b. Choose your methodology wisely. Don't be too quick in running awayfrom using a quantitative methodology because you fear the use of statistics.A qualitative approach to research can yield new and exciting understandings,but it should not be undertaken because of a fear of quantitative research.A well designed quantitative research study can often be accomplished invery clear and direct ways. A similar study of a qualitative nature usuallyrequires considerably more time and a tremendous burden to create new pathsfor analysis where previously no path had existed. Choose your methodologywisely!
12. Focus your research very specifically. Don't try to haveyour research cover too broad an area. Now you may think that this willdistort what you want to do. This may be the case, but you will be ableto do the project if it is narrowly defined. Usually a broadly definedproject is not do-able. By defining too broadly it may sound better toyou, but there is a great chance that it will be unmanageable as a researchproject. When you complete your research project it is important that youhave something specific and definitive to say. This can be accommodatedand enhanced by narrowly defining your project. Otherwise you may haveonly broadly based things to say about large areas that really providelittle guidance to others that may follow you. Often the researcher findsthat what he/she originally thought to be a good research project turnsout to really be a of research projects. Do one project for yourdissertation and save the other projects for later in your career. Don'ttry to solve all of the problems in this one research project.
22. Dissertation-style writing is not designed to be entertaining. Dissertationwriting should be clear and unambiguous. To do this well you should preparea list of key words that are important to your research and then your writingshould use this set of key words throughout. There is nothing so frustratingto a reader as a manuscript that keeps using alternate words to mean thesame thing. If you've decided that a key phrase for your research is "educationalworkshop", then do not try substituting other phrases like "in-serviceprogram", "learning workshop", "educational institute",or "educational program." Always stay with the same phrase -"educational workshop." It will be very clear to the reader exactlywhat you are referring to.
27. If you are including a Conclusions/Implications section in yourdissertation make sure you really present conclusions and implications.Often the writer uses the conclusions/implications section to merely restatethe research findings. Don't waste my time. I've already read the findingsand now, at the Conclusion/Implication section, I want you to help me understandwhat it all means. This is a key section of the dissertation and is sometimesbest done after you've had a few days to step away from your research andallow yourself to put your research into perspective. If you do this youwill no doubt be able to draw a variety of insights that help link yourresearch to other areas. I usually think of conclusions/implications asthe "So what" statements. In other words, what are the key ideasthat we can draw from your study to apply to my areas of concern.
Now this is the part we've been waiting for. I must assume that youhave come up with a good idea for research, had your proposal approved,collected the data, conducted your analyses and now you're about to startwriting the dissertation. If you've done the first steps well this partshouldn't be too bad. In fact it might even be enjoyable!
Following this structured presentation the committee begins to ask questions,but as can be expected the questions follow along with the wall chartsand the whole discussion proceeds in an orderly manner. If guests are presentat the defense, this form of presentation helps them also follow alongand understand exactly what was accomplished through the research.
30. The most obvious suggestion is the one seldom followed. Try to attendone or more defenses prior to yours. Find out which other studentsare defending their research and sit in on their defense. In many departmentsthis is expected of all graduate students. If this is not the case foryou, check with your adviser to see that you can get an invitationto attend some defenses.
28. Potentially the silliest part of the dissertation is the Suggestionsfor Further Research section. This section is usually written atthe very end of your writing project and little energy is left to makeit very meaningful. The biggest problem with this section is that the suggestionsare often ones that could have been made prior to you conducting your research.Read and reread this section until you are sure that you have made suggestionsthat emanate from your experiences in conducting the research and the findingsthat you have evolved. Make sure that your suggestions for further researchserve to link your project with other projects in the future and providea further opportunity for the reader to better understand what you havedone.
31. Find opportunities to discuss your research with your friends andcolleagues. Listen carefully to their questions. See if you are able topresent your research in a clear and coherent manner. Are there aspectsof your research that are particularly confusing and need further explanation?Are there things that you forgot to say? Could you change the order ofthe information presented and have it become more understandable?
Research paper on B.F. Skinner: Frederic Skinner was an American psychologist, one of the most influential and prominent psychologists of the twentieth century, according to the American Psychological Association. Skinner is also known as a writer, having published works of
a. If you are given the opportunity to select your dissertation committeedo it wisely. Don't only focus on content experts. Make sure you have selectedfaculty for your committee who are supportive of you and are willingto assist you in successfully completing your research. You want a committeethat you can ask for help and know that they will provide it for you. Don'tforget, you can always access content experts who are not on your committeeat any time during your research project.
e. What if you have the opportunity for conducting your researchin conjunction with another agency or project that is workingin related areas. Should you do it? Sometimes this works well, but mostoften the dissertation researcher gives up valuable freedom to conductthe research project in conjunction with something else. Make sure thetrade-offs are in your favor. It can be very disastrous to havethe other project suddenly get off schedule and to find your own research projecttemporarily delayed. Or, you had tripled the size of your sample sincethe agency was willing to pay the cost of postage. They paid for the postagefor the pre-questionnaire. Now they are unable to assist with postage forthe post-questionnaire. What happens to your research? I usually findthat the cost of conducting dissertation research is not prohibitive andthe trade-offs to work in conjunction with another agency are not in favorof the researcher. Think twice before altering your project to accommodatesomeone else. Enjoy the power and the freedom to make your own decisions(and mistakes!) -- this is the way we learn!