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Mar 23, 2016 by Carol Ray Philips
In the last blog you learned about some of the tasks important to accomplish before you begin writing. One final topic that needs attention, which also relates to the differences between coursework and dissertation, is the difference between working with one professor and with a committee. In courses, one instructor assessed your work. In contrast, your dissertation is both formatively and summatively assessed by at least three faculty members: your chair, second committee member, and third committee member. What this structure means is that your writing has to be approved by three people. Furthermore, those three people usually have strong opinions and also may not agree with one another’s points of view about your work. How you can take charge to make relationships with your committee function well?
In all likelihood, your committee–whether chosen by you or by the institution–wants to support you and help you succeed with the task of completing your dissertation. Your job is to provide the committee with reasons to maintain its initial goodwill. This involves following basic conventions of collegial discourse with someone who has power over your dissertation process. When dealing with your chair and committee, you should:
You are about to begin a new and exciting venture, one that has the potential to change your life for the better. This venture is new and essentially unknown. The purpose of this blog series has been to inform you about these unknowns and to provide strategies for dealing with them.
If you would like support on your dissertation journey, contact ACW to find out how a Dissertation Coach can guide you.
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