Dissertation Institute– Dr. CV’s Writing Cluster 2020

You made it. Congratulations on making it to this year’s Dissertation Institute.

The Dissertation Institute provides a week-long opportunity for you to work on your dissertation or dissertation proposal. In this week-experience, you will be able to build new writing habits, work on your dissertation or dissertation proposal, enhance your motivation for your doctoral process, and learn skills that will help you making progress in your dissertation.

Welcome to your Dr. CV’s Writing Cluster Accountability Group

In the era of COVID 19 where we are all at home possibly sheltering in place, we
still have goals that we want to accomplish. With the COVID-19 coronavirus
wreaking havoc across the world, for instance, Ph.D. completion provides
universities with the opportunity to participate in a virtual Dissertation Writing
accountability writing space. As part of Dr. Carter’s Thesis and Dissertation Accomplished (TADA!) program and the Dissertation House at the University of Maryland, Baltimore
County (UMBC), we have always had an online component for graduate students across the
globe who could not participate face to face.

The goal of the Writing Clusters is to help you reflect on your writing experiences during the week. As a group you will checking in on Zoom Tues, and Thurs (A.M. & P.M.) and Friday (A.M.).

I would also like to meet with each on you one on one. As a dissertation coach and Writing Cluster facilitator, I focus on helping students with:
• Creating strategies for writing
• Setting realistic goals
• Setting timelines
• Managing the relationships with your advisor, family, friends
• Daily planning for writing activities

To participate on this blog, you will be asks to blog twice daily at the start of the day and the end of the day. On the first day you will be asked to posts answers to the following questions:

  1. What will you work on?
  2. How much time will you spend daily working on it?
  3. Tell us how much progress you are making, or challenges you are having.
  4. At the end of everyday plan what you want to accomplish the following day

Here are some helpful tips:

Breakdown your tasks into bite-size manageable chunks and make a list and post that list in a public space like on the blog.
Make a daily commitment to work on your proposal, thesis, or dissertation. Set aside a reasonable amount of time each day to work on your thesis or dissertation. You can get a lot done in 15 minutes a day.
Work within your limitations . . . if you are a morning person by all means make yourself some coffee and spend 15 minutes with your dissertation before everyone else rises . . . if you are a night owl . . . turn the TV off 15 minutes earlier and write for 15 minutes.
Celebrate small victories when you accomplish your tasks for the day. Spend the rest of the day guilt-free enjoying your break knowing that you have done something (no matter how small) on your dissertation.
Whatever you do, don’t spend the week constantly worrying and saying to yourself ‘I really should be working’. Above all, do something daily to move your document forward. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.


Note: This blog does not allow anonymous comments. Nonetheless, you don’t have to use your real name either, you can be creative in coming up with a screen-name. Check out the Michigan’s Retreat blog to see what I mean. Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author before they are published.

Rating: 5 out of 5.





A good dissertation is a done dissertation at the DI institute 2020

77 thoughts on “Dissertation Institute– Dr. CV’s Writing Cluster 2020

  1. Black Girl PhD'ing June 2, 2020 — 2:41 pm

    What?! “I made it in!!!” I didn’t know there was something to ‘make it into’!
    I’m jumping up and down with excitement!!!!! I’m in these “sheets!!!” Let’s do DISS!!!!!! Thank you so much, Dr. Carte Veale! I’m over the moon with gratitude!!!!!

    Like

    1. Hello, Black Girl PhD’ing
      This is a new page for another Dissertation Writing Group that will start on Monday, June 8th. Your Michigan blog is still available for you to post daily or you can also post on this page for this new group as well. But your MI friends will be on that Michigan page.

      Like

  2. Hi Dr. CV,

    My name is Bethany and I’m a rising 4th year in the Department of Engineering Systems and Environment at the University of Virginia. This week, I plan to have a draft of my proposal done (~15 pages) to send to my advisor for direction and critique.

    Here’s the summary of how I plan on spending my time this week: rationale (6 hours), research (5 hours), IEP (2 hours), qualifications and support (2 hours), long-term plan (2 hours).

    Goals*:

    Monday – main focus: orientation, secondary focus: scheduling & revising goals
    Tuesday – main focus: research section, secondary focus: rationale
    Wednesday – main focus: IEP, secondary focus: research section (complete)
    Thursday – main focus: rationale, secondary focus: IEP (complete)
    Friday – main focus: qual & support (complete) + , secondary focus: long-term vision (complete), tertiary focus: rationale

    Proposal Sections (where I am currently, time allotment, and goals)

    1. Overview (Good enough for now, planning to spend: 0 hrs, goals: none)
    2. Rationale (nothing written, very intimidated by this section)
    – Planning to spend: 6 hours (Remaining time to schedule: 4.75 hrs)
    – Days (priority level): Tuesday (2nd), Thursday (1st), Friday (3rd)
    – Goals:
    —Tuesday
    —-Free-write for 15 minutes about how this project will potentially push the knowledge of my field forward
    —-Draw the structure and outline what the expected sections of a rationale section might be (does it have sections?) (30 min)
    —-Search citation library for 30 minutes to identify which articles are most relevant to the IM section

    3. Research: My dissertation will comprise 3 manuscripts. I’ve done some free-writing and light editing, but need to go into more detail for each manuscript
    – Planning to spend: 5 hours
    – Days (priority level): Tuesday (1st), Wednesday (2nd – complete)
    –Tuesday:
    —Draw the structure of the case study section (15 minutes)
    —Draw the structure of the literature review section (15 minutes)
    —Draw the structure of the envision study section (15 minutes)
    —Write sentence outlines for case study section (30 min)
    —Write sentence outlines for literature review section (30 min)
    —Write sentence outlines for envision study section (30 min)
    —Draft IRB set 1 based on what’s already written (25 min)
    —Draft IRB set 2 based on what’s already written (25 min)
    —Add in relevant material from IRB that wasn’t included in the initial draft (20 min)
    4. Integrated Education Plan: I’m really not worried about this section, but I need to get it on paper and make sure it’s as cohesive on paper as it is in my head.
    – Planning to spend: 2 hours (remaining time: 1hr, 20 minutes)
    – Days (priority level): Wednesday (1st), Thursday (2nd – complete)
    –Wednesday
    —-Free-write about the various projects related to this to get a better understanding of how they connect (20 min)
    —-Reflect on how the content from the free-write fits into the predetermined sections (20 min)

    5. Qualifications and Support: This section is just going to be a reflection on who my committee is and what their ties are to this work. Also a section I just need to sit down and write.
    – Planning to spend: 2 hours
    – Days (priority level): Friday (1st – complete)
    — Friday
    — Free-write about committee research interests overlaps (2 30 minute sessions)
    — Free-write about qualifications (2 30 minute sessions)
    6. Long-term vision
    -Planning to spend: 2 hours
    – Days (priority level): Friday (2nd – complete)
    –Friday
    —Free-write about long-term vision (2 30 minute sessions)
    —Edit it down to something meaningful (2 30 minute sessions)

    *I don’t know everything that I’m supposed to do until I progress in thought by completing some of these other tasks, so the smaller goals are not defined for every day yet.

    Like

    1. Good Morning Bethany Sounds like you have a lot going on. I look forward to seeing you later on . Thanks for following through with this post.

      Like

  3. 1. I plan to complete sentence outlines for the major sections of my dissertation proposal. I also plan to free write at least three of the major sections of my dissertation proposal.
    2. I plan to devote a minimum of eighteen hours working on it. I will write for one hour each morning, one hour each evening, and use whatever time is allowed during the day.
    3. I’m off to a good start on the sentence outlines for the major sections.
    However, I need to get copies of proposals from my peers, so that I know what’s expected.
    4. Tomorrow, I will have at least two dissertation proposals in hand so that I can model my proposal after them. Since we are given at least seven hours to write, I plan to complete at least half of the sentence outlines and complete one section of free writing.

    Like

    1. PhD4me
      Welcome, thanks for following through with this post. Good for you for starting with an outline. You can write something even without copies of proposals from your peers. Start with the statement of the problem that is usually the foundation for everything else. What discipline are you in?

      Like

      1. Industrial and Systems Engineering

        Like

  4. Good Morning all
    I see that 2 of you have followed through by posting prior to our meeting in a half hour. Good for you. I look forward to meeting the rest of you is less than 30 mins in our Writing Cluster. I am hoping that you will be productive in your writing today and in moving your dissertation or proposal forward. Keep in mind that baby steps are still steps as long as they are going forward it still counts.

    Like

  5. 556 days until May 17, 2021 graduation.

    Like

      1. A shared this tip in the email. Here it so that you can comeback to it over and over. Something I like is Mendeley because it helps not only with the lit research but keeping track of it and the citations. Works well with overleaf for writing as well as word. And syncs with science direct. Oh and it’s free!

        Like

  6. 556 days till my Ph.D.

    December 17, 2021 … whoohooo

    Like

    1. 556 days whoohoo!!!!! til the PhD

      Like

  7. DefyingtheOdds June 9, 2020 — 4:31 pm

    1. Address the revisions of my research proposal. I plan to incorporate the tools of free writing, sentence outlining, and assessing the difficulty of each task prior to starting

    2. I will write for 30 mins per each task.

    186 days to 12 Dec 2020

    Like

    1. DefyingtheOdds

      I hope you are using a timer (perhaps on your phone) for these activities. Thanks for the post. We’ll check in later to see if that worked.

      Like

    2. Sounds like a plan. Hopefully you have gone through and assessed Easy, Medium, Difficult. And you have already addressed the easy and medium.

      Like

  8. Hey Dr.CV,

    I want to work on:
    1. reorganizing my dissertation outline and set up the suggested excel spreadsheet for managing my writing.
    2.work on converting the content of my current manuscript into a chapter in my dissertation.
    3. Set a progressive writing time schedule.
    4. Communicate the timeline with my advisors for transparency on goals to graduate and also receive feedback.

    Since I am struggling with committing to writing time over coding for simulations I plan to commit to 3 hours a day in segments of 30 minutes apiece. I have focus issues with reading articles and writing, so start this commitment I am working on breaking the 30 minutes into 10-minute free writing and 5-minute breaks in between.

    The biggest problem I have is actually getting the words on the paper. I will sit and think about what I am writing but do not actually write the thoughts down. I edit myself in my head before I can write. I am working on finding a method to get my thoughts on paper. The first three that I am planning to try is the voice to text option on Word and move to overleaf for editing, free-write for one session, and edit the next session, and while reading articles to copy the key idea from the paper the first run through and then paraphrase the second run through. Also, I struggle with taking the time to plan out my short and long term tasks properly. I usually approach tasks as they come since most of my tasks involve coding and not so much writing. I hope that cycling through coding and writing will help me balance the two tasks better and start to sync the writing with the coding.

    Literally will do this: At the end of everyday plan what you want to accomplish the following day!

    Like

    1. Thanks for sharing your struggles with writing. Nichelle’Le. Commit to writing the ugly draft first then create some time to edit, then revise and then resubmit. Think of it as a process where the ugly comes first then it get better with each edit. It doesn’t have to come out of your head perfectly. You need to get your ideas down on paper so that you can create space in your head for new ideas. Similarly you can’t get any where in a car if you are constantly stepping on the breaks every step of the way.

      Like

  9. Hi, I am a 4th year Ph.D. Candidate in the Dept of Mechanical Engineering at Howard University. I am currently writing my dissertation. I have the Intro, Lit Review, and Methods chapters are written. They may need to be modified based on the impact of COVID 19 on my ability to do research. Right now I am writing my Results section which I would like to have done by the end of this week.

    Like

    1. Sounds like a plan Direct Fury with 186 days to go. Good luck and make everyday count.

      Like

  10. There are 186 days until the date I wish to be done. Graduation only in May but I can finish/degree conferred by December 2020 and that is my goal.

    Like

  11. Wed. I plan on looking up the list of dates from the GS to do my defense and all the required deadlines and then planning backward from that point.

    Like

  12. DefyingtheOdds June 9, 2020 — 11:59 pm

    Tonight, I will verify and validate the rules that are documented in the handbook regarding time frames for reviewing my proposal and my dissertation as it relates to my advisor and my committee members. I will adjust my current schedule accordingly for my planning backwards roadmap.

    Tomorrow, I will address at least half of the comments of the next section in my proposal in increments of 20 mins of writing, 10 min break adjusting hourly if necessary.

    Like

    1. Working in 20 min bursts sounds good. It should work. Good luck

      Like

    2. Good Morning DefyingtheOdds

      Did you learn or find the rules in the rule book to help you plan out the rest of your schedule despite your school’s new website?

      Like

      1. Good morning Dr. CV! I found documentation provided by the graduate college that gave some clarity to the process. The handbook for my department provides some clarity. Regarding the review timeframes for my advisor and my committee, I believe the 3 pi rule is going to be sufficient.

        Like

  13. Goals for tomorrow:
    Morning session (8-10AM): Organize lit review for proposal into Dr. CV’s excel sheet (15 minute intro + 25 minute pomos)
    Evening session (8pm-10pm): Fill in details to excel sheet lit reiview (25 minute pomos)

    Like

    1. Well Bethany I hope you read your note to self and hit the ground running before the sessions start today.

      Like

  14. There are 331 days until my intended graduation date.
    Today I realized my shortcomings with writing. I try to do everything at once and also try to spend long time periods to write. I found that focusing on one concept of writing at a time helps and also taking breaks every 20 to 30 minutes helps. My organization needs drastic improvement since I have realized that I am an at the moment worker and need to become a plan ahead worker for long and short term goals.

    Goals for tomorrow:

    Morning session (7-9AM)
    Finish outlining the dissertation timeline provided by Mayra by adding my priorities and goals.
    Write a complete version of the dissertation outline.

    Evening session (7pm-10pm)

    Fill out the Literature Review excel sheet provided by Dr.CV.

    Like

    1. Welcome to the blog Nichelle’Le 330 days left. I hope that you are up and already working on moving the document forward.

      Like

  15. Another day another opportunity to get it almost right. Will someone from this group please post the names of those apps that you mentioned in the cluster yesterday? We all would appreciate a list to chose from. Did anyone find a countdown app. Have a blessed day and create some time today to move your document forward.

    Like

    1. Thank you Bethany for posting these.

      Like

  16. The countdown is here. I hope you were able to do some writing yesterday. I look forward to our talk in a couple of hours. Get some writing in or some Zombie activities done. Tick tock tick tock.

    Like

  17. Today I am going to figure out how to do a literature review and work on writing my methods for studies 2 and 3 of my dissertation proposal.

    The meditaton app specificallly for BIPOC is called Liberate (https://liberatemeditation.com/).

    Like

  18. Today I am going to continue working on my results section. Specifically, section 4.2 which is the chemical analysis results. By having the results section done by the end of this week the only section left to write will be Conclusions/Future Work. My goal is to have a final draft (including any rewrites I need to do…there are a few…in the intro/lit review/methods) by the end of next week (June 20).

    Like

  19. A few years ago my best friend bought me a book called “Approval Junkie.” He had been teasing me for years that I had a need for constant approval. He wasn’t wrong. I really loved book and one of the most important things it said, or at least what resonated with me the most and I carry with me today is the notion that seeking approval had a role in getting you where you are. It certainly did for me. Approval of my parents and teachers and bosses all helped to get me to be the successful person I was today. But it also cost me emotionally. Because if I wanted something they didn’t agree with or I was afraid they wouldn’t agree with, it would eat at me mentally. And what the author says in this book is that she had to choose to be “Selective” with whom she sought approval. That really was very helpful in my life.

    Another book I mentioned yesterday was the “Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*@k” which talks about what is so important to you that you decide the consequences simply will not deter you.

    I hope you enjoy these books and they serve you as I feel they have served me.

    Like

    1. Thanks for posting these resources on the blog. I also recommend Nice Girls Don’t get the Corner Office.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. My goals for tonight are to work on my timeline and apply a few edits that were recommended.

    100 Days of Dissertation group on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/199308424455418/

    There’s also a women-only “Zoom Writing Retreats” group that I can add you to if you message me on Facebook. I don’t think it’s possible to add a link here.

    Mayra’s recommendation for learning how to do a good lit review: Literature Review: Six Steps to Success (https://smile.amazon.com/Literature-Review-Six-Steps-Success/dp/1506336248/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3MB5SRHLOHV1X&dchild=1&keywords=literature+review+six+steps+to+success&qid=1591913134&sprefix=literature+review+six+%2Caps%2C320&sr=8-2)

    Like

    1. Thanks for following through with this post. Much appreciated.

      Like

  21. Hi Dr. C.V.,

    My apologies for neglecting to blog. However, I have been logging. Hey, that rhymes — not blogging but logging.

    Today, I had planned to complete 7 hours of writing, but only completed 5 1/2 hours. But the day isn’t done yet. During those 7 hours, I had planned to complete sentence outlines for Chapters 2 and 3 of my proposal and about 500 words of free writing. I managed to complete the free writing, but once again struggled with the sentence outlines. In fact, outlining seems to be quite challenging for me. Do you have any tips on how I can improve my outlining? Maybe my inner perfectionist is the problem?

    Tomorrow morning, I plan to complete more sentence outlines. One of my goals is to leave the Institute with a rough outline for my dissertation proposal. That goal now appears very doable, thanks to some of the great tips and tools I’ve picked up this week.

    By the way here’s a link to Scrivener. It’s a great tool for just getting words on paper and organizing your writing. It’s not free, but it’s also not too expensive.

    https://www.literatureandlatte.com

    Like

    1. Thank you for getting around to it. Much appreciated. Think about your audience. When thinking about creating an outline think about what the reader needs to know and why. You are writing for an intellectual audience but an audience that is about a Junior or Senior in your discipline. They already know some basic information about the topic—you are not writing to a general audience. I hope this tip helps move you forward.

      Like

  22. Hi everyone. I found a countdown widget (at least for android phones) that can sit on your home screen. I will email a screenshot of my phone to everyone so you can see what it looks like

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=draziw.leftday.widget

    Like

    1. Thanks, Director Fury
      I clicked on the link this is something that is useful to let you know you don’t have forever. Time is finite. Get ‘er done. A good dissertation is a done dissertation. Go forward daily.

      Like

  23. I went through the graduation deadlines and I have it all down on my google tasks (google runs my life). 183 days left until DONE! Lots to do between now and then. I scheduled my next two meetings with my advisor this month. I sent an email to my GS to get more clarification on some items (I hate surprises). Lots of cats to herd. I love it when a plan comes together.

    Like

  24. DefyingtheOdds June 12, 2020 — 4:52 am

    Hi Dr. C.V.,
    I have 2.5 hours of writing to complete the writing . Tonight I was able to create an outline for my lit review section. I have been making progress in the section we reviewed earlier today using freewriting and outlining sentences.

    Tomorrow my goal is to finish this section. Go back to my lit review and restructure the information according to the outline and as the information relates to my topic.

    Like

    1. Good Morning Defying the Odds
      Thanks for posting last night. Are you up? Are you writing? How is the Lit Review coming?

      Like

  25. Good Morning All
    Today is the last day of the DI. I hope that all of you are up , writing, and working to move your dissertation forward. It has been a pleasure meeting with each of you as a group and individually . I think we can take a moment to reflect on this week and on our time together, momentum, progress that we have made thus far. In the midst of a pandemic and in the middle of a revolution you were able to make some progress on your dissertation. You should congratulate yourselves and know that you can write, and stay focus on the things that you can change, find peace in knowing that with your PhD you can make a contribution to your field and create an opportunity for someone else to read your dissertation and create a dissertation of his/her own.
    Get what you came for. Society needs more people like you with PhDs; the problems of the world need to be studied from your perspective, using your intellect and understanding. You have something valuable to contribute.

    Find the confidence that you when you dared to apply to graduate school and use it to finish your dissertation.

    Everything else is just a hurdle to be cleared and you have what it takes to clear the hurdles whether or not you think those hurdles are necessary or not. You really don’t have time to evaluate the necessity of the hurdles. Remember why you applied to graduate school in the first place and get about the business of finishing what you started. Only you know why you started this journey only you know why you need to finish it. Don’t give up. I hope that I have helped each one of you to create a plan to finish what you stated.
    You are the project manager of your dissertation and your life. Don’t give your power away. It’s not about anyone else; it’s all about you. Get to work.

    Like

  26. good morning everyone. Have a great writing day 🙂

    Like

  27. Hi everybody. It was great getting to know you virtually. Much success to each of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Hey Dr.CV,

    Breaking the writing down into smaller periods of time has been a big help this week in getting tasks for writing done. I am slowly, and I mean slowly am getting comfortable with scheduling and writing. I am also taking in what my shortcomings are with writing. I am not a morning writer.

    I do plan to free write this evening til I get 250 words and then edit as well.

    Like

    1. Good for you. Write today edit this weekend. It doesn’t have to be all done on the same day.

      Like

      1. I will definitely do that.

        Like

  29. DefyingtheOdds June 13, 2020 — 1:43 pm

    Good Morning Dr. C.V. – thank you for all of your guidance and assistance! I am up and writing this morning!
    I am working on polishing my writing in the section I have been working on.

    Like

    1. Good Evening DefyingtheOdds Good to see that you got up this morning and started writing on a Saturday no less. How did the writing go today. How much did you get done? I hope you get up tomorrow and repeat the process. Good luck.

      Like

  30. I have my first milestone coming up in the next 30 days…Get a first draft of my dissertation to my advisor.

    Like

    1. DirectorFury that’s a serious milestone are your turning in a “full” draft or a chapter or Chapters?

      Like

  31. DefyingtheOdds June 14, 2020 — 7:16 pm

    Yesterday I was able to go back through the free writing that I had been working on. I created a new outline for my current work to the structure Chapter suggestion that you provided Dr. C.V. I have refined my research questions and aims. Today I am scheduling a meeting with my advisor and composing the agenda.

    Like

    1. Glad to see that you are treating the meeting like a true professional. Good for you. Planning is part of writing so it’s worth it.

      Like

    2. Hello DefyingtheOdds, what’s on tap for today? How did the meeting go with the advisor? Positive?

      Like

      1. DefyingtheOdds June 17, 2020 — 5:51 pm

        Hi Dr. C.V., I am reading more literature as it appears there are more areas of focus now. The meeting with my advisor was positive. My advisor had a different purpose for the proposal. The intention appears to be to educate my committee on the topics relevant to the research conclude with proposing the research topic. Things are definitely better! Today, I plan to continue reading and addressing the comments on my proposal. Thank you for asking!

        Like

      2. Great glad to hear things went well and now you have a better sense of direction.

        Like

  32. Today I am going to write my sentence outlines for my dissertation chapters to provide to my advisor.

    Like

    1. So DirectorFury did you finish those outlines yesterday and are you adding more to it today? Keep it moving forward daily.

      Like

      1. Full draft. There may be a portion missing (in progress) b/c we have had to change approach with the COVID issues around laboratory access. But i think its more than doable. I have to do some simulations. So I told my advisor (had the meeting today), when I wanted to be done and when I wanted to have / will have a first draft to him, 7/11. I just gave him the caveat that depending on how long it takes me to do the simulation work, that last piece might be missing. This way I keep on my schedule and avoid slippages due to perfection trying to creep in. We actually had a good talk about what this process was. He expects I won’t have it all correct in the first few takes. But by giving him something he can see where I am at and give feedback. So for today’s meeting I gave him an outline of my dissertation defense which really helped lead the discussion. Kept it high level. It turned out to be the right approach.

        Like

      2. Yes I did. I did them in the format of my dissertation defense structure which really helped lead the discussion with my advisor. It did its job which was to organize my thoughts and be able to convey them to my advisor.

        Like

      3. Director Fury that makes sense good for you. You are making progress forward. Good to hear about it even if it is from afar. Congrats on that talk with your advisor and keeping it at high level because that’s what you need right now and going forward.

        Like

  33. Hey Team PhD, I was on The Google looking for dissertation defense templates (if you’re not cheating you’re not trying) and I came across this website from USC that seems like a pretty solid resource for not only the defense but the proposal as well. I know that is the stage for a lot of you so I thought I would post that here. I will also post it in the GroupMe. #cheatcodes

    http://dissertationedd.usc.edu/preparing-your-powerpoint.html

    Like

  34. StatisticalOutlier June 17, 2020 — 3:24 am

    Hey Dr.CV,

    Sentence outlining has really helped me break down the content of papers. I have also made progress on restructuring my literature review using the worksheets you shared with us. I was able to get my presentation for an upcoming conference done during my writing time as well. My goal this week is to have two sections of my lit review written on resilience curves and metrics and restoration estimation.

    ASU1: Free write 250 words using write or die.
    ASU2: reformat 5 papers for literature survey
    ASU3: Edit and cross-reference 250-word segment from the free write ASU

    Like

    1. Statistical Outlier,
      Great is the conference presentation related to your dissertation? If it is, perhaps you can tape your practices and then transcribe the words. Then at least you would have a draft of your ideas down on paper. Keep moving forward.

      Like

  35. Happy Friday everyone. Last Friday you were in the DI have you gone back to your previous habits or have you turned the corner on the path to finishing your PhD? I truly hope that we have made a difference and this Friday is different from your previous Fridays before the DI. Have a great weekend but still do something to move your dissertation forward. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Baby steps are still steps as long as you are moving forward that’s all that matters.

    Like

  36. Today I sent out my dissertation to three people in my readers network. I asked for each of them to read a different chapter. The goal being not to overwhelm any of them. Don’t be fooled by this. My dissertation is NOWHERE near done. But I have had this feeling for the last week that I was rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. I was too close and needed feedback. I also felt simultaneously that this was not in shape for people to read. I needed to get over that and just embrace the fact that it isn’t good yet and the only way it will get better is to get some eyeballs on this thing.

    Like

  37. I am trying something different tonight with my writing. I have been struggling with a specific section. I need to explain the point of what I did/used. I know the answer but for some reason getting it into my dissertation has eluded me. I just freeze when I go to write it. So today I tried some freewriting and I used prompts. Specifically, I asked (wrote) down two questions: (1) Why did I do FTIR spectroscopy in my research?; and (2) What does FTIR do/how does it work? These are the question versions of the point I am trying to convey in my section.

    Then I just answered those questions. It took me out of my head and the task of “THE DISSERTATION” and into the mindset of just answering these questions. Which was easier in my mind than writing a section of the dissertation. Now I can take my answers and put them in the section then start my noodling from there. It became the outline of that section.

    Like

  38. What a good approach. I am still working on my evaluation and most of the time as I write I am asking myself “why does the reader need to know that information” If I have answer, I keep it otherwise it’s gone! Thanks for sharing that insight. Director Fury.

    Like

  39. Hello Director Fury

    I am checking in with you to see how things are going with you. Did you fall down and if you did are you still making forward progress? I submitted my evaluation and got feedback over the weekend. I am now about to get started on the feedback. Tag you’re it.

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    1. Hi Dr. CV. I am definitely still making forward progress. I have had my meeting with my advisor and one of my committee members (Grad. Director for my dept) and we did a dry run of my defense. They had great feedback and overall were very happy with what I had, how it was presented and said I didn’t need to do any additional work, even though COVID-19 had cut short my access to the lab. I have another meeting with them tomorrow and will represent my defense incorporating their feedback and improving on what I already have. Based on that meeting I will make the last-minute changes to my first draft of my dissertation (ch 1 – 4) and send that to my advisor. I had told him several weeks ago about my schedule to achieve completion in Fall 2020. My first due date is 7/10 for the first draft to him for comments. I also recently got some comments back from my reader’s network which I will incorporate in either before or after I get back my advisor’s comments.

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