what I wanted to do....

Info

Now that you've noted your current status on these six characteristics, you need to consider and respond to that evaluation. If at least three items are checked, you're probably ready. If less than three are checked, you'll need to consciously work on establishing your readiness before proceeding. In the ideal world, if all items had checks next to them, you would progress very rapidly. In the real world, we try to have as many of these issues covered as we can. Clearly you cannot do this...

Limitations

Regardless of how carefully you plan your study, there will be limitations on the generalizability of your findings to other settings. These limitations are sometimes explicitly acknowledged. For example, the time during which you collected your data may have been for one year and it's impossible to predict what would happen in any other year. You may have conducted a cross-sectional study, and you cannot make any guarantees about the accuracy of the predictions for these particular...

Pilot Testing Or Feasibility Studies

If you are planning to develop an instrument or an interview protocol, you will want to determine its usefulness by pilot testing it with a smaller number of participants. After piloting your instrument, you will be able to revise and refine parts to create an ideal instrument for your study. Based on a review of their audio-taped pilot interviews, researchers frequently find it useful to strengthen their ability to pose questions spontaneously in interviews. Others see that participants are...

Pithy Insights and Suggestions for Success

Source Scott Arthur Maesar, Chronicle of Higher Education Source Scott Arthur Maesar, Chronicle of Higher Education Your thesis is important, Edward, but you need to howl once in a while, too When current and former doctoral students discuss their expectations and experiences in doctoral programs, they offer useful suggestions and perceptions on the dissertation process. Being mindful both that each person's experience is unique, and that people typically experience some ambivalence in this...

Preface

For the past twenty-five years I have been working with doctoral students, guiding their evolution to doctoral recipients. During the time we work together, I become intensely conscious of their need to understand the culture of the university as it impacts on their progress. Concurrently, they need to be receptive to engaging in a transformative, life-changing experience, the essence of learning. As I recall my own days as a doctoral student, I remember being at a total loss to understand what...

Studentcolleagues and Other Important Resources

It was a challenging, but pleasant experience. I worked hard, but received support in my efforts. This was a good experience for me. Every stage of development was memorable. I will never be the person I was prior to the completion of my dissertation. I have been incredibly enriched by the process. While your dissertation committee is crucial to your success, you are wise to expand your community of potential advisors and supporters. This additional group may provide strategies to help you work...

Suggested Reading on Research Methodology

Becker, H.S. (1986) Writing for social scientists How to start and finish your thesis, book, or article, Chicago University of Chicago Press. Bogdan, R. and Biklen, S. (1982) Qualitative research for educators An introduction to theories and methods, Boston Allyn and Bacon. Booth, W.C., Colomb, G.G. and Williams, J.M. (1995) The craft of research, Chicago University of Chicago Press. Brause, R.S. and Mayher, J.S. (eds.) (1991) Search and research What the inquiring teacher needs to know, London...

Suggested Reading on the Academic World

Blaxter, L., Hughes, C. and Tight, M. (1998) The academic career handbook, Philadelphia Open University Press. Bowen, W.G. and Rudenstine, N.L. (1992) In pursuit of the PhD, Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press. Clark, B.R. (1987) The academic life Small worlds, different worlds, Princeton, NJ Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Delamont, S., Atkinson, P. and Parry, O. (1997) Supervising the Ph.D. A guide to success, Philadelphia Open University Press. Goodchild, L.F.,...

Suggested Reading on the Doctoral Dissertation

Anzul, M.E. (n.d.) On writing a dissertation proposal, Madison, NJ Quest Associates. Becker, H.S. (1986) Writing for social scientists How to start and finish your thesis, book, or article, Chicago University of Chicago Press. Bolker, J. (1998) Writing your dissertation in fifteen minutes a day A guide to starting, revising, and finishing your doctoral thesis, New York Henry Holt and Company. Cone, J.D. and Foster, S.L. (1993) Dissertation and theses from start to finish Psychology and related...

Roles and Responsibilities of Dissertation Committees

Save the money at least as much as you can get a supportive mentor who is knowledgeable with your topic. Go for it. The formal establishment of your committee usually happens simultaneously with the university's official approval of your proposed dissertation research. This document is typically called your dissertation proposal. In the time between completing your courses and having an approved dissertation proposal you will work with faculty who are likely to...

Analyzing and Interpreting Your Data

I discovered the idea of making a calendar and placing the events on it myself it was my very own idea. My chair hadn't given it to me at all. This was so exhilarating. I began to believe that I could write something worthwhile in an interesting manner something longer than a report or an essay. Once you have collected all of your data, your next step is to make sense of the separate pieces of accumulated information. All of the data which you have collected are frequently called raw data...

Preparing for Orals

I'm excited to talk about my study, now that it's done I sat at orals with people who had been my teachers and finally saw myself as a quasi-peer. When you've decided, I've done the best I can do, there is one more step in the completion of your dissertation. You have probably heard it referred to in some of these ways Your institutions terms may reveal important insights. If we look more closely at the names, we will note subtle potential differences in the focus of this culminating...

Forming Your Dissertation Committee

I realized that getting along with people was even more important than being academically talented. I really enjoyed being a student. If I had this attitude during my undergraduate years, it would have been a better experience. Perhaps maturity does have its advantages. The process of identifying your dissertation committee is probably the most significant decision you will make in your program. Before suggesting criteria for selecting your committee, we need to understand the roles and...

The Stages in Writing a Dissertation

I was relieved and happy as I finished various stages having my prospectus approved, passing oral exams, getting my readers to sign-off I didn't realize how complicated the whole process was, but I loved every minute of it Each community has identifiable customs dress, food, and language. Academic communities establish rules which, when learned by those who are new to the context create a more positive experience and the potential for an extended relationship. As a doctoral student, you will...

Writing Your Dissertation Proposal While Designing Your Dissertation Research

Research Proposal Table Contents

I feel so much more confident about what I can do. I believe I can do almost anything Writing and defending a dissertation caused me to approach issues more critically. Writing your dissertation proposal prepares you for conducting your research and subsequently writing your dissertation. A dissertation proposal typically is comprised of several related sections. In many instances, the dissertation proposal has a proscribed format, including several chapters. The...

Acknowledgments

Writing this book has taken a tremendous amount of cooperation from friends near and far, and many anonymous participants. The written responses which arrived daily in the mail postmarked from most of the fifty states and a few from other nations provided a depth of information about dissertations that is unprecedented. The lengthy and emotionally charged statements confirmed the need for this book as well as the need for rethinking the dissertation process. I am indebted to the 250 anonymous...

Doctoral Students Experiences Expectations of Doctoral Studies

Although doctoral programs and doctoral recipients implicitly value research, there is little systematic investigation on the effects of the doctoral process on those who participate. To address this issue, in part, this study focused on one specific aspect the expectations of doctoral students. The objective of the research was to obtain the participants' perspectives on their experiences as these connected with their expectations. University Bulletins give little or no explanation of what...

Kenned Y D. 1997 Academic Duty

American Psychological Association 1994 Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC APA. Bolig, R.A. 1982 The ambivalent decision, in A.Vartuli ed. , The Ph.D. experience, New York Praeger. Booth, W.C., Colomb, G.G. and Williams, J.M. 1995 The craft of research, Chicago University of Chicago Press. Bowen, W.G. and Rudenstine, N.L. 1992 In pursuit of the PhD, Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press. Brause, R.S. 1997 What are the effects of completing a...

Jumping through Hoops Going on a Journey

Successfully completing the dissertation process brings enormous exhilaration The deeper your education, the more it will change you. That's why it's so important to choose carefully what you study and with whom. When we think about writing a dissertation we may envision a person seated at a computer for long hours, creating hundreds of pages of text, surrounded by stacks of books and documents. While this is an appropriate image, it clearly does not capture the totality of the experience. In...