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Category: Dissertation Tips

Why Can’t I Use a Summary Text When Citing My Research Method and Design?

Why Can’t I Use a Summary Text When Citing My Research Method and Design?

I want to take a minute and explain to you why you don’t use a summary text like Creswell as your primary source when discussing your research method and design. Like many other texts, it is an excellent summary text that overviews the entire gamut of research designs, referencing specific authors at the end of sections. This is ideal when learning about research methods and designs. There are books that deal only with qualitative or quantitative design and even specialty…

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Habits Can Be a Good Thing

Habits Can Be a Good Thing

Importance of Good Habits “I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.” ~ Charles Dickens Having good academic habits reduces the chances of making mistakes in your work. Attention to detail is critical in the dissertation process.  Cultivate Good Habits To Replace Bad Ones Car manufacturers responded to government mandates for seatbelts in cars and in turn, most of…

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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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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!

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 folks feel pressure to organize their tax information to save a few dollars. Sometimes,…

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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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