Newman Workshop at Andrews Fall 2007: Friday Afternoon Fish Bowl

The following are notes and scribbles from my attendance at the Nov. 8-11 Doctoral Dissertation Workshop with Dr. Isadore Newman.

This workshop is mainly for the faculty to learn the process of working with doctoral students and for doctoral students to learn the process of writing a dissertation. Three students were selected for the “fish bowl” section of the workshop and I was one of them.

These notes are from the activities of Friday Afternoon.

Article Tips
Dr. Covrig walked us through receiving an email alert from Sage, clicking on the link to read about it, clicking on Full Text, saving it in a folder. Covrig saves the file with Author (year) keywords in various folders for his students, Leadership comptencies etc.

Another tip with EndNotes. Don’t assume that because you downloaded it, the format is correct for APA. You probably have to clean it up.

More title/purpose/problem work
Next we spent some time with a third student’s title. Here are some notes & tips from that role play.

Don’t get too stressed about your title. It’s going to change 10 times at least.

Sometimes questions may come across as critical. But the intent of the advisor is to understand the study/research better. And in the meantime as a student you might be understanding your research better because of the questions your advisor asks you.

Assuming something is true doesn’t make it right.

You need to understand a variable to measure it. If you can define a variable, then you can find a way to measure it.

There was a lot more discussion specifically about this student’s title and I’m not able to pull any principles or application from it at this time.

People summarized points of learning from the weekend so far:

  • The dissertation is more mechanical writing than creative writing.
  • Don’t try to hand in stuff that’s perfect. It’s in draft and we need to accept the criticism and changes.
  • Learn to narrow down your work into manageable pieces.
  • Structure your time in manageable pieces too.
  • Always be open to criticism in a scholarly way.
  • If we don’t have clearly defined variables and a valid instrument to measure the variables, you don’t have a dissertation topic yet (for quantitative research).
  • Bloom’s taxonomy will help you with both the dissertation and the articles that professors are trying to get published.
  • The purpose: Why it’s needed and why it’s worth the expense and effort to do it
  • The problem: What you’re going to do in the research
  • (Newman is using the words differently than most of the Andrews’ faculty are used to.)

After that big discussion of semantics, the workshop ended. We’ll start up again on Sunday morning.

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