Editor’s Note: Dr. Patti Mason wrote this week’s blog to remind us to celebrate your milestones throughout your dissertation journey. We can forget to celebrate the small things we do. When we neglect to acknowledge our milestones and achievements, however small they may seem, we miss a great opportunity to be encouraged to take another step towards a new milestone.
Like many adults, Dr. Bessie DiDomenica and I are lifelong learners. We continue to learn new ways to keep our minds active by working on joint projects with colleagues and other researchers. We find opportunities to present our ideas to academics and the general public. And we continue to publish articles in scholarly journals.
Dr. Bessie and I faced many challenges in graduate school. How did we overcome them? What did we learn from our online experience?
There’s an ancient proverb that says, When embarking on a journey, never ask directions from someone who has never left home. Dr. Bessie and I know that when you look for a mentor you want someone who has been on the dissertation journey so they can help you by sharing their experiences. Same is true when becoming a mentor for someone else.
Writing the Big D was a BIG step for Dr. Bessie and I. We needed to fill so many gaps in our research and build our writing competencies. The biggest gap for me was to understand how to do the research project.
It is critical to comprehend “how to do it”! Then you can worry about accomplishing the what and why which are crucial. I learned that trying to complete my dissertation by focusing on what or why is not the most sustaining process. Once you figure out how to accomplish it, then, the what and why start to fall in place.
Thinking about how to start the whole dissertation process can be overwhelming. A dissertation will not only teach you how to fish deep for information, but it will also challenge you to no end. Be prepared to take on the biggest and most gratifying challenge of your life.
The dissertation is probably one of the greatest challenge you will ever face in your educational life. You will understand this process more after finishing your dissertation. Dr. Bessie and I want to give you tips on how to meet the big expectations of writing your dissertation.
Thinking is something we do all the time. It means using your brain to work through challenging ideas. Critical thinking is not rocket science – it’s a process to help us think clearly and make connection between ideas. When you reach your dissertation stage, you’ll need a critical thinking toolkit: Journaling, Analysis, Synthesis and Understanding. I’ll describe how I used these tools for my dissertation.
Dr. Bessie and I know that as a doctoral student, most of your time is spent pounding on the keyboard pouring out your heart and soul to complete your chosen topic. We are aware that if you do not truly love writing or your topic, it is impossible to keep focused. Continue reading “Your Passion: How to Write About It”