PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP

Practical Steps for Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation. Saturday, Nov. 13

In Dissertation Completion, Dissertation House, Grad Student Success Seminar, PROMISE: Maryland's AGEP on November 1, 2010 at 7:07 PM

Dr. Wendy Carter, Dissertation Coach for UMBC and PROMISE: Maryland’s AGEP will present:
Practical Steps for Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation

Saturday, November 13, 2011, 10AM – 2:00 PM, Commons, Room 329, UMBC’s Campus, Breakfast will be served.

Dr. Carter is the coach for The Dissertation House ( and is the founder of TADA, Thesis and Dissertation Accomplished.

This seminar was also listed in UMBC’s Graduate School Digest:

This is a seminar for all graduate students who will be writing a thesis or  dissertation. Breakfast will be served. Please RSVP early so that we can have an accurate count for food.

Dr. Carter also holds office hours on Fridays between noon and 2PM, and by appointment.

UMBC’s students should RSVP here:  Students from other campuses may RSVP as a comment to this post.

For further information about the UMBC Dissertation Support Group and the UMBC Dissertation Fellowship, visit these link:

Dissertation Support Group (From the UMBC Graduate School Digest)

  1. I would like to attend the seminar

  2. I found this seminar to be helpful when developing a thesis. During the seminar we learned methods for structuring the layout of our thesis by providing a clear introduction, a supportive literature review and subsequent chapters. Attending this seminar provides guidelines for developing a thesis that is not only clear to the writer, but more importantly, clear to the reader. Dr. Carter also suggests that students gain practice in writing about their thesis topic by using it as a theme for other class papers.

  3. I learned a great deal from this seminar, and that was reflected in my literature review document. First, created a detailed outline to organize my thoughts and a general flow for my document. This helped me transition from just researching and reading articles to actually writing my document. Then, I set deadlines for each section of my draft. My mentor and I worked together when editing the document, so that I learned different ways to communicate complicated concepts and ideas. This seminar breaks down the process of writing your document, which makes it a less daunting task.

    This comment is mirrored on MyUMBC:

  4. Attendance at this seminar is recommended for anyone who is working towards a thesis. I have used the knowledge gained from the seminar to help develop my literature review document. First I created an outline which conveyed each of the topics I wanted to discuss in my document. Then for each reference used in my document, I wrote an annotated bibliography which detailed what I learned from the article as well as how the article relates to my experiment. These techniques were learned during the seminar and has made writing my thesis much more manageable.

    This comment is mirrored on My UMBC

  5. I learned from Dr. Carter, that when finishing your dissertation you have to make certain sacrifices. Some sacrifices include: putting away extracurricular activities until you are finished. Also to expect to be tired, you might be sleep deprived and have anxiety, but these are not things that should be viewed as abnormal. Nevertheless, always set goals, milestones, and reward yourself for accomplishing goals. I use this as a motivation to continue to accomplish my other goals. I realize when I avoid to reward myself when I complete goals creates a lack of motivation to continue.
    Another thing that I learned from Dr. Carter is to do a little bit of work each day. If you cannot adhere to writing a page a day that you committed to, use those days to format your paper. You can use days to try to do simpler tasks to write up the headers, table of contents, formatting the layout figure numbers, acknowledgment page, for your thesis. This is to help make sure you accomplish tasks daily. I realize I need this for several courses that involve submitting a final piece of document at the end. In my Systems course, I would always create a template of what is needed and my teammates and I would fill in information along the way.
    The Table of Contents should continue to be up-to-date outlining every chapter. A great tool to help keep things in order and see your dissertation from a different light is a three-ring binder, to help you be mindful of missing tasks. This also helps to avoid waiting until the project is complete to print out the dissertation for the first time. This allows you to always have a reference and always have a copy. It is a great idea to keep back-up copies. I make sure that there are multiple versions of a document that I’m working on. It helps to do this even more when I’m working in a group and have to share information, I would post online and have a different copy on my computer.

  6. This comment is mirrored on My UMBC

  7. This seminar was really helpful to me. The tips given by Dr. Carter are helpful in general as well such as writing class projects or presentation abstracts. Emphasis is given to the clarity of subject being conveyed, readability of the document, and avoiding minor but critical grammatical mistakes. We also learned how to communicate with people from different fields through our writing so they can better understand our field. Writing a thesis or dissertation is a challenging task but Dr. Carter’s suggestions could simplify the process by dividing the matter into small tasks to be done on daily basis. This comment is mirrored on myUMBC.

  8. Not only did I learn a lot from Dr. Carter’s seminar but it gave me the confidence and faith in myself that I need to complete my program. I learned to set short and long term goals equipped with milestones and rewards along the way. Dr. Carter’s tips will aid me in not only writing my thesis and dissertation but with research papers, abstracts, class projects and general presentations as well. The knowledge I have gained in the TADA Seminar will aid me both in academia and in life. This comment is mirrored on My UMBC

  9. The Practical Steps for Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation Seminar was very informative. The key points that Dr. Carter discussed provided insight on how to prepare for issues when writing a thesis. Dr. Carter suggested that students begin work on their thesis as early as possible. By utilizing this strategy students will be able to divide their work into phases and set completion dates for each phase. She also suggested that students create an outline of each phase for organization. Dr. Carter advised that students should not become over ambitious while conducting their research. They should stay on topic and recognize when the research in complete. During the seminar I also learned that undesired test results should be present in your writing. This comment is mirrored on My UMBC

  10. The Practice Steps for Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation seminar was informative for me as a first year student in that it gave me a feel for the time line and the work involved in the dissertation process. Having this exposure early on in my graduate career will allow me to better prepare and organize all of my research in such a way that it will make the actual dissertation writing process less stressful. The discussion in the seminar gave very helpful tips about organization in general, which is key. I will discuss some key ideas about organization which were presented.

    The first idea presented about organization was about timing and deadlines. Setting a deadline for when we want to finish our dissertation and from there creating a time line on how to get the dissertation completed is important for staying on track. Breaking up the dissertation into small manageable pieces will also help us stay the course. The discuss then lead into organization starting from the proposal stage and knowing from that stage, and even right before that stage, that being organized about where you keep your method (Method Journal) or writing your proposal in such a way where it can be changed from ‘what you are going to do’ to ‘what you have done’ can greatly reduce the amount of work to be done on a thesis or dissertation. Even understanding how our thesis committee works and how they can help or hinder your process is a level of organization must have from the beginning. Organization is very important to successfully completing our dissertation in a timely manner.

    Natasha P Wilson, 11/18/10 11:38 am

    This comment is mirrored on My UMBC

  11. […] Practical Steps for Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation. Saturday, Nov. 13 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: