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P. Mark’s Dissertation Workshop


P. Mark Taylor, Ph.D.

A dissertation is a huge project.  It can be overwhelming.  The purpose of this page is to offer you an overview of what a dissertation is, what the parts should look like, and how to go about putting it all together.

In addition to the general advice, I will show you the checklists that I use for evaluating dissertations and coaching the doctoral candidates to improve their efforts.  I will cover both the quantitative and the qualitative dissertation checklists.  I will also explain what I am thinking as I evaluate dissertations chapter by chapter.


Page Outline:

  1. Intro
  2. Overview of dissertation process
    • Topic selection
    • Lit review process and question narrowing
    • Fitting methods to the questions (not vice versa)
    • Finishing the lit review product (chapters 1 and 2)
    • Writing the methodology (chapter 3)
    • Proposal to committee for approval (including proposal defense)
    • Collecting data
    • Data analysis
    • Writing up results and discussion (chapters 4 and 5)
    • Dissertation Defense process
    • After the successful defense (including commencement)
    • Career Advice – Where to go from here!
  3. The Dissertation Paper
  4. The Dissertation Defense



NOTE: Anything below this line is content that is currently under construction!



New page to add later:   Levels of Chapter 4 for qualitative research

Level one. Reporting raw data
Level two. Reporting raw data with transition words, phrases and sentences.
Level 3. Summarizing the raw data.
Level 4. Using counts of occurrences to go with the summary statements
Level 5. Reporting a summary of the main themes coded from data sources.
Level 6. Explaining how the coding process lead to themes and/or altered themes from framework(s) (with samples of raw data, codes, themes, to illustrate the process)
Level 7. Doing all of the above plus sharing the extra trustworthiness steps of peer debriefing and member checks with specifics of how each one affected the outcome.
Level 8. All of the above with the addition of an explanation of how triangulation altered/refined/informed the results.

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