Challenges in My Dissertation Process


Banging away at keyboard… Yea right!

Today’s Episode:

  • My progress
  • Challenges in my Dissertation Process
  • APA Tools
    • Perdue Online Writing Lab
    • Son of Citation Machine

Date: July 7-13, 2013

Name: Dissertation Writing

Topic: Chapter 1 & 2

Milestones: Chapter 1 final revisions and started Chapter 2

Summary: Chapter 1 first revisions returned from the writing center July 5th, got it back for second revision, and preparing for final review by my committee. I found out today that I started getting off topic and have to narrow my focus. I started gathering all my articles for my literature review.

Risk: Over thinking the process, getting stuck, and creating a work space

Risk Mitigation Strategy: Reverse engineer a dissertation, cleaned my office, opened a window, prioritized my library, and started meditating.

Project timeline: On Time

Committee Members: Dr. Walter McCollum & Dr. Anthony Lolas


Challenges in my Dissertation Process

After I went to Atlanta for a Dissertation Intensive workshop at the end of April, I was able to clarify my gap in the literature and discovered that having methodologists and a writing center staff member is beneficial. The focus of the workshop were on the proposal. I highly recommend this experience if you can do it because it forces you to focus your energy on writing. The hotel also went out of their way to make sure that we had a proper environment for writing and learning. Basically, this was a weekend of no distractions. One strategy was suggested that I actually spent a while on, reverse engineer a dissertation.

However, after hitting such a high note several issues popped up. First was writers block which was caused by over thinking and doubting my work. As a result I had to re-think my writing process to be more than sitting my butt in the seat and typing words on a blank computer screen. The other thing is I have a tendency to criticize or edit my work as I type, not recommended because it slows the process and keeps words from getting on the page. Then I had stress from my job which ended when I got laid off at the end of June; now the stress of whether or not I have the funds to see me through to the end are starting to sink in. Finally, technology decided to rear its ugly head when a lightning storm took out 2 computers, 2 TVs and the Internet at home and insurance or warranties didn’t cover any of it.

I have now sworn off PCs and am completely a Mac person. The nice thing about a Mac over the PC is that I can have the best of both worlds because I can run any Windows version on my Mac desktop. Best of all, in the last seven years between my MacBook Pro and the iMac, I have never had a virus.

For all your APA citation needs:

Purdue Online Writing Lab – APA (American Psychological Association) is the style primarily used in scholarly writing except in journal articles which have their own citation rules and may use other formats. I have used this site while writing papers for class, KAMs and now the dissertation. I hope you find this as useful as I have and make it a favorite or bookmark in your web browsers.

APA 6th Edition Citation Generator:

Son of Citation Machine –


Dropbox: My favorite tool for keeping my files current, handy on all the computers I work with, and it’s free. What I love about @Dropbox is that I always have my stuff when I need it. Sign up for free!

Skype – Free Internet calls and cheap calls to phones online

Skype App Directory – Desktop & whiteboard sharing – Free Telephone Conference Call Service

Audible Recommendation:

Meditations to Change Your Brain: Rewire Your Neural Pathways to Transform Your Life 

Get free copy at

Book Recommendation:

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “Challenges in My Dissertation Process

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