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Ever Feel Like the Only Clown in a 3-Ring Circus??

Ever Feel Like the Only Clown in a 3-Ring Circus??

Source: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain This is probably one of the most accurate analogies for you as you move through your dissertation. I imagine that you have felt that way many times if you are focused on completing your dissertation or thesis. So many things need to be done and of course, all at once! The dissertation process can overwhelm many students because it is so different from traditional coursework. It requires careful long-term planning and short-term planning besides setting…

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Starting To Think Like a Scholar

Starting To Think Like a Scholar

  Want to speed up your dissertation process? Want to make your committee members happier? Want to look more like a professional scholar? If you answered yes to any of those three questions, continue to read this post. Some things to remember You are learning to become an independent scholar by completing a research proposal conducting research, analyzing the data, and finally reporting it in the form of a manuscript and defending it in a presentation. Don’t forget that -A…

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Making the Most of Your Doctoral Experience

Making the Most of Your Doctoral Experience

How would you like to get an edge on others in your field? Do you want to move to the top of your profession? There are many ways that you can enrich your doctoral experience. Making contacts- online networking Your doctoral experience is different in many ways. One important activity should be to make connections with others in your field of study. While reading the current literature is critical to your success, it is also important to know what is…

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Goals and Objectives

Goals and Objectives

So you want to finish your dissertation? What exactly are you doing to make sure that will happen? What kind of planning have you done? Do you have a master timeline? What are the short-term goals you have set to realize your long-term goal of completing your dissertation? Do you know what steps to take to achieve each goal? How will you know when you have achieved a given goal? All of these are questions that should be answered if…

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The Value of Planning Your Writing- Outlining and Flowcharting

The Value of Planning Your Writing- Outlining and Flowcharting

Background Having taught for many years and mentored students at all levels of education, I have noticed one thing that is often overlooked by novice and even experienced students: the power of outlining and flowcharting in the writing preparatory phase. However, I can recall my high school days when English teachers would always tell us to “start with an outline and then write” our papers. I didn’t learn that lesson in high school or even in undergraduate work; I only…

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Trying to Solve All the World’s Problems?

Trying to Solve All the World’s Problems?

Students entering the writing phase of their master’s or doctoral programs are faced with a difficult challenge: to find that one particular aspect of a much larger topic that is recommended for further research by those in the field of study. The “Gap” in the Research Students often think of a “gap” in the research as something about which nothing has been written. That is only partially true as there may be some aspects of a topic considered insignificant to…

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Picking a Research Problem and Planning the Research- Considerations

Picking a Research Problem and Planning the Research- Considerations

How do you pick the correct research problem? One thing that should be a primary concern for doctoral students is finding the correct research problem on which to base the dissertation. Having the correct problem is much like having the right foundation when building a house. If the foundation is weak or defective, the entire house structure will be adversely affected and in many cases, will require the builder to start over. This is a tremendous waste of time, effort,…

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The Research Problem

The Research Problem

Going Beyond Course Assignments The quest for a research problem/question begins with your deeper thinking about the content material of your coursework. Now is when you start to think further than just the course content. What are the theories, the ideas, the positions of the authors that you are reading and discussing? What are the trends in research in different fields of study? Which ones seem to align with your perspective about the topics? In a doctoral program, you will…

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Finding the specific problem

Finding the specific problem

What is a focused problem? In my experience, the most difficult things for graduate students to understand are the importance of focusing their research on a single specific problem, how to find that problem, and how specific it should be.   Here is a story that might help. As a birder, I spent many years roaming around in Southeast Arizona with my birding buddy, a retired teacher. Our routine was to spend two weeks camping in various parts of the southeast corner…

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Task Management

Task Management

Do you want to get more done with your time? Do you want to improve the quality of your academic work? Try a task management app! Planning your work during an academic program of any kind, whether a semester full of classes with assignments or a thesis/dissertation, can mean the difference in failure and success.  Any assignment consists of many smaller tasks that must be done to successfully complete the assignment. While there is not enough space in this post…

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