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Dissecting The Literature Review

Dissecting The Literature Review

The foundation of a dissertation is a thorough review of the current literature related to the problem so you can develop a plan for further investigation. Reviewing the literature should start early in doctoral studies, expand during coursework, and continue until you defend the dissertation. All the chapters in the dissertation depend on a solid grasp of the literature. Even writing a problem statement is difficult to do without understanding what is already known about the topic. The literature review…

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Where Is Your Data??

Where Is Your Data??

Here you are! You finally made it to the dissertation phase of your doctoral program! You worked hard to complete all the coursework, did all the assignments, and got good grades. NOW, You are out of the coursework and ready to start your dissertation. Nobody will give you assignments to submit for a grade. No classmates. Only you and the dissertation. Of course, your dissertation Chair will give you feedback but you are expected to develop and support a plan…

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Looking for a way to quickly develop outlines for your writing?

Looking for a way to quickly develop outlines for your writing?

We all have great ideas but sometimes can’t get them on paper. Start With Brainstorming to Get Those Ideas Out! Brainstorming has different meanings for different people. For me, I take the term literally. It is a storm in my brain and storms aren’t really controllable. That meshes with the purpose of brainstorming, to record as many thoughts as possible without any analysis or screening. That comes later. What will I miss if I stop and try to categorize everything…

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More about problem statements and purposes

More about problem statements and purposes

For some reason, distinguishing problems and purposes seems to be one of the most difficult barriers students must overcome so I will discuss it using examples. The Problem What is a problem for doctoral research? Checklist (must meet all three criteria): An existing condition, situation, phenomenon, state. Whatever word you use, it is something that is happening that is not working correctly. Scholars in the field have identified it as a problem. Scholars in the field recommend further research about…

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Get Organized!

Get Organized!

MESSY No, it doesn’t have to be this way! (Flickr/Creative Commons photo) Every year, it’s the same old thing: New Year Resolutions and Good Intentions topped with a big helping of Early Disappointments. Still, we do it because some will make it and the result will be personal, social, and/or business  successes. This is the time of year that many will clean out closets and rearrange  things to prepare for the new year. It’s the time of year when business…

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So You Want to Finish Your Dissertation?

So You Want to Finish Your Dissertation?

How to Get Your Dissertation Rolling Doctoral programs end with a dissertation but almost half of students who do the coursework never finish the dissertation. Why do you want to complete a dissertation? I wonder sometimes if students entering the process ever really ponder this question. Why is it important to know your reasons? Simply put, the more motivated you are, the more likely you are to make the sacrifices needed to succeed. Reasons like, “my friend decided to do…

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Finding Time

Finding Time

One of the concerns I frequently hear in a graduate program is not having enough time to get all the research, reading, and writing done. Students working full-time jobs, having family responsibilities, and taking classes experience high-stress levels at best and at worst, will drop out of their online education programs because of it. How many hours each week does it take to do quality academic work? That may seem like a loaded question but really, how much time does…

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Population and Sampling

Population and Sampling

Population and Sampling What Do I Need To Know About Getting The Data For My Research? As a graduate student, what do you need to know about collecting your data? How will you determine where to look, who or what to use for the data sources, and what you can expect to do with the collected data. Doing all of these things correctly can determine whether you will have quality scholarly work or just another worthless paper; the latter also…

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The Dissertation Process- Seeing the Big Picture

The Dissertation Process- Seeing the Big Picture

Do you want to maximize your time and hard work completing your dissertation? That will take some planning but it is difficult to plan without understanding some things about dissertation activities and how they overlap. The dissertation process can be overwhelming to many students – actually to most students – because it is such a different process than anything else that has been done in coursework. It is a longer-term process and requires careful long-term planning and short-term planning besides…

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