Five Things You May Not Know About Walden’s Dissertation Process
Walden University’s online PhD and doctoral degree students prepare their dissertation or doctoral study following time-tested procedures outlined in Walden’s Dissertation Guidebook, with comprehensive guidance and support from faculty and advisors.
There’s lots to learn about writing your research paper—from developing the premise to final approval—so we thought we’d share these five things you may not yet know about the dissertation process:
- Write to Your Passion
Find a topic you’re passionate about. This can make the process even more meaningful and heighten your sense of accomplishment. The university’s core values of integrity and quality shape the dissertations from students in all of Walden’s online doctoral programs, and so does its mission: to provide a diverse community of career professionals with the opportunity to transform themselves as scholar-practitioners so they can effect positive social change. At the start of the dissertation writing process, it’s important to know that Walden dissertations should demonstrate a commitment to addressing the phenomena of social change and, within that context, exhibit sensitivity to societal conditions and a consideration of social issues.
- Take the Litmus Test
The foundation for quality in every dissertation is a research question that reflects a high level of conceptual manipulation and a significant and original contribution to knowledge or professional practice. The distinguishing characteristic of doctoral-level research (as opposed to research at the master’s level) is that it must make an original contribution to the field. It’s not unusual for students to struggle to identify what will authentically contribute to their field or discipline. That’s why Walden’s extensive bank of resources includes a short but indispensable “litmus test” to help you assess whether your research problem meets all four of the required doctoral hallmarks: Is it justified, grounded in the literature, original, and amenable to scientific study? Each hallmark has additional questions and explanations to help you test the viability of your research question. And of course, doctoral students have the benefit of insight and guidance from faculty and advisors.
- Boost Success With Workshops
Walden’s CAEX workshops support you through the dissertation writing process and position you to advance effectively and efficiently. Proposal approval rates were higher for students who enrolled in CAEX workshops—71.2%, versus 27.12% for those who did not. CAEX offers dissertation/doctoral study/capstone workshops to help students write their preproposal document (premise or prospectus) and revise and edit their overall proposal, introduction, literature review, methods section, and post-proposal sections. Students surveyed highly recommend the workshops. “With the support of both the course content and instructor’s guidance, I am confident I have developed a solid proposal introduction. I was able to accomplish more proposal progress in the past 6 weeks than in the previous 12+ months,” wrote one respondent. “It was a truly positive experience. Thank you!”
- Find a Mentor
In the Doctoral Peer Mentor program, Walden pairs experienced doctoral students with incoming students during the beginning stages of their doctoral program. Mentors connect with mentees via e-mail and Skype to provide advice, insider tips, and guidance for student success and development. The mentor/mentee relationship continues until the mentee successfully attends the first residency or completes three terms, whichever comes first. Peer mentor Luis Sanchez shares this advice with new Walden doctoral students: “Identify your dissertation topic early in your journey and connect with faculty members who can guide you in your research process. There is no better way to address your dissertation fears than to connect, connect, and connect!”
- Visit Career Planning and Development
While you’re writing your dissertation, you don’t have to put your professional goals on hold. Walden’s Career Planning and Development Center offers an expansive range of resources to help you maximize your job experience and the knowledge you’re gaining through your PhD or doctoral program. A popular feature is a series featuring panel webinars on topics such as careers in higher education, converting a résumé into a curriculum vitae, getting published, presenting at conferences, and more. Students may also take part in virtual networking events to connect with other Walden doctoral students, faculty, and staff.
Begin Your Online Doctoral Journey
At Walden, you can confidently embark on the rewarding journey to a doctoral or PhD degree knowing you’ll have a team guiding you through your coursework and the crowning achievement of your dissertation. Bring your highest aspirations to Walden and earn a degree that will distinguish you from your peers and send you on the path to new professional heights.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering more than 20 doctoral degree programs with more than 160 specializations online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.
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