Congratulations on migrating to our dissertation house blog page – Winter Challenge 2019.  Welcome to Winter Dissertation House at UMB and UMBC. If you are here you’re in the right place.  This is your page to make the most of your experience here. You can get your dissertation finished in 2019 with daily progress.

Welcome to the Dissertation House On-line, Winter 2019 season! This page will be active from January 2019 – June 2019.  We had so many graduates this year! 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 July Dissertation House.

Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale is your “Head Coach.” Dr. Carter-Veale will be conducting “in-person” Dissertation Houses at UMB and UMBC January 2019. Our pre-registered participants are required to blog daily during their time in the Dissertation House and are encouraged to continue blogging until they finish their dissertations.

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 something that we said before, because it is both important and true: 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. These grads are now professors, working in non-profits, industry, and have had postdocs throughout the global academic community (e.g., France, South Africa, Egypt.)

If you have joined us in the past, come back again if you are still working on your document. We’re still here, and we’ll still be part of the community that will cheer you on! Post your goals for the next six months on this page. You’re not alone, this is your online community. Focus on completion. As coach Dr. CV says “A good dissertation is a done dissertation.”


146 responses to “Winter 2019 Challenge”

  1. Welcome to the 2019 Dissertation House. There is plenty of snow in MD this year. This year, graduate students from the University of Maryland, Baltimore will be the first to join the 2019 Winter challenge. Those of you who have been to the DH before can join us early. Next week, I will be at UMBC. Why wait for an invitation to get started on your dissertation. Start this week and see how much you can get done in the next 3 days. In the morning we start at 9am sharp. No excuses. Will you be there or will you join us online?

    1. Welcome to Day 1 of the DH at UM, Baltimore. We are a small group but a group with many ambitious goals. We got it started on time at the SMC center in Baltimore. Please post your goals here for the next few days before the semester really start.

      1. Hello, Kim here. I plan on getting a robust outline and calendar of deadlines completed (and shared with my advisor), inserting tables, figures, and placeholders for my dissertation, and getting my first chapter written and sent to my advisor before the end of the month. Additionally, I was asked to share the dissertation title page template (from UMB) with you all, so the page is below and the .doc can be downloaded directly from it.

        1. Thanks Kim for providing the link and for really getting started in the DH today. Keep it moving forward daily. Looking forward to seeing you again the morning.

    2. Hello! Glad to be back for the 2nd time. 1st time for my proposal now my dissertation. I am a 5th year in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health-Gerontology concentrating in policy. Today, I wanted to summarize my themes in a codebook for my mentor and send that out to her for feedback and start my outline for the specific aims in chapter format. I finished goal 1 for today and will start goal 2 tomorrow. Happy writing!

      1. Congrats Jamila on moving your dissertation forward today. Celebrate the small victories.
        You are almost done. Stay focus and you can be done in 2019.

      2. Hello! Back for Day 2 of bootcamp, today I accomplished my goal of creating an outline for my dissertation, specifically Aim 1-4 results chapters and the overall discussion chapter. I will have a total of 8 chapters for my project. Tomorrow, I plan on working on the introductions for each section results sections: Aim 1, 2, 3, and 4.

        1. Hello! Back for Dissertation House after attending Dissertation Boot Camp at UMB last week. Today I accomplished 2 out of 3 goals. I incorporated feedback from my mentor and revised my theoretical framework. Tomorrow, I am going to start the day by reading through my theory section again, then I’m going to spend the morning changing my proposal to past tense for my dissertation.

  2. Greetings to all who are joining us at UMB! We are happy to have you with us this week! I join you virtually while Dr. CV coaches you in person. Please take advantage of this opportunity to focus on your goal. There are others from UMB who have gone through this process, and yes … they now have PhDs (some have MDs as well.) The process works. Our method is based on the published “Dissertation House Model” which was acknowledged at UC Berkeley last year:

    Good luck to all! I look forward to reading your updates. Welcome!

    Renetta Tull

    1. Thank you Dr. Tull for blogging in. Safe travels.

  3. Hello! So glad to be participating in this event! My goals are as follows:
    1. Determine chapter organization
    2. Create table of contents
    3. Write up methods
    4. Create/organize figures and tables
    5. Generate figure/table summaries for a future results section
    6. Write abstracts

    Today, I was able to complete the first two goals and I am about 75% of the way done with goal #3

    1. Also…I am a 5th year at UMB in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department. I am working on my disseration

    2. Good for you Devin
      Congrats on being able to cross something off that ambitious list. Nice.

  4. Today the DH had a visit from a Writing Fellow from the Writing Center whose presentation focused on the “active vs. passive voice”. She said if you can add “by zombies” at end of the sentence and it still makes sense then it is passive voice. For example: This blog was written by zombies= passive voice. We wrote this blog by zombies (doesn’t make sense)= active voice.

    Day 2 of the DH at UMB begins tomorrow. Tomorrow we begin with “Managing the Literature Review” in the morning and “Managing Your Relationship with Your Advsor” in the afternoon. Good luck everyone.

  5. Welcome to day 2 of the Day 2 of the DH. Formatting the dissertation is a time-consuming necessary task. Every university has formatting guidelines that you must embrace to be truly finished. A good dissertation is a done dissertation. A done dissertation is one that is formatted to your specific university’s guidelines. Here is the link out UMBC’s Dissertation Template in Microsoft Word and Latex. If you don’t want to start from scratch, download ours and then reformat ours to your own institution’s guidelines.

  6. Yesterday’s session was so helpful. These types of sessions should be a requirement of universities; maybe this way, more people would complete their doctoral degrees.

    While the pace that I am moving is not the one that I would like; I am making progress. It is great to have someone looking over your shoulder and saying “hey that makes no sense, re-think that” or “are you out of your mind that is too informal”; keeping things real!!!

    I simply love these dissertation houses. I wish that I could pack them up in my pocket and carry them with me for the duration of this journey!


  7. A lot more progress was made! These sessions are truly helpful and I have completed my schedule, sent that to my advisor, and my table of contents is complete. Even though I’m juggling other lab responsibilities at the moment, I’m still able to get this outline done and will be able to start plugging in my data and methods right away. I am VERY appreciative of the one-on-one advice and support!

    1. Hello Kim
      How is day 1 of your day back after the DH? Have you incorporated any new working strategies? Check in, we would love to hear from you.

  8. Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale Avatar
    Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale

    Good Morning All
    Today is the last day of the DH. I has been a pleasure working at UMB this week. I met some incredible women who are working hard to finish their PhD. Keep up the good work.

  9. Good morning everyone,

    Thank you for being here on our first chilly day of Dissertation House @ UMBC! We have a large group of graduate students, so this means we will see lots of goals accomplished by the end of our week. You will receive great advice from our writing coach, Dr. CV will make sure those thoughts are landed and that we get you to where you need to be —> done dissertation!

  10. Good morning!
    I’m excited to be here, and eager to get some work done. My goals for today are to:
    (1) Run the new regression model
    (2) Check the submission guidelines for TPR
    (3) Write the story/outline for my article for Paper 1 of my dissertation

  11. Good morning PhD bunnies,
    This is my third time at dissertation house and I am closer to propose than ever! thank to PROMISE. For this week I am editing chapter 4 in my proposal:
    1- write a page in the related work.
    2- edit topic modeling section.
    3- reading 2-3 papers, add them to the excel sheet.
    4- write results of the classifier we built this winter.

  12. Denise N. Williams Avatar
    Denise N. Williams

    Good Morning Winter Dissertation House 2019!

    I am ready to dedicate this week to making major progress on four specific task:
    1. 2nd Publication: finishing results section, discussion section, and compiling the document to send to PI for review
    2. Spring 2019 Symposiums: Writing and sending an abstract to two symposiums
    3. Collaborations: Compiling and sending data to collaborators and our backup database to move forward with projects and publications
    4. Independent Proposal: compile a list of ideas, and write an abstract for at least two to send to PI

    Today, I specifically would like to finish the results and discussion sections of the publication and and use the independent proposal work as ‘zombie’ tasks when necessary,

    I hope everyone makes remarkable progress on this first day of Dissertation House!

  13. Day 1 of Winter 2019 Dissertation House @ UMBC:
    I have successfully written down goals that I will accomplish this week. The one thing I realized that is important for me to accomplish is to come up with a graduation timeline to ensure no deadlines are missed and I turn in all required materials and documents in a timely fashion. Ready to get this week of Dissertation Writing started!

  14. Good Morning everyone,
    Today my plan is to read 2 journal papers

    1. Today I have read the first paper I wanted to read and almost finish with my second paper.

      1. Welcome Wajanat

        Welcome to the DH. Good to hear that you read 1 out of your 2 papers. Tomorrow you should be able to pick up where you left off.

  15. Good morning everyone!

    I am happy to be joining you all for dissertation house. I have two major tasks for today:
    1) Address the revisions required for my IRB application
    2) Clean my literature review and add the suggested citations from my committee.
    I will be going back and forth between tasks when I need a break from one or the other. My advisor is expecting an update on the IRB revisions by the end of next week so I am definitely being driven by a hard deadline. Good luck to everyone this week and beyond!

    1. Hello Erika Welcome to day 1 of the DH. Good to see that you have a plan A and B. How did today go? I didn’t see a update at the end of the day. I look forward to hearing if you were able to complete the IRB form. Did you hit submit or will you still be working on some more of it tomorrow? Good luck.

  16. Online today, thank you for the opportunity! Dissertation writing, data analysis

    1. Hey Will,
      Welcome to Day 1 of the DH. Good to see you on line. So were you able to accomplish today. Please give us an update and also let us know what you will be working on tomorrow.

      1. I was successfully in inputting quotes from data analysis into chapter four. Wednesday’s goal is to write the conclusion for chapter four draft.

  17. Hello everyone,
    Today I plan to read 2 – 3 paper.

    1. Hello Nada, Welcome to the DH good to see that you have a small concrete goal. I did not see your results at the end of the day. Did you finish the 3 papers or were you just able to complete 2? Check in tomorrow and let us know.

  18. I was able to achieve today’s goal. I reviewed three papers and add it to the literature review chapter. Tomorrow,I plan to edit topic modeling (LDA) section.

    1. Hello Researcher, Welcome to the DH. Congrats on adding to the literature review. We look forward to your updates here tomorrow to see how the editing went. Progress not perfection = a PhD.

  19. Denise N. Williams Avatar
    Denise N. Williams

    Good Evening,
    I am blogging out for Day 1.
    I chose to switch my zombie activity and actually finished some databasing for a collaborator instead of IP topic drafting. For my publication, I finished the results and most of the discussion. Tomorrow I plan to read over what I have written to strengthen the Discussion section and compile the figures and text into a document to send my PI tomorrow.

    Looking forward to Day 2!

    1. Denise, Thank you for blogging. I am glad that you are making progress on your dissertation. I hope that you can create an outline for the IP especially if you have an idea of what you want to focus on. See you in the morning.

  20. Hi all,
    Today I:
    (1) Tried to run the new regression model (got stuck on this….womp, womp….waiting to get a response from my stats advisor).
    (2) Checked the submission guidelines for TPR
    (3) Write the story/outline for my article for Paper 1 of my dissertation
    (4) Edited the method section
    (5) Started on the introduction. I will continue with the introduction tomorrow morning.

    1. Mariana, Welcome to the DH. Congrats on getting something done. Good for you. It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation. Let’s keep it moving forward. See you in the morning.

  21. I have my Graduation Timeline in front of me, thanks to Dr. Carter! Today I was writing section on materials and methods for Chapter 3 of my dissertation, made notes on what needs to be added (homework for today), looking forward to continue tomorrow!

    1. Evgenia, Welcome to the DH. Congrats on getting some writing done and getting a realistic schedule completed. Now everyday has a purpose that gets you one step closer to the PhD. See you in the morning.

  22. Day 1 of Dissertation House has concluded. I have made progress on updating my methods and data analysis plan. I also submitted my PhD final committee nomination form to my Chair to submit to the Graduate School. This form is due 6 months before my final defense. Tomorrow I will continue to work on incorporating the revisions given to me by my committee members that relate directly to my methods and data analysis plan.

    1. Welcome to the DH UMBC_PhDivah. Congrats on getting that form into the Grad School, well done. Glad that you were able to stay focus and get it done. Check, cross it off the list and move on. Looking forward to seeing you do something similar tomorrow.

  23. Today I wanted to collect and read some papers for the LR and I was able to read and write a short summary of 12 papers

    1. Welcome to the DH. Congrats J getting 12 short summaries complete. You must have been moving through them pretty quickly. Good for you.

  24. Day 1 of the Winter Dissertation House is over. The Winter DH is full. We have a large contingent from the Information Systems/Computer Science/and Human Centered Computing Dept. Fantastic!

    In the morning, we set our goals and talked about the importance of setting a realistic schedule. We focused on creating a to-do list of “Zombie activities” for days when you don’t feel like writing or when the prose is not flowing. The 15 min items include, Cover page, acknowledgement page, 5 citations, references, Tables, Figures etc.

    In the afternoon, the 2 mini-lectures focused on Managing Your Advisor, and Preparing for the Defense. In the morning, we will continue this discussion on Preparing for the Defense and Knowing What your limitations are. I am looking forward to seeing everyone. Though, we had some hiccups this morning with some people strolling in late, I have high expectations that we will correct that situation tomorrow. We will hit reset and start another day at 9am. See you all in the morning.

  25. Welcome to Day 2 of UMBC’s Dissertation House.
    I got here early this morning to avoid the traffic coming up 95. Today should be another productive day for all of you working on your proposals or dissertations. Keep in mind that you are creating an operable with your dissertation not a BMW. A good dissertation is a done dissertation.

    As a PhD candidate and graduate student it is your responsibility (not your advisor’s) to keep tack of the requirements, forms, and deadlines for graduation.
    Looking for the a Microsoft or Latex Template to format your dissertation? Here it like to UMBC’s official *doc file.

  26. Thinking about graduating? Keep up with the requirements. In addition to finishing the dissertation you need to know what form is required and when it is due.

    For example, at UMBC there are at least 9 forms to fill out if you want walk across the stage to get the doctoral degree.

    1.Application for Admission to Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy [DOC | PDF]
    2.Nomination of Members for the Final Doctoral Dissertation Examination Committee [DOC | PDF]
    Due 6 months prior to defense
    3.Online Application for Diploma [Info | Apply]
    4.Certification of Readiness to Defend the Doctoral Dissertation [DOC | PDF]
    Due 2 weeks prior to defense
    5. PhD Defense Announcement [DOC | PDF]
    6. Approval Sheet [DOC | PDF]
    7. Thesis and Dissertation Electronic Publication form [DOC | PDF]
    Due November 30; April 30; July 31 (Fall, Spring, Summer)
    9. Ph.D. Exit Survey [ Info ]

    1. Thank you for posting this Dr. Carter-Veale. After my coaching session with you I made myself a chart with all of my tailored dates to keep me on track!

  27. Denise N. Williams Avatar
    Denise N. Williams

    Good Morning,
    My primary goal for Day 2 is to submit a full publication draft to my PI. For my secondary activity, I will be editing a paper for which I am second author on through a collaboration.

  28. Good morning!!

    I am very happy to be a part of the Winter 2019 dissertation house and make this break more productive. I am working toward a big milestone in my dissertation which is the proposal, and will do it Spring 2019 on April.

    Yesterday, I did some cleaning of a new dataset. Today, I am going to write up the results of the analysis for two old datasets which are on hold for loooong time. I am going also to decide which journal to consider for this analysis result and think about what the main hgihglights are I can incorporate in the draft. Yes!! let’s make this happen!!!!!!!!!!

    Thank you!!!

  29. Good morning,
    I wrote a page of literature review into social media analysis chapter. Today, I am editing the topic model (LDA) section and add chart/figures to the documents.

    Good Luck Everyone!

  30. Good morning all,
    Today I am finishing my second article from yesterday and reading 2 new ones today.

    1. I am done with 2 articles and started on the third one.

  31. Day 2 of Dissertation House: After listening to the last 2 mini-lectures, I need to re-evaluate and re-write my goals for the week. I definitely had too many things on my list. Today I will re-write goals and focus on updating my Methods by looking closely at my variables in my dataset.

  32. Good morning!
    Blogging in for Day 2. Today I will:
    (1) Try to finish the regression model
    (2) Start working on a lit review excel table to track my articles.

  33. Good afternoon! Today, I was able to finish formatting my new TOC and I organized my chapters with the correct content. For example, taking the methods from the proposal section and pasting them into the new methods section of my dissertation. I also finished editing my theory from yesterday. Tomorrow, I will work on changing my language from future tense to past tense, introductions, and tables.

  34. Wednesday:
    Goal today is to write chapter 4 draft conclusion. I was able to accomplish this today.

    Tomorrow/Thursday and Friday:
    I plan to do the TOC for chapter 5 and begin the first draft of introduction and discussions sections.

  35. Today was very productive. I received some great feedback during my 1 on 1 time with Dr. Carter-Veale. I was able to outline 1 1/2 out of 5 measures I will be using in my data analyses. I also created a table of contents and a graduation timeline.
    Tomorrow I will continue to outline my measures to be used in my data analyses.

  36. Denise N. Williams Avatar
    Denise N. Williams

    Good Evening Everyone,

    At 442pm today, I emailed the publication draft to my mentor. So I have accomplished the bulk of this task until I get revisions back!
    Tomorrow I plan to outline an IP and read the paper I will be submitting with a collaborator.
    Till Tomorrow..

  37. I am still working on my literature review. Today I was reading some papers and writing short summaries in order to prepare a draft for the LR.

    1. How is the Lit review coming? Are you doing an annotative bibliography?

      1. Yes, I am still working on it

  38. I’ve edited topic modeling section and I add to the literature review (half a page). Tomorrow I will continue working on the literature review.

  39. I was able to narrow down my potential hypotheses for the three topics I have to come up with. I will be doing the titles and plan to start laying out the abstract content for them.

  40. I completed results and discussion for chapter 3 (for results I have up to date)! Moving on to write chapter 2.

    1. Glad to hear about your process keep moving it forward.

  41. Blogging out for Day 2.
    Continued (and made progress) with the regression analyses, and with my introduction.
    Tomorrow I will continue shaping the story for my introduction.

  42. Blogging out for Day 2:
    Participant breakdown – Would ask for recommendation on capturing experiences of participants, demographical differences in experiences to leadership roles.

    1. Hello Will Iam are you using a qualitative software such as Nvivo or Atlas TI to analyze your qualitative data or are you doing it manually by rereading and rereading and highlighting in different colors, making notes, etc.?

      1. Hi Dr. C.V.,
        I am using a qualitative data analysis software called MAXQDA (, it is similar to Nvivo. It has analytics functionalities which can be color coded and highlighted with note capabilities, importing of transcripts, images, etc.

  43. I accidentally blogged on the main dissertation house post yesterday, sorry about that!

    Today I was able write the descriptive statistics section of my Results section in the dissertation document with related tables and figures!!

    Boy, I can relate to not starting becasue I am overwhelmed with how much I have to do! But being here at the DH has provided me the impetus to get started and now I am on a roll!!! I can’t edit a page that hasn’t been written!

    Can’t wait to see what I accomplish tomorrow. I’d like to complete the Results write up for Research question 4. Someone keep me accountable!

    1. We have your back and will keep you accountable. Check back with us at the end of the day and let us know how writing up the result section went.

  44. Good morning! Blogging in for Day 3. Today I will continue with the introduction for paper 1.

  45. Denise N. Williams Avatar
    Denise N. Williams

    Good Morning Dissertation House,
    Today I would like to accomplish reviewing a paper with a collaborator, editing the supplementary information for my publication and outlining my Independent Proposal.

    1. Good goal for today; I would love to see that outline by the end of the day!

  46. Sending my advisor “chunks” of work today and letting him decide if we want it in or out. I’m going to let him know what to focus on to make his job of reading my writing easier.

  47. Good morning everyone,

    Today, I am going to write up the results of analysis for two old datasets. Wish me luck!!

    1. Good luck, as long as you continue working on data sets A & B and not the more familiar data set C.:) Continue to write a paragraph for each table you create.

  48. Today I am feeling more confident about my next steps for the revisions on my Methods section for my dissertation. My 1 on 1 session with Dr. Carter-Veale was extremely valuable and so helpful. Today I will continue with outlining the 5 measures needed for my Methods section. This includes noting how the measures are scored, the question numbers, and operationalizing the variables for which I will be using the measures.

    1. Go, go, go. UMBC_PhDivah It is great when you know what to do. It helps to speed up the process.

  49. Good morning! Blogging in for the third day of DH. Today I will continue reading about educational technology. Two or 3 papers.
    Thanks and good luck everyone.

  50. Good morning,
    So for today, I’ll continue working on the literature review that I started yesterday. I finished two papers so I may finish 2-3 more papers by the end of the day 🙂

    1. Baby steps are still steps, especially when they are moving you forward. I hope that you benefited from the presentation on organizing a literature review conducted yesterday in the DH. Keep up the good work.

  51. Welcome to day 3 of the 2019 Winter DH. We began the morning with several wonderful guests on our pretend TV show “The Good Morning DH Hour”. We learned a lot about each other’s research and about our ability to explain our research to a lay audience. We are looking forward to an afternoon filled with other interesting presentations along with a visit from the Dean of the Graduate School. We will be welcoming a new crop of “experts” to “The Good Afternoon DH Hour”.

  52. Hello all,
    Today I am planning to read one article and start the IRB application.

    1. Today I finished one article and worked on my framework. For tomorrow, I will continue working on the framework and the IRB application.

  53. Good afternoon,
    Day 3 blogging (January 24, 2019):
    I had the opportunity to participate in a three minutes talk about my topic. It provided an opportunity to gauge managing being on the spot and explaining my topic in a way that those not familiar with it could understand and follow it easily.

  54. Denise N. Williams Avatar
    Denise N. Williams

    Signing out for today.
    I finished edits to the collaboration paper, and compiling and forwarding data for a different collaboration. I began to brainstorm ideas for my Independent Proposal. The IP is brainstorm is where I plan to begin tomorrow.

  55. Productive day! was able to write literature review on papers I read (2 pages). Tomorrow I am going to write down results section on our classifier, that will help me to re-evaluate my reading list for the literature.

  56. Hello everyone! Today, I began the day by finishing proposal to dissertation, future to past tense language. Then, I start writing the chapter for my last aim, 4. With the help of language from my proposal I was able to finish the data source, methods, sample, sampling strategy, and data analysis section of the chapter. Tomorrow I am going to work on the thematic results of my study.

    1. Zombie activity: I created a cover letter for a job and submitted 1 job app today. I’m making it a goal to submit at atleast 1 job app per week from here on out.

      1. Jamila
        How long does it take you to send out 1 per week? Have you got the process down to a science?

  57. I got through the analysis of all my survey data and pasted it into the Results section.. Interview data tomorrow! Then I will be done with Research Question 4 results! RQ1-RQ3 still to go at a later date.

  58. Good afternoon,
    Blogging out for Day 3. I was able to finish the introduction, and started writing up the results and creating tables. Tomorrow I will continue to write the result section.

  59. Productive day today. Outlining my measures led me to realize that I was using the wrong data file for my data analysis. I was able to locate the correct data file and move forward with a few frequency data outputs. Tomorrow I will continue outlining my measures and becoming one with my data set.

  60. Today I was working on Chapter 2, which is the paper that I did together with my co-worker for publication. Today I was extracting my data from it and adding more info to it. Also, wrote two paragraphs with results that my PI was waiting to submit the publication, sent.

    1. Evgenia Congrats on getting your 2 paragraphs done! Go go.

  61. Today I started working on a draft for my LR. I wrote down the structure and what papers are going to be in each section and a short comparison of their methods.

  62. Good morning! Blogging in to Day 4 (last day) of the winter dissertation house. Today I will continue working on writing my results section and creating the corresponding tables and figures.
    May we all have a good and productive last day!

    1. Mariana I hope you join the Writing Accountability Group (WAG) in the morning.

  63. Denise N. Williams Avatar
    Denise N. Williams

    Good Morning Dissertation House,

    Today I am brainstorming IP, writing an abstract for a conference, and working on some data when I need a writing break.

    1. Hello Denise How is that outline for the IP coming? Cross it off your to-do list.

  64. Today I will be printing out my qualitative statements from research participants and linking them to the survey data regarding usability and usefulness of the technology we were evaluating.

    1. Rachel glad to see you have a working plan and 15 min a day will keep you going long after the DH is over.

  65. Today I will continue to work on outlining measures needed for data analyses. I have started a codebook to document these variables in my data set. I have also reached out to my advisor to let her know what my plan is for this semester and reached out to recruit extra social support needed to facilitate me finishing my dissertation by my December 2019 graduation date.
    Onward, upward, and forward…

    1. Good to see that you reached out to others for help.

  66. Last day of the DH.
    This morning we finished us our “Good Morning Hour”. We learned even more about other people’s research in the room. This afternoon we focused on How to draw boundaries around our writing time and more importantly how to say NO to requests from family,friends, colleagues, and advisor.
    Dr. Tull facilitated the Raw Drafting exercises for 10 minutes this afternoon.
    Many of you have made some good progress. Continue on the progress and or habits that you have made this week. Continue to blog about your progress; this is your website.

  67. Day 4 blogging,
    Another productive day surrounded be fellow scholars. During the “Good Morning Hour”, I had the opportunity to hear interesting research being studied by fellow doctoral students. In addition, It was very helpful to learn of ways and resources to prioritize my/our study and practicing focused writing technique such as the 20-minute writing block with the goal of saving edits for later.

    Moreover, I am following the practice of dedicating a fraction of each day to working on my dissertation (i.e. 15-30 minutes daily minimum). This reminds me of the African proverbs “how do you eat an elephant…one bite at a time”, context-specific to the dissertation, writing a minimum of 15-minutes a day (forward progression) will add up and facilitate getting done/defending/graduating.

  68. Denise N. Williams Avatar
    Denise N. Williams

    I am happy about by progress this Dissertation House. Today I accomplished submitting an abstract for a conference, starting a second abstract, and brainstorming some IP ideas. I touched every task I laid out for myself, and will be focusing on finishing the second abstract and more IP work this weekend. Next week I will be downloading the UMBC dissertation template and start moving my writings into it so that I can visualize the finish line.

  69. Wrapping up a very productive last day of Winter 2019 Dissertation House. I managed to get through outlining 1 of 5 of my measures that I’ll be using for my dissertation research data analyses. My data variable codebook is coming along nicely. The codebook has helped me to organize what data variables I will be using which will make it easier to revise my Methods section. Very pleased with all that I have accomplished this week. I’m very proud to have pushed through a week of intense dissertation writing while being 38 weeks pregnant.

  70. Blogging out of the last day of DH. Today I was able to continue with the resultts, create some new tables, and start the discussion section.

  71. Today I finished writing one section of my LR and I also worked on my TOC

  72. Amazing experience here at the DH this week! I made so much progress on my analyses and writing and another important aspect to note is that I got my motivation and “get it done” mindset back. This would not be without the coaching/mentoring of Dr. Carter-Veale and Dr. Tull.

    Excited to get this done this year and become Dr. Grice 🙂

    1. Rachel the future Dr. Grice

      We look forward to seeing you walking across the stage. It was a pleasure meeting you last week in the DH. Now that you’re back at work you have the tools to get it done even with a full-time job. Best of luck.

  73. Today I am working on the conclusions to the first of my three dissertation papers. I hope to finish my conclusions today and submit the paper to my chair on Sunday!

    1. I finished writing my conclusions to my paper! Tomorrow will be proof reading and then off to my chair for review.

  74. Today I will be working on:
    1. Finalize sermon for Sunday (joint sermon with a pastoral colleague), (9:30 am – 11:30 am)
    2. Post for Black Faculty & Staff Association (11:30 – 12:00)
    3. LLC 745 readings (1:00 – 3:00)
    4. LLC 744 literature review and prep (3:00 – 4:30)

    1. I pretty much stayed on tasked completed
      1. Finalize sermon for Sunday (joint sermon with a pastoral colleague), (9:30 am – 11:30 am) Done. Working on finalizing through google doc with a colleague.
      2. Post for Black Faculty & Staff Association (11:30 – 12:00) Done submitting this evening
      3. LLC 746 readings (1:00 – 3:00) completed
      4. LLC 701 literature review and prep (3:00 – 4:30) Got through two articles. Challenged on reading for understanding vs pulling necessary info.

      1. Michael Good for you.
        Glad to see that you made it to the WAG this weekend. You seemed to have accomplished a lot on Saturday. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help.

  75. Good morning! Today we are hosting our Writing Accountability Space, William Easley from Human Center Computing and Shawnisha Hester from the Department of Language, Literacy, and Culture will be hosting the in-person version. Please remember to blog your objectives of the day and blog out at the end of the day. I look forward to reading your blogs.

  76. Good morning everyone!
    My goal for today is to choose a research topic for my cybersecurity masters program. And start researching a little about the topic.

  77. Good Morning! My name is Jacki Stone and I am both a staff member at UMBC as well as Doctoral Candidate in Language, Literacy and Culture. Today I’ll be doing a lot of organizational work on my methods chapter as well as some administrative tasks related to my on-going interviews. My goal is feel confident about my the flow and content, have all participant responses tracked, and correspondence completed.

    1. I am 100% updated in all the tracking of my participant data and even was able to make some additional progress in some recruitment that still needed to happen. I did not do quite as much organizing in chapter 3, but rather added some rich textual support for what I’ve written so far. Additionally, I spent some time in my researcher’s journal and was able to make substantial contributions to content and organization. Thanks for making this space for those of us who are both working full-time and trying to make this Ph.D. magic happen! Best wishes to all of you!

      1. Jacki
        We are happy to make the space available and happy to see that you made use of it. Good to read about your progress as well. Try doing something on a daily basis even if it is just for 15 min a day.

  78. Hi everyone,
    I am Heera from Information Systems department, Human-Centered Computing.
    Today, I will be working on preparing for my comprehensive exam. I will practice writing to answer the three questions from previous comprehensive exams.

    1. So Heera
      How did the practice go? Try another practice without notes to see how well you know the information. Best of luck. Keep us posted.

  79. Hi,
    Yesterday I edited topic modeling section and today I will write discussion on the result of same section. I don’t expect to finish it today, a page would be a good start.

  80. Good morning,
    Day 5 of blogging at the Dissertation House Winter 2019. Today, I plan to work on my outline for chapter 5. Great to be amongst others in this phd journey. #LetsGetItDone

  81. Good afternoon! My name is Ade.

    I am a 3rd year Ph.D. student in the Human-Centered Computing program @ UMBC. I have taken a pause from working on my systematic review to (also) prepare for my comprehensive exam. I will summarize and synthesize four (minimum) papers from my exam’s reading list. It roughly takes me one hour per paper, so I think four is reasonable. I will then (attempt to) rap the evening up with completing one practice question.

    Woot Woot, Heera! Here we go!

    1. Ade,
      keep going, you got it! green white green!

      1. Ade, Thanks for checking in. Long time no hear from how is your research writing going? We missed you in the DH this year.

    2. Hello, Ade, it’s good to see you on the blog. I like that you know how long it takes you to do 1. Will I see you at NSBE this year? Bring others with you.

  82. Day 5 accomplishments:
    My name is William Etti, I am a 7th year Ph.D. candidate in the social sciences department at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Organizational Leadership Ph.D. program.

    In meeting with Dr. Carter-Veale. on Thursday, it was recommended that I include a demographic table. I used the writing technique that Dr. Tull allowed us to practice on Friday and glad I was able to include demographic table today which included tables for participants self-identified gender (man or woman), racial and ethnic self-identification (African American, Asian, Caribbean American, Caucasian, and multi-racial), formal education attainments (bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees), and pay scales.

  83. I was able to write down that results. I also followed Dr. CV advice and put all the chapters together and change the style of the document. The rest of the day will be spent on running different experiments.

    1. Hello Researcher
      Glad to see that you were able to put my advice to work. It’s Monday how is the writing coming are you practicing 15 min today?

  84. Day 5 blogging out:
    In addition to creating 4 demographic tables, I was able to add more participant quotes to the outline created. Overall, a productive day with other scholars holding one another accountable and encouraged! Much thanks to Drs. Tull and Carter-veale as well as all the TAs and fellow students who helped make this resource (both the weekdays and Saturday were highly beneficial) available.

    Thank you all

    William Etti

    1. Congratulations Will on joining the DH and Writing Accountability Groups and more importantly getting something done. How is chapter 5 coming? Any progress today now that you are back at work?

      1. Hi Dr. CV,
        Chapter 5 has begun, registered for dissertation credits today and followed up with my chair on items for this semester (spring 2019).

  85. Today I was able to accomplish the following goals:
    1. Choose a research topic for my Master’s program
    2. Started an outline plan
    3. Conducted a little research on my first focus point of the paper
    This was really great, Thank you to the PROMISE Team!

    1. Congratulations Linda on joining the Writing Accountability Groups and more importantly getting something done. Any progress today now that you are back at work?

      1. Hi Dr.Wendy, I am submitting my project outline to Dr.Forno soon for review.

  86. Hello everyone
    Thank you for showing up and participating. The face-to-face portion of the Winter DH is over so is the WAG. Nonetheless, this blog is available all year long and you can post at any time. Writing a dissertation is a long and sometimes lonely process. It doesn’t have to be. In the past, students have used this blog for their own purposes; some have posted daily, weekly, monthly or just when they have hit the important milestones. Some students have created their own blog. The good news is that that decision is up to you. Figure out what it is that you need to get you to the finish line. Do you need an accountability partner?

    You can use this blog as a place for accountability. You can post your daily goals and also post your accomplishments as well.

    I wish you all the best in the coming year.

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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.