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So here's our suggested timetable for the dissertation journey: We've put it in hours because that makes the

processes ones you can do when you have even an hour here and there. Put in the hours, and you'll get a dissertation. Step 1. Engaging in a conceptual conversation: This is a conversation where you (and, ideally, your advisor) map out the pre-proposal for your dissertation in an extended conversation. Step 2. Creating the dissertation pre-proposal: In this step, you make the key decisions about your dissertation: Research question, categories of your literature review, data, methods of collecting and analyzing your data, significance, and the chapters of your dissertation. Step 3: Approval of the pre-proposal by your advisor: Here's where you talk through your pre-proposal with your advisor, modifying it as necessary. This conversation should end with agreement between you and your advisor on the elements of your pre-proposal. Step 4. Collecting the literature: You collect the literature relevant to your project. Step 5. Coding the literature: Review and code your literature. Step 6. Writing the literature review: Create a conceptual or organizational schema for the literature review and write the review. Step 7. Writing the proposal: Write the proposal using as a guide your pre-proposal. Step 8. Review of the proposal by your advisor: Your advisor reads and suggests revisions to your proposal. (*Of course, you will be doing other work to move your dissertation forward during this time.) Step 9. Revising the proposal: Revise your proposal in line with your advisor's suggestions. The revisions should not be major because the proposal follows the pre-proposal approved by your advisor earlier. Step 10. Defending the proposal: If your department requires a defense of your proposal, defend it before your advisor and the other members of your committee. (*This isn't all time on task but allows time for committee members to read the proposal.) Step 11. Obtaining human subjects approval: Obtaining the approval to collect your data from your university's human subjects review committee. Step 12. Collecting the data: Collect your data. Step 13. Transforming the data to codable form: Transcribe your interviews, run your statistics, or do whatever is required to get your data in a form you can analyze. Step 14. Coding the data: Code your data based on your research question. Step 15. Developing a schema to explain the data: Develop an explanatory schema that explains in an insightful and coherent way your data. Step 16. Writing a sample analysis: Write a sample section of your analysis--perhaps five pages--so that your advisor can look at it and tell you if there are any problems with your approach. You want to know before you've written up a whole chapter or chapters in that same way. Step 17. Review by your advisor of the sample analysis: Your advisor reviews and provides feedback on your sample analysis. Step 18. Writing the findings chapter or chapters: Write your findings or analysis chapter(s) featuring your explanatory schema. Step 19. Writing the final chapter: Write the conclusion chapter of your dissertation. Step 20. Transforming the proposal into a chapter or chapters and preparing the front matter: Revise your proposal to turn it into your first chapter or your first three chapters, depending on the format you are using for your dissertation. Also prepare your abstract, table of contents, acknowledgments, and lists of figures and tables. Step 21. Editing the chapters: Edit all of your chapters for substance and form. Step 22. Review of the dissertation by your advisor: Your advisor reads the dissertation and makes suggestions for revision. (*Of course, you are doing other work during this time, such as formatting the manuscript.) Step 23. Revising the dissertation: Following your advisor's suggestions, revise the dissertation. Step 24. Approval of the dissertation by the graduate school: At many universities, the format of your final draft is reviewed by someone in the graduate school. (*This process varies greatly from university to university, so check what is involved at yours--you may not need this much time.) Step 25. Making final formatting revisions: Make any formatting changes required by the graduate school. Step 26. Review of the dissertation by your committee: After your advisor has approved your dissertation, distribute the dissertation to the other members of your committee and give them two weeks to read it. Step 27. Defending the dissertation: If an oral defense is required at your university, defend the dissertation. Step 28. Revising the dissertation: Complete any revisions your committee members want you to make. Step 29. Submitting the dissertation: Submit the dissertation either electronically or in hard copy, whichever is required by your graduate school. Time: 10 hours Time: 5 hours Time: 2 hours Time: 40 hours Time: 60 hour Time: 40 hours Time: 30 hours Time: 40 hours* Time: 10 hours Time: 120 hours or 3 weeks* Time: Add hours if reqd for your study Time: 150 hours Time: Add 40-120 hours if reqd for your study Time: 40 hours Time: 10 hours Time: 5 hours Time: 2 hours Time: 40 hours per chapter Time: 20 hours Time: 5 hours Time: 80 hours Time: 80 hours* Time: 40 hours Time: 40 hours* Time: 5 hours Time: 80 hours Time: 2 hours Time: 40 hours Time: 2 hours

Total hours required is 1078. If you are working 40 hours a week on your dissertation, that translates into 27 weeks or 6 1/2 months. Let's frame this another way: The average person watches about 20 hours of television a week. At a minimum, you could finish your dissertation in one year if you write when everyone else you know is watching TV.