Stage 3- Conducting the Research

Stage 4- Writing the Research Paper*

Stage 6- Revising the Research Paper

The "thinking about it stage" is when you are finallyfaced with the reality of completing your degree. Usually the early phasesof a graduate program proceed in clear and very structured ways. The beginningphases of a graduate program proceed in much the same manner as an undergraduatedegree program. There are clear requirements and expectations, and the graduatestudent moves along, step by step, getting ever closer to the completionof the program. One day, however, the clear structure begins to diminishand now you're approaching the thesis/dissertation stage. This is a newand different time. These next steps are more and more defined by youand not your adviser, the program, or the department.

Okay, you're ready to write your research proposal. Here are some ideasto help with the task:

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3. Try not to be overly influenced at this time bywhat you feel others expect from you (your colleagues, your profession,your academic department, etc.). You have a much better chance of selectinga topic that will be really of interest to you if it is your topic. Thiswill be one of the few opportunities you may have in your professionallife to focus in on a research topic that is really of your own choosing.

What are the characteristics of rural adult learners in an adult educationprogram? (too narrow)

10. With the ready availability of photocopy machines you should beable to bypass many of the hardships that previous dissertation researchershad to deal with in developing their literature review. When you read somethingthat is important to your study, photocopy the relevant articleor section. Keep your photocopies organized according to categories andsections. And, most importantly, photocopy the bibliographic citation sothat you can easily reference the material in your bibliography. Then, whenyou decide to sit down and actually write the literature review, bring out yourphotocopied sections, put them into logical and sequential order, and thenbegin your writing.

This is the only way you can avoid a bad report or failing your course altogether.


How to Write a Seminar Paper, a Research Proposal and a Thesis

c. Sometimes a combined methodology makes the most sense. You can combinea qualitative preliminary study (to define your population more clearly,to develop your instrumentation more specifically or to establish hypothesesfor investigation) with a quantitative main study to yield a research projectthat works well.

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e. What if you have the opportunity for conducting your researchin conjunction with another agency or project that is workingin related areas. Should you do it? Sometimes this works well, but mostoften the dissertation researcher gives up valuable freedom to conductthe research project in conjunction with something else. Make sure thetrade-offs are in your favor. It can be very disastrous to havethe other project suddenly get off schedule and to find your own research projecttemporarily delayed. Or, you had tripled the size of your sample sincethe agency was willing to pay the cost of postage. They paid for the postagefor the pre-questionnaire. Now they are unable to assist with postage forthe post-questionnaire. What happens to your research? I usually findthat the cost of conducting dissertation research is not prohibitive andthe trade-offs to work in conjunction with another agency are not in favorof the researcher. Think twice before altering your project to accommodatesomeone else. Enjoy the power and the freedom to make your own decisions(and mistakes!) -- this is the way we learn!

What it takes to write a good thesis proposal

b. Choose your methodology wisely. Don't be too quick in running awayfrom using a quantitative methodology because you fear the use of statistics.A qualitative approach to research can yield new and exciting understandings,but it should not be undertaken because of a fear of quantitative research.A well designed quantitative research study can often be accomplished invery clear and direct ways. A similar study of a qualitative nature usuallyrequires considerably more time and a tremendous burden to create new pathsfor analysis where previously no path had existed. Choose your methodologywisely!

How do you correct your grammatical mistakes in your thesis?

a. If you are given the opportunity to select your dissertation committeedo it wisely. Don't only focus on content experts. Make sure you have selectedfaculty for your committee who are supportive of you and are willingto assist you in successfully completing your research. You want a committeethat you can ask for help and know that they will provide it for you. Don'tforget, you can always access content experts who are not on your committeeat any time during your research project.