Some Questions for Ph.D. Candidates

These questions (at least most of them as far as I remember) are quoted from “Peg B. Single, Demystifying Dissertation Writing, Stylus publishing, 2009.” I keep them as stickies on my desktop for obvious reasons.

“How am I spending my time?
Is it in line with my long-term success?
Is it consistent with how I will be evaluated?
What’s really important to me and is it getting done?

What’s really important?
Why am I doing what I’m doing?

What is the important part of this chapter/section?
What do you want to say about this chapter/section?
What evidence do you have to back up your point?
How is this chapter/section going to set up your next chapter/section?

*What is your dissertation project about?
*Why are you conducting this dissertation project?
*Why should anyone care about your subject? Can you tell me the big point?
*What is the big picture, the context or the conditions that make you to pursue this topic?
*When you are finished with your project, what is the one point that you want to leave with your readers? Which three subpoints do you want to convey to your audience?
*Which theories or methodologies will you use to research your topic? Why is that the appropriate theory or method?
*What data, sources, text or objects are most appropriate for you to work with? Do you have access to them? Do you need to collect them?
*What will be the contribution or implications of your dissertation?
*How does this topic align with your professional mission and career goals?”
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