Dissertation Strategies: Work Smarter not Harder: Annotated Bibliographies

Dear students and colleagues:

When completing doctoral research, strategies can be employed to work smarter not harder.  Use of the Annotated Bibliography (AB) strategy is one such strategy that focuses on efficiency, focusing on the outcomes of multiple inputs.

For example, consider the idea of synthesis.  The goals of Chapter 2–the literature review–is to both identify the gap in research and provide background information regarding the field of study to provide context for your reader.  Accomplishing this use of synthesis begins with the research process–and finding empirical articles to integrate into your literature review.  AND to begin the research process, the use of the annotated bibliography is more than simply an academic exercise, as often required by many doctoral programs and classes.

Think of the perhaps of an annotated bibliography–to provide a summary of the source.  If we look at the APA Manual, this explanation is the minimum and foundational definition.  Who says one only has to do the minimum?  If we consider the need for synthesis for a literature review, and the need for the integration of multiple sources within a paragraph (instead of a book report type summary), an annotated bibliography can be strategically used keeping this end in mind.  Why?  The goal is efficiency–to do something once to have many potential purposes.

For example, if when we conducted our original research we were to integrate citations as we wrote these annotated bibliographies, the idea could be expanded with the goal to directly integrate theses ABS into a literature review with minimal rework.  Thus, let’s consider using this outcome based approach–starting with the end in mind and working backward—to find a more efficient way to integrate a review of your research directly into Chapter 2 or the Literature Review keeping an eye toward minimizing rework.

Remember, work smarter not harder.

I look forward to your comments!  These strategies can work toward completion of your doctoral journey in far less time. Graduation awaits!

My best,  Dr. Cheryl

The Lentz Leadership Institute, your partner in dissertation excellence.  Work Smarter, not harder.


January 16th, 2016 by admin