Tip: The point you make in the paper should matter:

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Consider these questions as you prepare to start your paper.

What a terrible name - a . It seems to suggest somesort of war that you're trying to win. And, of course, with four or fiveof them and only one of you it sounds like they may have won the war beforethe first battle is held. I wish they had called it a dissertation seminaror professional symposium. I think the name would have brought forwarda much better picture of what should be expected at this meeting.

For more background on the ETD initiative, see this  to students and the

If you're in doubt, ask your professor.

I ask the student to prepare a 20-25 minute presentation that reviewsthe entire study. This is done through the help of a series of 10-12 largepieces of paper, wall charts, that have been posted sequentially aroundthe walls of the room. Each piece of paper contains key words regardingeach of the different aspects of the study. Some pieces of paper containinformation about the study setting, questions and methodology. Other piecesof paper present findings and finally there are those pieces that presentthe conclusions and implications. By preparing these wall charts aheadof time the student is able to relax during the presentation and use thepieces of paper as if they were a road map toward the goal. No matter hownervous you are you can always let the wall charts guide YOU throughyour presentation. Lettering is done with a dark marking pen and extranotes are included in very small printing with a pencil (that no one canreally see). We've also tried it with overhead projected transparenciesbut it doesn't work as well. With the transparencies they're gone fromview after a few seconds. The wall charts stay up for everyone to see andto help focus attention.

33. It's important that you have the feeling when entering your defensethat you aren't doing it alone. As was mentioned earlier, your major professorshould be seen as an ally to you and "in your corner" at thedefense. Don't forget, if you embarrass yourself at the defense you willalso be embarrassing your dissertation director. So, give both of you achance to guarantee there is no embarrassment. Meet together ahead of timeand discuss the strategy you should use at the defense. Identify any possibleproblems that may occur and discuss ways that they should be dealt with.Try and make the defense more of a team effort.


Stage 5- Sharing the Research Outcomes with Others

28. Potentially the silliest part of the dissertation is the Suggestionsfor Further Research section. This section is usually written atthe very end of your writing project and little energy is left to makeit very meaningful. The biggest problem with this section is that the suggestionsare often ones that could have been made prior to you conducting your research.Read and reread this section until you are sure that you have made suggestionsthat emanate from your experiences in conducting the research and the findingsthat you have evolved. Make sure that your suggestions for further researchserve to link your project with other projects in the future and providea further opportunity for the reader to better understand what you havedone.

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27. If you are including a Conclusions/Implications section in yourdissertation make sure you really present conclusions and implications.Often the writer uses the conclusions/implications section to merely restatethe research findings. Don't waste my time. I've already read the findingsand now, at the Conclusion/Implication section, I want you to help me understandwhat it all means. This is a key section of the dissertation and is sometimesbest done after you've had a few days to step away from your research andallow yourself to put your research into perspective. If you do this youwill no doubt be able to draw a variety of insights that help link yourresearch to other areas. I usually think of conclusions/implications asthe "So what" statements. In other words, what are the key ideasthat we can draw from your study to apply to my areas of concern.

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25. Another simple rule - if you have a whole series of very similartables try to use similar words in describing each. Don't try andbe creative and entertaining with your writing. If each introduction anddiscussion of the similar tables uses very similar wording then the readercan easily spot the differences in each table.