Dissertation Strategies Newsletter

Volume 31, Number 11

This newsletter is published by The Academic Research Group, Inc.
Emailinfo@dissertations.com             -2013-  Our 41 Year !          Website: dissertations.com
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 Completing Your Dissertation Makes $en$e!

    We all remember the old saying "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." Well, it applies to writing a dissertation too. What I'd like you to consider today are the ways in which you can be a "squeaky" doctoral candidate - the one of your advisor's many advisees who "gets the grease." Why is this important? Completing your dissertation requires that you make yourself known and heard, and you must stand out in the crowd to get that done. The dissertation writing process simply cannot proceed smoothly, or proceed at all, without the cooperation of your advisor.
     YOU have control over your advisor's interest in and commitment to your project. YOU can be finished with your dissertation this year, while other candidates are still at the Proposal stage!

Help for Your Dissertation

    Below are some suggestions for getting the help to which you are entitled:

1.  Understand that you have a right to responsive advisement and timely review of your work. Your dissertation advisor may feel overworked and underpaid, but s/he still has an ethical and legal responsibility to do the job.

2.  Learn to be assertive in dealing with your dissertation advisor. Don't accept long waits for an appointment or his/her unkept promises to "get back to you."

3.  Make it clear to your advisor from day one that you have a set time frame for completing your dissertation. Ask "What do I have to do to complete this dissertation by December of next year?" Be specific about your needs.

4.  Recognize that assertiveness requires substance. Present your advisor with documentation of your work on a regular basis. Submit drafts of pre-proposals and proposals and literature reviews as you complete them.

5.  Use your assertiveness to motivate your advisor. Provide him or her with good reasons to cooperate with you. Let your advisor know that you will be very easy to deal with as long as you get timely and specific help with your dissertation. Make it clear that you will be Mr. or Ms. NicePerson as long as you get what you are entitled to- but that you will be Big Trouble if you don't.

6.  State your terms. Tell your advisor that you expect: detailed answers to your questions; a specific timetable for submission of chapters; in-person and/or telephone meetings when YOU feel it necessary; prompt, written feedback to your submissions.

7.  Don't fall into the "guilty" trap. Don't let your dissertation advisor make you feel you are a burden. Remind your advisor that you want nothing more- or less- than the support, direction and advice they are being paid to provide.

by Diane Kennedy

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Diane Kennedy has been helping doctoral candidates complete their dissertations for over 41 years, and is happy to answer
individual questions via email.  E-mail her at:  diane@dissertations.com

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