Tag Archives: dissertation

What is a Scholarly Source?


A wise professor once told me that a key to a successful literature review and an influential doctoral study is selecting credible, on point sources to build the study.  We talk a lot about “scholarship” in doctoral level research, but what does that really mean?  How does one select scholarly sources that are credible, important, and useful in building the case for the research, and in making sense of the results?

There is often confusion among doctoral students about what constitutes an acceptable scholarly source.  We regularly see proposal drafts that reference sources such as Wikipedia, Dictionary.com, or even postings from weblogs as support for the research.   These are not scholarly sources, they are not peer reviewed, and they often consist of personal opinions or “common knowledge” masquerading as scholarly sources.

The most recent addition to our library of resources on dissertation writing goes right to the heart of what makes a source scholarly.  To read all about scholarly sourcing, click the link below.

What is a Scholarly Source? 

Checking your Dissertation before Submission



By Marilyn Simon and Jim Goes

In proposal and dissertation work, checking your writing writing, logic, and presentation is essential. Detail matters.  As longtime dissertation chairs (each of us has mentored well over 100 doctoral graduates to completion), one of the most common problems we see with doctoral learners is a failure to learn from mistakes, and to pay attention to details that have the potential to scuttle their efforts.

When your dissertation chair or committee member provides you with detailed reviews, and makes specific suggestions for revision, they expect you to learn and not to repeat errors or problems that have already been discussed.  Nothing frustrates your chair and committee more than errors, omissions, or problems that have previously been discussed, but continue to show up in your drafts!  

In short, we expect you to learn from your mistakes, and not repeat them…again and again. We have developed a Dissertation Checklist that highlights common errors and problems that you must resolve BEFORE you submit your proposal or dissertation for review by your chair, committee members, or school/university level reviewers.

Taking the time to check your work against this checklist prior to submission for review makes your committee happier, your success in the review cycle more likely, and the time it takes to go through the process shorter, saving you money and effort.

Click the link below to download the checklist.

Dissertation Check List