Work with your dissertation chair to determine any specific instructions or guidance that he or she may have for you about your topic selection development document.
During the previous dissertation course, you selected a topic, developed a research question, and started a literature review to begin building a theoretical frame, additional research questions, and (where appropriate) research hypotheses. Your first task in this course is to complete your literature review.
A thorough review of the literature is the foundation for all aspects of your dissertation. Although you have already completed a substantial review to help you compose the chapter 1 draft, the literature review for your dissertation is expected to be exhaustive. In other words, you need to have read nearly everything written about your selected topic and research question.
As you begin your work early in this course, continue to let the literature speak. A danger in research is “reading into” the literature what we want it to say rather than drawing from the literature what it does say (or the gaps where it does not speak). Further, your dissertation needs to be unique. Even at this stage in the process, you may still discover that someone has already answered your research question, and you must be prepared to make substantive modifications to your work.
Important Note: Dissertation writing is highly recursive. As you write material in one section, you may need to make some adjustments or additions in other sections in order to build a cohesive document. For example, your completion of the full literature review will likely create some changes for your chapter 1. As you wait for feedback from your dissertation chair/committee, use the time to draft some of those adjustments.
Note: A successful dissertation requires self-directed behaviors. To successfully pass each dissertation course, you must successfully complete (pass) each milestone presented in the course materials. Additionally, you must complete the milestones in the order they are presented in the course. The tasks in some milestones may take you more than a week to complete. Finish each milestone before you move on to the next milestone. In your planning, also allow time for feedback from your instructor and revisions as part of completing each task.
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