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Resources for Your Dissertation

The right resources can make it easier to complete your doctoral degree.

If you’re thinking about earning a PhD or professional doctorate, you already know you’ll have to complete a dissertation, or in some cases, a capstone project. But do you know how challenging a doctoral program can be? It’s so challenging that only 56.6% of people who start an academically focused PhD program or a professionally focused doctoral degree program earn their degree within 10 years.1

To help ensure you are one of the doctoral candidates who completes their degree, you need to be prepared to complete a dissertation. And one of the best ways to prepare is to know where to go for resources. There are two primary kinds of resources you’ll need.

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Research Resources

Even before you write your dissertation proposal, you’ll want to know where you can find literature that’s relevant to your topic. A literature review is an essential part of a dissertation, providing necessary context for your unique study and how it informs/contradicts/expands the larger body of knowledge in your field.

In general, “literature” refers to scholarly articles, books, dissertations, conference proceedings, and academic texts. When looking for these texts, the following databases can help.

  • Google Scholar: allows you to search a wealth of scholarly articles published in peer-reviewed journals from all over the world.
  • ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (PQDT): allows you to search over 2.3 million doctoral dissertations and master’s theses. PQDT is available at most libraries.
  • Academic OneFile: allows you to search for peer-reviewed articles from the world’s leading journals.
  • CORE: allows you to search open-access research content from journals around the world.
  • WorldCat: allows you to search the card catalogues of libraries around the world.
  • LexisNexis Academic: allows you to search through a wide range of news, business, financial, legal, medical, biographical, government, and newspaper resources.

University Resources

Your specific PhD program can greatly influence your ability to complete your dissertation. That’s because different universities provide different levels of support for students. When choosing where to earn your doctoral degree, you should look for universities that offer the following resources:

  • Library and Research Support: helps guide you through the process of utilizing library databases and locating relevant materials.
  • Personal Advisors: provides you with someone—or multiple people—to turn to for help with everything from academics to financial aid, so you can more easily avoid issues that might slow down the completion of your dissertation.
  • Technical Support: helps ensure you don’t get bogged down in the computer-centric world of modern education.
  • Fundamental Skills Support: helps you improve skills such as writing, so you can more easily complete your dissertation.

Where can you find such extensive support? One great place to turn is Walden University. Not only does Walden offer exceptional student support services, it offers online education that can further improve your ability to finish your dissertation.

When you enroll in any of Walden’s wide variety of online doctoral programs, you won’t have to move from your current home to be near the university. In fact, you won’t even have to reduce the number of hours you work at your job. That’s because online learning makes it possible to earn a doctorate from wherever you have internet access, and it gives you the ability to attend classes at whatever time of day works best for you. Such advantages are why Walden’s online doctoral degree programs are so popular with working adults.

Walden even offers an All But Dissertation (ABD) option in some programs, a great choice for those who’ve completed all doctoral degree program requirements except for the final requirement of the dissertation. If you previously attended another university and are looking for a good way to finish your dissertation and finally earn your degree, Walden’s ABD option can help.

Completing a dissertation is often about having access to the right resources. By choosing to earn a professional doctorate or PhD degree online from Walden University, you can find the support you need.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering doctoral degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

1Source: http://cgsnet.org/cgs-occasional-paper-series/university-georgia/chapter-1

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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