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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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Why Use Cloud Storage?

Why Use Cloud Storage?

Has This Ever Happened to You? (If it hasn’t yet, it most likely will!) You just spent six hours working on a chapter revision and feel really good about it. The creative juices were really flowing and you were in the zone with lots of great ideas. Not wanting to lose any revisions, you religiously did backups every 15 minutes to make sure to safeguard those thoughts. The next day, you decide to make other revisions but when you turn…

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You Have Arrived!

You Have Arrived!

You have finished your coursework and are ready to begin your dissertation! You have waited a long time for this moment, the point at which you can now use the skills that you have learned and pursue your own contributing work. It is an exciting time in your doctoral education and one that will have many surprises. How the Dissertation Process Is Different What makes the dissertation process different from your doctoral coursework? What can you expect when successfully completing…

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The Weak Link in the Research Process…and how to fix it.

The Weak Link in the Research Process…and how to fix it.

To be successful in a graduate program, students must be able to write a clear, concise literature review with a logical flow that provides a convincing rationale for conducting the proposed research. The literature review is the foundation for identifying a research problem/question and creating the plan to address it. There are good online tutorials that explain how a thorough knowledge of the literature allows students to go from a broad perspective of a topic to that minuscule slice that…

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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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