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Writing Support for Doctoral Students

Avoiding Plagiarism

Academic Integrity Policy

Writing Literature Reviews

Practice Exercises

Pronouns

Gerunds and Infinitives

Grammar Add-On Resources

General Dissertation Information

Committee

The dissertation committee consists of a minimum of three members:

  1. The chair of the dissertation committee, who must be a COE faculty member with a terminal degree (assigned by the COE).
  2. A second reader with appropriate credentials and approval by the COE.  The second reader will function as the research methodologist (assigned by the COE).
  3. A third reader (typically a topic/content expert) with appropriate credentials and approval by the dissertation chair, Ed.D. chair and COE dean.

You are responsible to consult with your dissertation chair in the selection of your third reader from either within or outside SEU to serve on the dissertation committee.  The third reader must have:

  1. A terminal degree
  2. Verifiable graduate faculty status at the institution where he/she serves and/or outstanding professional experience that warrants inclusion on the committee.

Documentation of the external reader’s credentials should be submitted to the Ed.D. chair for approval prior to making a commitment to the third reader.

In general, you should request committee members who have specialized expertise in your specific area of research interest.

Deadlines

Before your chair can schedule your dissertation defense with the EdD administrative assistant, you must submit an Editor Verification form and receive approval for each chapter of the dissertation from the following:

  1. Each member of your dissertation committee 
  2. The University Review Committee

Please be aware that each committee member may take up to twenty business days to review each chapter. The University Review Committee may take up to thirty business days to review your final dissertation. If revisions are required, the dissertation may be subject to an additional approval process.

Therefore, submit your dissertation well in advance of defense deadlines and make travel plans to defend your dissertation only after your dissertation has received full approval.

  • Last day to defend for spring commencement: March 15
  • Last day to defend for fall commencement: October 15

Dissertation Proposal and Chapter 1-3 - Proposal

Complete an exhaustive review of relevant literature on your topic.

Note: You will not be writing your review during this phase; however, you will use this research to develop chapter 2.

Develop your research proposal in conjunction with your Dissertation Chair and the research methodologists.

Note: Dissertation proposals are written in the future tense. The proposal becomes the basis for chapter 1 of the dissertation, which is later written in the past tense.

Pre-Dissertation Discussions

  • Begin narrowing dissertation topic and design.

Proposal

  • Search library databases for studies/literature related to your topic.

  • Discuss proposal.

    • Communicate weekly or bi-weekly with your chair as you prepare the proposal.

    • Download Grammarly. (grammarly.com)

    • Send your chair the problem/purpose statement and 5-10 potential research questions and identify the type of study (qualitative/quantitative).

    • Discuss theoretical framework or conceptual framework with your chair.

  • Send the Dissertation Planning Guide to your chair.

  • Submit the Dissertation Topic Approval form to your chair. Your chair will obtain the needed signatures and email the completed form to the EdD administrative assistant upon approval.

  • Meet with your chair and then your methodologist to finalize the problem statement, purpose statement, research questions, and methodology.

  • Draft proposal. Be sure to use the proposal template.

  • Identify the third reader (see document for third reader qualifications).

  • Your chair sends the written proposal to the methodologist and the third reader.

  • Update your CITI Training (if necessary) in preparation for IRB application.

  • Your chair sets a proposal defense date with EdD administrative assistant.

  • Complete the proposal defense

  • Your chair submits the proposal defense rubric to EdD administrative assistant

  • Work with your chair to develop an outline for chapter two.

  • Dissertation Checklist for 2021 proposal defenses

    Use this checklist if defending the proposal after January 1, 2021.

  • Defense Rubric

  • Dissertation Planning Guide

  • Proposal Defense Qualitative Revised

    Revised 2/24/21

  • Proposal Defense Quantitative Revised

    Revised on 2/24/21

  • Topic Approval Form - Dissertation

    To fill out the editable PDF form, please follow these instructions:

    1. After the PDF opens in a new window, download, and save the PDF to your computer. (Do not make any changes to the document when it opens in a new window.)
    2. Locate the PDF file on your computer and open the document with Adobe Pro or Adobe Reader. (Do not open the document from the downloads bar at the bottom of your page.)
    3. After you open the document from your computer, make your changes and save your work.
  • MIXED METHODS Explanatory-Sequential Proposal Template

  • Qualitative Template

  • Quantitative Template

  • Third Reader Letter

  • Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: Theoretical Framework

    This link goes to a resource from the University of Southern California. The resource defines theories, discusses the importance of theory, provides strategies for developing the theoretical framework for your study, and gives writing tips.

  • Understanding, Selecting, and Integrating a Theoretical Framework in Dissertation Research: Creating the Blueprint for your "House"

    This is an article that provides guidelines on how to "select and integrate a theoretical framework to structure all aspects of the research process" (Grant and Osanloo, n.d., abstract).

Dissertation Proposal and Chapter 1-3 - IRB

IRB

  • Submit IRB application. Allow 4-6 weeks for approval

If you propose using human subjects in the research study, collaborate with your Dissertation Chair on the IRB application and submit it to the IRB committee for review and approval.

Click here to access the Southeastern University IRB Homepage 

Your Dissertation Chair is the Principal Investigator [PI] on all dissertation research studies using human subjects; you are considered a Student Investigator.

PLEASE NOTE: The IRB paperwork (including IRB-E [exempt] forms) must be completed, submitted, and approved before conducting your study. 

After approval by the IRB and the dissertation committee, begin collecting data and ensure the protection of human subjects before, during, and after conducting research.

Demonstrate ethical and professional behavior when conducting research.

Dissertation Proposal and Chapters 1-3 - Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter One: Introduction

  • Use the dissertation template. Carefully proofread Chapter One and edit the chapter according to APA and scholarly writing standards.

  • In consultation with your chair, polish Chapter One before submitting Chapter One to GWS.

  • When your chair believes Chapter One is ready for review, submit your best version of Chapter One to GWS two times (required). Additional reviews by GWS are not available.

  • After the GWS review, your chair will send Chapter One to the methodologist and third reader. The chapter should be a clean copy with all previous comments deleted and all track changes removed.

  • Revise Chapter One according to the recommendations of your committee members. Be sure to carefully edit the revised content.

Dissertation Proposal and Chapters 1-3 - Chapter 2: Literature Review

Write a comprehensive review of the related literature (helpful article for guidance)

Chapter Two: Literature Review

  • Search library databases to saturate the literature. Helpful resources, “Writing Resources” and “Proposal and Chapters 1-3,” are available on the EdD portal,
    • Reminder: To review a study, please include the following elements: authors and date of publication, research question, sample population, method and approach (qual/quant), type of analysis (t-test, ANOVA, etc.), findings, and implications of the study. Download and save a copy of the notes template (see below). Use the template to guide you as you write your notes.
  • In consultation with your chair, write and polish Chapter Two. Carefully proofread chapter two and edit according to APA and scholarly writing standards.
    • When your chair believes Chapter Two is ready for review, submit your best version of Chapter Two to GWS two times (required). Chapter Two may be reviewed an additional two times (the maximum number of reviews is four times).
  • After the GWS review, your chair will send Chapters One and Two to the methodologist and third reader. Sending both chapters will enable the readers to check for continuity. The chapters should be clean copies with all previous comments deleted and all track changes removed.
  • Revise Chapters One and Two according to the recommendations of your committee members. Be sure to carefully edit the revised content.
  • Lit Review Excel Spreadsheet

    Use this spreadsheet to organize your sources and to guide you as you review studies for your literature review.

  • Framework for Conducting and Writing a Synthetic Literature Review

    This article presents a framework that provides guidance to researchers to write a quality synthetic literature review.

  • How to write a literature review video

    video from North Carolina State University

  • notes template for lit review

    Use this template to guide you as you review the literature for your lit review.

Dissertation Proposal and Chapters 1-3 - Chapter 3: Methodolgy

Chapter Three: Methodology

  • Discuss Chapter Three with the methodologist.
  • Incorporate the advice from the methodologist and, in consultation with your chair, write Chapter Three.
  • Carefully proofread Chapter Three and edit it according to APA and scholarly writing standards.
    • When your chair believes Chapter Three is ready for review, submit your best version of Chapter Three to GWS two times (required). Additional reviews by GWS are not available.
  • After the GWS review, your chair will send Chapter Three to the methodologist and third reader along with Chapters One and Two so readers can check for continuity. The chapters should be clean copies with all previous comments deleted and all track changes removed.
  • Revise the chapters according to the recommendations of your committee members. Be sure to carefully edit the revised content.
  • Resources for transcribing interviews

Dissertation Chapter 4-5 - Chapter 4: Analysis

Analyze, interpret, and report the results of the research.

Chapter Four: Analysis

  • Discuss data analysis with the methodologist.
  • Incorporating the advice from the methodologist and in consultation with your chair, write Chapter Four.
  • Carefully proofread Chapter Four and edit according to APA and scholarly writing standards.
    • When your chair believes Chapter Four is ready for review, submit Chapter Four to GWS two times (required). Additional reviews by GWS are not available.
  • After the GWS review, your chair will send Chapter Four to the methodologist and third reader along with Chapters One through Three so readers can check for continuity. The chapters should be clean copies with all previous comments deleted and all track changes removed.
  • Revise the chapters according to the recommendations of your committee members. Be sure to carefully edit the revised content.
  • Resources for transcribing interviews

Dissertation Chapter 4-5 - Chapter 5: Discussion

Chapter Five: Discussion

  • Discuss Chapter Five with your chair and the methodologist.
  • Incorporate the advice from the methodologist and, in consultation with your chair, write Chapter Five.
  • Carefully proofread Chapter Five and edit it according to APA and scholarly writing standards.
    • When your chair believes Chapter Five is ready for review, submit your best version of Chapter Five to GWS two times (required). Chapter Five may be reviewed an additional two times (the maximum number of reviews is four times).
  • After the GWS review, your chair will send Chapter Five to the methodologist and third reader along with Chapters One through Four so readers can check for continuity. The chapters should be clean copies with all previous comments deleted and all track changes removed.
  • Revise the chapters according to the recommendations of your committee members. Be sure to carefully edit the revised content.
  • Editor Verification Form

Dissertation Chapter 4-5 - Editing Process

Editing Process

  • After Chapters One through Five have been approved by your chair, methodologist, and third reader, contact the EdD administrative assistant to secure an EdD approved editor.
  • Submit the complete dissertation to the approved editor. Be sure to send your best product to the editor to decrease the need for additional submissions and to reduce expenses.
  • Obtain verification of completed editing from the editor (use the Editor Verification form).
  • Editor Verification Form

The Defense - In Preparation for Dissertation Defense

In Preparation for the Dissertation Defense

Begin preparation for your defense well before the scheduled date and make sure to apply for graduation by the appropriate due date listed in the academic calendar.

  • Last day to defend for spring commencement: March 15
  • Last day to defend for fall commencement: October 15

Your chair will schedule your dissertation defense after all the necessary approvals are received.

After your chair and committee are satisfied with the edited dissertation, your chair submits the edited dissertation along with the Editor Verification form to the University Review Committee via email to urc@seu.edu. The dissertation should be a clean copy with all previous comments deleted and all track changes removed. Allow 30 business days for review.

  • Make revisions as requested by the University Review Committee.
    • Submit revised dissertation to editor if required by URC.
  • Receive final approval of the written dissertation from dissertation committee. The dissertation must be ready for publication prior to defending the dissertation.
  • Your chair will set dissertation defense date with the EdD administrative assistant.

Resources

The Defense - Dissertation Defense and Final Processes

The final step in the dissertation process is an oral defense of your dissertation. Your chair can schedule a dissertation defense only after you have received approval from the University Review Committee.  You must be enrolled during the term in which you defend the dissertation. All members of the dissertation committee must be present either in person or remotely.  The EdD Chair, the COE Dean, and guests may also attend the dissertation defense as observers.

Dissertation Defense

Defend your dissertation. The dissertation defense presentation should be no longer than 30-35 minutes. Please be sure to use the dissertation defense PowerPoint template.

A typical dissertation defense may follow the following sequence:

  • Introduction and Overview of the defense by the Dissertation Chair
  • Presentation of the dissertation by the student (typically a PowerPoint presentation)
  • Committee comments and questions for the student
  • End of the public portion of the meeting
  • Committee Executive Session without the student
  • Committee private conversation with the student – decision and next steps

Final Processes

  • Your chair will submit the defense rubric to EdD administrative assistant after the dissertation defense.
  • If revisions were requested at the defense, complete the revisions and send the revised dissertation to your chair. Your chair and committee must approve final revisions before the dissertation is considered the final version.
  • Obtain signatures for the signature page. Place signature page in the final copy of the dissertation.
  • Submit the completed, edited dissertation to ProQuest.
  • Dissertation Defense Template__QUALITATIVE

    This is a PowerPoint document useful for the preparation of a dissertation defense. This template serves as a basic guide for the defense; however, students may need to adjust slides according to their dissertation. Students should consult their chair prior to the defense date regarding the contents of the presentation.

  • Dissertation Defense Template__QUANTITATIVE

    This is a PowerPoint document useful for the preparation of a dissertation defense. This template serves as a basic guide for the defense; however, students may need to adjust slides according to their dissertation. Students should consult their chair prior to the defense date regarding the contents of the presentation.

  • Defense Rubric

Practice Exercises

Pronouns

Grammar Add-On Resources

Gerunds and Infinitives

Writing Literature Reviews

Avoiding Plagiarism

Video

Resource Websites

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