Development of Your Rushmore Dissertation
Creating a Dissertation has been compared to starting with a blank piece of paper, creating the questions to be asked, researching the answers to be utilized, and solving a problem heretofore unsolved and unaddressed.
Many times, students approach the development of a Dissertation in a way which helps defeat them— even before they begin. They look at a Dissertation requirement and say, “How can I deliver 50,000 to 70,000 words in a paper? I can’t even think of that many words!”
Truth be known, most Rushmore students who do elect to develop a Dissertation will share with you afterwards that it is the most significant piece of writing they may ever elect to attempt; you are, in fact, creating something significant and impactful when you develop your Dissertation.
But first, what is a true Dissertation?
A Dissertation is based upon research. You will form a theory or hypothesis about a concept or belief and you will develop the research necessary to prove or disprove your theory or hypothesis. When planned correctly, a Rushmore Dissertation may also take the form of a series of papers on interlocking topics, each of which represents a Chapter in the final Dissertation body. With proper planning and correct questions and answers between the Degree Candidate and the Professors, the completion of the Dissertation will add significant learning and help create a name for the writer.
Publishing your Dissertation is not required, but is strongly encouraged. Rushmore likes to see published dissertations because the publication of your dissertation will allow other Professors, other students, and your peers to review your findings and confirm or question the conclusions which you reach. Much of the process of learning through the development of a Dissertation will come as others comment, support, or challenge your theories and findings.
A Dissertation is not simply a longer paper than your other Rushmore papers. A Dissertation is always approached with more than one Professor, so that the benefit of multiple oversights is realized. When you begin the process of development of your Dissertation, you will present an overview to both your Professor and the Dean of Graduate Studies which should highlight the specific question or questions you seek to address, the hypothesis which you wish to prove, or the current thought you wish to disprove, and why.
How will you know when you have completed your Dissertation? You may not. Many Doctoral students study and commit to research for their entire lives on the topics covered in their Dissertation. Some never find the answers which they are seeking. Be proud of the work that you do to address the topics within your Dissertation.
- Start with a plan of action. Never start with a blank page and start writing…know what you want to communicate and how best to do so.
- Create the specific items you wish to prove or disprove.
- Conduct research.
- Start your writing and understand that you must work to the plan you have developed.
- Keep lines of communication with your Advisor and with the Dean open. Advise them often of your progress. Especially advise them if you run into items which you believe stymie your progress or your research…they may be able to help in moving your research forward.
- Use the Editing Service to the best advantage. Review all suggestions offered by the Editor. Keep your writing style tight and communicate ideas in language which is readily understandable.
Most of all, stay focused on your goal. Your goal isn’t to finish the Dissertation—your goal is to prove or disprove an idea, thought, concept, or belief in a way which will demonstrate to others that you have significant knowledge and expertise in your area of interest.