for Dissertation Students
I expect the very best research out of each of my
dissertation students. This should go without saying, but
occasionally I have encountered students who view the dissertation as
just a small capstone project that they can complete in their spare
time with as little effort as possible. While those individuals
have almost certainly made a habit of wasting their own time I will not
allow them to waste mine.
The dissertation is easy but the dissertation process is hard.
Very hard. The coursework pales in comparison. The
"dissertation" itself is nothing more than a document that describes
the results of your doctoral research. That's why the
"dissertation" is easy. You are merely describing in a narrative
what you did and discovered in your research. The research is the
hard part. It must be significant, cutting edge work. IT IS
NOT A PROJECT! For me to support your research it must be on a research topic of which I have interest and
After we have agreed on a research topic for you to work on I need for
you to submit two documents to me via DTS message prior to the idea
1. Annotated bibliography. This
document should contain a brief summary of at least twenty refereed
documents that have been published on the topic. Each of the
annotations should include an APA citation for the document followed by
one paragraph that summarizes the paper. Do not copy the paper's
abstract. Do not give me your opinion of the paper. Do not
send me a copy of the paper. Give me a summary of what the
authors did and what they found for each paper. These articles
will form the basis for your literature review sections in the idea
paper and proposal.
Statement. One paragraph, actually one sentence.
Clear, concise, and worded as a statement, not a question.
After I have approved these two documents then you will be cleared to
begin work on the idea paper.
While working with me there
are several rules that are mandatory:
will make the dissertation a priority in your life until it is
finished. You will need to work on the research and the
documentation each day until you are finished.
2. Each submission must be your best
work. No drafts or partial submissions. Do NOT focus on
3. You will register for every semester
until you finish or withdraw from the program. No breaks, no
leaves of absence, unless you comply with the GSCIS Leave of Absence
policy (and that must be only under extraordinary circumstances).
4. You will post a status report in DTS
on the 1st and 15th of every month. In that (brief) status report
you will describe your progress, your plans for the following two
weeks, and any problems or complications that you have encountered in
your research. Regular communication between you and me is
critical!! Failure to submit a status report may result in an
unsatisfactory progress grade (NPR) at the end of the semester and
possible referral to the academic review committee.
5. I will get you feedback on your
document iteration(s) as soon as possible. Each document requires
more review time, especially when the committee is involved, so plan
6. Remember item #1.
Finally, I am available seven days a week. DTS messages are best.
If it is something that needs to be addressed quickly then feel
free to call me (706.248.4250). If I am unable to answer the
phone leave a voicemail with a good time and number to reach you.
I will call you back.