Writing, writing and more writing is what will take place in a doctoral program! The fact is that it is not just writing for everyday use, Academic Writing is the expectation for a doctoral program. The challenge then becomes what is academic writing? Even professors cannot agree on what academic writing is and is not. Personally, I have had a professor tell me that in academic writing adjectives and descriptive words are not used, which can be confusing to the writer. There are some basic guidelines for academic writing and in this month’s blog would like to address a few tips for academic writing.
Over the past month, I had a visit with one my stepson’s and he had a discussion with us regarding what is a doctoral program? The reason for his question was because my husband has just begun his DBA (Doctorate in Business Administration) with an emphasis in technology at the end of December. Most individuals know that a doctoral program is the highest degree that can be earned, the difference is the task that must be performed to graduate and earn the doctoral designation.
Congratulations!! So, you have decided to go after your doctorate degree, but which doctorate degree do you go for?
One of the biggest questions is what doctorate do you go for. There are many opinions on which doctorate, a DBA, a PhD, an EdD or one of the many others.
- DBA = Doctorate of Business Administration
- PhD = Doctorate of Philosophy
- EdD = Doctorate of Education
One of the many recommendations I hear is go for an EdD degree, because so many people believe that if one has their doctorate they want to teach at the college level. The challenge is not everyone wants to teach K-12 or at the college level and therefore an EdD may not be appropriate. An education degree is not required to teach college level courses, but 18 hours in the field of study is required to teach that topic. Therefore, if you want to teach at the college level make sure the degree is going to fit with what you want to teach.
As I explore my doctoral goals, one of the things I see among my classmates is unrealistic goals in terms of completing the dissertation process. One thing to keep in mind, a doctorate degree is the highest level in the education journey, so it is not a sprint.
“Life is a marathon, not a sprint……..So don’t rush things! Because anything worth having is worth waiting for” Author Unknown
Going for a doctoral degree means hard work and going after the highest degree that can be obtained, so it is something one does not enter into lightly. Things to consider is your time, dedication, stamina, willingness to work, being a survivor and much more. Keep in mind; they say about 1% – 2% that start a doctoral program actually graduate and finish, so that is why this blog attempts to share information that will assist you in making the decision that is right for you and your life.
These past few months I have written about various issues regarding being an online PhD student. Semesters/quarters have come and gone and most students are on holiday except for those who still have to stay on the grind. What I learned thru the doctoral process is that one must take care of SELF. I found it very hard to even think about stepping back from writing let alone actually doing it but with much prodding from my mentor I learned how to do it.
Let’s Make it Easier-There’s an App for That!
As we all know technology is part of our lifestyle in some form, shape, or fashion. With being a student, technology is most helpful provided you allow it to be. Since I am user of technology for the most part, I still had to make adjustments during my doctoral studies. When I started my program in 2008, I was unaware of the tools/apps there were available to make my life easier. There were the usual Endnotes (free from my school), Zotero, and RefWorks (all web-based) that was used for bibliographies and article tracking. At that particular time that was ok but as I advanced in the program those really didn’t work for me or I was just stuck in my “own way” of doing things.
This post is a continuation of the discussion on dissertation writing. In this post I will go over the tools and resources that I used to get started. Let’s open with pre-writing, which I deem to be getting the thoughts, ideas, and concepts on paper. There are a few methods; some better than others, left to one’s personal preference.
The Learning Curves and Preparation for Writing the Dissertation
As I stated in my first blog, I was not the traditional student. It had been over 20 years since I had been in school when I returned to finish my Bachelor’s degree. There was limited writing in my undergraduate program and the writing that took place the papers was very short in length. I then made the decision to embark on graduate school, and that is where the lack of experience became very real. I was not prepared to write graduate school, academic quality papers but I quickly learned.