Dissertation: Are you SURE you are ready for Review?

Good morning colleagues

Often my students/mentees ask, when do I know I’m ready for committee review?  This question is both difficult and easy at the same time.  The short answer is that a student is ready when the chair and the student feel that the writing has met the requirements listed in the rubric.

The challenge is the subjective nature of this qualification.  The goal of this blog is to create a checklist of things to review to ensure that you are ready for review.

  1. Do I have the correct and updated template provided by my university? (The corollary is to ensure that your template is working correctly, particularly your Table of Contents–remember these are macros–or computer programming code that makes this template work. An editor does not often have the programming skills to change anything that may be corrupted.  Check with your university as the easiest strategy may be to simply download a new template.  Why? Think of making a copy of a copy of a copy, where over time the template can often become corrupted.
  2. Do I have the correct research handbook provided by my university?
  3. Am I using the current and correct version of APA format that my university will accept? Currently, many universities are working from the 6th version, 6th printing of the APA Manual.
  4. What are the quirks required by my university? (a) Often this might be that your references are single spaced instead of double spaced, which is simply a technique to save space. (b) Another may be whether a university prefers one or two spaces after the end of a sentence.  APA requires 2 for a draft, 1 for a final manuscript). or (c) Some universities do not allow any direct quotes.
  5. Review the rubric sentence-by-sentence, section-by-section for rubric compliance.  If the word count says 150 words for a problem statement, 151 will not do.Use the “no more, no less” rule; include everything that the rubric requires, no more, no less.
  6. Review the doctoral level of your writing to review passive voice, anthropomorphisms, use of vague pronouns [see Editing Checklist}]
  7. Review Chapter 5 of the APA Manual regarding the use of Tables and Figures in the manuscript.
  8. Review your citations and references.  Do all your citations have a reference to which they refer? Do all of your references have at least one in text citation (paraphrase or direct quote)? Please review this alignment—a good resources is www.ReciteWorks.com
  9. Be sure to look at the manuscript in its entirety. For instance, additional spaces add up and can leave you with a blank page at the end of your paper or the settings in MS Word can add an additional space at the end of a paragraph.

Have something to add? Please feel free to share with us your suggestions to add to this checklist.

Good luck to you as you move through this doctoral journey.  Do great things!

My best,

Dr. Cheryl Lentz
The Academic Entrepreneur

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February 3rd, 2017 by admin