From Dr. Wendy Carter of TA-DA! Thesis and Dissertation Accomplished

A Good Thesis or Dissertation Is a Done Thesis or Dissertation

Thursday, June 29, 2006

TADA Thesis and Dissertation Summer Writing Group

Getting Your Thesis/Dissertation Written In A Supportive Environment

Whether you are just beginning your thesis/dissertation, nearing your defense, or finishing an early draft, if you join us you will find that you are not alone. Joining a supportive group helps to create a community of emerging professionals who share particular strengths, and helps to stretch one another’s skills. Group members provide each other with interdisciplinary writing feedback and peer support for setting goals, solving problems, and working efficiently and effectively as writer-researchers.

If you need a special invitation to write your thesis or dissertation, here it is. Come write with us.

July 7 –Aug 18
The most crucial thing is to work closely with your dissertation chair to work out a system that is mutually agreeable. Up front, establish a timeline. Find out, which committee members want to see what, and when. Keep open the lines of communication with your chair. Keep your committee updated about your progress.

Post what you'd like to work on (if anything) over the Summer, and the maximum amount of time you would like to spend on it daily.

Each day you should do "something" to move your dissertation forward. Some items can take as little as 12 minutes to be completed.

Please be realistic by trying to keep your time limit reasonable and low unless you're trying to defend in April/May or might have a more pressing deadline.

You can check into this post either daily, weekly or just at the end of the challenge (Aug 18th, 2006) to let us know how well you were able to accomplished your goals. Feel free to share with us what problems you had or just check in to encourage or commiserate with others.

Post Summary:

What will you work on?

How much time will you spend daily working on it?

Tell us how much progress you are making, or problems you are having

All comments posted on this blog will be forwarded to my email. You are invited to correspond with each other for encouragement and support. I will post, comment, and encourage you along the way. Ready, Set, Go!

Find a time-management system that works for you and stick to it (are you a morning person or a night person? during which times can you accomplish work?)
  • Be very protective of your writing time. Nothing else should get in its way. Be compulsive when necessary.
  • Have a workspace that you can claim as your own
  • Get organized (file notes, articles, and other materials so that you can find them)
  • Play psychological games with yourself (If you find it intimidating to write a “dissertation,” when you sit down, just focus on one particular section or problem—don’t tell yourself “here I am writing my dissertation,” but rather say, I’m going to sit down and work through this specific problem in a brief, preliminary way)
  • Cut up the “big” task into small, manageable blocks
  • Use tricks to manage writer’s block—say “I’m just going to get something down on paper, no matter how bad it is”—you will always revise later

  • Try a dissertation writing group, even if it’s long-distance. The accountability and support are terrific.
  • Be good to yourself. Eat right, get some sleep, exercise, and have a life from time to time.
  • Focus on finishing—it’s your ultimate goal.
  • Talk to others who have been through this. Ask for their advice.
  • Don’t get mired down in negativity.
  • Select one or two good books or websites, and consider the advice offered there carefully (below are some recommendations).


  • At Tuesday, July 04, 2006, Blogger VTOldie - said…

    Hope you don't mind I posted this on my web site for my Ph.D. Candidate friends... I am in the void of writing. Have my first 150 pages of literature review and background information... already revised by my chair...

    Moved into my research in February and am slowly plugging away... While school was in session I got distracted by presentation preparation, teaching, and other stuff. Since school got out, I have been working about 5 hours a day before my brain turns off... five days a week. My biggest challenge is transcribing my interviews (which is the basis of my research). I have gone through seven freinds an ten interviews, but still have four more interviews to transcrib... transcribing sucks the brains out of my head... and I am worthless for writing for a while. I am an older student and don't have problems with focusing on my writing, but worry about my friends who have other challenges... thanks for these tips... Marilyn

  • At Wednesday, July 05, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Thanks for posting...We welcome all participants...have you thought about paying someone to transcribe for you? The starting pay for that is about $10.00 an hour. So what is your goal? getting all of your tapes transcribed or all of your interviews done?

    Dr. Carter

  • At Wednesday, July 05, 2006, Blogger Dumi said…

    Well, no time like the present to join the group. I'm also getting interviews transcribed on my project now. I need some done for a paper that I have to finish by early August. My first transcriptionist was so slow, I've hired another one. Hopefully she'll be better. This week I'm trying to complete my cv, and finish up a first run at my methods chapter (12 pages in looking to get 20 or so), I know its ambitious, but it's possible.

  • At Wednesday, July 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am so lost in writing my dissertation. I'm preparing my proposal and I'm trying to finish my methodology this week before starting the lit review and I can't for the life of me settle on a sample size. Anybody got any tips in establishing sample size?

  • At Wednesday, July 05, 2006, Blogger Marcella said…

    This summer, I am trying to write an academic paper that needs to be submitted to a journal before Sept 1st. I am also writing the majority of my dissertation proposal which I plan to complete by Sept 30th.

    I plan on spending at least 4 hours in the lab Monday through Friday with at least 2 hours of writing time. I'm not sure if that's a realistic goal or not, but...

    Right now, I am setting up my experiment which seems to be going fine. I have been at the lab for 3 hours but worked on setting up my experiment at the nursing home. I am going to start writing right now and see how long I can go. It's hard to just start writing and I dred it but I don't want this hanging over my head forever!

  • At Wednesday, July 05, 2006, Blogger LabRat93 said…

    Talk about timing. I am just trying to finish up writing this &@*$$ thesis. I had been working full time up until the end of May; my work project was my MSc project. But due to too many issues to discuss, I now have all the time I need to write, rather than just after-hours and on weekends. I have an aggressive schedule drawn up. I have 4 introductory chapters that are on average about 75% complete. I hope to have a first cdraft in its entirty to my supervisor by the end of this month, leaving him two weeks to review it before he goes on vacation for the last 3 weeks of August, when I can revise. If all goes well, I'll be defending in September, after spending August revising and looking for employment!

    For the rest of this week: I need to complete my materials and methods chapter- about 40% done and finihs up Intro chapter 1.
    I hope to spend a total of 6 hours/day on the writing, broken up into chunks

    I'll check back inlater!

  • At Wednesday, July 05, 2006, Blogger struggling said…

    I am trying to finish a paper this summer at the end of the challenge. I have been "writing" for 2 months now but it seems that I am not getting much accomplished. My goal is to work on the paper 6 hours per day, even if I am just working on figures or data analysis. I will let you now how it goes.

  • At Wednesday, July 05, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello All
    Thanks for checking in...

    Without knowing what type of research you are doing it's hard to give an answer about sample size...-About sample size often they say the larger the sample the better but it is more important that the sample is representative of the population that you are interested in, so for example if you were interested in college students on your campus and the population was 54% male and 46% female then your sample no matter how small would have to have the same percentage distribution. Do note that with small sample sizes random data can appear to show a strong effect.

    This answer is based on quantitative research and survey sampling--if you are doing something like regression analysis one Rule of Thumb is to 10-15 cases of data per with 5 predictors you'd need 50 or 72 cases respectively. Most Statistics/ or Research Methodology books have this information about sample size.

    Hope this get's you started...on the right path.

    Tip: Be sure to prepare your work environment for the next day so that you can be up and running when you are ready to work again.

    Dr. Carter

  • At Wednesday, July 05, 2006, Blogger ufc said…

    I am trying to finish my proposal this summer so that I can begin my research in the fall. I have been working on this dissertation since, oh---1994. I have requalified and am determined to finish this time. I am polishing chapters 1 and 2 while my chair has chapter 3. I am very fortunate in that I am using a survey methodology and will be able to survey the entire population (348). I have to finish the proposal this summer, or else. I hope to graduate by spring! Maybe there is an end to all of this.

  • At Wednesday, July 05, 2006, Anonymous PhDragging said…

    Thanks Dr. C,
    Great reminder about sampling. I'll also talk to my advisor because I think she's expecting something especially special since I'm using a SEM model. I've got to finish my proposal by the summer or like ufc, I'm in trouble. My goal is to defend by August and graduate in the Spring. I'ma try and do at least 2 hours a day. Thanks for setting this up. It helps. Hang in there ufc!! You're gonna do it this time around!!

  • At Wednesday, July 05, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello Again

    Many of you still seem to have vague deadlines about when you want to finish. Phdragging, ufc,dumi, labrat93...I strongly believe that you have to have a real deadline to motivate yourself to keep going... just ask marcella.

    If you don't think you can work 2-6 hours a day read my newsletter on writing your T/D in 12 minutes a day...Always remember do something no matter how small.

    There is an end just have to claim the victory first by setting a deadline.

    Set a real deadline with the month/day/year that you want to finish. Then figure out how many days that is from today and watch how real finishing your thesis or dissertation becomes; watch how your heart starts pumping when you realize how many days, not years your have left.

    Below I have attached a link to TADA's FREE personalized contract with yourself to help motivate you to finish.

    Pick a date,fill out the online contract, print it out, post it on a wall as a daily reminder

    You can fill out a new one as often as you like!

  • At Thursday, July 06, 2006, Blogger sandrew said…

    I am a bit frustrated as a dissertation from an online university does not allow a mentor or committee structure. I asked the person who was my mentor for one class to see if my problem statement and purpose statement were okay. I am doing a case study on leadership of a rural female in the 1920's-to whenever. I am not sure if to set a date parameter around it or not. If leadership skill are developed and not formed and women were generally thought to be too fragile to think or vote, then how did this woman develope leadership skills and become a leader of influence in her community. I chose a non-historical figure and now I wondering if I should do it on someone like Mary P. follett or Elenor Roosevelt. My initial interest was on the motivation of a common person to lead. My biggest need is guidence, am I moving in the right direction and did I cover enough topics in the lit review?


  • At Thursday, July 06, 2006, Blogger Marcella said…

    I definitely need to prepare the night before for the next day's work. I spent a whole hour, running around, getting ready for the day. Stuff I should have done earlier. I was almost late! Thanks, Dr. Carter!

  • At Thursday, July 06, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Good Afternoon All

    I have a million things to do including driving across the US from NY to CA...but you all know I am a list person so I have created a list of things to do which included getting my workout in today...I just finish that so let's see what's next.

    Sandrew thanks for checking in. Many students think that they have to write in a linear fashion i.e. chapter 1 first followed by chapter 2, etc...

    I generally advise student to write the chapter that they know most about first in order to build confidence that way. From what you have posted it seems like you are still having problems defining your research problem. Narrowing your topic down some more might help you can do that by putting an end date on the time period covered and also define what you mean by "leadership skills." Does it mean, women voting when it was illegal to do so? . Does it mean forming a grassroots organization to accomplish a task? Does it mean not giving up your seat like Rosa Parks? Does it mean creating a newsletter? Does it mean leadership in an organization? Once you settle on a definition of leadership skills that might help you with what to include in your literature might write in your literature review that author A defines leadership skills as a, b, & C however most of his/her examples only applied to men. This study in particular will apply those same skills to

  • At Thursday, July 06, 2006, Blogger Dumi said…

    Printed and signed a contract for a completion date (05/13/07). Step one down. Now making sure my weekly goals align with my timeline needs to start happening. Any reccomendations on that? I've been able to work at least 2 hours a day on my dissertation stuff, even if that includes reading.

  • At Thursday, July 06, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hey, all you can see that I am a night owl rather than a morning person...which one are you?

    If you are a morning person you should try to get most of your writing done in the morning...the rest of us should sleep late and work even later...

    dumi good for you for filling out the TADA certificate...way to get started..

    Be sure to break tasks down into manageable bite size pieces i.e. 12 minute chunks...i.e. creating a title page take as little as 12 minutes.

    In addition, I believe in reading a journal article only once. so my tip is take electronic notes while you read instead of using a highlighter.

    1. Copy the bibliographic information.
    2. Copy the abstract exactly as is.
    3. Take quotes along with the page numbers.
    4. Identify the research question
    5. Note the methodology used.
    6. Note the limitations of the study
    7. Note the findings
    8. Note the future recommendations

    This might seem time consuming but it saves you time over the long haul. It also allows you to easily compare studies when writing the literature review because the format is the same for all journal articles. With this method,you can cut and paste quotes directly into your document. And also easily create your reference section without having to locate the study again.

    Moreover, I suggest you read each article critically and write your thoughts and reactions to what you have read as you type your notes.

  • At Friday, July 07, 2006, Blogger getitdone said…

    Checking in...
    My objective is to complete Chapter 3, and finish up Chapters 1 and 2 by July 25th...that's when Mom and Dad arrives and we head to a Family Reunion.

    So while I know this might be a lofty goal...I know I will be farther along than I am now with a committment to work on Chapter 3 daily for a minimum of 30 minutes.

    So Chapter 3 is what I'm working on since Chapters 1 and 2 are 90 per cent complete. The problem at this point is time. I took a break after I completed my coursework in mid-March 2006, and I've been letting work (it does pay the bills) take on more of my life. Definitely decided to regroup this weekend when I spent 30 hours at work in a two-day period last week! Did someone say - get a life! Anyway, I'm at a point where the pain of not moving forward on the dissertation is weighing heavily on my shoulders, and I just need to GETITDONE!

    I will have a progress report, and specific questions as I journey through the month. But I just wanted to check in and say THANKS for beginning the summer writing group. It is definitely perfect timing Dr. Carter.

  • At Friday, July 07, 2006, Blogger Being_on said…

    I need some support for writing a proposal for my research project and actually putting the words on paper for the IRB proposal. I would love to be part of a support program. Twelve minutes a day is a start!

  • At Friday, July 07, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello All I will be away until Wednesday..remember I am driving across the country and I am leaving on Saturday...

    beingon and getitdone Welcome,

    "getitdone" it sounds quite ambitious but we are here to help you get it done!

    "beingon" I suggest that you take 12 minutes to read my newsletter on writing a proposal. See the link below. Then take another 12 minutes just to type the heading for the 13 sections of the proposal that are listed in the newsletter. After that, start writing the sections that you know well and see how much you can get done.

  • At Friday, July 07, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    here is the link to that newsletter I mentioned

  • At Friday, July 07, 2006, Blogger quietfire said…

    I have been working on my thesis for over 2 years and I really should have completed it by now. Subsequently, I have become frustrated and discouraged. I have done tons of research for my lit review and I am having problems formulating my research questions. I am doing my thesis on high school dropout prevention. My thesis chair has dissapproved of every angle I try to approach my research from and feels that it has already been done and that I should look at something that has not been previously done. However, I am only trying to add to the body of knowledge. The topic has room for additional exploration and with all that has been written and studied, the graduation rates have not significantly increased. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • At Friday, July 07, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    hello quietfire

    You are right there has been a considerable amount of research done on highschool dropout. If you are writing a Master's thesis you are not really looking for a solution to such a large problem.

    You need to narrow your scope considerably or read the studies with a critical eye asking what is wrong with this or that study, what have they not considered? What group has not been studied?

    What about students with disabilities has anyone conducted research on the dropout rate for this group?

    You might also consider the relationship between high school dropout and GEDs...i.e.are the large number of dropouts leading to an increase in students getting their General Equivalency Degree(GED) or are people going without any type of certification?

    Another possibility is the relationship between comphrensive exit exams and the highschool dropout rate...has there been a change since schools started instituting exit exams?

    These are just ideas off the top of my head...My research was on family structure and educational attainment.

  • At Friday, July 07, 2006, Blogger Midnight Lady said…

    I've read through the comments and I'm joining in to give myself an added push. I have been preparing a proposal and had hoped to be finished with the dissertation by the end of my December deadline, but things look rather dismal at this point. I accomplish a lot when I get started, but there have been many, many interruptions: I have a FT and two PT jobs, heavy immediate and extended family responsibilities, and serious, new health issues. It is difficult making writing a priority over health and family crises, so I hope being in the writing group will help me to push for one hour a day.

  • At Friday, July 07, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Midnight Lady you sound extremely extremely busy.... Welcome

    ...nonetheless...create a list of 15min -to 1hr items so that you know exactly what you are going to do with your 1hr otherwise you will always choose rest and relaxation if you don't have something specific to do...

    Once your hour is done you won't feel guilty while you are relaxing...Are you trying to finish your proposal by the end of the Summer Aug 18th? Is that your goal....You can't finish if you don't claim it.

    I always suggest striving for 12-15 minutes because that is more doable...15 min can turn into 30 and 30 into 45 easily but can always blow that off for something else better like sleep...just a thought for consideration.

  • At Saturday, July 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hello & good luck to everyone!
    I am so ready to do this! I'm a grad student in the social sciences and I am trying to LT goal is to finish by February 15th. I've finished and defended my proposal at the end of the spring semester. It felt so good to get this done. The problem I've had is that since then, I haven't written much so I don't feel like I'm making as much progress as I would like. During the first part of the summer, I began the data analysis. I'm also teaching during this second half of the summer. I enjoy teaching but need to work on my dissertation, too! So for the summer, my goal is to finish this data analysis by August 15th. So I have been crunching and crunching numbers but haven't written any actual text since mid-May. Does this count as far as moving forward? Because I am definitely spending somewhere between 2 to 4 hours recoding and writing computer programs daily. I've been feeling really guilty for teaching and not actually writing any text for the last few weeks. My daily goal is to spend at least 2 hours working on my data but I think I need to break it down and now start spending an hour writing some text I can use for dissertation.

  • At Sunday, July 09, 2006, Anonymous Catherine449 said…

    Answer to a prayer! Thanks! I'm trying to finish an economics dissertation proposal that's taking way way too long. My advisor has me writing 4 sections, one for each future chapter, so the hope is that i'll have less writing to do after the research. I am hoping to finish the third section by July 22nd and the fourth by Aug 15th.

  • At Monday, July 10, 2006, Anonymous Midnight Lady said…

    Many thanks for your suggestion, Dr. Carter. It seems to validate my approach. I created a TO DO list from day one, with many items which break down into segments that can be timed from 15 minutes to several hours. This list is what I have been working on (crossing off and adding on as I go). You are right: 15 minutes of working towards your goal can turn into 30 or 45 minutes--and usually does. Sometimes 15 minutes turns into three or four hours, and I love that even more! I feel like I'm making up time AND getting ahead; and, no, I don't feel guilty about what gets put off. Rest and relaxation...what's that?? Any R&R is has been "forced" due to health issues! Between getting the proposal approved this summer and pushing to complete the disseration in the fall, I'm planning serious R&R on a real vacation. This plan keeps me going.

  • At Wednesday, July 12, 2006, Anonymous PhDragging said…

    So I've set my dates. I'm FINISHING my proposal by the end of Aug. in order to be prepared to defend Sept. 6th. I'm planning to finish the 1st draft of the proposal July 20th, 2nd draft August 3rd, 3rd draft Aug 17th, Final draft Aug 31st, Defend Sept. 6th. My overall completion date is Feb. 20th. I have the TADA cd so i've already signed the contract. Thanks. Good luck everyone. Keep at it!!

  • At Wednesday, July 12, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello All

    I am back from the drive across the U.S. Done in 3.5 days (kids don't try that at home it was rough!!!) Good to see that we have some new folks with us Welcome to all of you...

    For the social scientist who is working, working working hard on the data but have not written a word...I truly feel your pain...been there...

    I would suggest that you create some tables and starting writing base on the tables that you have created...remember you can always change the numbers in the table again, if you have to..Create a table and write something about what story the numbers are telling the reader...remember you can also create figures from your data as well. When you don't feel like number crunching all day long by all means take a break create a pretty table and write about it...all of it is "making forward progress" and that is the name of the game. Break up the monotony by doing other things that still continue to move the document forward.

    Remember,your description of what is going on in the tables must be pretty cut and dry.

    You can leave the discussion of their(the tables) relevance to the literature/field for your discussion section...

    I am headed to bed I am quite exhausted after a long flight back home.

  • At Monday, July 17, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello All

    How is it going? You haven't given up yet have you? I hope that you are busy working hard to the Finish Line. Check in and let others know what type of progress you are making.

    I am giving a workshop on Friday at UMBC called "Practical Steps to Completing a Master's Thesis or Dissertation." The Mechanical engineering group and the Graduate Student Association are sponsoring this hour long workshop on campus.

    It's hot hot hot here in Maryland...anyone out there experiencing the same heat wave?

    I just finished my book chapter and sent it off to be edited.

    Tip of the week: You should focus on getting the big ideas or concepts down on paper first then worry about how it sounds later. You can always hire an editor if you need to.

  • At Tuesday, July 18, 2006, Anonymous Social Scientist said…

    Hello all!
    I wrote earlier as anonymous (4:08pm). Teaching summer classes is so intense! I have printed out my contract and have been working but at the bare minimum (12 min) which is not anywhere near the hour I set for myself earlier.
    Does anybody have any suggestions on how to reduce the amount of prep time for teaching? I want to spend more time on my research but also want to do a good job at teaching. I feel I spend my mornings in office hours, teaching and all afternoon prepping. By the time I get home I'm exhausted. Then my son and husband ask "what's for dinner?" and next thing I know it's 8pm!
    Or carving out more time during the day? Any suggestions are helpful. I'm a morning person so I have been waking up at 3am and work for a couple of hours when it's quiet since I cannot find a noninterrupted time slot during the day or evening.

  • At Tuesday, July 18, 2006, Anonymous John Nyarku said…


  • At Tuesday, July 18, 2006, Anonymous Ani said…

    Relief! A group of like-minded like-tortured people. Thanks for setting this up.

    As for me, I am trying to write a dissertation proposal and get out wit a bit of my sanity left. I have two kids, and do about 95% of the child-raising work. My eldest is 6 and the young one is 15 months. It's a tough balancing act to go back and forth between mom and doctoral student.

    I'm taking a few of these suggestions to heart, have established my work space, and intend to buckle down. My contract with myself says I shall be done by May 1 2007. I need to be defended by late Sept at the vary latest to enter this year's job market.

    Good luck to all.

  • At Tuesday, July 18, 2006, Anonymous Ani said…

    Social Scientist:

    If you are teaching a class for the first time, the prep can be total chaos. Try to find someone who has taught it before and see if they will share their material (notes, PPT's, HW assignments, tests, etc). Most people are willing to share and it cuts the workload.

    And, have a sit-down talk with the hubby first and son later. YOU NEED MORE HELP. I did that, and now my husband brings home dinner one night/week, and we order pizza once a week. Every litte bit helps.

    Good luck

  • At Thursday, July 20, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello All

    To my fellow Social Scientist all I can say is "congratulations on getting your 12 min in" and stop trying to be superMOM....see my April 2005 Newsletter on parenting and graduate school seeking a balance which will be published later this fall in Winds of Change

    I hope that you have set a date when you plan on finishing and you have posted it so that your family, husband, kids can be more supportive. They are more likely to be supportive if they know there is an end to the madness.

    Nonetheless I suggest that you might use the weekend to prep/cook dinners for the week--- that can just be reheated in the oven or microwave.

    "Ani's" suggestion was also a good one for first timers. Also don't be reluctant to invite "guest speakers" to your class to cover some material that you might not be an expert in...also use films to further explain a point and also use group presentations to also help ease your load. You don't have to lecture everyday. And when you pick a text for the course make sure you get the supporting materials that often come with the textbook...some text books have support materials such as lecture notes, summaries of the chapter, exams, overhead transparencies etc. As a new professor I always made sure I chose a book with supporting materials....Ask the publisher if the book has supporting materials for the teacher.

    "John" You make an assumpting that there will be a Fall Writing Group....You can always start a blog yourself....per your request I will think about one for the Fall :)

    Hope this helps....Keep it going....Marcella are you still out there?

    "dumi" how are those transciption going????

    labrat93 how is it coming are you working those 6 hours a day?

    Struggling How is that methods chapter coming??/ started strong what's up?

  • At Thursday, July 20, 2006, Blogger Dumi said…

    Update: So the transcriptions were coming along, but my second transcriptionist who was great, just told me she is moving to NY because she got her dream job :(

    I have a decent draft of my methods chapter, as well as I making progress on my conference paper (1st empirical chapter) which I'm presenting in early August. I will have a full draft by next Friday (7/28).

    I'm going to have to find another transciptionist by the end of next week. I say next week because I'm going out of town and won't be able search one out around my area.

    Also met with my chairs who think my progress is good and that my deadline (to completion) is feasible :)

    I have also contacted a number of folks that I know about postdocs and scheduled some meetings for annual meetings in August, so that is progress too.

    Personally trying to learn how to balance going at work too hard, sometimes I will work so hard the next day, I'm worthless. Balance is the key. Deadline still holding.

  • At Sunday, July 23, 2006, Blogger anthro58 said…

    I am entering late to this challenge but still want to get into the writting mood. I fiished y research two years ago, have 40 in depht interviews transcribed, a literature review and still cannot make myself commit to writting. Starting today I will folllow your excelent tips. I do not want my room to become a mess with all the writting papers, but I guess that is the only space in my house that I can claim as my own with three teenagers arroung a small house. Thanks, Teresa

  • At Tuesday, August 01, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello Thesis writers and Dissertators!!!! Please check in

    What's going on out there? Has the heat gotten the best of you? I haven't heard from any of you in a quite a long time. August 1st is tomorrow. We have 18 days before our group is over...What can you do in 18 days????? Plenty---during Spring Break we were able to accomplish much, so with 18 days we can get plenty of things done...

    During my time with you, I got my book chapter written, edited and then I made some revisions and sent it in for review...that's what I did over my summer break...what story are you going to tell?

    dumi...thanks for letting me know who you are I would love to come to Michigan and give my workshop there but I think an alumna currently has that school locked up but I am sure we can still work something out...We can still do the ASA next summer when it is back in the U.S.

    Yesterday I gave the workshop " Practical Steps to Completing a Master's Thesis or Dissertation" to graduate students at the Leadership Alliance National Symposium in Chantilly Virgina at 8:30-9:30 in the morning!!! Yikes..All of you on this journey with me know I am not a morning person so I am sure you felt my pain...

    labrat93 do you have that first draft ready? you said you wanted your supervisor to have 2wks to read it...

    struggling did you create any tables from all of that data analysis? did you write anything or are you still in the depths of data analysis?

    ufc is the proposal 90% done?

    sandrew (sandi) how is it going? did you give your advisor/supervisor your bibliography and ask if there were any major studies that you over looked?

    getitdone you should be on chapter 3 by now since July 25th has come and gone? were you able to meet you own deadline? How is the first draft of chapter 3 outline is always a good place to start especially if you are struggling

    beingon how is that IRB proposal coming here is link to the TADA FinishLine Newsletter on writing a proposal

  • At Tuesday, August 08, 2006, Blogger LabRat93 said…

    Hi I'm back to check in on August 8th.
    I must admit that I haven't met my goal of writing for 6 hours a day- I've been averaging closer to 3-4, being brutally honest. At least I am making progress. My hubby and I just got back from a camping trip in the Highlands of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia- Breath taking. Now I have to get back on track and get writing again. I have been having weekly meetings with my thesis supervisor- which has helped to keep me going. My earlier agressive schedule has been reeled back into reality. I'm looking at defending in October, but I need to remind myself that this isn't a 'get out of thesis writing free card'- This isn't going to write itself.
    When I wrote earlier I hadn't yet had approval form my committee that I was ready to write up. I do have that approval now, and have the first review of an outline complete. the preparationof the presentation to get the approval, and the un-expected outline writing took some time out of my schedule- and I must admit, some of the wind out of my sails, but with all being done now, I do see the value in the outline.
    I'm meeting with my supervisor tomorrow, so I'd best get some revisions completed.
    I'll check in later, again!

  • At Thursday, August 10, 2006, Anonymous social scientist said…

    Summer session II has just finished. My grading is done and I've managed to finish writing 25 pages for my current chapter! I have a couple of days vacation before elementary school starts Monday, so I'm trying to finish as much this week before we take a couple of days break. I'm hoping to have the other half of my chapter finished by next week.
    Wish me luck!
    Only one more week to go.

  • At Thursday, August 10, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello all

    One more week to go!!!! What can you get done in 10 days? Welcome back labrat93 and social scientist. Congratulations for still making progress---that's the name of the game....and we're in it to win it...

  • At Wednesday, August 16, 2006, Blogger Dumi said…

    I'm back in the states from Canada and with a couple of days left for the challenge I will finish reframing the front end of the paper I presented at the sociology conference in light of the comments that i received. this reframing with involve re-reading some literature as well as re-constructing the literature review (which was too loose anyway). I think I can get it done by Friday. And thanks for the networking email Dr. Carter.

  • At Thursday, August 17, 2006, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello all

    Friday is our deadline. I hope that all of you were able to accomplish something this summer. Dumi welcome back from the ASA; I miss my friends and colleagues.

    I am wishing you all the best in the Fall. I hope you continue to write and complete your theses and or dissertations.

    If you haven't purchased TADA!Thesis and Dissertation Accomplished or Signed up for the FREE Newsletter you still have time.

    Please let us know when you are Finally Finshed...celebrate your victories...we would like to share them with our readers--we just created a new section in our newsletter just for that purpose. It is called "Celebrating TADA Graduates."

    Wishing you all the best with the rest of your summer

    Dr. Carter

  • At Friday, December 01, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At Monday, July 02, 2007, Blogger Antoinette said…

    Hello all,

    New to TADA, but after reading some of the email traffic, I am quite at home already. I work full time, have been fairly productive lately, but have not established any deadlines that have received affirmation from my soon to be 'new' chair--he did say he would be back in town mid-July. I am about to redo my diss committee. I took so long that the I've lost members--left the University. But I want to finish, and believe that I am back on track. Still working full time--NECESSARY, writing 4 evenings/week and on weekends.

    Is it useful to review dissertations from other students in the same department?


  • At Monday, July 02, 2007, Blogger Dr. Carter said…


    Yes, it's a goood idea to look at other dissertations in your dept...but don't get caught up in the particular attention to dissertations that your new advisor chaired and those that relate to your topic.

    We are about to get started again next week...join us for the next 21 days starting July9-27


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