Dissertation or PhD Writing Tips: The Art of the Opinion


In discussions with my students this week, I am concerned regarding the the challenge of opinions.  Many students do not yet grasp that our opinions are not enough on their own to support the merits of our analysis and our conclusions.  Particularly at the doctoral level, it is not what we know, but what we can prove.

Think of a large potential financial investor of a stakeholder—be it your boss, a consultant, or client.  How likely are they to take your word alone for whether a new program should be invested in (or not)?  More than likely, they will value your opinions as a place to start, but not end the conversation.  They will expect proof, evidence of some kind that supports the argument or point of view.

If we think back to our childhood days, how much did we appreciate the “I’m the mom and I said so” argument.  Once past the age of 4 or 5, much more than Mom or Dad’s word is needed to convince compliance.   This basic philosophy has not changed as an adult.  To gain buy in, we must prove that our argument has merits, perhaps previous benchmarking through the use of another client that has had proven results we can point to.  The broader lesson?  When convincing others, our opinions are not enough on their own merits.

Be sure to share your strategies of how you encourage substantive or supported opinions in your teaching and writing. We look forward hearing from you.*Smiles*

With respect,


Dr. Cheryl Lentz

Chief Refractive Thinker®

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August 8th, 2013 by admin

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