The Big “D” (Dissertation)

My dissertation is beginning to feel like an achievable reality instead of a looming surreal crisis. That’s due to a combination of factors, the first being the news that I passed two parts of the qualifying exam (all of the third parts are still being reviewed). That was a HUGE relief and I now feel like there’s nothing in my way to stop me from launching onto the last step of my graduate school career. HUZZAH! To quote Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “…and there was much rejoicing.”

The next step is the elusive selection of a dissertation topic. I’ve been dancing around this for ages, and I’ve nearly convinced myself to come back to square one and bang at my original topic until it works: the educational preparation of academic library deans. I have yet to choose if it will be a longitudinal study or to select my theoretical framework, but I’ve been plotting out my next steps and I have a plan.

  • update the literature review scope (expanded, more recent)
  • identify secondary data sources
  • choose project scope (longitudinal ARL vs. current all academic)
  • choose methodology
  • write up methodology
  • add all current sources to RefWorks
  • schedule conversations with related scholars & practitioners
  • schedule apt. with my dissertation chair
  • schedule apt. with Learning Technologies Lab
  • plan timeline for dissertation IRB, research, writing, defending, & filing

Well, that’s the plan! It’s going to be like any project, be it cleaning out the garage or writing a novel: I need to work regularly in small chunks, not get caught up in failures, and realize that it is acheiveable. Others before me have accomplished this, and I’ll succeed, too!

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6 thoughts on “The Big “D” (Dissertation)

  1. theowlofderision says:

    Best of luck! I’m 1/2 way through my own thesis (in art history), and have been scouring around for other bloggers going through the process. Solidarity is nice to have – reminds you that you’re not alone, even when it’s 3am, you’re still in the library, and the damn chapter you’re writing just won’t come together!

    I’m by the way 🙂

    • Starr Hoffman says:

      *wave!* welcome, owl! my first master’s was in art history, actually, so i’d be fascinated to hear more about your topic. i’ll definitely be dropping by your blog. 🙂

  2. Amanda says:

    YOU CAN DO IT! And I’ll be there with caramel popcorn, coffee and fruit salad (you know something to keep you healthy) – to cheer you on all the way! I am so proud to call you “Friend” – you inspire me to greatness!

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