Data Use, Technology, and Educational Leadership
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.