Hello! Hot weather, cool breezes, a few sprinkles here and there … this is perfect weather for writing your dissertation! Keep it moving. Our online challenges span 6 months each: Winter Challenge [January – July] and Summer Challenge [July – December.]

This is the Dissertation House On-line, Summer 2014 season! This page will be active from July 2014 – December 2014.   You can participate in the online Dissertation House from any part of the world. Students join the Dissertation House (DH) from various states in the US and many countries in the world. The “DHers” who participate in person come from universities throughout Maryland, with sponsorship from the National Science Foundation’s PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP), and funding schools within the University System of Maryland.

Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale is your “Head Coach.” Dr. Carter-Veale will be conducting “in-person” Dissertation Houses at UMBC, UM College Park, the Summer Success Seminar at the Hotel at Arundel Preserve.  Participants are required to blog in daily during their time in the Dissertation House, and are encouraged to continue blogging until they finish their dissertations.

 Join us online using this page, from any state in the U.S. or any country in the world.  Take the challenge to finish your dissertation!

To join us online:

  1. Go to the comment section below and introduce yourself (name, school, department.) Note: You may use your full name or an alias. If you have a blog, you may use your blogger ID, however, you do not need a username or password to participate.
  2. Tell us what you are working on and what you plan to accomplish today or over the next few days.
  3. Blog in daily, preferably twice a day (morning and afternoon/evening) to report your goals for the day, your daily accomplishments, and your goals for the next day.

We will repeat what we say each session: Our graduates and participants pushed (and we do mean that they pushed through adversities, complications, and issues) to finish sections, get chapter approval from advisors, complete drafts, pass proposals, pass defenses, and turn in their final documents. We want you to PUSH and FINISH!

This is your online community. Work hard. Go to the end. You’re slightly closer to being called “Dr.”

361 responses to “Summer 2014 Challenge”

  1. Welcome to this season’s Online Challenge! Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale started the online challenges years ago as a companion to her “TADA – Thesis and Dissertation Accomplished” book package. PROMISE has received the benefit of Dr. Carter-Veale’s early challenges, and she has since worked with the PROMISE Dissertation House’s version of hybrid mentoring. We presented the idea of hybrid mentoring at an Understanding Interventions (UI) conference, and it is discussed in the most recent published report of the UI. Today, we ask you to trust the process. If we’re meeting with you in person, please participate in the online section as well; it makes a difference. If we are only able to connect with you online, please continue to post your goals until you have reached your goal. Some of our past participants blogged for a few years until they finished, but the key is that they completed their tasks and now they have their names on their business cards followed by “Ph.D.” That will be you. Join us! We’ll encourage you as you take the journey!

  2. Good morning! We are here in the Dissertation House at UMBC. The participants are writing their goals and are about to share. We welcome those who are in person, as well as those of you who are joining us online! Have a productive day!

  3. Good morning!! I’m excited to be back at Dissertation House again. My overall goal for the week is to finish transcribing all the interviews and focus groups that will serve as the data for my dissertation. My goal for today is to transcribe at least three interviews; four would be great!

    1. Welcome back Tasha

      Glad you came back. How many transcriptions did you get done today, 3 or 4?

  4. Hello! I’m a participant of Summer 2014 dissertation house at UMBC….Yayyy!

    1. Will, what are your goals for today?

  5. Emerald Christopher Avatar
    Emerald Christopher

    Good morning! During the next four days of the Dissertation House at UMBC, I will be working on my dissertation. My goal over the next four days will be to revise my literature review, revise my chapter on “language” and to begin my chapter on “religion.”

    1. Emerald
      Welcome to the DH, I look forward to our meeting hopefully tomorrow.

  6. Hello Dr. Tull. Thanks for allowing me to participate in such a great opportunity. Today my plan is to complete a detail outline for the introduction of my dissertation. Then work on a table of contents.

  7. Getting ready to start my Day 1 of activities here at the UMBC Dissertation house. Chapter 1 – Introduction – Section 1.

    1. Adriana
      I really like your detailed outline with manageable bite size pieces. Good for you.

  8. Timothy Richards Avatar
    Timothy Richards

    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Timothy and I am a PhD student in UMBC’s Information Systems department. We just started the summer 2014 dissertation house this morning and my goals this week are as follows:

    1) Rearrange chapter 3 per my advisor’s feedback.
    2) Add sources to the HCI subchapter of chapter 2.
    3) Write a two page summary of my pilot study for my proposal.

    Today I will start the morning by rearranging chapter three. This is the easiest and least time consuming task.

    Since I have a lot of my work done on my proposal I would like to finish my proposal this summer and defend by the end of fall 2014 registration in September (9/10/14). This gives me exactly two months!

    1. Tim,
      Welcome to the DH. I hope now that you were able to play with the data some that you are able to come up with some possible analyses. I hope that you were able to see what you had accomplished in the last 10 min of the DH. Every min counts. In the DH we focus on minutes not hours.

      1. Timothy Richards Avatar
        Timothy Richards

        Yes, I have the resources. I just need to use them.

  9. Good morning, everyone! Today, I plan to complete my results tables and complete writing the results and discussions sections.

    1. Hello Shreyasi
      Your actions today were impressive. I noticed that you were making the best use of every available minute right up until 5 p.m. I wished everyone would follow your example tomorrow. Have a good evening you’ve earned it.

      1. Thank you, Dr. Carter, for your encouragement and all your positivity and guidance.

  10. Hello! I am following to major goals for the next 4 days. For today I plan to:
    1) Finalize the figures and tables for a paper I am working
    2) Start the Introduction of another paper by building a general idea

    1. Did this work for you? I know that you had to TA today, and that you will have to TA tomorrow as well. Be sure that your goals are adjusted to the time. I see that in both cases, you are working on two papers. I want you to start a file for your actual dissertation. Working on individual journal papers can be a catalyst, but at your level, you can’t beat actually having a dissertation document. Think about the structure of your actual dissertation. Your papers can serve as the basis for part of your outline.

      1. Thank you Dr. Tull for your comments. I could accomplish major parts of what I planned. I completed task 1 and task 2 is 80-90% completed.
        I will start a new document under dissertation document title. The reason that I am really concerned about focusing on journal papers rather than the dissertation is that I feel that the time and energy I put for my dissertation might not benefit me that much at end especially that after attending so many dissertation defences I found out many of them do not face with any serious issues and almost everyone can get away with it easily. I am afraid the time I spend for my dissertation is not worth it compared with journal papers. Another reason could be me complying with my advisor who puts lots emphasis on publishing papers rather than finishing the dissertation.
        Have a good day.

        1. Dear Farhoud, I understand your concern, and I have been to many defenses in your department. The main thing that I want you to do is to actually start the dissertation. You can still work on journal papers, but in the end, I don’t want you to neglect actually writing the dissertation. Remember, you still need the dissertation to graduate. 🙂

  11. It’s Dissertation Proposal Week! I need to turn my crazy-person-ranting-manifesto-esque document into an organized, persuasive, and well-written proposal. That will take all week. But for today, I will work on the outline, the appendices, and the methods chapter.

    1. HI CHRISSIE!! So glad you’re there again! Happy Dissertating!!

    2. Ugh, this blog-in/ blog-out: that’s what my notebook paper with a bazillion scribbles on it is for! Also, I suck at sticking to lists, so what I actually did doesn’t reflect what I wrote this morning. I finished the outline, all eight of the appendices, wrote an abstract, fixed the jacked up footnotes, and figured out what to do with the pilot research. Tonight’s homework is finishing up a grant application; probably no more direct-dissertation stuff for the evening. As of right now, tomorrow’s work should be updating the formatting of the table of contents, more work on the methods section, and adjusting the introduction. Thursday and Friday will be turning my comps (with corrections from each of my co-chairs) into a comprehensive lit review chapter.

      1. Hi Chrissie,
        I smiled at your post! I want to suggest that you are on the right track for this week: work on your dissertation during the day at the DH, and work on other projects at home. Start fresh on the dissertation each morning. Along that line, use the time in the DH to tackle something that might be more difficult to do outside of our setting. For example, you can format tables at home … next week. I would suggest that you tackle your methods section. It will be important for you to write up what you are going to do, and how you are going to do it. If you haven’t done so already, “core-dump” your comps document into your the lit review chapter of your dissertation, then make the corrections there.

        Renetta Tull

      2. I’m with you. Rather than editing the conclusion chapter from my Chair… I am reviewing 8400 – yes eight-thousand, four-hundred – education records at work. No no, don’t be jealous. But you got a TON done… not sure what your list said but your product looks good to me!!

    3. Chrissie Glad to see that despite the rants you narrowed it down to something manageable for today. Welcome.

  12. Hello EVERYONE! I’m joining you remotely from my desk at work. I was sitting right where you were last year – with a fraction of the data collected, an entirely new proposal from the one that was approved (based on government data access hiccups).
    Over the past year I was strict with my time, honest with my time – which is hard working as a full-time attorney with two children under 4… but I did it. It’s not over yet, but at least the first hurdle of the conclusion has been met.
    But it has paid off. I submitted the draft of my dissertation to my Chair on June 22. I just got feedback from him on the conclusion and it. was. hands. down. the. best. feedback. from. him. ever. !!!
    Tonight and tomorrow night I am going to address my Chair’s edits on my conclusion and submit it back to him. Thursday night I am going to completely edit my reference section (all out of order) and do the “fun” parts such as the dedication, acknowledgements, etc. I’ll be at a conference for work but promise to keep checking in! Excited to read about everyone’s progress!
    EMBRACE the process and ENJOY Dissertation House!!

    1. Heard you may hail from south-central PA. I’m from Hanover…(well, not originally, live there now).

      1. Yes, I live in York… although I am not from here originally either. I’m a New Englander at heart…

        1. Hi Leigh!!! Thanks so much for joining us virtually! Congrats on getting a draft of your dissertation in to your Chair! Whoo-hoo!!!!!! GREAT JOB!!!! So … are you going to be J.D., Ph.D., or Ph.D, J.D.? (They don’t have letters for “awesome mom,” but we’ll visualize for you.) 🙂

          1. ha ha. 🙂 Diss House got me through this all. So glad I can join virtually!

            1. Hello Leigh

              Glad to hear about the professor’s positive feedback. One step closer to the PhD

  13. Hi! I’m so excited to get started with my dissertation. I hope by the end of this week I will have a clear table of content, complete the first draft in chapter 1, and write as much as possible every day toward the dissertation completion goal. I’m very thankful to be here, I need it!

    1. Hi Thao. Tomorrow, be sure to write what you plan to do on Wednesday. Now that you have a goal for the week, break it into daily goals. We’re happy to have you aboard!

  14. Hello! Today I want to talk to Dr. Carter to get a pep talk to help me get into processing my advisor’s comments and do the rewrites on my dissertation. I already heard a good idea: do the easy stuff first and leave the hard stuff for later. I am glad to hear this since I have been putting off starting Chapter 2 because I was overwhelmed. Today I spoke with Dr. Carter first and I am glad because she gave me a concrete suggestion to use as a starting point. I will look up these three new resources and then begin my reorganization of Chapter 2 using them as an overarching theme.

    1. Great Kelly! Thanks for making the trip down to MD. Did you know that we once had an ABD student who had returned to California, and another who had returned to Ohio? Both came back, stayed in hotels or with friends, went through the DH process, and finished. You’re so close now. You’re on “re-writes!” Celebrate that!! That means that you had something to turn in.

      These next steps are great. It’s like working on a masterpiece. I had a conversation earlier with a student about baking. I like to bake so I likened this process to baking something new and asking people to taste it. If it had good flavor, but there was too much butter, or too much salt, you make adjustments. After a while, you’ll have something that you can serve to the food critics for a 5-star restaurant. Don’t fret when you get comments. Comments are good, especially when they are provided within a time frame for you to make adjustments! See Leigh’s comments above. I repeat her sentiment: Embrace the process. Take care!

      1. Thanks! Last night I thought about why the rewrite is so intimidating for me. I think that when I did the first draft, the focus was on completion. Rewrites require style, logic, organization and intrigue to keep the reader interested. You are never done improving and everything can be polished a little more, so i guess that I am just fearful of knowing when to stop and hand it in.

        1. Now that you are so close to finishing, examine your own work like the scholar that you are. Remember that even faculty have to revise and resubmit journal articles, so this process will eventually turn into peer-review, which technically improves our research overall.

  15. Hello All! My name is Portia and I am a sociology candidate from Rutgers University. I am in the early phases of my dissertation proposal, and so this week I hope to accomplish the following: 1) create a reading list to solidify my theory; 2) write a rough draft of my ideas for the proposal and outline; 3) read through 5 articles on my list.

    I really struggle to get my ideas concretely down on paper, so I am looking forward to participating and the tips and encouragement!

    1. Whoo, Rutgers! (New Jersey is my ancestral homeland and I love New Brunswick)

      1. Hi Portia! I’m a Jersey girl too! Welcome to the DH online! Do you have your committee in place? If so, be sure that your reading list also includes some of the papers that THEY deem important! I recommend that you meet with each of them and show them the list that you are creating. Give them a feel for your conceptual framework, and some of the seminal papers that you plan to include. Ask them for their opinions. They may actually GIVE you a list! BOOM! What a way to invite “collaboration” from your committee. They need to be involved; they need to have buy-in. Give them license to be connect to your project. Sometimes, students hold on too tightly, thinking, “Its MY project.” It is, but you will go farther, faster, if you involve them. Good luck!

    2. Hello Portia

      Welcome to the DH. One of my friends I think work at Rutgers. Does Dr. Debbie Carr still work there in the Sociology dept? Glad to see a fellow sociologist getting it done. Glad you were able to join us. What were you able to accomplish today? 5 articles? Keep it moving forward.

      1. Yes! Debby is still here and is the department chair now. I have been able to accomplish quite a bit the past couple of days and can’t wait to keep going!

        1. Portia
          Glad to hear about your progress. Please make a stop in the chair’s office and say hello for me. It will give you an opportunity to make a connection to Dr. Carr. Dr. Tull stopped by yesterday and spoke about the importance of students making a connection to all of the faculty in their respective departments. I am encouraging you to do the same. Make that step and let me know how it goes.

  16. Hi. My name is Iona and I’m a doctoral candidate in gerontology at UMBC. My pre-proposal was approved, and I have a rough outline for my proposal. Now I have to get down to business! I’m at work right now, so I have to break up my writing time. I am a slow writer, and I learned from a dissertation workshop through UMB, that I can use “blurt and bracket” to push myself to get words on the paper. My goal for the next 2 days is to write a rough draft for my literature review. I want to write as much as possible, and then go back and fill in as needed. If I go back to reading more literature, I’ll get sidetracked. I live and breathe this stuff (as we all do), so I will focus on writing only, for the next 2 days. I’ll check in tomorrow to report on how much I have on paper.
    Good luck everyone!

    1. Hello Iona! Good plan! I remember your first year orientation, so congratulations on getting to this point! Yes, write as much as possible. This will be a good exercise for you! We’ll look for your reports tomorrow.

  17. My main goals for the next day or two is to get a short summary of my dissertation topic done so that I can forward it on to potential committee members. The research and number-crunching come naturally to me–just not the process part!

    1. Hi Mary, Are you using your existing papers for your dissertation? In addition, are your papers related to the same topic or theory? If so, you can summarize your topic AND add the background of your existing papers to your lit review section.

  18. Today I found the recommended resources, read and took notes on them and added them to my Chapter Two document. I will use the new info to restructure my intro to the chapter. Then I read all of my advisor’s comments and notes. I had not read them before because they seemed too daunting. After that I wrote out a new outline to help me figure out how I wanted to reorganize the chapter. Lastly, I decided to focus on the significance, again. I think that I have moved away from it an included too much extraneous info. I will write it out tonight and then make sure to thread the language that I used throughout Chapter One and Two and make sure to keep it in mind for Chapters Three, Four, Five and Six.

    1. Hi Kelly, thanks for blogging in this afternoon. See my comments on your other post above.

  19. Did not quite finish what I planned today. Will plan to finish outline for my introduction. Then begin working on the second section of my methods.

    1. That sounds like a good plan Lathiena. Do you have the place holders in your document for your other sections as well? That might help with visualizing the dissertation as a full document.

  20. The day went by very quickly, but I did make progress on my transcriptions. I got one of the most difficult ones out of the way! Tomorrow I will take Dr. Carter’s advice and knock out some of the shorter ones so I don’t get discouraged. Looking forward to my meeting with her in the morning to discuss what my final dissertation chapters should look like.

    1. Tasha, I would suggest that you count down online per Dr. Carter’s story about Dr. Maritza Gonzalez. Keep blogging until you finish. We have a DH at College Park next week, and one at Frostburg after that, so there will be several people cheering you daily. Make it a priority to finish this part within the next few weeks.

  21. Emerald Christopher Avatar
    Emerald Christopher

    What a productive day! My goal for today was to begin working on the edits/revisions of my literature review. I exceeded my goal as I incorporated all of my committee’s feedback into my literature review today and begin proofreading.

    Tomorrow I plan to finish the proofreading of my literature review and then begin making edits and additions to my first chapter on “language/discourse.”

    I am exhausted but feel I accomplished a great deal today!

    See everyone tomorrow.

    1. Congratulations Emerald! I would suggestion that you consider adding something “new” to your schedule. Give yourself a time limit for proofreading, and making edits. Give yourself some significant time to make actual “additions.” For example, 10:00 Proofread, 11:00 Edit (Do some editing, and make some notes if you haven’t finished by 11:40), 2:00 Add new content. Do your best to look at your email before and after the DH, but not during. Congratulations on exceeding your goals today!

  22. Did not finish my dissertation proposal summary but made good progress. Dr. Carter gave me some good feedback which I will address first thing tomorrow.

    1. Mary
      Glad to see that you got words down on an empty page. Progress not perfection. We live to fight another day. See you in the morning.

  23. Timothy Richards Avatar
    Timothy Richards

    Made excellent progress and reorganized chapter 3. Met with Dr. Carter and now I need to review some stats to make sense of my pilot study data. Tomorrow I will pick up where I left off with the data analysis for the pilot study writeup. Happy that I can move forward and slightly frustrated that this may take more time that I anticipated. Excited to own the data and become the world’s expert on my topic.

    1. Dear Timothy,

      It ALWAYS takes more time, but that’s ok. You will finish!

      Renetta Tull

  24. I completed all the appendices and data tables for my first paper. Tomorrow, I plan to write the results and discussion sections. This was a great day, I could really work in a very focused manner without any distractions.

    1. Excellent!!! Keep up the good work. It sounds like you are working on a paper (journal), and as I mentioned to someone else, think about the structure for your dissertation and how the paper fits within the context of your document.

      1. Hi Dr. Tull,
        Thanks for your comment. I am writing a 3 essay dissertation. I have written an encompassing introduction and for the proposal defense I need to complete the first essay and plans for the other two. How do I put down the structure in my head on paper?

        1. Simply write it! I call it “emptying your brain.”

  25. I did not finish my Introduction but I certainly move forward in this direction today!

    1. Keep on moving forward Adriana. Congratulations on making progress.

  26. Completed a detailed table of contents and started work on chapter 2 of my dissertation. My goal for tomorrow is to complete the first draft of chapter 2. A very fruitful day indeed. A big thank you to Dr. Carter, Dr. Tull and Dr Rutledge for their encouragement and pieces of advice.

    1. Great job! We’ll look forward to seeing your results for tomorrow!

  27. Good evening everyone! Congratulations on getting something finished today. Celebrate the fact that you were not distracted by other tasks, and that you added some kilobytes to your files. Along that line, be sure that you back up your documents! Dropbox may be your friend.

    Dr. Cortes and I will be working with the Summer Horizons program tomorrow in The Sports Zone, http://promiseagep.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/july-2014-summer-horizons-apply-to-graduate-school-special-speaker-umbcs-president-dr-freeman-hrabowski/, and then I have some meetings in the Grad School during the afternoon. I hope to get back to the DH late tomorrow afternoon to check in.

    I’ve read through all of your comments, and have replied to each of you at least once. Please read the comments, and then let me know if you have any questions. Congratulations on your progress today. Have a good evening, you deserve it!

    Here are some of today’s moments:

  28. 10pm and I’m leaving work. I have more work to do but am printing out a copy of my conclusion so I can start to make edits tomorrow morning. Didn’t get done what I wanted to do but I can tell you that by tomorrow night I’ll have my conclusion back to my Chair. Have fun tomorrow. Will check in then!

    1. Rest well Leigh. We’ll see what you have in store for tomorrow.

  29. talked to my boyfriend tonight and he said I sounded like I had a great day. I’m so glad I finally write something in my dissertation. Today I had a detail outline and completed about 50% of chapter 1. Definitely continue working on chapter 1 tomorrow morning, and hope to move on to chapter 2 in the afternoon. Thank you for your day at dissertation house with us, Dr. Tull, Dr. Carter, and Dr. Cortes!

    1. It’s so true. You start to realize that you COULD go to a social event or relax or watch your favorite TV show but you start to feel BEST when you PROGRESS! Congrats.

  30. Picking up where I left off yesterday. So glad to finally have a block of time to work on dissertation stuff and not be interrupted by work, kids, chores, pets, etc!

  31. Emerald Christopher Avatar
    Emerald Christopher

    Good Morning! I did some prep work last night to prepare to work today. I plan to use Dr. Tull’s suggestion and set time limits for the proofreading of my literature review. I hope to proofread from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and then begin working on the edits to my chapter on “language” from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. I also look forward to meeting with Dr. Carter today.

  32. Timothy Richards Avatar
    Timothy Richards

    Onward to day 2 of DH. Today I will tackle my goal to write a 2 page summary of my pilot study. Step one is to review my methods text to find appropriate analysis tools. Step two determine which survey questions yielded interesting data. Step three is to write a description of the study. Step four is to create a table with some basic data and analysis.

    1. Timothy Richards Avatar
      Timothy Richards

      Lunch in ten minutes: This morning I located nine types of statistical tests and determined which ones I could use, might use, and should not use! I also found some excellent tutorials. After lunch I will review my survey questions to determine which ones provided responses worth analyzing (I will also start a list of pilot study question numbers that I want to revise or scrap for the full study).

      1. Hey Tim
        Glad to see that independence growing 🙂

  33. Good Morning. Today I plan to type up my outline for the introduction of my dissertation (I’m old school and hand write my outlines). I also plan to finish my table of contents for Chapter 3. I am still deciding what data I should put in that chapter. I’m a little conflicted. I plan to start writing the second section of my methods. Hopefully I will get more done today than yesterday 😉

  34. Today I will rewrite the intro to chapter two and then I will rewrite the first section.

  35. Hello! Today I plan to dive back into transcribing. I can realistically get through 3-4 of the shorter interviews, which will motivate me to continue on to the longer ones. To wrap up the transcription I completed yesterday, I will finish proofreading it and confirm two questionable items I caught yesterday afternoon. Then I will officially be done with the first transcription and can move on to the others. My meeting with Dr. Carter is today and I’m looking forward to learning more about what the structure of my overall dissertation should look like.

  36. Hello! My goal today is to write, in the very least, three sections of chapter 2 of my dissertation.

    1. Nice work on the dissertation today. I look forward to Friday when you have narrowed down the topic of your independent proposal. I am holding my breath until you do. 🙂

  37. Hi! My goal is to complete the first draft of chapter 1, start working on chapter 2 this afternoon. And try not to be distracted from lab work 😛

  38. Good morning, everyone. I will write the text (aka results and discussion sections) based on the tables I made yesterday.
    I have a request/question: I am having some trouble with my tables in MS-Word (I have copied numbers the old-fashioned way from my Stata results). Can someone help? Thank you!

  39. It’s Dissertation Proposal Week, Day 2! Last night I finished the grant stuff in about 30 minutes (and I awarded myself with a snack of pepperoni slices once everything was printed and packed away), so I did some proposal homework. I (1) finished and printed the table of contents, (2) made the list of questions for the meeting with Dr. C-V this afternoon, (3) wrote the dissertation chapter outline, (4) created a recruiting page on my website, (5) took Dr. Tull’s advice and ‘dumped’ my comps into the proposal document, and (6) excised a bunch of crap from the document that was more manifesto and less lit review. My reward for all of this was (5.1) formatting the font/paragraphs of the lit review while I watched True Blood. Before DH started this morning, I met with one of my co-chairs and we discussed the stuff I was working on this week.

    On the docket for today is doing something hard: Day 1 of 2 of incorporating all the changes and edits from my co-chairs for the lit review. This is a task I need long blocks of time for, and I’ve got it this week. This morning, I am will (1) divide a 65-page section into four categories: food studies, volunteering, tourism, and oral history. Next, I will (2) set aside the ancillary stuff into it’s own document since some of it was relevant to the comps, but not to my research questions. Then, I will (3) make the easy (takes 2 minutes or less) changes from my co-chairs.

    This afternoon, I will (4) work on the organization and transitional phrases so the lit review reads more smoothly, and I will (5) meet with Dr. C-V.

    1. Bleep bloop blog out: So my idea of dividing the lit review into four sections really isn’t working well. The problem is that all the food studies and tourism stuff overlap, and the food studies and oral history stuff overlap, and the tourism and oral history stuff also overlap. So those can be divided into to two sections, Culinary Tourism (where I mention everything but the oral histories) and Oral History (where I mention food and tourism as case studies). Through both of these sections, another common thread is contemporary Japan, which is where my research takes place. I don’t have enough volunteering stuff to really stand on it’s own. I think I need to go back through my notes and materials and make that section not be crap. Not sure if that will happen as homework or not; I might be better served continuing to work on another .

      What I also realized about the comps-to-proposal process is that only 50% of it was straightforward. Comps Question 1 about food studies has to be Etcha-sketch redone in order to fit into the lit review. It’s not like I don’t have the information, but it’s not arranged in a way that I can use. Comps Question 2 about oral history can be used almost in its entirety, in the order it’s already in, and with very little adjustment (save for the changes my co-chair made). Ahhh… しかたがない… It cannot be helped.

      One thing that has been remarkably effective about the day is the Radiohead albums as editing music. The discordant beeps, the computer sounds, the mid-90s angst, and bonkers lyrics like “The sky turns green again and you dig in,” are all glorious for editing. I have never edited so quickly or with so much gusto. It doesn’t hurt that the music reminds me a lot of the big city noise and hyper-modernism of Tokyo. もちはもちや, right? ^__^

      1. Chrissie, you are hilarious! Yes, re-arranging takes time, but now you know that you have some content. I’ll look forward to reading your post tomorrow!

  40. Good morning! My goal today is to write two sections of the methodology chapter!

  41. Learned a very effective technique in organizing the literature review. Thank you Dr. Carter.
    Today I plan to use this method to organize and manage all document I collected by now as literature review. In the afternoon session, I will apply that to the parts of literature review I have written so far.

    1. Farhoud,
      Glad to hear that my presentation was clear enough to put into practice. I remember that you mentioned that challenge with your introduction on Day 1. We can talk some more about the writing when we have our 1-on-1. I look forward to our meeting on Thursday. See you in the morning.

  42. I agree about the use of the excel worksheet to organize the literature review. What a fabulous way to keep track of everything! A shame that I didn’t learn this earlier in my graduate career–would have saved me much work and wracking my brain trying to remember what researcher said what!

  43. Timothy Richards Avatar
    Timothy Richards

    Time to summarize my day and play for tomorrow! I met nearly all my goals for today. Step four – creating tables – from my data is started. Tomorrow I will be able to finish that task. It was a full day and satisfying. I discovered several analysis models I can apply to my data set. On Thursday I will need to modify one of my three goals for the week slightly. The information I obtained this week from the DH process and my own review of my overall paper requires me to modify my chapter 2 outline (lit rev) prior to adding my sources to the HCI chapter. I believe that the chapter is still grasping at showing a knowledge and filling pages. I need to tighten up the chapter and ensure that everything in the chapter points to the research question and hypotheses. First thing in the morning I will re-outline chapter two after this I will finish my tables for chapter 3. In the afternoon I will start putting my HCI literature into the outline.

    1. Tim

      Glad to see that we provided some useful information. Two more days left. Glean as much as you can and use all, some, a little bit of what you find useful. See you in the morning.

  44. Today I continued working on my short paper. I added a summary lit review section and augmented my methodology section. It actually looks decent. I’ve been stuck at this point for a long time, and it feels great to have made some progress.

  45. Today I did get the intro to Chapter 2 done. I wrote a completely new intro to go with the reorganization of the chapter. I updated the table of contents and I found several new primary sources to embed in my rewrite. I also had a talk with Dr. Carter that helped me to solidify my direction and will help me focus my defense!

    1. Kelly
      Glad I could add some clarity to the mix.

  46. Emerald Christopher Avatar
    Emerald Christopher

    I was able to get a good amount done today. I completed the proofreading of my literature review and I converted my chapter on “language/discourse” to meet the Chicago citation format. In addition, I began restructuring the chapter per my Chair’s feedback. Tomorrow I plan to begin incorporating the historical analysis to this chapter.

    I had a very productive meeting with Dr. Carter. I have a game plan for the things I need to do in order to meet my personal goal. With that said, I am also aware of the need to navigate my committee and politics which results in some anxiety.

    I am exhausted but plan to try to go to bed a little earlier tonight. See everyone tomorrow.

    1. Emerald,

      Good to see you accomplishing your daily goals and moving it forward. Focus on the things that you can control and put the other things in your rear view.

  47. I learned a lot today especially during the one-on-one session with Dr. Carter-Veale. Today I was able to finish my outline of my introduction, table of contents, and the second section of my materials and methods. Tomorrow I plan to begin writing the first section of my introduction. Beginning new sections are very difficult for me. It normally takes a while to find my rhythm. If anyone has any tips I would be very grateful. .

  48. Today I was able to get two more transcriptions completed. My meeting with Dr. Carter was extremely productive. I now have a concrete timeline and goal date to work toward for a May 2015 graduation.

  49. Mission accomplished for today!

  50. Hi. Getting to my diss. at my usual week night time. Meant to print my conclusion chapter at work this morning and accidentally printed the ENTIRE 359 page document… OOPS! NOW I can actually view the entire thing, formatting and all. So. Conclusion edits. Here I come. Happy Writing!

    1. Leigh

      Well since the tree is down 🙂 you can do a better job at editing. Nothing beats hard copy editing. You will always find more issues on paper than on the screen. Now you can take 1 chapter with you and edit when you find a free moment. Afterwards, schedule some time to make those changes on the screen or pass it on to a helpful friend. Good luck.

  51. Hello everyone! It was nice to see you for a few brief minutes today. I’m so glad that everyone is making progress. Rest well tonight. You have another productive day ahead of you. I’ll join you toward the end of lunch, and will be with you for a few hours during the afternoon. Have a good evening!

  52. Welcome to Day 2 of the DH.
    Glad to see that everyone returned for day 2 of the DH. This morning’s mini lectures began with “The Importance of Setting a Deadline” and ended with “Knowing What Your Limitations Are”.
    This afternoon we had a visit from a recent DH, Dr. Autumn Reid. Her positive message about taking time to enjoy the experience along with her trials that she experienced with writing her dissertation really provided some concrete examples for the group. The second min-lecture for the afternoon include “Preparing for your Defense”. We will continue this in the morning but also work on our media training exercise as well. For those of you joining us on line much of the information from the mini lectures can be found on the TADA Website. http://tadafinallyfinished.com/newsletter/2005/news1105b.htm or in

  53. おはいようございます。
    It is Dissertation Proposal Week, Day 3. So, last night I only spent an hour on the lit review. It clearly needs dozens more hours, but I had to do some “being a person, not a grad student” tasks, like pack boxes because I am moving in less than a week. Today – morning and afternoon – will be all about Chapter 2, Section 1: Food Related Tourism and the easy listening sounds of the Japanese release of Radiohead’s Hail to the Thief album. This section is definitely the hardest part, but is also one of my favorite topics. Did you know there’s two different ramen noodle museums in Japan? Spending a day writing about stuff like this isn’t exactly a hardship for a food historian.

    1. I changed my lit review organization again. It’s back to being in two sections, and while I need a bunch of volunteering-related stuff, I am going to put all of it into either Part 1: Food-Related Tourism or Part 2: Oral History stuff. Having volunteering as it’s own section takes away from what I’m trying to ultimately argue, which is that WWOOFing in Japan is a way for people to have an alternative tourism experience that is facilitated by a volunteer organization. (Hey, maybe that could be my elevator pitch?)

      The geography stuff I have either falls into food or oral history or both categories, so I just need to add those in later.

      I read a paper recently that stated it was really bad to say you’ll be done with something by a certain date, and then have to re-negotiate that with other people. It was an interesting psychology piece and it equated being late for a deadline with others to breaking a promise. The same paper also said people had no more happiness when they got more than they were told they were going to get, but they were happiest when they got things – even mediocre things – that they weren’t expecting. With that, I am going to send something, even if it is mediocre, to my co-chairs by the end of the day tomorrow. It might be the whole lit review, or even one half of the lit review, but it’ll better than nothing, and they aren’t expecting anything from me anyway this week. [Note: they also don’t read this blog, so I’m safe there. ^_^]

      I also tried to be a little more realistic about my completion schedule. A Spring 2015 graduation date? Not unless I quit my job to be a full-time student (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, yeah right). I still have 30 interviews to conduct with people in 24 world cities, so maybe being realistic is a better plan. But a December 2015 graduation date? It’s still a year earlier than I originally planned (Dec 2016). I’m okay with that.

      We talked a lot about motivation today. I have motivation out the ying-yang. I like my project, I love interviewing people, and I think the organic farm volunteers represent a fascinating cross-section of humanity. While I do wish I learned ArcGIS in my first semester rather than my penultimate semester, I will have some wicked awesome choropleth maps in my oral history dissertation.

      Dr. C-V and Dr. Tull also talked to us about thinking about what we wanted to do when we’re done with the PhD. While I would likely make a terrible tenured professor and don’t want to do that, I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up. My go-to response is to quote Ferris Bueller: “I want to be a fry cook on Venus.” There’s no dream job I have in the back of my mind that relates in any way to this dissertation. I have a job that’s (very) challenging and (mostly) fulfilling, and above all else, I have been — and see myself as — a culinary historian for seven years now, no matter who I’ve worked for.

      Tomorrow: Moar Lit Review. 😀

      1. Chrissie, my biggest struggle was my timeline. I swore I’d graduate December 2013… then Spring 2014… then Summer 2014… Looks like it’ll actually be December 2014, but it took me a while to get there. Good luck!!

  54. Timothy Richards Avatar
    Timothy Richards

    Good Morning!

    Day three is here. Today I will reorganize chapter 2 and cut out things that do not belong. If the topic or study does not support my research question or method it is out of here! I also will finish my two page summary of my pilot study today. Late today and tomorrow I start working on my references for the CHI portion of my lit review.


  55. Good morning! Today I will work on Chapter 2 – Theory and Models. Hopefully, I can get two sections done by the end of the day!

  56. Emerald Christopher Avatar
    Emerald Christopher

    Day 3 of the DH. I am exhausted, I guess this is a taste of the mental and physical stamina I will need to get this done!
    Today I am sending my literature review to my chair and I am going through the archival data I collected in order to incorporate it into the chapter on “language” that I began working on yesterday.

    1. Congrats on being able to get something off your desk and onto someone else’s.

  57. Good Morning! Today’s plan is to begin working on section 1 of my introduction. I also need to update references in the paper I plan to submit for publication today.

    1. Hi Lathiena! I just wanted to say that I appreciate your post in that I have lately been struggling to find the balance between moving forward with my dissertation proposal and fellowship application, and the conference presentation and other works that I want to submit for publication in the upcoming month or two. Any strategies or suggestions for how you find the balance?

  58. Good morning!! I’m feeling really exhausted this morning. The transcribing can be extremely draining, but I’m pushing through! I’m also feeling a little overwhelmed by the timeline I established with Dr. Carter for the next three months. It is extremely rigorous, but with the proper planning and time management I know I can do it. I bought a large monthly calendar last night that will make it easier to visualize what needs to be done and when. I’m planning to share this tentative timeline with my co-chairs today to ensure they are on board, and from there will share with my committee to begin navigating their schedules and availability.

  59. Hi, I will start chapter 2 today. There is still a few things to add in chapter 1. I definitely need some caffeine in the system to keep it going 🙂

    1. Good that you did not let not getting chapter 1 to 100% before you moved on to chapter 2. Getting to 90-95% is good enough. Progress not perfection.

  60. Good morning! I have really been able to dig into the reading list, as well as get some of my ideas down on paper. My goals for today are to:
    1) Read through 5 more articles
    2) Begin to classify my literature by topic and summarize into paragraphs
    3) Write a clear and concise statement of the intellectual merit of the project.

  61. Good morning! Last night I thought about Dr. Carter’s advice to make sure to phrase my research objectives in terms of my discipline; not the topic through which I practice that discipline. For example, I am doing a Critical Discourse study through Genre and Narrative Analyses of the way that online news outlets report on immigration reform. I had been saying that I am studying immigration, but I am really studying that way language constructs through discourse. I feel much clearer about this today and I am going to look back at my first chapter after I rework my second chapter to make sure that I am correctly stating what it is that I am studying. It seems so simple, yet I was looking at it the wrong way. This is what I really appreciate about Dissertation House. I have been working on my own for so long and it is wonderful to have an outside person point out a way to clarify and refocus my writing!

    1. I had been saying that I am studying immigration, but I am really studying that way language constructs through discourse. — That is really an interesting development in the way you now think about how to describe what you’re doing! Quite the paradigm shift. It reminds me of reflexive verbs in French. Does Spanish have those? It’s the notion that while you are the one doing the action, it is impacted by an audience of some kind; nothing is done in a vacuum. 🙂

    2. Yes! Yes! and again yes! That is now very clear. Wow 🙂

  62. Third day in dissertation house, moving along pretty well. I was able to complete two section of Chapter 2 of my dissertation. I plan on completing two more sections today. I also need to make significant progress on my independent proposal today and tomorrow in order to have a friendly conversation with Dr Carter at our next meeting.

    1. Yes you do!!! Good luck.

  63. Today I hope to get closer to finishing the summary dissertation proposal paper. I really appreciate the feedback that I received from Dr. Carter-Veale on what I had written so far. After 10+ years working on related issues to my topic, I guess I’ve gotten myself into the rut of writing for a very narrow audience–and not even realizing that I’m doing it. Also, I tend to use too many acronyms and jargon. Doesn’t everyone know what PPS, CCRC, duals, HBSNF mean? Just kidding!

  64. OK, it is the end of day three and I still haven’t completely rewritten chapter 2, but, after talking to Dr. Carter and hearing her advice, I have completely restructured chapter 2 and I will flip it with chapter 3 so that I am highlighting the theory of the discipline and then giving the background of the particular topic upon which I am applying the discipline. I know that she most likely suspects some sort of mental deprivation on my part, but I am getting it. I know what I am doing, I am just taking a while to internalize it. I think that this restructuring is helping me make my topic more concrete and I will try to apply all of this (good) criticism to my defense presentation. I know Dr. Carter is worried, but it is sinking in and I do see value here! I just have to get past past practices and forge new neural pathways that don’t include mentioning immigration every 5 seconds!

  65. Today I made more progress with my paper. I will let it sit for a couple of hours and then re-read it before tomorrow. Not sure if it is ready to send off to prospective committee members or not.

  66. I learned a ton today about preparing for your dissertation. I am so grateful for the tools I’m getting from Dissertation House. I really liked Dr. Tull’s “hour glass” analogy for planning a talk. I will be using that to organize my defense presentation. Today was a pretty productive day. I was able to finish adding all my references for the paper I plan to submit. I also began writing section 1:1:1 of the introduction of thesis.. Tomorrow I plan to continue work on my introduction and hopefully complete the section. I learned today that I have a LOT of reading to do. This has slowed down my writing a little but hopefully I can get reading done tonight.

  67. Timothy Richards Avatar
    Timothy Richards

    Getting ready to pack up for the day. I did finish rearranging chapter two’s outline and removed significant bloat. I also met my goal of a two page summary of my pilot study. In all actuality it will end up being at least 4-5 pages in length. I did not put any references into chapter two because I needed more time to work on chapter three today. Tomorrow morning I want to finish my pilot study summary. Since the lit review is the dreaded “beast” of my project I will turn my goal to”add sources to HCI part of Ch 2″ to “Add fifteen sources to my HCI portion of my lit review.” I will do this portion after lunch.

  68. Today was a very productive day! I got through two more transcripts and found the mini lectures extremely helpful, as well. Going through the two minute speech activity for the second time was just as helpful as the first time around. I need to remember to lead with something that will catch my audience’s attention and why my research is important to them. I also need to watch all the uhs and ums :). I also appreciated the visit from Counseling Services. If I lived in the area, I definitely would plan to make regular use of their services. Even though I can’t in person, I will definitely call if I need to and plan to make use of the motivation strategies suggested and found in the booklet we received. In particular, I plan to identify and make an actual list of the barriers I allow to keep me unmotivated and what I plan to do to combat them. I’m looking forward to finishing out the week strong tomorrow!

  69. Emerald Christopher Avatar
    Emerald Christopher

    Though I wanted to work on more things today, I am happy I was at least able to send my lit review to my Chair. After proofreading it, there were some aspects that still needed to be added. Now that the lit review has been sent to the chair, tomorrow I will continue to work on my other chapter.

  70. Today I was able to get through 4 articles, making me one step closer to developing my literature review. In trying to achieve a workload balance, I also worked on a dissertation fellowship application and writing the abstract for a paper I need to submit for publishing.

    Tomorrow, I will read 3 more articles and begin an outline of my dissertation proposal. I hope that all had a productive day!

  71. I completed 80% of chapter 1 and worked on part of chapter 2 now. I will continue chapter 2 tomorrow.

  72. Day three of 2014 summer dissertation house is over. I’m now certain of the way forward with my independent proposal. I only need to read a few more articles tomorrow and then start writing in all earnestness. I guess I’ll have a meaningful conversation with Dr Carter tomorrow.

  73. Hello – this is my virtual log-in. Was at a day-long work conference but have spent the time following the conference finalizing the edits to my conclusion chapter. I submitted those edits a few minutes ago and plan on writing my acknowledgements and dedication sections tomorrow morning. Happy Writing!

  74. Up at 4am and typed up and incorporated a last minute interview I conducted last week. This was hard b/c my sections are established but I think I tackled all areas that needed the information. I’m off to the rest of my work conference and tonight I will finish my abstract and other minimal revisions to the draft. Not going to worry about the table of contents until I’m ready to send off to my committee upon Chair approval, given that the page numbers keep changing. Happy Writing!

  75. Good morning! I can’t believe the last day of Summer DH is already here. The time flew! Today I plan to transcribe at least two more interviews and print all of the transcriptions I have completed to date for easier analysis. I will also get the email sent out to my co-chairs with my detailed timeline for the next six months. I also realized that there is some hand-written data from my participants that it will probably help to type for easier analysis as well, so I need to incorporate this into my two-week plan for completing all transcription.

  76. Lit Review: (throws crumpled piece of paper) Wooo! Edit me!
    Chrissie: Go home, lit review, you’re drunk. You’re in the proverbial freezer today.

    For Dissertation Proposal Week, Day 4, I will work on Chapter 1, so that by the end of the day, I can send something to my co-chairs. The morning will be for 1.1 Problem, 1.2 Purpose, and 1.3 Research Questions. The afternoon will be a short meeting with Dr. C-V and 1.4 Context, and 1.5 Organization.

  77. Timothy Richards Avatar
    Timothy Richards

    Getting started at the last day of DH. What a great experience this has been! Today I finish my pilot study summary. My advisor asked if I could just put two pages together to share what I found. I have found that minimum requirements for this are not adequate for the excellent work I want to do. In the afternoon I will add 15 sources to my HCI area of my lit review. Most of these will be definitions and the historical development of the field that leads to the importance and novelty of my topic. Best wishes to all today.

  78. Good morning! Today is Day 4 and I will continue to write my Chapter 2! Good luck for everyone!

  79. Today I hope to work more on the lit review and do some general background research (that I can use in the proposal) about CCRCs

  80. 4th and final day in Dissertation house. My goal today is to review chapter two of my dissertation and get a head start on my new independent proposal topic.

  81. I can’t believe it’s our last day at the dissertation house. I’m trying to working on 80% of chapter 1 and write chapter 2 as much as possible today. Keep it going, everyone!

  82. Emerald Christopher Avatar
    Emerald Christopher

    Good Morning! I had a late start to arriving. I actually made it to campus at 8 but had a medical issue and ended up being late to the morning session. Though I am not feeling 100% today, I am here and am ready to get to work.

    Today I will be working on my chapter on “language and discourse.” In the morning I will be going through my archival data/research and this afternoon I will be incorporating some material into my chapter.

  83. I missed the morning session due to a doctor’s appointment but I here now ready work. I plan on continuing my work on the Introduction. I realized last night that I will take Dr. Carter-Veale’s advice and start with the easy part first instead of chronologically. I will start work on my 3 section of my Introduction since I know that information really well.

  84. Timothy Richards Avatar
    Timothy Richards

    PHEW! I met all my goals for today which included finishing a synopsis of my pilot study and adding 15 references to my lit review. I even had time to start cleaning up my pilot study data for tables and constructing some excel spreadsheets to extend the analysis. I also found half a dozen articles to add to my literature review. Tonight the family heads on a three day vacation where we will take the kids to a water park! This weekend I will write at least two pages of my literature review and find and watch at least two youtube tutorials on Chronbach’s-alpha and Chi-squared. Thanks Dr. Carter and Dr. Tull for all of your your wisdom, encouragement, and hard work.

  85. I think that I have finally come up with a decent dissertation proposal topic paper to present to my advisor. (I know that I have been saying that a lot this week, but I took Dr. Carter’s advice from this morning and I feel that my edits this afternoon have really improved the paper). Since DH is over, I will give this to my husband to look at….he’s always my best critic! Thank you everyone for your positive energy this week. Thanks especially to Dr. Carter. Andrea Sisko told me that I really should come to this. I put it off because it uses up the little vacation time that I have, but it really was worth it. I too am taking a couple of days off with the family, but hope to continue to do my “15 minutes a day” in the early morning hours before they get up.

  86. Emerald Christopher Avatar
    Emerald Christopher

    I am sorry that the DH is ending. It was such a productive four days! I had time to reflect on why it has taken me so long to “take the bull by the horns” and work on my dissertation. After listening to the mini lectures and having my 1:1 with Dr. Carter-Veale, I am more mentally prepared than before to hit the ground running. I have a concrete management plan, deadlines, goals, and most importantly I have a glimmer of hope that I will get through this 🙂

    I was able to complete my literature review, read and code most of my archival research, and I made substantial progress on one of my chapters. I leave DH with confidence that I will have a completed draft of my dissertation by the end of winter session.

    Thank you Dr. Tull and Dr. Carter-Veale for a wonderful experience.

    1. Congratulations on reaching goals Emerald! Continue moving forward! You’re on a roll!

  87. Dr. Carter and Dr. Tull, Thank you so much!!!! I really treasure all you have shared with us! I will be contacting you soon to practice my proposal!

    1. You’re welcome Kelly! We’ll look forward to hearing from you regarding the defense practice plan. Did we say August 6? Please confirm ASAP so that it can be on my calendar.

      1. Hi Dr. Tull,
        I am hoping to defend at the end of October. This means that I must be done mid August. I will contact you then to set up a practice.

        Thank you so much!

  88. Thank you for all the amazing tips this week. I have learned countless tips. I actually now have words to paper for my Introduction. I now feel like I can actually do this instead of staring at my adviser’s dissertation and wanting to scream. I really like the advice Dr. C-V gave me about putting together detail outline so my adviser can actually see my work in one location. I wish everyone the best of luck in the future.

  89. Welcome to Day 1 of the Dissertation House at University of Maryland, College Park

    Another day another opportunity to move your dissertation forward. If you didn’t join us last week you can hit the reset button and start today. The Dean of the graduate school is here to welcome the students. There are 17 students here representing a myriad of disciplines. I wish you all the best this week.

    Step 1. Set some small manageable goals for today.
    Step 2. Post those goals here.
    Step 3. Reward yourself for accomplishing those goals.

    Ready, Set, Go!

  90. Good morning College Park! Welcome to the Dissertation House! You are about to embark on an experience that will move your dissertation FORWARD! That is our key goal. Movement. Progression. The Graduate School at College Park has provided you with time, space, and food for this activity. Use it wisely! You will have some mini-lectures to guide you through the process, you will have coaching, and you will have time to work. We’ll look forward to hearing about your progress. Good luck!

    To those from other schools who are continuing with the Dissertation House this week, welcome back! Aren’t you glad that you’ve taken time to concentrate on your dissertations this summer? We’re glad that you’re here.

    Best regards,
    Dr. Tull

  91. Good morning! Today I’m going to code 1 video and finish writing a complete draft of chapter 3.

  92. Hi Everyone,

    I’m working on my revisions for chapter 2. My goal is to complete the revisions for each of the 5 sections in this chapter.

  93. Hi everyone! My goal today is to skim 3 books and take notes.

  94. Good morning–I’m excited to make some progress on my dissertation this week. Today I will create a table of contents for what is done to date (ch. 1-3 and a small part of ch. 4). I will invite additional participants to my study and request additional transcriptions of interviews. This afternoon, I will also spend substantial time digging into the coding of the transcripts I already have. If my brain begins to slow down toward the end of the day, then I may take some time to change verb tense in chapters 1-3.

  95. Good Morning ,
    I am participating in Dissertation House remotely today but will see you tomorrow. Today I will be going over my data analysis plan from my proposal and finishing my descriptive tables for Chapter 4.

  96. The Notorious P. H. D. Avatar
    The Notorious P. H. D.

    Good Morning Dr. Tull:

    My goal for today is to go over my outline for my fourth chapter and begin writing my second section of this chapter.

    1. Hi there! So glad to you’re in the DH!

  97. First day at Dissertation House UMD-CP. My goals and plans are shotty so I am excited to meet with Dr. Carter-Veale today. My plans for today are to complete a Table of Contents (which I already am done because I didn’t realize it does it automatically in Word for me-morning WIN) and change the tense of my first four chapters. Also, to reread and refamiliarize myself with those chapters because I haven’t read them since they were submitted back in April. I know-shameful!

  98. Hello!
    Today I am analyzing eight oral history interviews in my research material. I am reading the oral histories with a lens of four analytic categories; and, within each category, I am paring and juxtaposing differing people’s discussions.
    An Ally

  99. Day 1 DH 2014 (Round 2). So excited I’m going to have complete draft 1s for both Chapters 4 and 5 by the end of this week.
    ** Today, I am entering my results into tables for the writing proficiency outcome.
    ** I need a print-out of draft 0 of Chapter 4 to reorg my writing…
    ** I will also begin to start writing the blurbs for the Fully Unconditional Models.
    Thank you, Dr. Veale for this wonderful opportunity to power through!

  100. Hi,
    Great meeting everyone today.
    My goals for today is to add 7 new sources and their content to my literature review of my thesis.
    All the best,

  101. Hi everyone!
    Today I will accomplish the following:
    1.Review 1 methodology chapter on Case Studies
    2.Review my advisor’s dissertation for example’s of Case Studies
    3. Create a case study template based on above items 1 & 2
    4. Write 1 case study

    Thanks everyone! Happy writing!

  102. Hello Everyone!
    Here is the link to the Editing Services “co-ordinated” by the English Department at UMCP
    Good luck!

  103. Tomorrow I plan to revise my conceptual framework-not to finalize but to get a list of concepts and themes in order to begin coding my data. I also plan to review my focus group data, finalize the transcriptions for my focus group data, and organize the transcription files with appropriate labels for my interviews and focus group. Finally, I plan to purchase either Atlas.ti or NVivo and upload all of these documents into those analysis software programs

  104. Hi Everyone! It’s nearing the end of day 1 and my goal was to skim 3 books and take notes. I am almost done with 1 book and taking notes. I guess I was a little over ambitious in my goal, but I also started with the largest of the 3 books. My plan tomorrow is to finish skimming and taking notes for the other 2 books.

    1. Kendra

      Good for you for being able to self-correct in the midst of setting and accomplishing your goals. It’s like building a ship and sailing it at the same time.

  105. Productive day today!
    1. Tomorrow’s the day for continuing to re-read Chapter Draft 0 for reorg
    2. Finishing the blurbs for the Fully Unconditional Models
    3. Beginning the blurbs to Lev-1 Reading Proficiency

    1. PGC

      Glad you had a productive day but what did you accomplish exactly in 1 day? Be specific.

      1. Yes! Today I:
        – Entered my writing proficiency outcome statistics in the results table
        – Printed out my Chapter 4 for reorg
        – Started writing my FUM results!

  106. Day 1 of the DH at UMCP is done. We had a lively discussion this afternoon about “Knowing What Your Limitation Are” and working within them to complete your dissertation. We also talked about setting deadlines and mini-deadlines to finish your dissertation as well. Find your cape and tights (your confidence i.e. the confidence you had when you applied to graduate school) and get it done. A good dissertation is a done dissertation.

  107. Tomorrow I will read three sources and outline for ch 1.

  108. Pinkpony_dissertatordestroyer Avatar

    Soooo…this was actually most helpful. Who knew that writing a TOC could help you to see that you are in DIRE need of more headings? Just being around nice folks that are working toward the same goal has allowed me accomplish a few things today:

    1. I have a TOC
    2. I transferred my proposal into a template format
    3. I got through 11 pages of of edits (that I made over 3 months ago, ha), just 60 more to go!
    4. Most importantly, a fire has been lit under my behind if you know what I mean. Onward it is.

    The lecture was also very helpful and I would like to thank Dr. Carter and everyone else who helped set this up. It can and will happen…if you make it happen….which reminds me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q6xx0JfMBI&feature=kp

    Don’t judge hahaha

    Gracias a todos 🙂

    1. PinkPony Glad to help light the fire. Thank you for the specifics. Congratulations on getting these things accomplished.

  109. Today was a productive day!
    My goals for tomorrow are:
    1. Finish reading/summarizing/writing about the 4th sub-section in my literature review
    2. Go back to my list of additional sources that may be helpful (compiled as I worked on my lit review) and search for the articles/chapters/books in that list.
    3. Organize the new sources into each of my lit review sub-sections.
    4. Start reading/summarizing/writing about any additional sources I found during my search.

    I think that should be enough for tomorrow!

  110. Hello Everyone,
    It’s good to be back “in the house!” Today I reviewed some literature about case studies methodology, and then took a look at my advisor’s dissertation for a good example. I was also able to write one page of my first case study. It’s not a lot of pages, but it’s a start and that’s usually my hardest part. Now that I have an idea for what a case study is supposed to look like, I expect to get a lot more accomplished tomorrow. My goal for tomorrow is to finish the case study I started to day, and to begin the second case study. Wishing all of you the best.

    1. Excellent Angel…good start that’s sometimes the toughest part. One down 4 more to go.

  111. I achieved 3/7 sources added to the introduction of Chapter 6 of my thesis. Wasn’t even close to the 7 but while I was adding sources saw I needed to reorganize some topics within the chapter and add diagrams.

    I think my original goal wasn’t helpful enough or clear. It wasn’t so much that I needed to focus on adding sources as identifying the topics where I needed more background information and therefore need to add sources to fill out the topic.

    So tomorrow I plan on finishing the section introducing Riboflavin in Chapter 6.
    The topics left that needs sources added are:
    -Riboflavin studies showing it as a triplet state in electron transfer
    -Clarifying papers which show Riboflavin photo reduction previous done.
    -Riboflavin structures based on pH (figure)
    -Riboflavin Absorption maximum and minimum
    -Riboflavin Jablonski diagram (figure)

    After that I will focus on introducing the general topic of electron transfer, which will require me to organize my information/references before haphazardly adding sources.
    – More focus! Romi

    1. Romi Good to see that you were able to have some insight about organizing your articles around the topic. That will help you to narrow your focus on what to include and what not to. Reading with a purpose is the smart way to do it.

  112. DH Day 1 Report and Day 2 Plan:

    Day 1 Report: I look forward to my one-on-one consultation with Dr. Carter-Veale. What a privilege it is to be with the outstanding Dr. Carter-Veale! There is simply no other opportunity at the University of Maryland — not with advisors, committee members, other faculty, nor graduate students — that comes near to this dissertation learning experience. The UMD Graduate School has made a very wise choice in funding this. Thank you.

    Day 2 Plan: Complete analysis of the longest of the eight oral history “testimonios”

  113. Accomplished Today:
    Created a table of contents; invited 20 participants (9 reinvites, 11 new); downloaded and backed up one new transcript; arranged for four more recordings to be transcribed; began coding the 17 transcripts currently available to me (very basic to start but laid the groundwork for heavier lifting tomorrow); incorporated some small data from a clarifying question into chapter 4; created a draft work plan using Fall 2014 Graduate School deadlines; backed everything up.

    To Do Tomorrow:
    Start in with heavy coding and memoing; manage any responses to interview invitations sent Tuesday; “zombie activities” as necessary; think of questions for discussion during one-on-one with Dr. Carter scheduled for Thursday morning; back it all up again.

  114. The Notorious P. H. D. Avatar
    The Notorious P. H. D.

    I began an annotated outline together for my 10 page writing goal. This outline has a preliminary argument and topic sentences for each of the subsections. I have begun organizing the primary sources that I will be using for this section.

  115. I hit the ground running today. I wrote the introduction to Chapter 4 and began the first section. Overall five pages of content and eleven sources used and counted on my bibliography page. My confidence is still pretty low, but I feel it slowly returning. I have to keep up the positive self talk, telling myself that I am capable of finishing this dissertation. It’s such an emotionally draining process!

    Tomorrow I plan to continue my momentum. I will finish the first section of Chapter 4 and begin the second section where I define the collective action frame. After that I will collect a few more artifacts to analyze the ways the protestors used the CAF before I begin to write that analysis. If I get stuck in a writing block, I will work on my edits from my advisor on Chapter 3.


  116. Hi everyone,
    My goal for today was to create an updated TOC, as detailed as possible. Accomplished!
    My mains goal for the week is to get started with chapter 5. Today I created a detailed outline with some of the sources I intend to use and started writing an introduction.

    Tomorrow I plan to complete the outline, and read/ select quotes for each section. I will start with the readings for the historical background and hope to get to 4 or 5 sources.

    It was great to meet everybody! Really excited to be here!

  117. Well, I overestimated my goals for today just a bit. I checked one off of my list, code 1 video (I ended up coding 1.5 since I had left off in the middle of 1 when I picked up). I was not able to finish a complete draft of chapter 3. I think I underestimated the amount of work that I still had to do.

    Tomorrow morning, I would like to start working on the remaining tasks for chapter 3: add methodology cites; describe participant demographics; calculate and add reliability values for two measures that are missing; change tense from “will” to “were” and adjust the summary section to reflect that the study is no longer “proposed”; fill in table describing materials; and replace the old interview protocol and knowledge measure with new ones in the appendix.

    Thanks for inspiration and working space!

  118. Forgot to say my goals for today were: Create a Table of Contents and change the tense of my first four chapters. Also, to reread and refamiliarize myself with those chapters because I haven’t read them since they were submitted back in April.
    ALL ACCOMPLISHED! I am ready to hit the ground running tomorrow!

  119. It took me a while to get into grove of writing today. I’m half way done with revising one section of chapter 2

  120. Pinkpony_dissertatordestroyer Avatar

    Hey everyone,
    Today is the day for more edits:

    I hope to get through 30 pages by the end of today.

    If that gets done, I will add my new references into the text as well.

    Good luck and good day to all

    Onward! 🙂

  121. Day 2 of the DH at UMCP begins. Welcome back. If you joined us yesterday good for you. If you’re starting today you have made a good choice. Set your bite-size goals, post them here and get started, Today’s morning lectures deal with Managing Your Relationship with Your Advisor, and Dealing with Writer’s Block. Have a great productive day.

  122. Good Morning! Joining DH long-distance from Rutgers again this week. Since last week I have made considerable progress on my literature review. Today I will reorganize the literature review into sections, and write in the connections/gaps with various parts of the literature to the project. I will also gather 2000 and 2010 preliminary census statistics on my site.

    Happy productive day to all!

  123. My goals for today are:
    – Diagram/Graph conceptual framework (already 20 pages written, I will be creating visual snapshot)
    – Review, listen and transcribe one of my focus group data sets

  124. Hi Everyone! My goals for today are to skim and take notes on the two remaining books that I didn’t finish yesterday.

  125. To do today: open coding and concurrent memoing (I hope to get into some axial coding by the end of the week, which means I should hope to get through at least half of my transcripts today and leave a maximum of another half for tomorrow); manage any responses to interview invitations sent yesterday; “zombie activities” as necessary (I discovered a how-to video for creating a table of contents in accordance with UMD Grad School formatting standards and may pick at that as it’s more involved than I had anticipated: http://www.gradschool.umd.edu/current_students/etd_style_guide.html); think of questions for discussion during one-on-one with Dr. Carter-Veale scheduled for tomorrow morning; back it all up.

  126. My goal is to continue to work on the revisions for chapter 2 and revise my table of contents

  127. Ok ready to go today… sort of a bit scattered with too much energy.
    Have to FOCUS.

    My very specific goals for today:
    I plan on finishing the section introducing Riboflavin in Chapter 6.
    The topics left that needs sources added are:
    -Riboflavin studies showing it as a triplet state in electron transfer
    -Clarifying papers which show Riboflavin photo reduction previous done.
    -Riboflavin structures based on pH (figure)
    -Riboflavin Absorption maximum and minimum
    -Riboflavin Jablonski diagram (figure)

    All the best!

  128. Today’s goal is to finish section 1 of chapter 4, and the first part of section 2. These sections are sort of a literature review. Tomorrow I will begin applying the theory to the artifact, which I think will be especially challenging. Looking forward to being productive!

  129. Forgot to post…today I will code 1 video and finish a complete draft of chapter 3. Looking forward to crossing these things off my list!

  130. Scrivener” is a software program that was mentioned today at Dissertation House UMCP. I recommend it. Scrivener has numerous organizing features: converting from e-sticky notes to paragraphs; outlining; moving entire outline sections to other locations; word-counting; and much more. I find it is well worth the investment of time and dollars (approximately $30 at the student rate) to learn how to use. http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

  131. Hi Everyone,
    As I mentioned yesterday, today I am completing my first out of 3 case studies and I will start at least the first paragraph of number 2. So far I have 2 pages completed of the first, but I need to speed it up because it’s already 2:30pm! 2 hours left, and I’m gonna make it count! Happy writing!

  132. Day 2 down! Got through my 30 pages. Hope everyone had a productive day 🙂 for tomorrow another 20. Keep on trucking!

  133. Today I completed:
    My conceptual framework–visual and prose updates/revisions
    Downloaded all of my interview and focus group transcript data and filed
    Trying to download qualitative software having technical issues so I hope I am able to get through that by the morning….

    Tomorrow I will:
    – If I am able to download the software tonight tomorrow I the goal is to complete TWO participant profiles in the software complete with coding and research question organization

  134. I grossly overestimated my efficiency with coding to start, and instead of aiming to get into early axial coding by Friday, I will focus on both getting substantial work done on the open coding and also digging into memos in a substantial way (passing the red face test on each count). I’ll try and estimate specific numbers for tomorrow morning’s goal-setting. I didn’t give up today, but it was slow-going. I also picked at a couple of zombie activities, such as: adjusting the verb tense in chapter three (and making additional notes); refining the long-view work plan created yesterday and organizing it for easy transfer to my planner; setting up a new interview; thinking about my questions for Dr. Carter-Veale in our one-on-one tomorrow morning; and finishing formatting a table of contents and page numbering according to Graduate School guidelines (begun previously). I now have a document set up to—once the holes are filled in—become a complete draft of the dissertation, with the goal of submitting that to my advisor August 15.

  135. Today I finished one of the two books and took notes. Technically I didn’t finish what I was supposed to today (it was supposed to be 2 books), but that was because I switched tasks after my one-on-one with Dr. Carter-Veale. In my meeting Dr. Carter suggested that I write profiles for each of my 3 cases to help with the process of reporting my results. I am about 80% done with one of my profiles. Tomorrow I will continue with the other 2.

  136. Today was a little slow and I had more difficulty concentrating. I was able to review and write about some of the literature for sub-section 4 of my lit review, and I’m hoping to finish that sub-section tomorrow. After that I will find additional resources that may be missing from my lit review. I will then review and write about those sources. That should probably take most of the day.

    Additional tasks to work on tomorrow, and the rest of the week:
    1. Reorganize the literature review and think about patterns I may be missing (create a literature summary spreadsheet).
    2. Work on the IRB application.

  137. The Notorious P. H. D. Avatar
    The Notorious P. H. D.

    My goal for today was to continue organizing my primary sources in a way where I can plug the documents that I have already found into an outline that I have created for the chapter I am writing (more specifically, the section of the chapter that I am working on this week).

    I feel like I made good progress and I can see more clearly how the sources will support the argument I am making.

  138. ABCisasEZasPhD Avatar

    SO…yesterday I clicked on Winter 2014 Blog instead of Summer 2014 blog. Hope those people enjoyed my blog.
    Things I accomplished today:
    1- Done with Table of Contents
    2- Done with designing a writing schedule for the year
    3- Done incorporating edits from adviser in old draft
    3- Began looking at theories

    To move forward tomorrow:
    1- Keep working on finding a new theory to integrate acculturation and health behavior
    1a- Summarize the theory with links
    2- Put together theories in an email to adviser for approval to move forward
    3- Begin excel doc for Lit Review

  139. The Notorious P. H. D. Avatar
    The Notorious P. H. D.

    For folks interested in learning more about Scrivener, you can check it out herehttp://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php

    There is a free 30 day trial. After that, the program is $45.

  140. Hi Everyone,
    So I now realize that what I have so far is more of an introduction to the case studies, and then half of the first case study. It’s 4 pages in all. So, that’s the good news. No, I haven’t started case study number 2 yet. I plan to work more, so I’m going to find a place in Stamp to work. If anybody wants to join me for more, email and let me know. Misery loves company. I’ll be in the study area on the first floor of Stamp across from the help desk. Think I’ll stay until 7.

  141. I did not accomplish my entire goal for the day, but I am not disappointed. I have a total of 11 pages, including 23 endnotes, and completed the bibliography as I wrote. I completed the section defining collective action frames, which are much more complicated and detailed than I thought! Getting through this dense information is an accomplishment for me! I’d still like to get to my goal today, so I plan to go home and outlining the section on the protest paradigm. I was able to get the book out of the library today that I need, so I think this goal is reachable. That way I won’t be surprised tomorrow like I was today–I will get through the dense information tonight so that I have a plan for writing tomorrow.

    If the protest paradigm section goes smoothly tomorrow, I would like to begin my analysis actually using the collective action frame and the protest paradigm. I plan to search out some more artifacts tonight and tomorrow night because that is a task that I can do while watching TV and doesn’t require as much mental effort as writing. I don’t know about everyone else, but when I leave here I’m exhausted mentally and physically! In a good way of course, but I’m not sure how much writing I could get done after 5:00. I can’t waste that time, though; I need to be doing something more towards my dissertation. Outlining and searching for artifacts are a productive way for me to spend my evenings, as opposed to drinking at Ledos (which I will reward myself with at some point).


  142. Hello all,
    Day 2 is done! Today I stayed on target and read through 4 sources, picked quotes and dropped into my chapter 5 outline. I added some comments and paraphrased some of the paragraphs.
    I will continue doing the same tomorrow, and plan to get through 5 more readings- books tomorrow. I will also keep working on the introduction for the chapter, which I didn’t get to today.
    Looking forward to day 3!

  143. DH UMCP Day 2: Report and Day 3 Plan:

    Report: My early morning included a detour, due to a need for funds. 1. Based on a past award, I was invited by a funding office to apply for a scholarship; so I scheduled a time to work on that. 2. Also, I scheduled a time to apply for a job position, which I just learned about.

    I analyzed a much smaller number of pages of my oral history research material than I had set as a goal. Since it is my first oral history to analyze, I am being generous with myself due to the fact that I am toggling between established categories of analysis and generating new categories of analysis.

    Plan: Finish oral history #1 of 8.

  144. Today I finished coding 1 video, checked 4 out of 7 things off of my to do list for chapter, and did a complete edit of chapter 2. Tomorrow, I will make the edits for chapter 2 and do a final read of chapter 1 so that I can declare both of these chapters 100% complete. I also plan to work on the final 3 things on my checklist for chapter 3 so that the first three chapters can all be declared complete and set aside. Onward and upward!

  145. Day 2. I have to significantly readjust my goals for this week. Outlining two chapters will turn into outlining and reading for one–maybe two. However, because these are the chapters I don’t feel confident about I do feel good about moving forward with the organization. Tomorrow I will spend 30min emailing archive contacts and research participants, the first half of the day completing three readings and the second part working on a chapter outline.

  146. Day 2 of the DH at UMCP is coming to a close. We have worked hard and have been productive. We can go home and reward ourselves by doing the things we want to without the sense of guilt hanging over our heads. Have a good evening.

  147. Day 2 DH 2014 (Round 2): Definitely finished the reorg of Draft 0 part of the goals but didn’t quite get to finishing the description of the FUM models. Regardless, tomorrow is another day and I will be completing writing up the FUM results as well as the Level-1 results.

  148. Hi everyone,

    I finished revisions to one section of chapter two. I plan to work on mapping out the argument of the chapter using mind mapping tomorrow as well as finish revision to another section.

  149. Good Morning Day 3 of the DH at College Park

    Yesterday we had a wonderful visit from the Counseling Services Center. The students got many wonderful tips about how to eat an elephant. Today we will continue working on our progress toward degree completion. We will begin by taking a picture with our #Teamgetitdone T-Shirts and start our media training. We will start with “Good Morning Dissertation House” and finish in the afternoon with “Good Afternoon Dissertation House.” This media training provides students with the opportunity to publicly speak about their research for two minutes. Students should focus on how to sell themselves as an expert in two minutes and how to get right to their take-away message from their research. As in all speeches, the two minute speech should have a beginning, middle and end.
    If you are joining us on-line, can you speak about you and your research topic without a lot of filler words such as “like” “so” “um” “and so” “and” and “ahs”?

  150. Good Morning,

    Today I plan on working on Chapter 6, the next section Photoinduced Electron transfer.
    My goal is to revise the section and add a diagram.


  151. Question about Work-plans: When do we revise a day’s work plan? There can be bad plans and good plans. When is our work-plan not good, and better revised? When a plan is good, what kind of emergency calls for abandoning our plan? What criteria can be used in each case?

    Day 3: To Do:
    1. Read & write notes on a dissertation.
    2. analyze a history.

  152. Pinkpony_dissertatordestroyer Avatar

    Morning….today it’s time for more edits. Goal = 20 pages.

    Good luck to all! 🙂

  153. Hello everyone! Yesterday I was able to make considerable progress on reorganizing my literature review, but I did not get to collecting the preliminary statistics since the reorganization is taking longer than I expected. Today I plan on finishing the reorganization of the literature review.

  154. Good morning! I’m trying to set a goal today that I feel certain I can accomplish: Finish tables describing my materials.

  155. Hi Everyone,
    I’m planning on finishing another section of Chapter 4 today. I’ve been on track at this pace, so I’m going to continue plugging along!


  156. Good morning everyone! Today I did the 2 minute speech during “Good Morning Dissertation House.” I would say I definitely did better than last year at Dissertation House. The feedback was very helpful and there is still room for improvement. Today I am going to work on finishing the 3 profiles for each of my cases.

  157. Good morning! Today I will skim through 5 books and summarize information to use on chapter 5. I want to be done with picking quotes for 2 sections of the chapter today, which will come from the books I’m reviewing and 3 additional online sources.
    Have a productive and happy day, everyone!

  158. Hi Everyone!,
    it’s day 3 and I only half of 1 case study completed and my goal is to have 3 by the end of dissertation house. Uggg! So, I’ve decided I need to start a new writing strategy to work faster and more efficiently. I think the problem is that I am being a perfectionist. I’m really spending a lot of time to craft each sentence just write and revising with multiple ways of saying the same thing too many times. Instead, today I am just going to focus on getting my ideas and the general gist of the story on paper. I can go back and strengthen it later, but for right now I just need to have the stories written. So, that’s what’s happening today. My goal is to finish 1 case study and be at least half way through the 2nd by the end of the day. And tomorrow I will do the same and then I’ll have the first 3 drafts of my case studies done! Let’s go!

  159. Day 3 DH 2014 (Round 2):
    – Finish FUM results
    – Finish Level-1 results.
    – Copy paste Ch 1,2, 3 into Grad Template

  160. I had my 1:1 meeting with Dr. Carter-Veale to start the day, and it was very helpful. Today, I will finish open coding of the transcript begun yesterday and move on to the next. I will not likely finish the second one by 5pm, but if I can get through more than half of it, then I will push through this evening and start on a fresh one tomorrow morning (goal of 2 per day).

  161. Hi Everyone,

    Our first workshop of the morning was “Good Morning Dissertation House.” This workshop provides us with the opportunity to practice a two minute presentation of our research like we were on Good Morning America or some other television program.

    I’ve done this workshop before and I get nervous every time. Just the thought of being on the public stage makes me want to go and hide. However, today I decided to take this exercise seriously after doing an okay job of presenting my dissertation research to the group. I decided that it’s time that I really take advantage of the opportunity to hear from Dr. Carter-Veale and my peers how I can improve my speech.

    I know that I can give a good talk and have done so for conferences and even when I teach undergrads–well that’s because I always practice. Today I decided that I should take this task seriously and by write down the feedback as well as write a script to practice tonight. I did a draft and feel better about myself. I also had an unexpected reward, the script helped me to clarify some of the conclusions that I plan to make in the final chapter of my dissertation.

    Now that I’ve complete that task. I will work on finishing the mind map project that Dr. Carter-Veale gave me yesterday. I will also copy and paste parts of my script in the concluding chapter of my dissertation.

    Will check back in later today.

  162. Hi everyone. I’m joining from York, PA. Went to Dissertation House UMBC last year and joined the same via this blog last week. I submitted the entire draft of my dissertation to my Chair 3 1/2 weeks ago. A while back he said he’d need only about 4 weeks with my draft and then we could send to my Committee… Well, Sunday will be the end of the 4 weeks and he’s only given me edits on my Conclusion, which I completed and re-submitted to him last week. I would LOVE to wake up Sunday morning and read an email from him that said he was amenable to my submitting the dissertation to my committee (and thus selecting a defense date) but I’m not stupid 🙂 It ain’t gonna go down like that, for sure.

    I’ve done most of the little edits I can do. I am a little concerned that I’m “out of touch” with my dissertation. This is the longest span of time I’ve had away from it since Dissertation House July 2013. So I think this weekend I’m going to take the bad boy out, all 360 pages of it, and read through. Not for fun, necessarily, but not to pick it apart either.

    I do hope that he is ready for me to submit soon. I’d really like to NOT pay Fall semester tuition. It gives me a VERY tight timeline, especially with Labor Day. We. Will. See. Happy Writing!!!

    1. Go Leigh! Thanks for joining in again this week!

  163. I’m blogging out a little early today because I have lost all desire to be productive. I’m working on my “zombie list” instead, which includes this blog post. I also updated by table of contents my intro material and got a working list of my primary sources for Chapter 4’s analysis. I actually got a lot of writing done and did reach my goal a little early, so it was a productive day overall! I have 13 pages written plus 36 endnotes so a total of 17 pages! I want to write at least 8 more before I send a draft to my advisory, but I feel like now that I’m working on analysis instead of method I will be able to crank out the pages. I’m really hoping to get finished with this draft tomorrow so that I complete my major goals for the week.

  164. Thanks to DH!

    Day 3, Report: Goal met 🙂 !

    Day 4: Plan: Start another testimony.

    have a good night!

  165. I’ve met my goal for today. I completed open coding on a transcript begun yesterday, and I’m nearly halfway through a new one today. Thus far, I’ve generated over 202 unique codes and begun 5 analytic memos. I’ve also been keeping track of follow-up questions for my participants, which is a key aspect of my methodology. I feel good about today’s progress. Tomorrow I will continue with open coding and memo writing, and I will also spend some time reworking my work plan based on notes from my one-on-one with Dr. Carter-Veale this morning.

  166. Finally met a specified goal! I finished creating all of the tables and started revising chapter 3 and determining a better method for coding my outcome data by reviewing prior literature. Tomorrow I will finish up editing chapter 3, so that I will be able to have chapters 1, 2, and 3 completely finished and off my plate this week.

  167. I have almost accomplished my goal for today. Technically I finished my 3 case profiles, but I have a few minor additions that I want to put in so I will do that tomorrow morning. Tomorrow I will also finish sections A and B of Chapter 3.

  168. Today was an almost washout. I completed the FUM Results but when I started cutting and pasting the Chapters into the template it was a nightmare. The graduate school template is such a waste of time if you cut and paste the content of your document into the template it just changes not just the original font of your document it does not even align with the expected font of the template! Plain ridiculous. Anyway, tomorrow I will need to power through a some of the incomplete items on my list.

  169. I finished my mind maps and now have a better outline for chapter 2. I will work on filling in the outline based on what I’ve already written.

  170. Good evening everyone!

    I’ve read through all of your posts, although I didn’t comment on each one. I want to congratulate you on taking the plunge to work on your dissertations this week. All of you have made some serious progress! Wednesday seemed a bit tough, as there were several posts that indicated that goals had not been met. However, by Thursday, you rallied, and look … you can be proud of things that you’ve finished!

    Tomorrow, is the last day of the DH at College Park, but you can still continue to blog. College Park set a precedent a few years ago because two of the UM College Park DH members blogged daily for about a year until they finished their dissertations.

    Congratulations on the things that you’ve accomplished. This weekend, be kind to yourself and enjoy a healthy reward. After you take a break, you can set your goals for the next week and continue to move forward. I am preparing to take a delegation to the Latin and Caribbean Consortium of Engineering Institutions conference in Ecuador next week, but I will check the blog again tomorrow and throughout the summer to see how you are continuing to progress.

    Good luck and keep on moving!

    Best regards,
    Dr. Tull

  171. Hi Everyone,

    Yesterday I didn’t get to my full 20 pages, so today I would like to be a bit more productive wand finish that….also use the great skills of Excel Dr. C offered me to make a table…at least ONE 🙂


  172. Good morning everyone! I can’t believe this the last day of DH, the week went by so fast!
    My goal today is to reorganize the outline for chapter 5 and keep filling it in. My goal for the week was to create a detailed outline and fill it with quotes/ information from about 15 sources.
    I need to move faster today and skim through 6 books to reach my goal. I have been writing too, which I had planned initially to do this week but as the ideas are fresh in my mind while I read I decided it would be a good thing.
    My main weakness is organization, so my main goal for today is to have end the day with an outline I’m confident I can stick to.

    Happy writing!

  173. Good morning! Today I will put the finishing touches on my case profiles and finish sections A and B of chapter 3.

  174. Good morning Everybody!
    My goals:
    1. Understand the Graduate Template and enter Chapters 1,2, and 3 into the template
    2. Complete Lev-1 blurbs
    3. Complete Lev-2 blurbs
    4. Oh yeah! TOC update
    Is that crazy since these guys have been on my list for the past 3 days??!! Maybe, but I’m going to give it a shot.

  175. Hi Everyone,
    My goal for today is to complete revising 2 sections of chapter 2.

  176. Good morning everyone,
    Today my goal is to complete writing 1 case study and to write at least 1 page of the second 1. It has taken me longer than I thought just to complete writing one case study. I’m hoping that the first one is the hardest and that my momentum increases as I continue on. I have 10 pages of the case study, so that’s the good news. So I’m going to wrap it up now. Wishing you all the best!

  177. Had a good start to the day with the media exercise–learned some useful stuff. My major goal today is to get through the remainder of one transcript I began coding yesterday and code one more on top of that. If I can accomplish that and still have time left over, then I’ll allow myself to do some zombie activities toward the end of the day. One more big push at the end of the week!

  178. Today I’m going to finish editing the existing text of chapter 3, rewrite one paragraph describing a new coding scheme that I decided on yesterday, and add a necessary figure (find a picture from one of my videos that will work). Then, I plan to add a few cites, maybe a few sentences to chapter 2 to make sure that I’ve foreshadowed the coding scheme that I’m planning to use. And then, I will print a completed version of chapters 1-3 as my reward.

  179. Hi Everyone,
    Despite my success and excitement for the progress I have made at dissertation house, my advisor is still not happy with me. I am that person who disappears for months at a time because I left to take a full time job when my funding ran out. I also had to take on extra teaching classes to pay my rent and my tuition at UMD, leaving me with little time to work on the dissertation, especially if I was to do service at my new university and continue to go to conferences and present. So now I’m not even sure what to work on, since my advisor doesn’t want to read anything new that I’ve written until I edit the other chapters in order, and I didn’t bring those sources with me because it wasn’t in my plan. So frustrating! Anyone else feel like they are being thwarted instead of helped sometimes?


    1. Hey Abbe,

      Yes, more than I’d care to admit. You are so not alone.
      You know what you can do right now. Believe in yourself!! Any work will be useful.

      When you have the material you can focus on what they want, today it is about what you can do.

  180. Today I’m focusing on finishing the chapter that is 70% done. It will be done by Monday. That is my goal. It will get done and I will turn it in for edits. I am going to listen to the advice in this workshop and listen to myself.


    I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’ -Muhammad Ali

    He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.
    Muhammad Ali

  181. The Notorious P. H. D. Avatar
    The Notorious P. H. D.

    My goal for the day is to write three pages.

  182. I met my goal today and pumped out a bunch of transcript coding and memoing. I feel really good about the progress made during Dissertation House and the tools I’m taking with me to stay productive over the coming weeks and months. Thank you to Dr. Carter-Veale, Promise: AGEP, The Graduate School, and my fellow students for a terrific four days!

  183. Romina you left the charger for your computer at dissertation house. You can pick it up from the graduate school. Email Anna.

  184. I had a great progress at dissertation house. I’m finally clear about what my contribution is to the field. Mind mapping is great!!!
    Tomorrow I will continue to flush out my argument and restructure my chapter 2.

  185. Good morning everyone,

    For today I’m working on being my own best project manager. One of the main lessons that I learned from DH was that I needed to treat the dissertation like a job and manage it like I have been assigned the role of dissertation project manager. Today I get to practice these sets of skills.

    My first assignment is to map out my weekly goals and daily tasks working backwards from the day that I plan to submit my dissertation to the graduate school–November 12, 2014.

  186. Hi everyone,

    I met my goal!!! My reward was to get a 90 minutes massage. It was great and I feel so relaxed.

    Now that I have a plan with my weekly goals and daily tasks, I know what I need to do. I’m committed to bringing my A game. For tomorrow, I will revise my outline for the public health chapter and write the section of my theory chapter that clarifies my contribution to the field.

    Have a good night.

    1. What a great reward Michelle. I am jealous….What are your goals today and what will your reward be?

      1. Dr. Carter-Veale,

        You always talked about rewarding yourself during the dissertation. Honestly, I didn’t see the significance of giving myself a reward. Part of the problem was that I was too focused on the big goals and not the incremental goals and tasks.

        I’ve learned that it’s important to break things done into small bites instead of huge chunks and when I finish a task, I feel good about myself. I know you’ve told us this a million times but I just needed to see visually what that looked like and so it was good to have some worksheets that broke this down and provide templates to build my own schedule.

        It has also been about making a conscious decision to take better care of myself. I deserve self-love and care even if I don’t reach a big or small goal. I’m also beginning to see that the dissertation is part of my self-love. The process may be difficult at times but I made the decision to go to graduate school to better myself and my community. Just taking the time to remember why I’m here helps sometimes.

        As you know I’m away at a conference in Ecuador. I have been writing between sessions and every chance I get sometimes between talks during the sessions. The conference is really forcing me to apply lessons I learned about doing 15 minute tasks. At the conference this has meant doing sometimes 5, 3, or 1 minute tasks. These tasks include remembering to revise a subheading for a chapter or doing mind mapping to help revise the structure for a chapter. Today I wrote some bullets of thoughts I have for the final chapter of my dissertation. Tonight I will transfer these notes from my research notebook to the actual electronic document in chapter 7.

  187. Hello everyone. I’m glad I came across this forum. This weekend, I plan to continue developing my literature review. Some new journal articles recently came out that relate to my topic. I need to spend time making sure my literature review reflects the most common theoretical contributions to the field.

    Morgan State University
    PhD Candidate (Management & Entrepreneurship)
    Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management

    1. Welcome to the DH Blog Isaac. Did you reach any of your goals?

    2. Hello Isaac

      Welcome to the DH online. Feel free to post your daily goals here. How’s the literature review coming? Be specific about how many articles you will read today.

  188. Good morning everyone,

    I’ve been waking up at 3 a.m. in the morning since Tuesday, the first day of dissertation house. I guess my subconscious is saying, “Michelle this is the last year we’re doing this, so get your stuff together, WAKE UP!!!”

    I’m naturally a morning person. One of the things that we learned in dissertation house is to work with who we are. Instead of staying in the bed wishing that I would just fall asleep again or wasting time thinking about what I will write, I got up to empty the thoughts out of my head. This morning I decided to work with my natural rhythm to write.

    Based on my dissertation management calendar, my tasks for today is to:
    Revise TOC for Chapter 1
    Revise 3 subsections of Chapter 2
    Write 1 section summary for Chapter 2

  189. Got a jump start on my two per day transcription coding goal today. Might shoot for three.

    1. Andy, Glad to see that you have posted here after the DH is over. So have set an ambitious goal of 3 transcriptions today. Go for it and let me know what happened at the end of the day. We’re here for you.

      1. Thanks for the encouragement and accountability, Dr. Carter-Veale! I have two done now, and I’m going to get into the third this evening. Will check in again.

        1. Knocked out the third one. Got to keep it rolling tomorrow!

  190. Back at it: Goal of coding two more transcriptions today and at least starting a third.

    1. Andy we are coming to the end of July this week how is that coding coming. You were scheduled for 2 a day. Have you given up or surpassed the goal?

  191. I have spent the last two days working on a conference proposal that required some preliminary analysis of some of my dissertation data–it was jumping a bit ahead of where I am in coding and analysis, so I’m getting back on track today and decided to commit to logging in and out here each day after being inspired by following the comments. My goal for today and the next 13 days after is to code two videos. Happy writing and analyzing everyone! I’ll let you know when I meet my goal for today.

    1. Just finished my two videos! They were pretty quick, but I’m possibly also getting faster at coding. I have to work at my assistantship the rest of the day, so finishing early means that I can keep my dinner plans this evening instead of staying home coding. Tomorrow is a 100% dissertation day, so I’ll set a more ambitious goal.

  192. Today I am going to dive back into the literature and try to locate (and summarize) more articles on origins of law (especially municipal law, and especially related to laws regulating public morals and welfare).

    I am also going to convert my median family income variable to constant 2010 dollars.

  193. Good morning! Today is my “work from home” day of the week, which always challenges my productivity. I’m trying to approach it this time as my usual workday. I’ll re-evaluate at lunchtime whether I need to find a different space outside of the house to be more productive. I’m struggling a bit with the goals I should set for today. Coding two videos is on the list, but how much else? In talking with Dr. Carter-Veale last week it seems like I’m not good at estimating the time it will take to do something–I tend to make big global judgments rather than breaking down the pieces. I don’t want to underestimate since that might not lead to as much urgency, but I also don’t want to do too much of an overestimate, which is what I always tend to do. Any ideas for how to work on setting accomplishable daily goals?

  194. Starting a new week! Coding two more videos today and writing about the reliability of one of my measures for chapter 3.

    1. Hi Emily,

      I’m off to a new week as well. This is a bit late for me in the morning but every minute offers an opportunity to move this dissertation forward.

  195. For today I will work on the following.

    I’ll finish the edits that one of my dissertation committee members suggested for dissertation outline and table of contents. I’ll also incorporate the changes I made for chapter 2 & 3 TOC during dissertation house.

    Transfer sections of dissertation into Dissertation Template:
    I have been really unorganized and it’s costing me time and energy. It’s time to stop to assess what I have. Dr. Carter-Veale suggested that we put our dissertation in the dissertation template provided by the graduate school. I did this before but found that having everything together was more overwhelming than helpful. Recently, I figured out that I can use the navigation function in Word to expand and collapse sections of my dissertation based on the TOC. That will allow me to work on sections of the dissertation separately but all in one place. Right now I have chapters and sections of chapters in different word documents. Yes very unorganized, but today it will change.

    Breaking things down into small steps to practice skills in time management and organization.
    Steps 1: Download dissertation template from grad school website (5 mins)
    Step 2: Revise TOC & insert into template (90 mins)
    Step 3: Insert Title Page & Abstract (15 mins)
    Step 4: Insert Dedication (2 mins)
    Step 5: Acknowledgement page with bullets of who I need to acknowledge (15 mins)

    Step 6: Chapter 1 (find out how much time it took to complete task, I’m estimating 90 mins)
    -Find most updated version (3-5 mins)
    -Insert Sections into dissertation template (30-50 mins)
    -Make assessment of % completed (5 min)
    -Make note of incomplete sections, break down by easy, medium, difficult (20 mins)

    Step 7: Chapter 2 (adjust time based on chapter 1)
    -Find most updated version
    -Insert Sections into dissertation template
    -Make assessment of % completed
    -Make note of incomplete sections

    Step 8: Chapter 3
    -Find most updated version
    -Insert Sections into dissertation template
    -Make assessment of % completed
    -Make note of incomplete sections

    Step 9: Chapter 4
    -Find most updated version
    -Insert Sections into dissertation template
    -Make assessment of % completed
    -Make note of incomplete sections

    Step 10: Chapter 5
    -Find most updated version
    -Insert Sections into dissertation template
    -Make assessment of % completed
    -Make note of incomplete sections

    Step 11: Insert Chapter 6
    -Find most updated version
    -Insert Sections into dissertation template
    -Make assessment of % completed
    -Make note of incomplete sections

    Step 12: Insert Chapter 7
    -Find most updated version
    -Insert Sections into dissertation template
    -Make assessment of % completed
    -Make note of incomplete sections

    Step 13: Print copy & punch holes

    Step 14: Insert in Pretty Pink Binder!!!

    This seems like a lot but I’m going to be ambition and work on controlling my emotions.

    Control the Emotions: (Note to self: Michelle this is not a personal failure. You are smart and have accomplished many difficult things in your life. Look at this as part of life’s lesson, where you’re practicing for something bigger and better!!).

    After step 6: take 30 minute walk outside, enjoy the birds and the trees.
    After step 10: Make fresh tomato salad with produce from your garden. Enjoy every bite.
    After step 12: Watch 1 video from favorite youtube channel
    After step 14: Not sure yet.

  196. I’m still working on my goals. My outline took more time than I initially planned. I also got distracted several times. Downloaded the dissertation template along with the instructions from the website. Tomorrow I will wake up early and work at my most productive period of the day. I have a plan now all I need to do is execute it.

    1. Hi Michelle, You had some super ambitious goals yesterday! I actually didn’t meet all of my goals yesterday either. I coded videos, but it took much longer than I anticipated because I was especially tired and not thinking very clearly. I probably should have changed my task since I was fighting my original plan, but alas, I did not. Hope you have a productive morning. I’m off to code my two videos again today.

      1. Hi Emily
        Thanks for checking in. I was beginning to feel a little lonely out here in blog land 🙂

        I realized my goals were ambitious after I finished writing them yesterday, but I’m practicing breaking down tasks into small parts, maybe some were not small enough. I think I will make Monday’s goals my task for the week.

        Keep working at your goals, you’ll make them. I’m also off to working steps 2- 6 of my Monday goals. We’ll see if I meet them today.

        Step 2: Finish Revise TOC & insert into template (90 mins)
        Step 3: Insert Title Page & Abstract (15 mins)
        Step 4: Insert Dedication (2 mins)
        Step 5: Acknowledgement page with bullets of who I need to acknowledge (15 mins)

        Step 6: Chapter 1 (find out how much time it took to complete task, I’m estimating 90 mins)
        -Find most updated version (3-5 mins)
        -Insert Sections into dissertation template (30-50 mins)
        -Make assessment of % completed (5 min)
        -Make note of incomplete sections, break down by easy, medium, difficult (20 mins)

        Step 7: Chapter 2 (adjust time based on chapter 1)
        -Find most updated version
        -Insert Sections into dissertation template
        -Make assessment of % completed
        -Make note of incomplete sections

  197. Hello Michelle & Emily

    Good for you for posting your daily goals here well after the DH ended. Keep up the good work. Don’t focus on whether or not someone else responds. Many people are encouraged just from reading the blog. One of our recent graduates only posted when she completed her PhD; she said that she read the blog often and was encouraged by the posts. She lived vicariously though these postings. Michele, putting time limits next to your activities is encouraging because people generally don’ t think that these activities take any time. Emily, research often involves tedious, mind-numbing tasks; find some creative ways to reward yourself when you complete these types of tasks. Have a good day all.

    Dr. CV

    1. Thanks! I am trying to keep posting to keep myself accountable. In the past I have used spreadsheets for tracking word counts (I made myself write 500 words every morning to finish my proposal) and notebooks, but I’m up for trying this more public accountability for the dissertation. Today I finished coding my two videos as well as finishing the small section that I wanted to write yesterday. Tomorrow I’m planning to set aside coding for a day in order to create my codebook to prepare to meet with a colleague on Monday to establish interrater reliability, and write up my video coding section. I’m rewarding myself today with a drink on the balcony while reading a novel.

  198. I met my goal for today. My reward was to take a walk with my hubby, to catch up and get some fresh air. Will check back in early tomorrow and continue to work the plan.

  199. I’m working on getting back into my early morning writing routine. Early mornings–between 5 am and 9 am-are my prime time hours. I will continue to work on my Monday goals. The aim is to complete two more steps.

  200. Good morning! Starting with writing 3-4 paragraphs describing my coding scheme and then creating my codebook, which includes identifying and tabling examples of each code. I am working from home, so am trying to minimize distractions by signing out of email until lunchtime and putting on headphones, which is what I do to get in my zone on campus. I’ll reward myself for finishing these tasks by checking email and taking a quick bike ride to the library to return a book.

  201. Hi Everyone,

    Still working on Monday’s list. Yesterday I spent some time creating an excel literature review file based on the one that Dr. Carter-Veale showed us in DH. I figured that this step would be important to help me manage the restructuring of chapter 2. I will finish that up today and see what else I can complete on the list.

    My reward will be to go to the garden.

  202. Accomplished my list yesterday, but really wish I had checked back out here so that I could already have decided what I wanted to do this morning–it’s much easier for me to adjust the goals I had planned, than to set goals and accomplish them in the morning. I guess that since I only have an hour for dissertation work this morning, so I will plan to write write the results section for RQ1, which I think will include only 2-3 paragraphs and a small table. If I have time after that, I will create additional tables for the results section.

  203. This morning I finished writing up RQ2 (accidentally wrote RQ1 in my goals) and set up one extra table to be filled in later. Tomorrow, I will randomly select the 5 interviews that I will use for interrater reliability, and go through these to break them down into chunks for coding. If I have time, I will write the introductory paragraphs for chapter 4.

    Happy writing and analyzing!

    1. Congrats on finishing your tasks!

  204. Good morning everyone,
    Today I’m working on organizing the literature for chapter 2. This is part of my chapter writing & restructuring process. I can’t manage all the literature in my head and endnote only helps to an extent. Dr. Carter-Veale’s recommendation of using a spreadsheet is perfect. My tasks for today is to update the excel sheet by sections/ sets of literature. I have three sets of literature that I’m bringing together for this chapter.
    Chapter 2:
    Section 1 (completed yesterday)
    Section 2
    Section 3

    Reward: walk & smoothie

  205. Starting a bit late today, but better late than not at all. I’m going to read over a few dissertations to get a sense of their Ch4 intro paragraphs and then write mine. Michelle, I hope you got your walk and smoothie!

  206. Finished the intro paragraphs and made some more tables. I’ll spend at least 15 minutes working tomorrow morning to pick the videos I want to use for my coding before spending the rest of the day with family. Then back on Sunday to segment videos for coding.

  207. Today I’m printing out coding materials and transferring data files in preparation to meet at 10:30 with a fellow student who is doing coding with me. Fingers crossed that we establish reasonable interrater reliability! If I have extra time I will analyze and write up results for one regression equation for RQ3. I want to have a complete draft of chapters 4 and 5 done by the end of Labor Day weekend, so I’m entering serious crunch time. Keep on chugging!

  208. Yesterday I had to make some adjustments as we were coding, so that’s all I was able to do. This morning my colleague sent me her codings, so I will compare codings and calculate interrater reliability. If it is high enough, I will fill in that section of the methods. If not, I will determine what needs to be changed and make the adjustments to do another round of coding. If I have time after that, I will go through and change the wording of my third RQ to make it more accurate given this new coding.

    1. After holding my breath, and calculating consistencies, with the help of my coding partner, I established interrater reliability! *insert giant sigh of relief* Now I have no excuse not to finish coding the remainder of the videos. Today I made a list of the variables that I still need to code/calculate, and divided them into categories of quick, medium, and time-consuming. I finished one think on the quick list. Tomorrow I will code 2 videos and write out deadlines for the different tasks I identified today.

  209. Hello Summer DHers. This could be your last summer that you spend working on your dissertation. Stay focused and keep working. Emily and Michelle good to see you are still posting. Keep in mind everyone who started this journey with you will not finish it with you. It’s ok to get to the finish line first, second or even last. It’s more important that you finish. Keep up the good work.

  210. Getting back on track this afternoon after taking yesterday to catch up on other work. Guess I’ll start with my ideas from two days ago–code two videos and then set some deadlines for the next few weeks. It is a great feeling to think that this will be the last summer, and hopefully only the last few months I will spend working on my dissertation–thanks for that inspiration, Dr. Carter-Veale! I will reward myself for getting today’s tasks done with some frozen yogurt this evening.

    1. Finished coding my two videos and planning the next set of tasks. I decided that since my time estimation has not been good in the past, that I would just start with one chunk–finishing coding videos. I have 18 left, so I if I push, I can get them done by next Friday. That breaks down to 2 per day for most days and 3 per day on the days (Tues & Thurs) that I don’t work at my assistantship. This will be challenging, but manageable and will make a significant impact in my ability to do analysis.

      I will reward myself by spending time next weekend picking out the piece of jewelry that I will buy for myself when I send a complete draft to my advisor. I started the tradition of buying myself a nice piece of jewelry when I submitted a manuscript for review a few years back. I was struggling to send an article out to a journal because I didn’t want to let go of it (“but just one more read through…”). Having something published has its own inherent reward (and I don’t have much control over it), so I found that I needed to reward the submission process (which I can control if I am willing to work hard and then let it go).

  211. Good morning. Goal today: Code two videos.

  212. I met my goal for yesterday, so I’m doing the same today. I have two hours between sessions at a conference, so I’m trying to get it done now so that I can do something relaxing tonight. Happy weekend & happy writing all! Keep on chugging 🙂

  213. Yesterday I finished my two videos, but it did require some time in the evening. I’m back to coding between sessions today–trying to get a quick one done before the next session at 11 and then another after (or again later this evening).

  214. Happy Monday! Didn’t meet my goal yesterday (only got 1 coded), so I’m going to set a goal of doing 2 today and making up the one I missed from yesterday to get back on track.

  215. Hello Everyone Welcome to SSI’s Dissertation House. We have graduate students from UMES, UMBC, UMB, and Bowie State!!!!! Join us for the next tonight if you dare.

  216. Greetings from the University of Maryland, Baltimore! This is Bre-Onna here preparing for a productive weekend at Dissertation House. Thank you for the opportunity Dr. Tull!

  217. Good Afternoon everyone! Checking-In! I’m excited to be a participant of this summer’s Dissertation House and I’m looking forward to tonight’s session.

  218. Hello All! Just finished listening to Dr. Wendy here at The Hotel, and getting ready to start the weekend marathon at the SSI Dissertation House. I hope to refine my research topic, come up with a methodology, and complete a chapter or two on importance and benefit of research. Thank God for the coffee!

  219. Checking in… My goals are to work on some data processing and repotting of some graphs for my dissertation. In addition I would like to outline my dissertation intro and revise my total dissertation outline to reflect the journal papers I have in review. As a stretch goal during this time, I will write 10 pages of intro. Wish me luck.

  220. Hello Dissertation Seekers,

    I am so excited to be apart of this year’s Dissertation House. This is my first year, and I am already so motivated.

    It is amazing to see so many young African Americans, males and females, getting their PhDs. Each of whom are studying varying topics and subject matters.

    It is time to get serious and get this degree completed. I am giving myself two years to complete my PhD. While here, I am hoping to identify a topic and to put together a plan to follow through completion.

  221. Greetings Everyone , I am checking in and this weekend I look forward to working on and nailing down my specific aims and objectives, as well as working on my statement of problem.

  222. Hi Everyone,

    I’m back again :), this time with a diverse group of students at the Summer Success Institute’s Dissertation House.

    For night I will complete the following:
    -Finish updating my excel spreadsheet for my literature review chapter
    -Update TOC

  223. The research question is slowly coming together. Great advice to look for a research topic in an area my advisor is interested in!

  224. Saludos a todos. Evening is winding down as is my brain, so following Dr. Carter’s advice to have some less taxing activities handy. Axis labels and chart titles have to be done sometime, yes? Nice to be back in DH. Been struggling with some inertia, so good to have something to really force the issue. One reason for the inertia was that I’ve been running a lot of experiments in parallel, and I had gotten a bit disorganized. So I took a bit of time to take stock of the status of all my data, and I feel much better actually knowing what I have and what additional data I need to generate.

  225. Good evening (or morning) everyone. This is my first Dissertation House and my first post on this blog. Even though I am not working on my dissertation, it is exciting to be here and preparing what will hopefully be my first publication. I have listed my main goals for Friday below. I was able to get a good head start on all of these items today so there is a good chance that I will be able to complete all of them.

    1) Go through and review my survey results up until this point. Look for trends
    2) Identify participants to set up follow up interviews with. Categorize my findings to help guide my questions for these participants.
    3) Have a complete draft of my conference paper (abstract, intro, previous work, methodology, recruitment of participants, findings, limitations, future work, part of conclusion ). Everything that can be completed at this point.
    Bonus) Maybe get a chance to try to format my paper using the SIGCHI template

  226. Good Morning Everyone…. Today starts day two, I made some progress last night and I look forward to today’s session.

  227. Good morning,

    Another day, another sentence! Setting goals and starting fresh!

    I’m getting it done!

  228. Good Morning,
    I’m still working on the excel spreadsheet. I will finish that today and revise two sections of chapter 2.

  229. Day 2 of SSI. Last night went by so fast! Heard today from Dr. Carter in the morning talk “Need to move from a consumer of information to a producer of information”. This marathon continues, one paragraph at a time.

  230. Morning All! Looking forward to another productive day. Last night I was able to complete at least two my goals for this weekend!

  231. So begins Friday and 14 hours of dissertation yummy goodness. Delicious AND nutritious!

  232. So far, today has been very productive.. It has been very beneficial for me to get a change of scenery, ignore my email and just work. i have made significant process on about 60 percent of my paper.

    After lunch, I will focus on the literature review portion of my paper. This includes re-reading my selected sources, finalizing the information that I would like to cite, ordering it, and placing it into my draft..

  233. Greetings from the Dissertation House August, day two! Here at the beautiful boutique ‘The Hotel ” a score of young academics are at work, not leisure!. Last night was kind of a whirlwind, but most productive for me for I am a night-owl. I need to get these papers hammered out, for I am down to the wire, and must get this done and get outtahere. Right this moment,I am hearing the teachings of Dr Carter Veale with one ear, but working on my computer blogging and researching. This is not impolite of me, for she has given some of us leave . These words of particular wisdom are addressed to those concerned about their proposal. She has given we,, who are chipping away at our dissertations, permission to continue work. For me, that means now attacking the tables( scientifically). Next, the discussion outline.. to be continued..

  234. Day 2 of SSI USM Summer 2014 Dissertation House
    During this conference, my goals are to identify a topic for my research and a preliminary time schedule

  235. Mid/Late Afternoon Checkin … Moving progressively, was able to cross 2 out of the 3 things off my list. I find it quite exciting actually. I plan to dive into my literature review for the evening work session, I don’t plan to finish but I do want to actually start on it as well as make a time table for each section in the lit review, with an overall completion date in mind.

  236. winding down from the good food and the long literature slog. The group is in high spirits, chatting and sharing.I feel like I did some needful work, satisfying in an educational laboring way. Later, for me, one last outline to cap off this evening. No editing, leave that for the ‘morrow 🙂

  237. Good Evening, this is my first time and second day of DH, I’ve been enjoying being around others who are moving along this process. I’m moving along but not fast enough. Been going back and forth on some of my tasks lists. Still getting bogged down at certain points, but definitely have been moving. This has been very useful thus far.

    My objectives for this during DH is to create:
    1. Finish Chapter 1 Design Objectives
    2. Rationale for design objectives
    3. Start Chapter 2 Research Questions
    4. Aims for chapter 2
    5. Design objectives/Hypothesis for chapter 2

    Other Goals:
    6. Continue working on Chapter 1 test methods
    7. Chapter 2 Test methods
    8. Chapter 3 AIMS
    9. Design objectives for Chapter 3
    10. Rationale for Chapter 3

  238. The Dissertation House is living up to everything I imagined and more. Backdrop a secluded posh hotel in Hanover, MD filled with intelligent, vivacious and likeminded graduate students who are all here for one purpose: TO GET IT DONE!

  239. Checking in for the evening session and major progress is being made! I’m pushing to finish another goal in the next hour.

  240. Just finished my goal of coding all of my videos by today. Hallelujah. Was feeling like I might put it off until tomorrow, but was really reminded from all of today’s posts that this is hard work, but something I could get done.

  241. Burning the midnight oil.

    It takes passion and commitment to get the dissertation done. But how does one identify their passion?

    I have compiled a list of search terms to that I find interesting (related to my research area and interest). My plan is to type them into Scholar in random combinations and see what’s out there.

  242. I am a morning person. So working too late is not for me, unless I have been asleep most of the day. Or I have a STRONG cup of the dark roast!!

  243. Good Evening DHers…. I am starting to wind down, I have noticed that I have the most momentum in the morning and the early part of the afternoon. So when I feel my energy start to fade, I work on what Dr.Carter calls zombie activities. So tonight’s zombie activity was figuring out a schedule of how I plan to move forward with my lit review and set some hard core attainable deadline in dealing with that. Its the little things like this that keep me pushing towards my overall goal.

  244. Day 3 is here, and already EXTREMELY motivating. Loved the speakers and panels, and the CIRCLE of PhDs. Cannot wait to join that circle.

  245. Good morning – Employee Dissertation House has started! I’ll be preparing for my defense today!

  246. Michele "One L" W Avatar
    Michele “One L” W

    Hi there, I’m super excited to be at the Employee and Non-traditional student DH! I’m writing my dissertation proposal that’s due Oct. 31st (yes, Halloween). My goals are to firm up the literature review section (read and summarize articles and get a working draft done). Two days of concentration – let’s make it happen!

  247. It is Day-1 for the non traditional students DH. My objectives for DH are work on a paper that is result of my PhD research. I am going to improve the introduction and literature review section and also to write up my method section.

  248. Hi everyone!

    I am Amanda Lo, a Master’s student from the Biological Sciences Department. Dissertation House started and we talked about our goals for this workshop.

    These are the goals that I have set for myself:

    1. Work on revising my methodology section

    2. Read about the Dunett’s test and learn how to do statistical analysis like the Dunett’s test in R

    3. Make graphs

    4. Work on the results section

    I look forward to getting these goals accomplished! 🙂

  249. Good morning dissertation house! Here’s to getting a good handle of my proposal!

  250. At my second dissertation house for employees, which I appreciate very much. In December of 2013, I defended by proposal (first three chapters) in UMBC’s LLC program, but it’s taken me a while to complete the revisions from my committee, particularly the methodology. This past Sunday, I finally finished these changes and submitted the revised document to my advisor, Dr. Zane Berge. While waiting for his feedback, I hope to complete the following at DH: 1) transfer the grad school deadlines to my calendar so I can graduate in Spring 2015, 2) transfer and clean up by Excel data files to SPSS for analysis, and 3) begin to outline, if not start drafting my results chapter.

  251. Happy Friday! Glad to be off work and at the Dissertation House for Employees and Non-Traditional Students. I’m feeling positive that I will reach my goals for this weekend: 1) read 6-8 articles, 2) read 2-3 book chapters, 3) begin help-seeking section of the lit review, 4) clean up theory section, and 5) work on proposal timeline. Lots of work ahead so I’d better get started! Happy writing and editing everyone!

  252. Good Morning

    Today is day 1 of the Employee Dissertation House. We welcome the employees from the U of MD for all campuses who are working on their dissertations and non-traditional students as well.
    Join us for these next 2 days. What can you get done in 2 days?

  253. If each piece of advice/criticism given were worth a nickel, I’d be walking away with a million dollars!! A HUGE thank you to the group for their advice on my presentation. It was a rough go at it but I learned a lot. Time to organize the advice into action steps.

    1. You’re welcome! I wish you the best of luck on your presentation! 🙂

    2. You did very well for your first time through! It will only get better and you have time to improve while you wait for feedback on your dissertation draft.

  254. I really appreciate the “reality check” I got from Dr. Carter this morning… I needed that!
    Now I’m more determined than ever to make this weekend, and every weekend from this point forward, really count. Thank you!

  255. After the conversation with Dr. Carter I realized that I have so many little thing to do in order to complete my dissertation and I am not using my little free time efficiently. I am determine to make a list and start working on them!

  256. Thank you Dr. Carter for meeting with me today! It was a good experience to talk about what was my struggling points for finishing my thesis. Then, I explained about what my project was about. I feel that when I was sitting behind my laptop before, I was having another writer’s block moment. Then, when I met with you, I started talking and actually surprised myself. I didn’t know I was able to just continue talking. Now, I need to work on transcribing my words onto paper. 🙂

    I’ll be back to the Dissertation House tomorrow to continue working on my thesis and in achieving my goals. Best of luck to everyone else who is working on their thesis/dissertation! 🙂

  257. Kavita Krishnaswamy Avatar
    Kavita Krishnaswamy

    Hi Friends,
    I am Kavita Krishnaswamy, a Ph.D. student in UMBC CSEE and working with my advisor Dr. Tim Oates.

    My primary goal is to defend my thesis proposal this semester. Today, I am working on rendering the 3D models and images. I plan to complete this task today and include the rendered images in the fourth chapter of the thesis proposal draft and presentation slides. I will email Dr. Oates the chapter 4 for review.

    Over the next few days, I plan to accomplish revising the first and second chapter of the thesis proposal draft. Also, I will refine the video animations to include in the presentation slides.

    Wishing everyone a fruitful achievements in this DH! More updates tomorrow …

  258. Good morning, DH! Amanda, Michele and I are back at work on campus, hoping others will join us soon!
    Today my goal is to finish a rough draft of my proposal that I can share with my advisor for feedback. it will have holes in it, but I don’t want to get too far without figuring out if I’m on the right track or not.

  259. Today is Day 2 of Dissertation House! Looking forward to continue working on my thesis!

    Last night, I signed the certificate and wrote down my proposed finishing date to complete my thesis. I plan on committing time each to writing.

  260. Anyone still checking this? I’m here at work, attacking my to-do list!

  261. I attend DH this past July and am excited to share that I am submitting my dissertation to my committee this week! Many of the strategies from DH came in handy, particularly in the past week as I scrambled to the finish line. Best wishes and happy writing to those who are still chugging away–completion is on the near horizon 🙂

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What is dissertation house?

The Dissertation House program is an intensive writing retreat designed to help graduate students overcome the barriers that often impede progress on their dissertations. Developed by the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the program provides a supportive and structured environment where students can focus on their writing, receive feedback, and learn effective time management and goal-setting strategies. Over several days, students work in groups, participate in workshops, and receive coaching from experienced facilitators. The Dissertation House program has been highly successful in helping students make significant progress on their dissertations. It is widely regarded as a valuable resource for graduate students seeking to complete their degrees.