Welcome to the “Summer 2015” Dissertation House On-line writing challenge. Our online challenges span 6 months each: Winter Challenge [January – July] and Summer Challenge [July – December.]
This page will be active from July 2015 – December 2015. Congratulations to all of our new PhDs! (See our “Alumni” page for regular updates.) 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 from the graduate schools at UMBC, the University of Maryland College Park, and the University of Maryland Baltimore – The Founding Campus. Through the PROMISE Pathways initiative, and the PROMISE AGEP: Maryland Transformation project, we invite and encourage all doctoral students within the University System of Maryland to join us online, and you will have a special opportunity to join us in person this summer during the Dissertation House at the PROMISE 2015 Summer Success Institute.
Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale is your “Head Coach.” Dr. Carter-Veale will be conducting “in-person” Dissertation Houses at UMBC July 2015. Our pre-registered 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. Dr. Renetta Tull will be present in-person and online.
This event is free! Please to join us online using this page. Join from your location … from any state in the U.S. or any country in the world. Take the challenge to finish your dissertation!
To join us online:
- 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.
- Tell us what you are working on and what you plan to accomplish today or over the next few days.
- 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.
You’re not alone, this is your online community. Focus on completion.
Welcome to the 2015 Summer Dissertation House online! All you have to do to get started is post your goals for the week. Who will be first? We welcome you! The UMBC in-person participants will be “here” on Tuesday, July 7, but you don’t need to wait for them. Go ahead … start now!
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Hi everyone! I’m Elizabeth MG from Walden University. I’m working towards a PhD in Education and currently desperately searching for some motivation as I hammer out my prospectus. My goals this week are to submit one of the six sections daily. I’ve wasted too much time – need to MOVE! If anyone is looking for a writing buddy, let me know!
Hi Elizabeth! Welcome! There will be a lot of people right here. Which of the six sections are you working on today?
Writing the dissertation can be a lonely process. Good for you for making the choice to join us here on line.
Hi! I’m Iona, a doctoral candidate in gerontology at UMBC. I want to finish my proposal and defend it some time this fall. I am waiting for an IRB approval to do a small pilot study that will be incorporated in my methods chapter. My goals for the week: 1) edit chapter 2 (lit review) and re-submit to chair 2) finish first draft of methods chapter (minus the pilot study results) [This might be too much, but I’m also hoping to walk away this week with a better handle on setting realistic goals :-)] Good luck everyone!
Dear Iona, Congratulations on preparing to finish this Fall. I remember when you started this journey! The goal of editing Chapter 2 first is a good one, since that is a “revise and re-submit.” That way you can hand it off tonight and work on something else while you wait for a response. Don’t get distracted. Chapter 2!
Hi everyone! I’m Robin, a PhD student at Northwestern University in the Technology and Social Behavior program. I would like to finish a literature review while defining my dissertation scope this summer. I haven’t proposed yet but plan to do so before March. This week I plan to finish the Theories of Interpersonal Communication book that I am currently reading and outline my lit review.
Welcome Robin! I’m so glad that you could make it. You have your strategies in place, so for you, execution is the name of the game. Pull out all of your “Super-Robin” stops and go! Remember to look at the “Future Work” sections of papers; that will help you to further define the roads that have not yet been traveled.
Thanks Dr. Tull!
Welcome to the DH. I agree with Dr. Tull about looking to the future recommendation sections along with the limitation sections to find possibilities for future research. Be sure to use some type of research template so that you can capture the same information from each articles. If you do that you will be able to make useful comparisons later.
Hi Everyone, I’m Leshell. I am a PhD Candidate at George Mason University in Learning Technologies Design Research. I am working on my proposal. I have sections written in all 3 chapters (Intro, Lit. Review, and Methods). My goals was to finish the 1st draft by tomorrow (Monday) but I will most likely not make it. Reluctantly and a bit disappointed, I am pushing this deadline to this coming Friday. Happy Writing!
Dear Leshell, You worked hard over the 4th of July weekend! Do you have an “Expected Results” section? It might be fun to look ahead and write that; it will help you to solidify your methods.
Dissertation proposal submitted yesterday! Yes! 🙂
I didn’t have an expected results section but will certainly create one to share during my proposal defense. Another update soon!
Thanks for your support! 🙂
Hello Leshell Welcome to the DH.
How is that proposal draft coming? Today is Thursday, ?are we there yet?”
Hi Wendy. It took much longer than I wanted it to but “we got there” 🙂
I submitted it yesterday. Proposal defense date is just around the corner. I’ve had 2 practices in preparation so far. I will certainly keep you posted.
Thanks for asking! 🙂
Friday, I finished two weeks of data collection. Now a small break and then data analysis. Slow and steady… 🙂
Hello, I’m Molly, a PhD Candidate in UMBC’s Geography &Environmental Science department. I aim to finish writing my third dissertation chapter and submit it for publication by July 17. All the analyses are finished, figures and table made, and a rough draft of an outline written. Today’s goal is to finish a very detailed outline of the paper, something I’ve got a jump start on already but needs to be completed.
Welcome! Kudos to you for preparing a publication en route to finishing the dissertation. That’s excellent multi-tasking. This kind of activity also helps you to strengthen your writing, and having publications in by the defense will be a feather in your cap. In one defense, the student had three publications in top-tier, high-impact journals and the committee acknowledged her as an expert throughout the defense, noting that she had already published, and that her work had already been peer-reviewed. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for the encouragement!
I am nearly done with a good second draft of the outline. I have a half day tomorrow dedicated to fill out one or two more discussion points, and then it will be in pretty good shape. The intro will need more work, but I like to do that part last, after the rest of the paper is in rough draft form. Feeling alright about progress…
Hi Molly. Good work! We’ll look forward to seeing how you’re making out with your discussion points. It’s ok to feel good about the progress! Relish that feeling! You’ve earned it!
Goals for today:
1) add last details to my last remaining discussion point (this morning) so that discussion content is solid and eventual writing will be really smooth
2) reformat structure of the outline’s discussion section to be more impactful/logical (afternoon)
3) if time, insert citations into outline where appropriate (evening)
Yesterday I did complete Goal #1, but added too much detail, making meeting goal #2 a bit more challenging. Today’s goals are similar: 1) to reformat and structure the outline’s discussion section, mostly trimming down what I dumped out yesterday, and 2) honing my study objectives paragraph, including the research questions, expectations and approach overview.
Molly, Welcome to the DH. You are 8 days from your deadline, how is it coming? Are you on campus? Are you in the process of revising and editing or are you still at the initial draft?
Hello, progress is definitely being made. I’m revising my very detailed outline (near-prose) with the goal of having it more or less settled and discussed with my co-author by the end of the week. Next week is dedicated to translating the detailed outline to full text. A July 17 deadline still may be optimistic, especially when working with a co-author, but I have the rest of the dissertation –and defense date!– looming on the horizon. No more procrastination. Although I’m not at the face-to-face DH, I wish I were; I’m mainly working on campus. I appreciate the support from afar through this blog. Thanks!
I spun my wheels a little bit yesterday, but am breaking the cycle today. I have a solid objectives/questions/hypotheses paragraph that I am pleased with, wrote most of the methods, and have worked on organizing the introduction section of the outline so that it is much better shape than before. By the end of the day I will send the outline off to my co-author for comments. Next up, finishing writing up a draft of the methods, then results, while I wait for comments back about outline. Still on track for July 17 deadline. Whew!
Hello all, my name is Tammy and I’m doctoral candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies. Now that I have successfully defended my proposal (happened on May 21, 2015), its data collection time! I am interviewing 12 participants. I’ve interviewed 3 so far and my goal TODAY is to transcribe one interview.
Tammy! Hello! You’re here! Welcome, it’s so good to “see” you! Congratulations on becoming a candidate! Did you transcribe your one interview yesterday?
I took so many breaks that I didn’t quite finish transcribing on Monday but I am happy to report that I was able to recruit 3 more research participants. Tomorrow I will be back at transcribing.
Welcome to the DH. I got my PhD from UW-Madison. I love Madison in the summer; it is so pretty. What’s the goal for today, (Thursday)? Did you get another interview and did you transcribe another interview? You might consider dragon software that moves speech to text. Just a suggestion as you move ahead in your transcription activities.
I am a PhD Candidate at UMBC working with Dr. Tim Oates in the CSEE department.
This week, my goals are as follows;
1. Revising UAIS Paper for final submission
2. Design a robotic prototype with Autodesk Inventor
3. Complete python GUI program
4. Meet with Dr. Oates to discuss progress
5. Continue learning ROS (Robot Operating System)
Wish me well!
Hi Kavita! You hve some lofty goals for the week! Of course, we all know that you are “superwoman,” however, we challenge you to think about the measureable portions of your goals. What do you have to revise with the UAIS paper? Methods? 🙂
Hi Dr. Tull,
Thank you for your comments and encouragement 🙂 I have completed #1 and #4. There some progress in #3 and #5. I am experiencing technical difficulties importing SolidWorks files into Autodesk Inventor and I have explained the situation to Dr. Oates. We will find a different program.
Welcome to the DH. How did you do on the items on your to-do-list? Remember that it does not have to be all or nothing.
Hi Dr. Carter,
Thank you for your support and encouragement. 🙂 Sometimes, it takes longer than predicted to complete a task. More work lies ahead.
Good Morning Everyone!
Looking forward to an exciting week at Dissertation House! 🙂 Feel free to blog on this page or to tweet (with #phdcompletion) about your progress! At Dissertation House today, Dr. Carter-Veale mentioned to set a date for completing your dissertation. Then, allocate some time each day to work toward your goal. Time – even as small as 15 minutes counts – times adds up and much writing can be done! 🙂
Wishing everyone the best of luck!
Welcome to Day 1 of the DH!!!
Things to keep in mind as you work on your dissertation:
1. It doesn’t have to be perfect it just has to be done
2. Everyone in the entire world will not be reading your dissertation
3. A good dissertation is a done dissertation
4. Treat writing your dissertation like a job not a hobby
5. If you create a writing schedule you will not have to find time to write
6. Set a deadline with a month, day, and year because next spring, fall, semester, year doesn’t work.
Hoping to get a real strong start on Chapter 3 today!
Today my goal is to complete editing my paper draft
My name is Sheila. Today my goal is to work on cleaning, recoding of my dataset and to write what I have done so far in the methods section.
I’m in the Mechanical Engineering Department, working with Dr. Tim Topoleski and Dr. Thomas Beck.
My main goal is to get the PhD thesis proposal outlined, and to complete the Background and Specific Aims sections.
My name is Felix Burgos, PhD candidate at UMBC. I wish everyone a productive and enjoyable Dissertation House. These are my goals for this week:
* Making edits on the dissertation proposal.
* Designing a TOC for my dissertation.
* Structure some of the notes I’ve taken to give shape to my theoretical framework.
Thanks for reading, and good luck!
Excited to spend my birthday at Dissertation House! Getting my dissertation DONE will be an awesome gift to myself. My goal today is to respond to the edits on my lit review chapter – complete all the easy and medium, and start on the hard. Good luck everyone 🙂
Happy Birthday Iona!!!!! Now that’s dedication. I love it! Good for you! Giving the gift of productivity to yourself!
Happy Birthday Iona! Best of luck on your lit review chapter! I also liked how Dr. Carter-Veale mentioned about prioritizing edits as easy, medium, and hard. Starting with the easy ones first, then, the hard ones next is a great strategy. Wishing you the best on your writing!
Hi! Today I’m focusing on finishing off the research/modeling part of my work: getting the last couple of variables, re-running the models, and looking up articles to account for some issues I know I’ll have to discuss. I also need to create a Table of Contents, which hopefully will go quickly.
So far, pretty good! Table of Contents went well, and forced me to kind of outline the whole thing. Dr. Carter-Veale’s advice was super-helpful. Also managed to make good progress in reading articles about my modeling approach, so I can speak more intelligently on that.
Haven’t been able to get the data I’m looking for for the last variable, but presumably they exist?
Also had a good talk w/ Dr. C-V on timelines to reach dissertation completion. Going to be a fun(?) ride.
Productivity = fun! You’re doing a good job of embracing it Evan!
Today was iiiinteresting. Revised the TOC and updated it to match what another student of my adviser has done – that was the easy bit! Then come the challenges:
1) The data for an education variable I’m looking for may not exist! (The Census doesn’t have it prior to 2000).
2) Some sources recommend using a lagged dependent variable in a panel dataset; however, when I do that it changes the results in a huge way! The effect of the main predictor is reduced to about 8% of what it was, and the significance vanishes. So I need to read a lot more about this issue and whether I should be using the lagged variable, or what else I need to do. Eek!
Today, I went entirely down the rabbit hole related to lagged dependent variables. It’s a pretty deep hole, but an important one, so I don’t really mind.
I’m in a place now where I feel I’ve defined the problem as much as I can, and (tentatively) I don’t need to do much about it, other than be conversant about it. So! Tomorrow, I get to have “dessert” – I’m going to re-run my models, and draft the “executive summary” of preliminary results! Then, next week, I’ll share that with my advisor, and start drafting the dissertation itself!
Chapters 1 and 2 done by the end of next week! It can happen! It will! WHOAH.
My goal today is to look at previous proposals, gather all of my already written work and start a table of contents.
I’m Andrea Gray, a doctoral candidate in the Chemistry department at UMBC. Over the next few days I plan to BEGIN my dissertation. Today my goal is to work on my table of contents and work on my introduction section. 🙂
My name is Germaine and I am happy to join you all in writing. Today my goal is to finish filling in the summaries of my lit review outline for my dissertation proposal.
You can do it Germaine! My goal for the week is similar to yours.
Do you have a formal structure or are you just using a general outline format? Right now, I’m just looking at an outline with article summaries that support (?!?) my research questions.
I’m trying to link the articles together in a way the flows from general to more specific themes. So older adults + communication more broadly offline/online and then technology adoption, message creation, and sustaining use. After that, I suspect I will blend my research questions into these more specific sections (once I define them).
Other people please chime in on how you started your lit review process!
Yes, good “funnel” approach. You want to get to the point where you can’t find any new answers to your research question. Keep asking yourself, “And then what?”
How are those summaries coming. How many are they? 10? 20 or 200? It’s important to put a number next to the things that you have to do so that you can see some progress.
I have completed today’s goal of work on cleaning, recoding of my dataset! I have begun to write what I have done so far in the methods section but didn’t finish. I took a turn and worked on my intro…
Overall, very productive day!
Less work than expected, but four pages done, at least. I guess building momentum is a process! Good luck to everyone tomorrow; I won’t be here until Friday.
Lazlo, Four pages is still good. Congratulate yourself on finishing *something!*
Great words of advice from Dr. Janet Rutledge’s talk today:
“Develop the discipline to keep yourself driven and on schedule because for the rest of your life, you have to be self-driven to keep yourself going.” — Dr. Janet Rutledge
Amanda, would you send me the NIH link for stats. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, I can definitely send you the link! In fact, I’ll send it right now! 🙂
For anyone who would like to read the article on, “Using Effect Size—or Why the P Value Is Not Enough,” the link is: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3444174/
Congrats online and F2F DH day 1 survivors! 🙂
Although my little companion is making it very difficult to sit still in a chair for a few hours I think today was extremely helpful and a lot of progress was made. Table of contents was formulated, background literature was narrowed down and a skeleton of the document has emerged, which feels very good.
Plan for tomorrow: clean up problem statement, start Methods section
Good job Galina! As we mentioned earlier, we’ve had several “little companions” in vitro in the Dissertation House! Your little one is just cheering you on! Congratulations on your progress.
Table of Contents is complete! I’m ready to hit the ground running tomorrow. I’ll be working on my introduction. I feel very positive after today. 🙂
The first day of the dissertation house is now finish. I’m glad I could put together the comments my committee wrote on my dissertation proposal. I finished the “easy” edits, and now I am half-way the “medium” ones. That was an awesome advance. I also started to write my TOC… It’s quite difficult, but I’m doing it.
Tomorrow: Finish TOC & work on the “difficult” edits.
Thanks for reading. I hope you also had a nice day.
Congratulations on finishing the first set of edits!
I believe I managed to come up with a problem statement to my proposal. It was hard for me to make a question that sounds like I’m working on a PhD, and that it encompasses “why is this research important?” We’ll see what the judge says tomorrow.
UMBC folks, are you graduating soon? Here is your information regarding deadlines:
Note that if you are graduating in December, your process should have started in June. You can contact the graduate school to see if they will still accept the nomination form, which is to be submitted six months in advance: http://www.umbc.edu/gradschool/programs/doc_degree_fall.php
I’m Dub at George Washington University, American Studies. Writing to finish my dissertation this fall. Thanks for creating a space for accountability and support.
Hi Dub, welcome! First step … what are your goals for the week?
Welcome to the DH, as Dr. Tull said it’s important to create small bite-size goals. Finishing your dissertation is the Fall is a mouthful. 🙂 I strongly recommend creating a personal deadline with a month, day, and year. You don’t need to share your deadline or confirm it with anyone else. You are the project manager of your life and your dissertation. If you are planning to defend in the Fall a day such as October 15, 2015 usually works as a deadline for the draft to be finish with time for your advisor/s, and committee members, to read, and give you feedback
Hi everyone! I’m working on my Ed.D. In Higher Education Leadership from the Univeristy of Rochester. I’m also a 2011 (MPP) and 2009 (BA) alum from UMBC! I just submitted my chapter 2 for review last night and am going to try and submit my chapter 3 over the next two weeks. I plan to defend my proposal on late August/early September!
Hi Anna! Welcome “back!”
Ok, so chapter 3. What is the goal for this week? What are you going to do tomorrow? (Be specific.)
Today, I have to be at work all day and have an evening event so I will have to settle for creating my timeline today. I’ll know more about the rest of the week once I create my timeline 🙂
I’m a 3rd year PhD student in social sciences. My goal/prayer is to get through the last two courses to complete course work. Taking regression this summer which ends the first week of august (July-August) and the last one/capstone in the fall (sept – Nov). God willing, once these are completed, I can focus on and successfully complete compressive exams in either January or August 2016 and enter dissertation phase in 2016; defend by May-Dec. 2018.
Hello! Best wishes as you finish your courses. If you have papers or projects that are part of your class assignments, consider turning those products into conference submissions.
Goal today is to make sure I understand what the Background/Introduction section will need to have, and not bore the reader.
Hi Hector! It’s been a long time! Congrats to you and good luck writing today.
Hey Sossena, how’s it going? I was thinking the exact same thing, long time no see! Good luck to you too on your Proposal and on your Paper/Article.
Nova Southern University
Good morning everyone,
Goal today is to get through at least a page of methods.
Yesterday was productive. I created a TOC, completed easy edits, and organized information in order to “beef up” ch 2 section that needed work. Today’s goals: Ch 2 edits, and 1:1 meeting with Dr. C-V.
Goals for today: Complete TOC & Work on the methodology section.
Have a productive day!
Hope you reached your goals. If not, there’s always tomorrow. Thanks for helping me out today!
Happy Wednesday everyone!
My name is Chris Jones. I’m a phd candidate in the Urban Studies Department at MIT. I am also in the final stages of my dissertation writing.
Today I will update my analysis tables and complete my recommendations chapter.
Glad to see you on line. How is the writing coming this week? Did you finish updating the tables?
Wishing everyone the best of luck on your writing! 🙂 The Counseling Services Center just provided a talk and mentioned about a variety of relaxation resources, including the Mind Spa on campus. The Mind Spa has a massage chair, a breathing relaxation game, and a comfortable stress-free environment! The Mind Spa could be a great place to visit to become rejuvenated in a relaxed environment. 🙂
I wish I had a Mind Spa at home! It was a good reminder that breathing exercises can be useful in relieving stress and relaxing. I think I’ll do some yoga poses tonight 🙂
Thanks for the good vibes!
I’m Sossena Wood, PhD Candidate at the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Bioengineering. I’m excited to join you all on this platform. I’ve been anticipating joining a dissertation house for quite sometime. This summer I’m working on quite a few things: 1) research proposal, 2) journal article, and 3) my dissertation. My hope is to completed (1) and (2) in final form by the end of August and begin writing another journal article once I recuperate from those items. I began writing my dissertation in May as a mind trick to keep myself motivated. Luckily it has and it has caused me to think more about what I’m doing through this process and where I plan to end up. Oddly enough I’ve been excited to read and write each day during the week for about an hour.
I have two chapters written and chapter 1 (intro) and most of chapter 2 (lit review/ background) are complete. I’ve begun to outline the titles of the next 3 chapters for each of my 3 specific aims. I don’t think I’ll complete them any time soon.
My focus this week is to complete my full draft of my proposal and send it to my advisor. We agreed on doing this last week.
I’m looking forward to using this platform and connecting with you all in some capacity.
Welcome to the DH. It’s Thursday, how much progress have you been able to accomplish? Is the Literature review done? When I say done I mean 90% complete because you will have revisions.
Hi Dr. Carter,
Thank you for the welcome! I’ve spent most of my time this week on my proposal. Regarding the literature review I would say it’s 80% complete. I have more articles to read and items to learn relating to my second aim. I think exploring more articles will make it stronger. I haven’t begun editing the chapter. I’ve just been able to get out my thoughts and clean them up. The dissertation is mainly in draft format.
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I almost completed today’s task (section 1.1) but still have a few more lines to add. Tomorrow I will brush up on section 1.1 and complete section 1.2
I did not blog in today…oops. However, I did accomplish my goals for the day. I hope everyone has had a productive day – it appears that way from looking around the room! It is great working in this environment as I am forced to stay as focused as I can be.
Enjoy the rest of your evening. You deserve it! See you tomorrow….
I think I was able to comprehend what I really need to do for a Problem Statement, and the entire Proposal (and my Dissertation). I need to avoid entrepreneurial explanations and jumping to solutions. I need to explain the whole picture. Tomorrow: bring Dr. CV my updated Problem Statement and turn in it as soon as we start, begin working on the Methods, and outline the rest of the Proposal.
My 1:1 meeting with Dr. C-V was extremely helpful and painful. I told her that I would write this. Lol. It was helpful because it showed me how to better respond to the more vague comments that my advisor had given me on chapter 2. It was painful because I can’t get through it as quickly as I imagined. Organizing my research in a table with more headings and setting it up to sort critical info is immensely helpful, but I have to spend more time inserting that content. HOWEVER, once that’s done, my lit review will be crystal clear and have a stronger argument & critique.
So….I met my goals today but still have more to do than I anticipated.
Sending out positive vibes to everyone and hope that your day was productive 🙂
I completed the objective of going over some edits within my dissertation proposal… But now, I will reorganize the outline and start making some important decisions regarding my dissertation. Tomorrow morning, I will continue adding information to a new version of my outline. It will be very important to look at my research questions and start discussing about them with my advisor.
Thank you! Have a good evening.
Also, thank you Dr. CV for your help. It was really good to see where I am standing right now.
Hello Everyone 🙂
Today went very well. I reorganized my Table of Contents a little bit to reflect what Dr. Carter and I had discussed during my one-on-one session. I was able to write a good portion of my Introduction section, 3 out of 5 subsections complete from my goals set for today.
See you tomorrow!!
Today a more comprehensive TOC was completed and the above mentioned page of methods as well as bits and bobs of other chapters (jumping around seems to help). Feeling much more optimistic about finishing this beast by end of summer. The morning writing session seems to go by pretty quickly, however in the afternoon i am finding myself utterly uncomfortable in the chair longing for a flat surface. My mind can sit still but my body is not cooperating. Suggestions? Hopefully I can make it two more days!
Hope everyone had a productive day!
Blogging everyday is tough and it’s only day 2! But it’s a good motivator.
I completed a rough draft of my outline for the related work section and submitted to my advisor. She had some comments for improving it moving forward but said it was solid work.
So, next steps are to add to the outline to make it more complete. I will work on finishing the first section tomorrow. Also have to follow up with potential participants for my study.
Hang in there Germaine! Blogging is hard but it encourages us to keep some momentum. It sounds like you are making progress. Keep up the good work 😉
I am currently working on my in my data collection and analysis stage in my study, which is actually somewhat fun after having labored over my Research Plan for SMR and IRB approval. I am also working on my literature review. Glad to be part of a forum that motivates continued forward progress. Tomorrow I hope to complete a few more pages on my literature review as well as analyze one of my transcribed. (I am new to blogging so, if my post is too long or not on point, feel free to let me know.)
Today I completed a rough draft of my outline and meet with a professor tomorrow to discuss its flow. Throughout the week I would like to make a list of possible research questions.
Not a bad day. I was able to complete a majority of the editing in my proposal. I think I need another day (tomorrow) to fully give my attention to editing the document. Editing feels like writing another draft at times.
Good job Sossena!
Welcome to Day 3 of the DH. Hang in there with us.
Good Morning everyone! Today I plan to continue on my Introduction section and begin working on my experimental section.
Good Luck Today 🙂
Good luck Andrea!
Good Morning! Today I plan to edit and refine two aims in my proposal. I also want to organize my preliminary data. I hope to submit my draft to my advisor tomorrow.
Good morning Dissertation House!
Today is day 3 for face to face dissertation house. I am feeling a bit tired but still enthusiastic! My goal today is to continue writing methods section, begin conceptualizing variables, check DSM-IV and ICD-10 variables.
Wishing you all continued productivity today and everyday! Happy Writing
I feel the tired too… I didn’t realize these sessions could take this much out of a person. 🙂
Good luck today!!
I have just survived the Good Morning Dissertation House, and I wanted to thank my co-anchor (Dr. CV), as well as my audience, for keeping this real. I came to realize that I have to transmit the passion of why we do what we do, and to keep my conversations on point.
Goal for today, make progress on the Methods section. See you in a couple of hours.
You did an awesome job Hector. We all need to improve these skills. It also helps when you see that our peers share some of the same challenges with public speaking about our research. Practice makes “perfect” or as close to perfection as anyone can get.
Thank you Sheila, and YOU did an awesome job. First, you volunteered, and most important your interview set the bar pretty high. I agree, we just need to practice enough to be able to do it as a reflex.
Good morning everyone!
I’m about to continue working on my general outline. I got really important feedback yesterday, and I intend to complete this section the best I can with the information I have. I will keep you posted!
Let’s do this!
You can do it!!
Finishing the outline is a very good feeling… keep working hard! 🙂
Will be working at home today after the doctors. Trying to keep the momentum going. Will be chatting with my advisor to talk about problem statement as well as working on cleaning up my data today!
Hope all have a good f2f day!
Thanks Galina. Take care and I hope you have a productive chat with your advisor.
Thanks for posting. I hope things went well at the doctors today. How is the data cleaning going? We were scheduled to meet at 3pm this afternoon.
Missed you today. Hope you got through your target?
Good Morning to Day 3 of Dissertation House!
Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale did a “Good Morning Dissertation House” exercise with all the Dissertation House participants! It was a fun exercise and hope everyone benefited from it! 🙂 Below are a few tips that I gathered that might help everyone:
1. Introduce yourself and tell us who you are. 🙂
2. Try to not use “um’s” and “so” or other filler words 🙂
3. Sit up with good posture! 🙂
I could not get through all of my planned section 1.2 😦 I spent a lot of time digging references. I do plan to work on it tonight and keep on my target, so that I can start section 1.3 tomorrow!
Hang in there Arya! I had to do some of that today with reorganizing. At first I was discouraged, but I started thinking about how much better the end product will be. I’ll think of you tonight when I am also working on my proposal. We can do this! 🙂
Yay! we will check on each other tomorrow 🙂
It’s alright Arya… I think that some things we plan in advance do not get 100% completed by the end of the day. But it is important that you started it. Good luck in your meeting today.
Another successful day. I was able to complete two more sections of my Introduction Chapter… and succeeded in beginning my Experimental Chapter. I also managed to think ahead and note what resources I want to use for future sections. Yay! 🙂
Congrats Andrea! It sounds like you are moving right along. Your defense is getting closer by the minute 😉
Day 3 and I am tired. Giving a 3 minute impromptu interview threw me off base, and I was not expecting that! The exercise was beneficial, and I was happy to support everyone. Today I was able to reorganize chapter 2 based on yesterday’s meeting with Dr. C-V. I am planning to re-submit to my advisor tomorrow!!
That’s great news Iona! Congratulations.
Day 3 over!! I made it. Today was tough. It reminded me of when I was writing comps. I wanted to get up and do other things, walk around, get on the internet, but I couldn’t. I know I have to stay focused. I’m easily distracted. Today I wrote part of my methods section, conceptualized my variable groups, checked DSM-IV and ICD-10 codes and compared them with the variables I chose, and started downloading articles from members of my dissertation committee.
I am very tired but glad that I pushed myself. I work hard and stress myself out for everything else in my life (work, family, professors, friends). It feels good to know this is all for me.
Thank you to my fellow Dissertation House peers. It is your passion and energy that makes this experience successful. Also, misery loves company (Carter-Veale, 2015)!!
See you tomorrow!
Sheila, Thank you for being brave and going first this morning. Your research sounds really interesting and much needed. I also had to push myself today, but we can say we made it through! Thanks for reminding me of what Dr. C-V said: make it “all about me.”
This is something that I struggle with in all aspects of my life, so I really need to embrace that thought and carry it forward.
See you tomorrow 🙂
I was pretty wired today… but I ended up combining two tasks instead of completing one. However, it was helpful to go back to notes I’ve been (disorderly) taking, organize them, and find where to put them in my general outline. Tomorrow is the last f2f meeting at UMBC 😦 My objective tomorrow is to finishing connecting the notes and start working on the methods section.
Have a good evening everyone… and for those who are still working, keep it up! See you tomorrow.
Felix. Sounds like you had a good day! Organizing notes takes time, and I had to back track to do some of this, so you are ahead of the game. Keep up the good work 🙂
After getting out of shock due to today’s surprise interview with Dr. CV, I was able to focus and write a bigger outline of what to do. Let me elaborate:
– Table of contents has better definition, I have a clearer path of what I’m doing, and what I should have ready for my advisor.
– I improved my problem statement, but I still need to add more details to why it is important. Why in the World does Dr. CV care about my research?
– Started the Methods section, and expanded it as a step-by-step procedures list, that will be explained in more detail in the Proposed Study section.
I feel much better with where this is going. Tomorrow: work on Proposed Study, maybe Expected Contributions.
Hector, I’m still recovering from the “shock.” You really have a positive spirit, and it sounds like you got a lot accomplished today. Congrats! Keep up the good work 🙂
Thanks Iona, it was more of a reality check, and feeling that things are actually progressing. You had a great interview, you adapted to the curveball. Keep up the good work.
Good morning everyone.
Today is the end of Dissertation House (at least the f2f meetings). However, this experience represents the beginning of a more structured and disciplined path towards my dissertation. We still have some hours together to work today… So, my objective is to complete the notes section, add some information to the outline (based on those notes), and start reading a chapter on Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (which I will use for my methods section).
Goal for today: get another 2 sections started (Expected Contributions, Future Work), and start editing or making prettier previous sections. Keep up the good work today people!
Good Morning! I didn’t have a chance to chime in yesterday but the day went well. I spent a lot of time editing and didn’t realize the time until I left. I felt drained by the end of the day. I was able to edit two aims. I’m beginning to feel proud of my first edit.
Today I will edit the critical need section of my proposal and clean up the last aim. I need to verify that my references are strong enough and add preliminary data that I have. I plan to spend some time today editing and I hope to send it off to my advisor. I’ll keep you all posted. Good luck today!
Excellent Sossena. Thank you for joining again today. Sending something off to your advisor today will be a great end to the week!
Goals for the day: Continue working on my Experimental Chapter 🙂
Good luck to everyone!!
Here is a link to a literature chart, similar to the one Dr. Carter-Veale discussed. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CDEQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwritingcenter.waldenu.edu%2FDocuments%2FScholarly-Writing%2FLiterature_Review_Matrix_Template.doc&ei=u8yfVeSkLcjn-QGJqYKABQ&usg=AFQjCNHSo4n5DM_BWo7W09U76vAEFL8rQQ&sig2=hKlCdmBjN6R62mYNPhQwRA
I hope it helps!
Thanks for sharing!
See Dr. Carter-Veale’s resources on the website: http://www.tadafinallyfinished.com/index.html
My plan for today changed after meeting with Dr. C-V, which was a great thing! I am working on getting more organized and outlining my pilots.
I just submitted my draft of my proposal to my advisor today! I am happy and nervous all at once. I spent a lot of time on it so he should be able to offer good feedback for the next few revisions to make it stronger. A few steps closer to proposing in the early fall.
I finished ALL of my goals for today!! I’m proud of the work I’ve managed to accomplish this week, and excited that I have direction and tools to keep moving forward beyond DH. 🙂
Thanks Dr. Carter & Dr. Tull!!
I was able to add/edit my Background/Intro section, and I also worked on my Methods. I feel comfortable with my progress, from having nothing written up before this week to actually having some sections (from my point of view almost completed) along with a solid outline of what needs to be done. Goal: finish/polish sections after meeting with my advisor, make sure everything is on track.
Good luck everyone, keep in touch, and let’s get this thing done! Have a great weekend!
Sorry to everyone that I couldn’t make it on Friday — life interfered. But, my goal of finishing Chapter 3 DID get done by Friday afternoon. Even though I could only make it for one day, Dissertation House was a wonderful experience for me, and truly helped me make the leap from research to writing that I hoped it would. Thanks, and good luck, to everyone!
Congrats on getting Chapter 3 done! I’m going to try to create some Google Hangout opportunities for folks to get together virtually and work for 1-2 hours at a time. Accountability and companionship kind of thing. If you’re interested, let me know!
Well, I’m still at it! I’ve decided to go ahead and adjust the models a little bit with the new information that I’m learning about the methodology. I’d rather do it now than have to explain why I didn’t do it, later, you know?
I took Saturday off, but worked last night, and am working tonight even though tired. I’m thinking of putting a giant sticky note over the dining room table so I have some inspiration!
Onward, Dissertation Hut!*
*Mini blocks of time devoted to writing and applying what was learned during the house. My strategy for coping/finishing/ultimate victory.
I love the “Dissertation Hut” idea – I don’t think I’ll ever have the luxury of a full dissertation house! But even if I did, I am not sure if I could sustain the motivation to write write write throughout a day, let alone multiple days in a row. I find my little DHs are pretty productive when mixed with other tasks…. I hope your DH strategy works well for you too!
Hi everyone ~ Back to more writing today! I have a block of 2.5 hours to really focus on writing on the horizon, and I’d like to have a rough (rough!) draft of 3 discussion paragraphs that I have outlined. If I am on a role and things go well, there’s more discussion paragraphs to do. A good goal for today!
Good news: I wrote 2 solid first-draft discussion paragraphs, and 4 paragraphs in the methods. Now, time for the rest of the day’s non-writing activities!
That’s awesome! Enjoy your non-writing stuff, it’s well earned!
Today I plan to work adding more subsections to my literature review. I will carve out an hour to do that later today. This morning I am going to work on a journal article that is in draft mode. I plan to edit the introduction and materials and methods.
Today’s block of writing time will be devoted to knocking out the remaining few sentences of the methods section (should be quick) and writing a very rough draft of the results section. Good luck to everyone else with their writing goals today!
methods = done
results = 3 paragraphs done, appx 1 more to go (tomorrow). Progress!
Writing goal for this morning: 1) write two more paragraphs on my “research statement” I’m preparing for job prospects (more would be great!), and 2) write two more paragraphs of the results section of my dissertation chapter 3/manuscript.
Updated the research statement with three paragraphs; decided to work on it more tonight because I want to have a couple people give a read-through before I begin applying for jobs. Now, onto the manuscript’s results section! Big day…
Found an error in one of my manuscript tables & spent some time investigating and correcting. As a consequence, I didn’t quite meet my goal of wrapping up the results section writing, but I’m glad I discovered the error!
Great ! keep going 🙂
Hi everyone ! Special hi to my friends who just completed DH with me at UMBC. I made some progress since the DH but not as much as I wanted. I was wondering if anyone wanted to meet up in the library and just write? We commit to some time everyday and we stick to our goals! Would anyone be interested? It would be a Dissertation/Proposal support group ,lol 🙂
Would love to! I can generally make it Monday or Thursday evenings, or Sunday during the day. Otherwise, I can join you all virtually (we can make a Google hangout or something?)
(This is Evan P by the way, not sure how it’s going to display when it posts).
Hi Arya – This is a great idea! I’m an early morning writer, so I doubt my schedule will mesh with other folks’ schedules, virtual or in-person. But, if you do work out some group times, let me know and maybe I’ll have a wild hair to meet up at some point. Good luck!
Hi Evan and Molly
Could you email me at email@example.com. This way the communication will be much easier to find a time for us to meet in the library if possible.
Today’s going to be pretty intense! Done a TON of research the last week+, and pulling it all together now into an exec summary for some key members of the committee. Then take a 2-day breather… and then dive into writing the first two chapters while they read. This is going to be HARD. CORE. RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHH!
(Yeah I need to get pumped up a little bit).
Goals for today: finish/polish results section, write 3 bad/rough draft paragraphs in Research Statement, generate 2 revised figures for publication.
Finished the results section and wrote my rough draft paragraphs in my Research Statement, and generated 1 of the 2 figures for publication. I also polished my cover letter, got feedback, and re-polished it — it is now good to go for the first round of job apps! Today’s goals are to: 1) finish draft of research statement, 2) write 2 good paragraphs in the discussion section of the manuscript, 3) get a draft of the teaching statement down on paper (1/2 done already). Annnnnnnnnnnd, go!
Writing machine: completed job application materials (cover letter, research/teaching statements, CV) that can be tweaked for differetn institutions, drafted introduction of manuscript and part of discussion. Tomorrow’s goal: finish a rough draft of the discussion so that the entire manuscript is all on paper (in some form or another).
Great job molly!
Today my goal is to complete aim 1 of my upcoming meeting document! Will not sleep until goal is completed!!
I got really de-railed yesterday with a series of meetings and interruptions and didn’t meet my goals. Today will be different! Writing Goals:
~finish last 3 paragraphs of discussion
~draft last paragraph in introduction
~revise teaching statement to incorporate suggested comments
On Monday, I wrote the Introduction chapter (~8 pages)! Yesterday, despite being EXTREMELY tired, I wrote the “Policy History” chapter! (~10 pages!) Yep, that’s TWO chapters, in two days!
Tonight/tomorrow/Friday I’m writing the Lit Review, but that may not go as quickly since I really want to expand and reorganize what I did for the proposal. We’ll see though! It’s my goal to finish it (and deliver all 3 chapters to my advisor) on August 1. Maaaaybe Aug 2, but not later!
Wow, way to crank!
Question for group:
I like setting measurable goals to help structure my writing like, “Write 2 paragraphs by 10am.” I have trouble after I get a full rough draft down on paper, when it comes to the editing stage — it’s hard for me to set a measurable goal for editing because it seemingly never ends. I can edit forever! Any tips/recs for setting good editing goals?
Today is Saturday, day 2 of the Summer Success Institute Dissertation House. Yesterday’s session started at 5 PM with a presentation by Dr. Wendy Carter. I was reminded to take ownership of my research – “it’s all about me” and “I’m the project manager”. This is huge! Last night I completed the 2 things I wanted to do, the Table of Contents and References. Today I will continue to work on my Methodology and Data Analysis. Looking forward to another productive day.
Hi everyone, my name is Detbra Rosales I am a graduate student at UMES in the MEES program, Last night I finished my first draft of my methods and I created a primer table. Today I will work on completing my introduction of table of contents.
Good Morning! Last night I made progress on the current manuscript I am working on. My initial goal was to revise the results section and I was able to do so along with modifying most of my tables, abstract, and some of the introduction. Today, my goal is to create an outline of my dissertation (detailed outline for intro) and find a link to connect my thesis and auxiliary projects.
Good Morning Everyone
I am ready for a productive day today … and I am feeling “charged up” and ready to go. Today I plan to finish my objectives/goals that I listed last night and as well practice for my proposal defense.
My name is Kristen Lycett and I am a PhD Candidate (as of June 2015) in the Marine Estuarine Environmental Science program at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
In the Dissertation House last night, I finished writing my current methods (knowing there will probably be some more as I finish up all my specific aims) and worked on restructuring my proposal paper to be the back bone of my thesis defense.
Today, I hope to check in with Dr. Wendy Carter about setting up my Table of Contents, as well as expanding my literature review.
I am currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and I am looking forward to today’s progress. Thus far, I have been able to revamp my proposal outline (aims 1 & 2) and today I plan to start writing in each section. A rough draft will be started and prepared for edits before midnight.
I’m Joey Brown. I’m in the sociology department at UMCP. I am in the preproposal stage and am trying to pin down three research questions for my 3 papers. Today, I will be working on developing my research question for my third paper. I will identify and read two articles related to my research questions. Lastly, I will also put together a table of contents for the dissertation proper .
Hello friends! I’m ready for another productive day of writing. I’m working on a first author publication and I hope to finish the results section this weekend.
Looking forward to another day of grinding this writing out. Greatly productive session last night, I’m glad I joined Dissertation House.
So excited to be at the Dissertation workshop; our dissertation coach, Dr. Wendy Carter is a phenomenal presenter. This is going to be a life changing experience.
Hello all, This is great. Last night we posted what we wanted to accomplish while here. This is holding all of accountable to ‘get er done.’ and guess what I am getting it done. Thanks for the help. I am motivated and ready to go.
Good Morning Folks,
Hervens here from rehabilitation science and technology department at the University of Pittsburgh. This is day 2 of dissertation house/SSI weekend, and today I plan to work on reorganizing my literature review. 1) Going back to my literature (LR) spreadsheet 2) create some additional columns in literature (LR) spreadsheet 3) merge similar studies to write the following paragrahs 4) Opening paragraph 5) Learning barriers paragraphs 5a) acceptance of instructors and peers 5b) course materials paragraph 6)Equipment barriers paragraph
UMB Graduation Deadlines
Hoping that everyone made it home to their destinations safely. I am excited about everything that I learned at the Dissertation House and the Promise Summer Success program.
It is my goal today to follow-up with potential study participants by email later today and to write one to pages on relational leadership and add it the literature review section.
Let us all commit to working on our dissertation or thesis at least 15 minutes per day! Best success to everyone!
Hello fellow DH participants. It was an unforgettable experience sharing and working with all of you. The Dissertation House set us up for undeniable success. Today’s goal is to complete the revisions and updates to the theoretical framework, research design and methodology chapters. Wishing all a productive day!
Hey turned in a draft today of the paper I wrote at the dissertation house. Did you get your 15 minutes in today?
Good for you Cicely! That is great news! And, yes. I got my 15 minutes in + ! Going to get some rest and literally, can’t wait to get back at it in the morning. Hoping you get great feedback on your paper!
Good Morning All:
On my way back from my Aunt’s funeral in North Carolina today. I really wish I could have done more work on my paper since returning from the Dissertation House. However, I did listening to youtube on research methodology yesterday. It is my hope to send emails out to conference contacts when I return home this evening.
I hope everyone is making good progress!
I’ve been absent from the blogging but I said I was going to commit to at least blogging once a week. With that being said I have successfully defend and passed my proposal defense and I am officially a candidate. I plan to start the process of working on the dissertation immediately.
Congratulations Kristin on your accomplishment! It really is one step at a time. It was my hope to send out email to contacts from the Promise SSI as potential participants in my study. But I did get on tonight to commit to sending them out in the morning.
I’m so excited to see folks still blogging since the last DHouse. Even the smallest of goals can keep you going. And of course, congrats to those who have turned in a submission, finished a chapter, or defended a proposal successfully! Cheering for you!
Remember: While the light is green, go!
It is time to start writing again. Is anyone writing?
Sossena, hello! Technically, people aren’t taking a full break, but blogging is about to be in full force again October 16. Don’t let that stop you. Write and post!
Pingback: Dissertation House @UMBC & Dissertation Retreat @UMDGradSchool – Oct. 16-17, + Blogging for all! | PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP
Welcome to the 2015 Dissertation House for Employees and Non-traditional students online! All you have to do to get started is post your goals for the week. Who will be first? We welcome you! The UMBC in-person participants will be “here” on Friday, October 16th, but you don’t need to wait for them. Go ahead … start now!
Excited to continue working on my dissertation! Hopefully, I can complete the first draft of Part I of my Lit Review.
Good morning everyone! Wishing all the best of luck on writing your dissertation! 🙂
Hoping to kick start the road to my proposal defense this semester! During the next two days, I plan to finish the background section and edit the literature review so I can send a draft to my committee chair to review and comment.
Time to propose! On the road to getting “married”.
Welcome to day 1 of Employee DH at UMBC.
We have a small group of non-traditional students and employees dedicated to working on their proposals and dissertations. A good dissertation is a done dissertation. Start with a deadline and do something daily to move the dissertation forward.
Hello! Still plugging away here – I’ve got a first draft finished of 3 chapters, and should be finishing the 4th this weekend. Then only one more to go! (Plus appendices, plus comments/revisions, plus defense). But still – almost done!
Was able to add three more pages! Background section is almost complete. Lit review needs a LOT more work than I thought, but I got some good suggestions from Dr. Carter, so I will be meeting with the reference librarian on the way out tonight!
I hope you are able to find another committee member to finalize that portion of you list of things to do. Have you finished the background as of today Thursday? Keep the progress going.
Hello everyone, feeling great after meeting with Dr. Carter. Now working from a strong outline. Can’t wait until tomorrow!
Now that you are back on your campus, how is the proposal ideas coming? Are you able to write a 3 page prospectus now that we have explored possible topics? Have someone look at your 3 pager before you go all the way to a full blown proposal.
Productive. There is an outline. Looking for the “elusive” title.
Victor I hope that you were able to leave the DH and start writing up the suggestions that we discussed. Stay in touch we would love to hear what’s next in your proposal writing process.
Didn’t finish the full draft of my Lit Review but I’m halfway through it and have some good notes for the rest of it!
Ready for a another productive day tomorrow!
Hello everyone: This was an amazing opportunity to define the scope of the literature review to support a Master’s level research paper for the domain of Cybersecurity. Very grateful for the opportunity. Plan to return tomorrow morning.
Olivia, I was a pleasure working with you in the DH. I hope that you have made another step in narrowing down that cyber topic further. I did manage to purchase the security software your recommended. Thank you.
Ready for another productive day at the dissertation house! Hope to finish the background section and dive into the lit review. Realized there is much to be done before I can defend the proposal, but I now have a plan of action. Thanks, Dr. Carter!
Here again. Looking forward to practicing the art of proposal writing.
Good morning Colleagues: Looking forward to another opportunity to narrow the literature review for Mobile ad hoc Networks (MANETs).
Good morning everyone. Day 2! We made it! Let’s keep working towards our goals. Best of luck!
Good morning everyone! Wishing all the best of luck on their writing for Day 2 of Dissertation House! 😀
Write down what you do know. [ Look up later what you do not.]
Had an informative one-on-one with Dr. Carter this morning. The key to graduating by your deadline is preparation. Know how much time you have (the actual number of days) and plan accordingly.
I’m feeling refreshed and ready to get back to work!
Here is a great free time management app to keep you in line and focused on getting your work done. https://www.rescuetime.com/
Thanks Pearl for posting this for everyone. Managing time is an important part of PhD completion.
Going back to basics is important. The strategies to write paragraphs and tie them together were quite useful to me. The grid to document and organize literature is something else I can walk away from feeling accomplished. Thanks, Dr. Carter!
Today was [very] important. The boundary of the problem has been defined. An answer to “So what?” has been found.
Hello everyone! I’m sorry that I missed seeing you in person, but I’m so pleased to see the progress. Best wishes to you as you move toward your goals!