Data Use, Technology, and Educational Leadership

10 Dissertation Writing Tips + 2 Bonuses

flickr:  ancasta1901

flickr: ancasta1901

Here’s a piece by ed leadership professor Jeff Brooks at the University of Idaho on dissertation writing. It’s a very very sound advice. In fact, it’s worth printing out and revisiting throughout one’s dissertation process. The words will speak to you differently each time.

As I think about my current doc students, my guess is that #9 on synergy among dissertation sections and #1 on writing (in an organized fashion) are probably most pressing. Outlining, pre-organizing, and knowing when to cut are huge skills. I, too, am a former language arts teacher. The stuff we teach kids about writing still really does apply.

Bonus Tip #1:

If I was to add one to Jeff’s list, it would be something in between #2 on reading and #10 on having a good dissertation model. I find that some students don’t know when to “close the gate” on reading — the result is writing that tries too hard, saying many words, but few of consequence. At the same time, I’d suggest that part of the reading of a good model involves pulling it apart into how arguments are built. It matters what bricks you’re pulling together and how, but seeing that often requires taking a step back.

Or, to throw in another analogy, the literature you’ve and your findings form different parts of a larger orchestra. It’s up to you to figure out each instrument’s true voice and how they all fit together.

Bonus Tip #2:

If you haven’t read Bem’s tips on how to write an empirical journal article, do it NOW! It’s an excellent resource for any academic writer.


One comment on “10 Dissertation Writing Tips + 2 Bonuses

  1. jamharl
    March 27, 2014

    Ah, that’s very kind of you for sharing these resources. Dissertation writing looks difficult at first but if everyone knows the things they need to follow, it should be easy.

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This entry was posted on August 1, 2013 by and tagged , , .