Dissertation Help for Doctoral Students

Your committee wishes to help you through the dissertation process. They can help you more if you adhere to the following suggestions:

  1. Stay in communication with your chair and your methodologist/statistician. Regular meetings with them can keep you on track to finish the degree.
  2. The proposal and final dissertation should not be sent to your committee members until your chair determines that it is ready (one exception to this is that chapters 3 and 4 usually go to the methodologist/statistician before the chair).
  3. When sending the proposal or dissertation to your committee, determine the form in which each committee member would prefer the document. Some members prefer a hard copy while others would rather have an electronic copy.
  4. You are responsible for obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) permission to conduct your study. You should realize that this may take 2 weeks to 2 months depending on the study. Check the Institutional Review Board website for appropriate forms. Have the forms ready for submission as soon after the proposal defense as possible.
  5. The final dissertation should be just that -- a Final dissertation. This version should contain all parts (title page, abstract, table of contents, list of tables, all five chapters, appendices, and references). Check the USM Graduate School's Graduate Reader page for the correct form.
  6. Both the proposal and the final dissertation should be in appropriate APA form. If you are in doubt as to appropriate form, hire yourself a proof-reader!
  7. Both the proposal and final dissertation should be sent to your committee at least 10 working days prior to a scheduled defense.
  8. For both the proposal and final defense a 10-15 minute power-point presentation may be appropriate. Check with your chair.
  9. At your final defense you should have a minimum of 3 title pages (approved by the graduate reader, and printed on 100% cotton fiber paper) for signatures.