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If you feel like:
- Everyone else is further along!
- I'm starting over or moving backwards
- I have no idea how to start
Then, you're feeling like everyone else at dissertation time!
Poster of Kuhlthau's Information Search Process: Art by Katelyn Caraveo in collaboration with Frances Brady. Produced by Adler University.
Rutgers School of Communication and Information. (2020). Carol Kuhlthau: Information Search Process. https://wp.comminfo.rutgers.edu/ckuhlthau/information-search-process/
I'm overwhelmed! Where do I start?
Congratulations! You're ready to start working on your dissertation! Feeling overwhelmed and unsure where to start is pretty much how everyone feels at first.
- Determine a topic. You might already have a general idea or a broad starting goal. That's ok for now.
- Literature - Get a feel for what literature has been written already on this topic. Remember, at this stage, you're just looking for ideas. Pay attention to:
- What sparks your interest? Why? (There might be different aspects that interest you - don't worry about how to make connections yet - you're just getting a feel for things right now)
- What are most of the articles focusing on? What are the trends? Where are the gaps?
- What isn't interesting to you? Why not?
- Get support! Talk to people:
- Faculty members (your seminar instructor and those you might want to serve on your committee)
- Finding resources (books, articles, etc.)
- Your topic (get a feel for what others in this specific field have done)
- Center for Learning and Teaching
- Structuring thoughts and concepts coherently
I highly recommend you check out the "Entering the Scholarly Conversation" Library Guide (link in the box to the right) to learn more about the first two steps. And I can't stress enough to make an appointment with me - find my scheduling page in the box to the right.