Writing Your Dissertation makes explicit the invisible culture of dissertation writing and thereby increases the likelihood of your success, avoiding the possibility that you will drop out of your program never having a clue about what was really expected. You will never be the same person you were before your doctoral experience. I hope that by reading this book you will find yourself much enriched by the process of completing your doctoral program.
There are three major parts to this book which correspond to the several stages involved in writing a dissertation. Initially you will need an overview, offered in Part I, entitled “ Getting a sense of the terrain.” Part II is called “ Preparing for your study,” and Part III provides details for “ Doing your study.” The appendixes contain resources, specifically a sample checklist for documenting your progress; suggestions for reading on the dissertation, the academic world, and research methodology; and a presentation of some of my research findings from the study of the dissertation process.
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, remember being at a total loss to understand what was happening to me. have discovered this is not unique. Most have no idea what a dissertation looks like or how it evolves.
While most doctoral students expect to draw on their earlier collegiate experiences, nothing in the academic world prepares them for the complexity and intensity inherent in the doctoral process. I have identified the crucial issues to include in Writing Your Dissertation: Invisible Rules for Success from multiple sources:
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