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

A Good Thesis or Dissertation Is a Done Thesis or Dissertation

Sunday, July 06, 2008

From Dr. Wendy Carter of TA-DA! Thesis and Dissertation Accomplished: TADA! Do it Now: Join Us in the 'On-line Dissertation House'

Thank you for joining in. Just click on "Comments" below,
add your thoughts and tell us:
  • What will you work on?
  • How much time will you spend daily working on it?
  • How much progress you are making, or problems you are having.
  • At the end of everyday plan what you want to accomplish the following day
(For more about our Summer Challenge, see my previous post just below.)


  • At Sunday, July 06, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello and Welcome to the Dissertation House and TADA! Summer Break Challenge...

    I just got back from seeing Mama Mia, in DC it was wonderful. I loved the songs, the actors, the costumes ec....I hope to see the Lion King later this summer.

    Now I am back and we can get started. Jackie D was here even before me.

    Thanks Jackie for getting us started.

    During the next 3 weeks I plan on doing some writing for a website that I have been working on. In addition, need to write a research paper that I have been collecting some data for.

    For this challenge...I plan on completing the methods section of the paper.

    What do you plan to get done in the next 3 weeks?

    Many of the UMBC students will join us on Tuesday morning at 9:00 am. To join us, start by setting up your gmail account. Visit

  • At Sunday, July 06, 2008, Blogger Jackie said…

    Hello everyone!!!

    I am very excited about this On-line Dissertation House. I look forward to hearing from everyone else.

    I was reading one blog earlier on procrastination and I thought, that can be me at times...but now I suddenly have a burst of motivation so I am making good progress on my dissertation.

    For the next 3 weeks I'd like to complete my literature review.I have been doing some work on it but still have more to go.

    I look forward to reading everyone's comments.

  • At Monday, July 07, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Welcome Jackie...Good for you for getting to that Lit Review.

    I generally start with the Methods section because as a quantitative person, that section is easiest for me. However, I am doing a qualitative study so I am trying something new.

    Tonight I was able to make small progress on the website.

    I am headed to bed...Good night

  • At Monday, July 07, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Good Morning All,

    Ok so you didn't get started on Sunday. Today is another opportunity to get it done. Do you have 12-15 minutes?

    What can you get done in 15 minutes?

    Have you created your title page?

    Can you create an outline?

    Did you write your Acknowledgement Page?

    What about your List of Figures Page?

    What aobut you List of Tables Page?

    Can you check your bibliography or citations format?

    What about your Table of Contents?

    Can you download the Graduate school's template? or deadlines and transfer them to your PDA, or calendar?

    Can you Free write for 15 minutes?

    Can you create one table, one figure? and then write a paragraph about it?

    Can you take 15 minutes to signup for to participate in this blog?


    You get the picture...there is something that you can do today to move your thesis or dissertation forward today.

    What is that for you? Let me know what you did with your 15 minutes..

  • At Monday, July 07, 2008, Blogger Jackie said…

    Good morning!
    Actually I had completed my methods and analysis first, and to be quite honest, I enjoyed thoses sections the most. They were also easier for me. Now I am tackling the lit review. Today I plan on going through more articles and outline them.

    Have a good day everyone!

  • At Monday, July 07, 2008, Blogger Peggie said…

    Hi! I'm planning on working on my literature review these next few weeks for the challenge. My goal is to have it complete before the end of the summer. I will spend about 1 hour a day working on it. I haven't made any real progress on it as of yet since this section seems to be the most daunting (and least favorite), but it is the last thing that I need to complete before I can defend my proposal.
    My main problem, like Jackie, is procrastination. I can find 10 million other things to do besides write, and my workspace was very cluttered so it was hard to focus. Just recently I purchased a new laptop and desk so hopefully that will give me some more motivation.

  • At Monday, July 07, 2008, Blogger PhDBound said…

    I am working on my dissertation proposal. My plan is to have my proposal completed by the end of the summer and hopefully in the next three weeks.

    I plan to work on completing the entire proposal. I plan to spend at least 3 hours or more on it each day. I worked on the literature review section today, but I still have a ways to go. I have a problem completing sections that I have started on. My biggest problem is procrastination. My plan tomorrow is to complete the first section of the literature review section and edit and revise as necessary.

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger OneStep said…

    xHi Everyone :)

    I'm a newbie to this blog (or any online dissertation support group for that matter) and I told Dr. Carter that I would log on tonight and respond to her prompts (after she snapped at me for being initially flakey about whether or not I could accomplish this little bit of a task tonight) ;) Okay, so I have some serious issues with procrastination, not to mention all the emotional trauma that goes along with being stuck in ABD-Land for wayyyy too long....

    Alright, so let me get to the point...
    <1) What will you work on?>
    I would like to spend the next couple of weeks working on one of my analysis chapters (there are 4 analysis chapters in my dissertation)

    <2) How much time will you spend daily working on it?>
    Hmmm, this is a hard one. Ideally, I'd like to say 8-10 hours. However, I'm not sure if that is realistic, given my pattern of inactivity over the last couple of months. If 12-15 minutes is the minimum, I guess an average between that and 8 hours a day would be about 4 hrs a day of dissertation work. (I hope I'm not setting myself up for failure!)

    <3) Tell us how much progress you are making, or problems you are having.>
    Ever since the middle of this past May, I've made zilch progress, nada. I don't have enough time now to describe my problems... there are too many, mostly having to do with emotional/mental struggles at this point. I guess the biggest ones are avoidance, procrastination, and having a hard time identifying small/reasonable goals that I can realistically accomplish each day. On a more positive note, in the first couple of weeks of May, I was able to take an initial pass of my data and identify some initial themes for this chapter.

    <4) At the end of everyday plan what you want to accomplish the following day.>
    I met with my advisor last week and I told her i would have something for her to read by noon-ish tomorrow (Tuesday, July 8). I told her I would try to get a draft of the first part of this analytic chapter (the first part includes a general description of the particular participant on which this chapter focuses). So i will spend tomorrow morning, hopefully, getting some thing down on paper for my advisor to read and make comments on (we will meet this Thursday to discuss her feedback).

    Okay, that's all for tonight. Will check in tomorrow night.

    Praying for a productive Tuesday...

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger terrov said…

    Hello group. My name is Mark and I am in the Public Policy program at UMBC. This week my goal is to finish a final draft of Chapter 2 of my proposal.

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger Leanne said…

    Hello--I'm Leanne, a 5th year doctoral candidate in gerontology (that's the study of aging).

    This week at Dissertation House, I plan to (finally) finish my lit review chapters. They've been hanging over my head forever and I'm tired of dealing with them! As soon as I finish that piece, I'll be able to move on to the Methods chapter, and then defend my proposal! Sweet.

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger aanthony1243 said…

    Hi! I'm Adam Anthony, Ph.D. candidate in computer science.

    I'm hoping to more clearly define the 'big picture' of my thesis, tying together all the progress I've made so far.

    This will include both development of core themes including specific contributions and a more thorough cross reference with related work, which will mean an update to my lit review.

    I'm looking forward to getting things going.

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger Rebecca said…

    Good morning all, I plan to spend the next several weeks working on writing the rough draft of the introduction to my dissertation.


  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger A said…


    I'm working on my dissertation outline.

    I am also doing a study on eye gaze. Want to know which eye is your dominant eye? Ask me during break.


  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger Leanne said…

    This post has been removed by the author.

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello all

    We're back in the Dissertationi House. Welcome Jackie, Phdbound and Peggie...

    Good Morning,

    We have 13 new students in the DH today all from UMBC. For those of you who will be working on your literature review, how many articles will you be reading today?

    You are not is another day to get started.

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger mileidy said…

    Hello All,
    My most general goal for this week is to draft a detailed plan (with set deadlines) to finish my thesis by December.
    My immediate goal is to begin working on my first research paper, which will be one chapter in my thesis.

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger Maher said…

    Hello everybody!!

    I have already started writing my dissertation. During the coming days of this week, I would like to accomplish the following:

    - Conclusion of the literature review.
    - A general introduction to each of the 3 main chapters of the dissertation.
    - A small summary for each of the 3 main chapters of the dissertation.

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger Violeta said…

    Hello everybody! My goal for these days is the following: 1) choose between two possible topics and prepare the agenda. In order to achieve this I will be working on literature review, and writing up in-depth interviews.

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger Geriel said…

    Hello Everyone,

    This week I plan to complete Methods Chs 3-5

    Order all my supplies to start Week 3 of my wear testing on Thurs/Fri

    Update my dissertation format so that each time I add changes it automatically accepts.

    Update References

    Continue Tables and Data Analysis

    Have a great week!


  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger Yvette said…

    Good Morning,

    I'm Yvette. I'm a student in the EDHI program at UMCP but I'm participating in the Dissertation House at UMCP. Today, I plan to review the comments from my advisor and begin edits to Chapter 1. Wish me luck!


  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger Mari said…

    My name is Mari Wepprecht, hello everyone. I hope to do most if not all of my lit review (maybe that's a heavy goal) but a lot of it for my proposal-which needs to be done in September so I can fly to Nigeria to do my field data research. This is scary and I didn't get any sleep last night because I am scared I will fail myself (this is my third proposal-not going the full way but finding out after six months of work my numbers weren't working-so I am switching to more qualitative methods which scares me as I am more of a quantitative person.

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger Jackie said…

    It is hard to say how many articles I will review cause I find as I start to review one, I find other refernces within it that I need to pull. Today I don't have alot of time but I will give myself 2-3 hrs today. I am glad that I am making progress tho....

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello Jackie

    Remember to read with a purpose

    Here is some information you should be getting from each article.

    The bibliography
    The abstract
    What is the Author's Research Question?
    Does this study support or negate my research Question?
    What is wrong with this research?
    How will my study improve this research?

    You can use that as a template when you read so that you can readily compare studies for the lit review.

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger Mari said…

    It's Mari again, yeah way too lofty of a goal for me this week. After a reality check with Dr. Carter I need to refocus, do my sig/prob statement (Mark-where online for PP is our version?) Then start one chapter of lit review if my methods are okay, also need to check in with the IRB, and get the guts to ask my outside person to be on the fun "Mari Team". I think this should be called dissertation bootcamp-cause my booty needs some kicking-and it is working so far :)

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger Maher said…

    Hello everybody!!

    The endnote web at umbc can be accessed at the following link:

    Good luck!!

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello all

    It's the end of the Dissertation House and we have all headed home.

    Here is the direct link:

    All the best, I will check in again in the morning.

  • At Tuesday, July 08, 2008, Blogger bluepearls said…

    It is great to be part of this challenge. My goal for the next three days is to critically analyzed 2-3 empirically based journal articles and enter specific information in a chart I generated for this explicit purpose. I want to use the chart to identify if the focus for my project is promising enough to warrant further investigation. Thank you for the support.

  • At Wednesday, July 09, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello Welcome back to the Dissertation House this morning.

    What is will you accomplish today so that you can do whatever you want without a sense of guilt?

  • At Wednesday, July 09, 2008, Blogger A said…


    My goals for today are:

    Continue putting in the last of the latest literature in a single document, including facts and figures.

    Sort all the articles

    Paraphrase as needed

    Start a Lit "To Do" for finding holes in my reviews thus far


  • At Wednesday, July 09, 2008, Blogger Leanne said…

    Morning! Well, yesterday I made some progress on my lit review, and I plan on more of the same today...if all goes well, I'll be finishing the last section of the first Lit Review chapter...that would be AMAZING. I'll go back through comments that my advisor sent, and take care of those today too. Go team.

  • At Wednesday, July 09, 2008, Blogger mileidy said…

    Good morning!
    Today I am going to work on the methods section of a research paper which will also be a chapter in my thesis.

  • At Wednesday, July 09, 2008, Blogger Violeta said…

    Morning everybody! My goals for today are to finish writing the 3 pages that Dr. Carter asked me to, check pro-quest for dissertations on my topic, and read some articles to start organizing my lit review.

  • At Wednesday, July 09, 2008, Blogger aanthony1243 said…

    Hello writers,

    My plan today:

    1. Finish TOC draft
    2. Download SIAM template, get paper transferred to template
    3. transfer various writings and figures to thesis template
    4. Develop plan for getting paper out to SIAM
    5. (parallel task) collect timing data for paper

    I feel like it depends on my progress today.

  • At Wednesday, July 09, 2008, Blogger Yvette said…

    Good Morning,

    Today I will complete edits to Chapter 1 and begin Chapter 2. Wish me luck!


  • At Wednesday, July 09, 2008, Blogger Mari said…

    Hi everyone. Tired, stayed up organizing. Though my sleep is all off coming back from the West Coast.
    I did an outline for my problem statement and got all the articles together. Today I will do the problem statement, significance. Also look into more measureable outcomes (hard because I am now doing qual. work). Look into other dissertations on history and qualitative work-for a better understanding. Do excel for lit, visa stuff, email a couple profs...we'll see how far we get.

  • At Thursday, July 10, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Good Morning all

    Jackie, Phdbound,peggie how is it going have you accomplished your goal?

    Yesterday in the DH we talked about overcoming procrastination.

    Today we are going to talk about preparing for your proposal defense or your thesis or dissertation defense.

    Welcome back to the DH again.

  • At Thursday, July 10, 2008, Blogger Leanne said…

    Good morning,

    Yesterday wasn't a very good day for me. I felt pretty defeated, in terms of what I thought I had accomplished and what still needs to be done. The whole thing felt like a mountain again--something I've worked really hard to overcome. I did get a few things accomplished, and did some useful journaling about my to-do list, and wrote down some sampling strategies to think about in case the one I'm planning to use isn't feasible. But still, it kind of sucked. So, today I'm going to not worry about writing (at least in the a.m.), and instead will concentrate on gathering/summarizing information for the last part of my lit review (which, after I restructured things yesterday, is actually going to be the first). I talked to my advisor yesterday and he gave me encouragement that I'm on the right path and should keep going, so that's what I'm going to do!!

    Best to all of you!

  • At Thursday, July 10, 2008, Blogger mileidy said…

    Today I plan on finishing the Methods section of a research paper (also Chapter 3 of my dissertation) and will outline the results section.

  • At Thursday, July 10, 2008, Blogger aanthony1243 said…

    Today's plan:

    AM: collect data; work some on revising CH3

    PM: More work on revising CH3

  • At Thursday, July 10, 2008, Blogger Yvette said…

    Good Morning,

    I made significant progress on my edits yesterday. I plan to finishing up chapter 2 edits and begin chapter 3 edits.


  • At Thursday, July 10, 2008, Blogger Mari said…

    Good morning everyone! It's Thursday and I am working down my list-signifigance and looking at other dissertations on line regarding qualitative methods. Then Methods.

    Hope everyone is doing well today!

  • At Thursday, July 10, 2008, Blogger Maher said…

    Hello everybody!!

    Today I will be working on the conclusions of the first two chapters I have in my dissertation.

    Best wishes for you all!!

  • At Thursday, July 10, 2008, Blogger Maher said…

    ...And I also have to work on the introduction of Chapter 4!!

  • At Thursday, July 10, 2008, Blogger Violeta said…

    Hello everybody!
    Yesterday I searched for thesis on proquest and found good ones. I also finished a 3 page draft of what my proposal can look like. I also contacted a professor and talked to her about it. Today I plan to organize and peruse the thesis I found, and to go over some articles that use similar methodology.

  • At Friday, July 11, 2008, Blogger Leanne said…

    Friday already?! Usually I'm counting down the minutes until Friday, but I can't believe how quickly this week has flown by.

    Yesterday was much better--instead of looking at my lit review and feeling like I wanted to throw up, I decided to switch gears and start getting articles together for the second part of my lit review. I started a spreadsheet along the lines of Dr. Carter's suggestion, which is proving to be useful already. Plus, I was able to strengthen my variable model based on the lit I found yesterday--always a good thing!

    Today I'm going to keep on that track, and just keep digging through the literature. I'm ok with the fact that I didn't get much more actually WRITTEN like I had planned this week, but at least I'm back into my diss, and making forward movement!

    Keep on keepin' on!

  • At Friday, July 11, 2008, Blogger aanthony1243 said…

    today's goal:
    1. Try not to think about how i'm leaving for chicago tomorrow
    2. Keep revising ch 3. This is going very slow.

  • At Friday, July 11, 2008, Blogger Geriel said…

    Today I am going to work on:

    Zygo surface roughness measurements for 10 of coated specimens to use for wear testing
    Start wear R5
    order thermal heater for wear tester
    Have undergrad student update all my tables for wear info and Measure all specimens from Wear R4 (weight, height, thickness)
    Finish Methods Ch 4&5


  • At Friday, July 11, 2008, Blogger mileidy said…

    Today I am going to outline the results for my paper 1 (chapter 3), I will finish editing my CV and will work on my cover letter.

  • At Friday, July 11, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Good Morning

    We are here again in the Dissertation House.

    Marcella stopped by yesterday and shared her experience in graduate school and how she was able to finish her PhD.

    Dr. Varhol talked about stress management and that5 suggested some amount of stress is necessary for us to get off the couch.

    Today is Friday and we will be working on? How to make a good impression with your advisor. We will also work on our "elevator pitch" (2 min speech) about our research.

    What have you been able to accomplished this week?

    Has your productivity gone up? What have you learned about your work habits?

  • At Friday, July 11, 2008, Blogger Mari said…

    I am tired, ready to practice my elevator speech, did it infront of the mirror and with mom, no probs, but I am so tired I am guessing things will go differently this morning. I am happy to have learned different info-and stuff that a lot of my peers don't know is out there (I am informing them). Today I want to continue to study these two dissertations that have nothing to do with my research but their methodology works-yay! I then hope to start writing that or significance-which I already have some of it done. And most of all I want to make a schedule for next week what I hope to do everyday. Or at least a list cutting everything down to little tasks to accomplish this big deal. I have a deadline-AND I AM GOING TO MAKE IT!!!!

  • At Friday, July 11, 2008, Blogger Stacey said…

    Hello everyone,

    Today I plan to complete the introduction to one of my individual chapters, as well as complete my main introduction chapter.

  • At Friday, July 11, 2008, Blogger Rebecca said…

    Yesturday, I finally got to being able to write without locking up immediately. So today, I am going to try to keep writing in the intro section and just see where it goes.


  • At Friday, July 11, 2008, Blogger Yvette said…

    It's been a very productive week. I'm getting quite a bit of editing done and learning a lot along the way. Today, I hope to finish edits to Ch. 3 - Methodology.


  • At Friday, July 11, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello all

    This afternoon, we in the Dissertation House focused on networking in graduate school.

    Below is a link to the TADA newsletter on the same issue

    Sometimes graduate students wonder why their advisor just don't tell them exactly what they mean or what they want them to do. I have also written a newsletter on what professor are really communicating to their graduate students,

    By now you might have noticed that I have written a lot of newsletters on issues that graduate students face.

    Sign up for the TADA FinishLine newsletter using the link below

  • At Friday, July 11, 2008, Blogger Peggy A Lumpkin said…

    Thanks so much for this. Sorry I'm starting late. Even a couple of weeks will help. I need accountability and support. I'm doing my concept paper form my committee. Once it's approved I can start my prospectus. The committee met in May and I'm still not done and feeling overwhelmed

  • At Friday, July 11, 2008, Blogger Peggy A Lumpkin said…

    Hi, I'm not sure my original post made it. I'm working on a PhD in Instructional Technology. I'm glad to join this group

  • At Friday, July 11, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Welcome Peggy

    It's always good when someone new joins in.

    Jackie, what's up? you started out so well we miss you... How is that lit review coming?

  • At Friday, July 11, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    It's Friday at 3:37 and 5 students are left in the DH along with myself.

    You can still get something accomplished today and then have a chance to enjoy your weekend?

    What have you done today to move your dissertation FORWARD?

    Do something even if all you did was your title page; you can check that off your list.

  • At Sunday, July 13, 2008, Blogger Peggy A Lumpkin said…

    I've read over the other comments. I relate to onestep's and other's issues with procrastination. My goal is to get my concept paper (this a pre-proposal piece used by my department to be sure we are on the right track and it then can be used as a guide to finish the formal proposal). My goal is to defend my prospectus in October.

    However in my TA DA contract I made September 2007, I vowed to finish my disseertation by 12/08. So I am behind that deadline. Dr. Carter how many of these contracts do people make before they are finished?

    Thanks for listening

  • At Sunday, July 13, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello Peggy

    Week 2 begins today. Good for you for staying true to your proposal and dissertation. It's not about how many contracts you sign it's about what you do in between signing the contract.

    You have to break your tasks down into manageable pieces and create checklists so that you can build some confidence.

    In the dissertation house we all started with a large sheet of paper that we could put on the wall. On that paper we posted the things that we wanted to get done during the week. Each day we would look to things that we could cross off. At the end of the day we added new things to get done the following day.

    Being able to see that we were able to accomplish tasks kept us motivated on a daily basis. You can do the same.

    As always, I suggests starting with the section that you know best. It builds confidence.
    Your tasks should be small and maneageable. Writing your methods chapter is too broad a task.

    You should instead say I am going to write about 3 variable today and how they relate to my research question. Or perhaps you can write your limitation section...

    What section are you going to work on today...What are you going to do to move the paper forward?

  • At Sunday, July 13, 2008, Blogger Peggy A Lumpkin said…

    Ok This weeks goals.
    1.Today I want to get my concept paper ready enough to send to my initial classmate readers. Classmate 1 ran a university writing center and gas been very helpful with grammar, structure and content. Classmate 2 reads for content and flow. Send it off by Monday evening.
    2. While waiting for their feedback, create draft survey questions as well as a list of participants for the pilot of the survey. Goal date Tuesday or Wednesday
    3. When feedback received, update paper and send to advisor. Goal date Thursday or Friday
    4. Modify paper to use as a proposal for presentation at a convention. Goal date Monday 7/21. Deadline is August 1 for proposals via an online submission procedure.

  • At Monday, July 14, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Good Morning All

    It's Monday and I know that all of you still have to work on writing your thesis or dissertation. Now that you have left the DH what have you learned that you will implement?

    You can still use this blog to keep going....

    Peggy good for your for setting concrete goals.

    Onestep you now need to take another step what will that be?

    Rebecca and Mileidy what's on tap for today? What daily goals have you set?

    I look forward to meeting with the students next week at UMCP.

    My task today is to
    (1) Book a plane ticket for the Leadership Alliance conference next weekend in Hartford CT,
    (2) Mail back a contract for another conference in October
    (3)Mail out my monthly newsletter TADA FinishLine.

    If you did not get a chance to sign up don't wait another month... The newsletter goes out today..

  • At Monday, July 14, 2008, Blogger LaWanda said…

    Hello everyone, I'm just joining the Dissertation House. I'm looking forward to this. Currently I'm working on my literature review, chapter 2. My goal is to have it completed by the end of July.

  • At Monday, July 14, 2008, Blogger Peggy A Lumpkin said…

    Today I took Dr Carter's advice and checked my school's graduation calendar (Georgia State U in Atlanta. It gave me solid deadlines for graduating next spring or summer. Thanks

  • At Monday, July 14, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello Peggy and LaWanda and those of you who are just reading rather than participating.

    Peggy please pay close attention to those dates because last week we figured out that for people at UMBC who want to graduate in December, students must be able to hand a full draft of their thesis or dissertation to their committee by October 31, 2008.

    Remember there are dates for how much time a committee member needs to read your document before they can set a defense date. Don't forget to include the holidays and the semester deadline dates when faculty might be busy making up exams, grading finals, etc.

    You must also take into account that you will then have to juggle committee members' schedules so that you can find ONE day on the calendar that you all can agree on.

    Some of you are out there saying I'm the TA who makes up exams and grade them. Nonetheless, you know what I mean.

    I am headed to bed.

    LaWanda keep working on the Lit Review I find that to be the hardest section to write. When you get tire work on an outline for that section or on the bibliography.

    Good night

  • At Tuesday, July 15, 2008, Blogger Doreen said…

    Hello Dr.& everyone,
    I hope i'm not too late. I've decided to join this 'On-line Dissertation House' due to the necessity of sharing thoughts and experiences in preparing my thesis and of course with others too.
    I am a beginner who needs sharing ideas on proposal part.
    Thank you

  • At Tuesday, July 15, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Good Morning All

    Many of you know I am not a morning person so blogging at 8:00am is pretty good.

    Doreen Welcome to the TADA Challenge and the DH.

    If you are writing a proposal check out my newsletter on writing one. .

    Peggy if you are writing survey questions remember to add time in your schedule to get IRB (human subjects) clearance from your university.

    An institutional review board (IRB), also known as an independent ethics committee (IEC) or ethical review board (ERB) is a committee that has been formally designated to approve, monitor, and review biomedical and behavioral research involving humans established to protect the rights and welfare of the research subjects.

    Check your university's website to get the required forms and deadlines for submissions. Moreover, your survey must be complete in order for IRB to review it. Be sure to have your advisor review your survey questions and your methods to maintain confidentiality. This entire review process can sometimes take 2-6 months.

    Yesterday I was able to accomplish 2 of my 3 items. I must roll over that task to today's list.


    1.I will get to the post office.
    2. I will exercise
    3. code some qualitative data.

    What's on tap for you today?

  • At Tuesday, July 15, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello all

    I was able to accomplish my 2 of 3 things. I did manage to get to the gym and the post office. I still have time to analyze data.
    The power cord for my laptop also died today so I am using my sister's computer for as long as she will let me.

    Nonetheless, in the DH last week we talked about finding academic and non-academic jobs.

    I said I would put the links on this blog and here there are.
    Academic Job Websites

    Non-Academic Jobs

  • At Saturday, July 19, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello All

    Did we give up for the last two days? How is the writing going?

    I am working this weekend in Richmond VA. I look forward to DH on Tuesday at UMD College Park.

    If any of you will be at the Leadership Alliance Conference next weekend in Hartford CT...Stop by and say hello.

    It's the weekend but you still have to get some work done. I know you have at least 12 minutes to get SOMETHING done.

  • At Monday, July 21, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello All it's Monday again last week of the TADA Summer Break Challenge!

    Even if you haven't done "anything" you still have time to join us for the last week.

    The graduate students at UMCP will join us online in the morning.

    What will you be working on this week? What will you get done tonight for that matter.

    Onestep will be printing out all of her chapters no matter how small and putting them into a 3 ring binder tonight.

    This helps you to realistically see how much you have completed already and how much more you have to get done rather than holding all of that information in your head.

    Take a look at your chapters and write what percent you have completed. Chapter 1--20% complete? Chapter 2--30%? etc.

    To the rest of you I say stop feeling guilty and do 1 thing today to move your dissertation forward no matter how small that task is.

    If all you can do is to write the word "abstract" on a page do it because it will be used as a page holder to remind you that you have to write a 200-250 word abstract at a later date.

    Good night all see you again in the morning.

  • At Tuesday, July 22, 2008, Blogger Illana said…

    Good morning. I am Illana. This week I hope to finish a draft (or at least a significant portion) of my "Movement of Learners" chapter.

  • At Tuesday, July 22, 2008, Blogger Wanda said…

    Hi all,
    This is Wanda.I am new to Dissertation House. I will be working on data analysis.

  • At Tuesday, July 22, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello All

    The students from UMCP are here with me in the Dissertation House. We have a wonderful group of students who will be working on their proposals, theses, and dissertations.

    What will you work on today? No task is too small? Hey Peggy where are you? Peggie what's going on are you done? Phdbound jump back in.

  • At Tuesday, July 22, 2008, Blogger MJW said…


    I am Mycah Wilson, a 2nd year Master's student in the College of Education, College Student Personnel Program.

    During this week, I will be working on the beginning stages of my thesis. Specifically the literature review.

  • At Tuesday, July 22, 2008, Blogger Janet said…

    Hello All:

    This week I am continuuing to work on Chapter 4 of my dissertation. I'll specifically work on the section "Identity over time". I've broken this section down into two tentative titles, "African as a problem" and "Not Black Enough". I'd like to finish this section within the next few days and submit to my advisor by Thursday. On Thursday, I'd like to begin on the section, "Not Nigerian Enough". I'm definitely challenging myself to stay focus and write as much as possible. I'm looking forward to it!

  • At Tuesday, July 22, 2008, Blogger david said…

    Hi, I'm Dave and I am scheduled to defend my proposal this friday. I have three goals for next three days: incorporate guidance from the workshop facilitators on my presentation document; practice the presentation for time and delivery; and establish a firm plan for completing the actual dissertation research.

  • At Tuesday, July 22, 2008, Blogger Alexis said…

    Hello All,
    I am excited about working on my lit review this week. I have reorganized the structure to make it more logical and "write-able". I plan to finalize the majority of the body and conclusion sections for a solid draft.

  • At Tuesday, July 22, 2008, Blogger Kismet said…

    I'm here at the Dissertation House @UMCP. Yay!

    This week I plan to start a the first third of my lit review (it is in three parts). That "start" for me means at least an outline, and a list of secondary sources that I can use as a jumping off point ofr the next couple of weeks.

    Today I will begin with compiling secondary sources into a book list.

    I love accountability. So if you twitter, give me a tweet @ kismet4. I'm live twittering my time here this week as #DH08.

    *crossing my fingers that I'm inspired!*

    Best of luck to everyone!

  • At Tuesday, July 22, 2008, Blogger Thomas Richardson said…

    Hi, my name is Ranetta Hardin and I am happy to be working with the diss. house this week. I'll be working on my review of literature for my proposal and organizing my steps towards research.

  • At Tuesday, July 22, 2008, Blogger Gleneesha said…

    Hello Dissertation House,

    This week I plan on working on my dissertation proposal. I may work on the outline for a paper I plan to submit in September also.

    Gleneesha Johnson

  • At Tuesday, July 22, 2008, Blogger WDH said…


    My name is Wendell Hall and this week I will be working on my dissertation prospectus/proposal.

  • At Tuesday, July 22, 2008, Blogger Angelo said…

    I want to complete Chapter 2 and review my draft of Chapter 3.

  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger Janet said…

    Good morning All:

    Yesterday was very productive! I got a significant amount of work done after meeting with Dr. Carter about some of the challenges I was having.

    Today I plan on continuuing with the section, "Identity Over time" with particular focus on African as a problem.

  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger Kismet said…

    The Kis is back and at it again!

    Still twittering #DH08

    Didn't get as much done as I'd hoped yesterday because of software issues. Those have been resolved. Didn't do my homework like I should have because of office tornado issues. That is being resolved.

    So today I am working on converting my prospectus into chapters and into a brand spanking new dissertation binder.

    And finishing, hopefully, collecting secondary sources for the first third of my literature review. I' d like to put those into a reading list and single out the most relevant sources today but if not, tomorrow it is.

    Progress is in the works! :)

  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger MJW said…

    Greetings All,
    I was successful in identifying a data set through the University of Maryland CAWG. Today I will be narrowing down my research question, continuing my attempt to reach the contact person affiliated with the data and identifying literature.

  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Good Morning all

    We're here again in the DH house. Yesterday the Dean of the Grad school came over to welcome us.

    We also did some RAW drafting for 20 minutes. Try writing for 20 minutes straight without stopping. Try this technique if you are struggling with Writer's Block.

    This morning we are going to cover How to make a good impression with your advisor.

    Today is another opportunity to work on your dissertation. Stop feeling guilty about yesterday and join us and accomplish something today.

    What will that something be for you?

  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger Illana said…

    I am really pleased with the amount of work I managed to get done yesterday. I was in such a groove that I stayed an hour after we officially wrapped up. I even wanted to work through lunch, but was encouraged to take a break.

    Yesterday I managed to collect the relevant quotes for movement of learners for eight students at Special School. I also finished the Simon article.

    Today I plan on finishing the teachers and administrators at the Special School and then move on to the Christian School.

    I have to leave early due to work commitments, so I am planning to get a quick bite for lunch and continue working.

    Happy writing to all!

  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger Gleneesha said…

    Good morning,

    Yesterday I worked on organizing what I currently have in my proposal with Dr. Carter's 13 proposal ingredients. Today I will continue that and perhaps work on redoing my outline using the tips Dr. Carter gave me.

  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger Thomas Richardson said…

    Goodmornin'! I'm here and I'm ready to work. Today I hope to accomplish the following: complete my outline and inserts for my proposal,draft a review of Homi Bhabha, and keep Janet from distracting me with her foolery.

  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger david said…

    Hi this is Dave,

    working today on completing a draft of the presentation with revisions from yesterday.

  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger WDH said…

    Hello All:

    Yesterday I was able to develop an outline to better help me to organize my thoughts. I also started organizing my literature review section of my proposal.

    Today I will continue editing my literature review section and delete sections that are not needed. Also, I will create a budget/timeline for my proposal that details specifics from the proposal defense to dissertation defense. I will also meet with Dr. Carter today to receive feedback and suggestions.


  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger Alexis said…

    Good morning,

    Yesterday Dr. Carter told me to redo my outline, so I worked on that. Today I will reorganize my writing into my new outline and continue writing.

  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger Angelo said…

    I would like to review my pieces for Chapter 3 today.

  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger Illana said…

    Another successful day. I am quite pleased with the work I accomplished.

    I plugged away with the interviews from the Special School's two administrators. These two were time consuming as these interviews give me background data on demographics and school history. So, slow, but ultimately useful. I want to finish up with the Deputy Principal sometime between now and tomorrow's 9am start.

    Tomorrow, I want to pull data from teachers from Special School for movement chapter. I will then be done with the one school's data on movement.

    This is moving a little slower than I had hoped. I may have been a little too ambitious with my goal of culling the data for all three schools for movement chapter. Nonetheless, I am pleased with my work.

    And... with Dr. Carter's help I put together a 'Reality Calendar'. I am checking my deadlines and then I will finalize the calendar.

    I have to run to work. See everyone tomorrow.

  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger MJW said…

    Today I was able to narrow down my research question and begin reading articles.
    Tomorrow(Thursday) goal is to successfully identity 3 relevant articles.

  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Hello All

    We are greatful that staff (Dr. Sharon and Dr. Noah) from the counseling services center came today to the Dissertation House.

    The came to discuss "Blocks in the Dissertation Process." They not only discussed blocks such as "Poor Time management" "the Procratination mindset" "Lack of Plan or goals...but also provided some solutions to these issues.

    The solutions include many of our TADA solutions such as breaking tasks down into manageable pieces, prioritizing tasks, learning to say no, and valuing the process instead of just the outcome.

    I headed to bed. Good Night see you in the morning.

  • At Wednesday, July 23, 2008, Blogger Jackie said…

    Today I was not feeling well but I was able to meet my goal of reviewing 2 articles...

  • At Thursday, July 24, 2008, Blogger david said…

    Hi, all. This is Dave. For today, I'm planning to complete my presentation deck for the proposal defense and practice.

  • At Thursday, July 24, 2008, Blogger david said…

    Hi, all. It's Dave again. Just checking in to let you know I'm here and working - still working on my proposal presentation, and that I plan to do a walk through with the Dissertation House folk this morning!

  • At Thursday, July 24, 2008, Blogger WDH said…

    Good Morning! Today I will be finalizing the re-write of my problem statement.
    I will also work on the overall ORGANIZATION of my entire document, specifically my methods section. I will be sure to include each of my measured constructs, the exact survey items, and demographic information.
    I will also meet with Dr. Carter again this afternoon.

  • At Thursday, July 24, 2008, Blogger Wanda said…

    Morning all
    Last night I had to re run my stats- change of mind by advisor...oh well, SPSS makes this a simple enuff task. Life go in the way after that so I did nothing else on my 'D'. However, this morning's train ride was very productive for me. I was able to analysis briefly my stats and make charts to guide me today.

  • At Thursday, July 24, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Good Morning All

    Hopefully last night before you went to bed you were able to make a list of what you would be working on today. I assume you will be able to hit the ground running this morning.

    Another day in the DH. This morning we will be talking about Overcoming Writer's Block and Preparing for your Defense.

    What's on tap for today?

  • At Thursday, July 24, 2008, Blogger Janet said…

    Good morning,

    Today I will continue to work on the section "Africa as a problem". Dr. Carter has given me some revisions, and I will work on them.

  • At Thursday, July 24, 2008, Blogger Kismet said…

    The Kis here.

    Creating the book list today and organizing the most/least relevant articles.

    Then going to look for them in the afternoon.

    Feeling tired.

  • At Thursday, July 24, 2008, Blogger Illana said…

    I am exhausted this morning. I was so wound up I couldn't sleep at all last night. And my work which tends to ebb and flow has been flowing, nonetheless I was up and out bright and early hoping to get a head start on things...

    Today I intend to finish the data for teachers at the Special School.

    I also need to revise the goals I set on Monday. I didn't seem to take into account my shortened work days on Wednesday and Friday. I was way too ambitious.

  • At Thursday, July 24, 2008, Blogger Thomas Richardson said…

    Mornin' I running on low energy today but I will accomplish the following: Read and take notes on one article and complete my draft of Bhabha's lit. review.

  • At Thursday, July 24, 2008, Blogger Gleneesha said…

    Good Morning DH,

    Today I will finish organizing what I have with the proposal ingredients and start filling in whatever holes I may have.

  • At Thursday, July 24, 2008, Blogger Angelo said…

    I want to review Chapter 2 for submission.

  • At Thursday, July 24, 2008, Blogger Alexis said…

    Good morning!
    Today I will add to my next two sections in my review based on my notes in my excel table.

  • At Thursday, July 24, 2008, Blogger MJW said…

    Greetings All,
    Yesterday I narrowed down my research question and will focus on reviewing literature today!

  • At Thursday, July 24, 2008, Blogger Thomas Richardson said…

    Dear Dissertation House,

    It's late in the afternoon and I spent most of my day organizing my research, creating an outline of my dissertation based on the Grad school template and the samples Drs. Carter and Tull provided. I also read and took notes on two reviews of "The Location of Culture" (Bhabha). I am feeling the pressure of the work ahead and trying not to beat myself up for all the days, weeks, months of stuckage/procrastination.

    The discussions about deadlines, preparing for my defense, and writing strategies were/are helpful in that it keeps me thinking and looking forward. I just need to remember that slow deliberate progress is indeed progress (but I need to quicken the pace!)

    I am also feeling the stress of edging "August" when I know that I need to prepare syllabi and readings for 4 classes in the fall (2-teaching, 2-TAing).

    Tomorrow I plan to draft Bhabha review, complete IRB addendum revisions, and consult with Dr. Carter about my outlines/plan for completion.


  • At Friday, July 25, 2008, Blogger WDH said…

    Good Morning:

    I have made progress on my problem statement and methodology the past few days. Today, I will rework my methodology section and continue to develop my problem statement. The problem statement should be completed by today.

    I will also add demographic information and descriptive statistics to my methodology section.


  • At Friday, July 25, 2008, Blogger Dr. Carter said…

    Good Morning

    Last day in the Dissertation House. Yesterday we worked again on our proposals, thesis topics, problem statements, and dissertation.

    Ok it's Friday....stop feeling guilty and do something today on your dissertation. Then reward yourself for getting something done.

    I am headed to Hartford CT to give my workshop "Practical Steps to Completing your Master's Thesis or Dissertation" at the Leadership Alliance Conference.

    The TADA Summer Challenge is coming to and end. Take what you have learned with you to help you finish your degree.

  • At Friday, July 25, 2008, Blogger Alexis said…

    Good morning!
    Today I will finish adding my notes into my emotional experience section and possibly finalize that or my identity/goals section.
    I made a lot of progress this week with the help of Drs. Carter and Tull, who made me go back a little to address issues in my basic structure/research questions (and planning and time management and...). Sometimes it feels like you're stepping backward but you're really like those little wind-up cars: they pull you backwards to rev you up and then you shoot forward faster on your own than you could have been pushed.

  • At Friday, July 25, 2008, Blogger Illana said…

    Good morning. I'm feeling pretty good this morning with a good night's rest.

    Today I have to leave around noonish. I am also meeting with Dr. Carter, so that leaves me little time to work.

    I have also been giving more thought to how to handle obscuring geographical locations so as not to give the schools' identities away. Schools and participants all have pseudonyms, but what to do about names of neighborhoods and communities? I have been down this road before, but need to resolve this.

    Today I hope to finish the Township School data.

    Happy dissertating!

  • At Friday, July 25, 2008, Blogger MJW said…

    Greetings All,
    Today I will continue to review articles and consult with Dr. Carter about a proposal outline.

  • At Friday, July 25, 2008, Blogger Angelo said…

    Today I want to complete the review of Chapter 2. I will go over it during the weekend and I plan to submit it on Monday. This has been a great experience to me. I felt I was validated, I was given guidance where I need to improve and along with that, how to make the changes I need to make to suit my Chair's requirements and likes. After all, she and I are the only ones who will read this cover to cover. Thank you, Angelo ;)

  • At Friday, July 25, 2008, Blogger Thomas Richardson said…

    I didn't do any work last night but I did run 3 miles after leaving DH, and I went to the library to pick up a couple of (Ill) books.

    With only 3 hours sleep last night I needed Frank Sinatra to get me hype on the car ride in. So, I'm ready to work.

    Today I really just want to complete my LR outline for my prospectus.


  • At Friday, July 25, 2008, Blogger Kismet said…

    Kismet here.

    I'm exhausted. Personal came up last night. And I didn't get much work done. I'm frustrated and guilty and still exhausted. I really didn't want to come here this morning

    But today is a new day. And I am glad to be here. :)

    Still twittering it under #DH08.

    I am continuing work on my book list. That will probably take me the rest of the day. Otherwise, I am going to be looking up stuff. If I have a free chance, I am going to see if I can figure out my primary source note-taking strategy.

    Wish me luck ;)

  • At Friday, July 25, 2008, Blogger Gleneesha said…

    Good Morning DH,

    I finished organizing what I have with the proposal ingredients and today I will work on filling in the holes. It has been a very productive and helpful 4 days.

  • At Friday, July 25, 2008, Blogger MJW said…

    Greetings All,
    It has been a pleasure beginning my thesis process in the presence of dissertators (lol). I have established my research question, identified articles and have plans to contact key people that can help me in this process.
    I will continue to prepare for chapter 1 and 2

  • At Saturday, July 26, 2008, Blogger Peggy A Lumpkin said…

    While I did not accomplish all the goals I listed earlier, I did do something everyday. I realized how much work I have to do. I met a classmate in the bookstore who just sucessfully defended her dissertation. She was ordering her regalia. That gave me additional incentive to finish. I will be a GTA for the fall semester. I had an opportunity to teach another session but turned it down because getting to defend my prospectus this fall is a priority.


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