Smart Writing: Faith, Fear & Confidence

The world of academic writing is a strange one. In graduate school, you’re expected to “know” how to write. But your writing habits may be stuck in undergraduate mode when you wrote essays or research papers. College taught you the basics of  five standard essays that 1) tell a story (narrative), 2) analyze (expository), 3) compare and contrast (comparison), 4) convince the reader (persuasion) and 5) related events/conditions (cause and effect).

Your dissertation is a book: it’s five chapters of your research idea, explained and supported by data that justify your conclusions and recommendations. It’s one of the hardest books I’ve ever written, but there’s a weird logic to it all. But what is it? Is there a simple way to write your dissertation? What are the smart tips to ease your writing experience? 

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In the Driver’s Seat: Be Proactive

I recently moved to a new job, and thought about the whole transition process. Part of that process includes planning, reaching out, and asking for help. But a bigger part of transitioning is doing the hard work. That means to be your own advocate, apply for jobs, prepare for interviews, and close the deal.

In thinking about all this, a woman from my last job said she also wanted to make a change. I helped her with online resources to update her computer skills, writing, organizational, and overall administrative skills. From there, it was up to her.

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How To Pick a Dissertation Topic

At the start of my dissertation journey, I had a general idea of what I wanted to study: sustainability. Sustainability is a big word with many definitions – here are over 100 definitions of sustainability.

Sustainability is a complex idea that allowed me to explore different areas of interest: environmental, cultural, social, economic, agriculture, urban planning, organizational, structural, etc.

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Dissertation Process: A Snapshot

Dr. Patti and I have talked a lot about our dissertation journey. Some of you may be in middle of yours. Or maybe you haven’t started yet. The process starts on the first day of class, because the goal is to start and finish your dissertation. Not an easy task for sure. But it’s exciting and doable. So here’s a primer or a quick snapshot of what it looks like.

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