Dr. Cheryl Lentz: Writing Tip #1: How to Craft a Doctoral Dissertation or Graduate Thesis

Uploaded by DRCHERYLLENTZ on 19.01.2011

Video: #1: Tips for Post Graduate Writing: How to Craft a Doctoral Dissertation or Graduate
Thesis Chapter 1: Introduction. [Video transcript]
Hello and welcome! My name is Dr. Cheryl Lentz, owner of The Refractive Thinker® Press. Today’s
video begins a 5-part series with regard to crafting and drafting your doctoral dissertation
or your graduate capstone thesis project. The purpose of our Chapter 1 is to look at
the foundation of your study. There are really two levels that this exists on: the macro
level, which is how all of your chapters for your study are going to work together. [For
many universities, this is a five chapter series, for some it is seven.]
The first chapter really has two functions. You have to be able to, at the macro level,
introduce your overall purpose for your problem statement as it relates to all five chapters.
And then at the micro level, to be able to still offer an introduction, a body, and conclusion
for each, within individual chapters. Chapter 1 then transitions into chapter 2, which will
be our next segment. Chapter 1’s purpose really is to look at
that problem statement. This is what drives the train and offers focus for your entire
project. What are you doing this for? Why is it relevant? What are you going to contribute
to the greater body of knowledge? What is that specific problem you are going to look
at to solve? The whole idea here with the problem statement
is the ability to look at just solving a sliver of the problem. If I may offer some advice
that my mentor offered me? Don’t try and solve world hunger! Save it for the book.
*smiles.* Instead, go ahead and make a sandwich. The more specific and succinct that your problem
statement can be, the easier time that you will have with this project.
Let me invite you to also look at the university templates that you may have, for each subheading,
for each chapter that you’re going to require. Let me invite you to religiously follow that
template. It will make your life so much easier to be able to strictly follow the template
headings that your particularly university suggests. Again the problem statement is going
to be followed by all of your particular universities, so we want to make sure that you spend a great
deal of time crafting this. Find that anchor statistic(s). That anchor
statistic is really going to follow your entire project. So we want to be able to look at
that very specifically. If there is a high turnover rate, mention that 10% turnover rate
in terms of dollars and cents, or 90% turnover rate or absenteeism or decision-making process,
whatever that may be. If you can find that anchor statistic that will help guide that
specificity and always will keep your writing focused going forward.
Let me invite you that once this problem statement is crafted, that you print it and put it in
as many places as you can. And every time you are writing your project, you are going
to look at that, because that will be the basis that drives all of your writing going
forward. This will help keep you in a very specific box and parameters—for looking
at only how what your writing contributes to the problem statement.
Next we want to look at your purpose statement. Why are you doing this? Why is this relevant?
Who is going will benefit from it? We want to look at your various attributes and stakeholders
in this project because if you look at the idea of answering two questions-- no matter
what writing you do--(1) who’s your audience and (2) what’s your message. This is where
your purpose statement is going to be able to be very important for you to be able to
say the significance to the overall organizational field or the significance to the nature of
leadership. These are the types of things that you want to start looking at that your
problem will potentially contribute to once you complete your study.
Lastly, we want to look at the theoretical framework. The whole purpose of dissertation
and capstone thesis is to be able to culminate into a final project for you to extract all
the information that you have learned so far in your educational curriculum to be able
to have a final project for you to extract and apply this information. You’ll be looking
at this theoretical framework and the specific types of studies you’ll be doing: whether
it is organization behavior theories, leadership theories, management theories, and health
related theories. These are the things that will help justify once you get into Chapter
2 with relevance, where you will be taking your problem statement. Makes sure you that
choose your problem statement and your theoretical framework very, very carefully.
Lastly, you’ll have some discussion about on who your population sample is and who your
audience is going to be. You’ll finish with a summary. And then you’ll be able to make
sure that you move into your next chapter with a transition. Remember we have two levels:
that macro level for Chapter 1 to introduce your entire project for all 5 chapters [or
7 as the case maybe.]; And then the micro level that each chapter has an introduction,
a body, and conclusion. Remember those writing fundamentals! You want
to introduce and tell your reader what to expect in terms of your topic and writing
objectives. Then you want to be able to summarize those in your conclusion to prove that you
have met your objectives that you started with.
I want to invite you to be able to join me for our next segment, which will focus on
Chapter 2 for research methodology. Please join me for more tips on effective post graduate
writing at our website [blog] http://www.refractivethinker.com/wordpress for additional information.
I wish you the best of luck as you continue on this adventure. I’ll see you next time
when we focus on Chapter 2. Thank you so much for joining me. I’m Dr. Cheryl Lentz. Good
With respect,
Cheryl Dr. Cheryl Lentz
Chief Refractive Thinker® The Refractive Thinker® Press, where discriminating
scholars publish. Join me: Twitter , Linked In , My Blog , My
Website , & Facebook