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Outliving Your Dissertation

A Guide for Students and Faculty


Edited By Antonina Lukenchuk

This guide focuses on the dissertation work as a step-by-step process and details the structure and the content of dissertation chapters. Unique to this edition is its conception of the dissertation in optimistic, realistic, and symbolic terms, which altogether provide theoretical basis and practical advice to students who are beginning their dissertation process. The guide features the personal accounts of doctoral students who have gone through the experience, which makes this edition stand out among other similar books on the market.
Dissertation is the work of a laborer, a craftsman, and an artist. Long hours of hard labor with our hands and head go into developing ideas, planning, and implementing research projects such as dissertations. But what ultimately drives our academic pursuits and, therefore makes them successful and enjoyable is inspiration that sets our hearts on fire and makes it impossible not to venture on the journey. The uncharted territories of the dissertation process – life events and happenings – make the path toward the highest academic degree attainment both exciting and challenging. Just like life itself with its unplanned and unpredictable twists and turns, the dissertation journey requires strength of character and an unwavering faith in one’s self and in the ultimate value of the pursuit of knowledge. So, why merely survive? Let’s enjoy the dissertation journey!
The guide is intended primarily for doctoral students pursuing dissertations in social sciences, as well as for faculty who teach doctoral-level research courses and seminars and supervise doctoral dissertations.   


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Part Two: Insights from the Pathfinders


Insights from the Pathfinders p a r t t w o Often scolded by friends for being unrealistic in my career aspirations, I frequently dreamt about becoming a famous performing artist, acting and singing my way into the hearts of America. After all, even at the age of four, I was able to com- mand an audience using my musical and theatrical abilities to engage and enter- tain. My father always said that I had it. I wasn’t quite sure what the it was, but he was certain I was ambitious. From the time I was a child, I strove for excellence, whether it was executing a pseudo-performance of The Wizard of Oz or complet- ing my dissertation journey as an adult. I knew one thing for certain, I needed a challenge. Perhaps my father was right. Perchance he knew then what I know now; conceivably, the it was the desire, the determination, and the fortitude to succeed. As the years evolved and my interests became more diverse, my thoughts con- tinually returned to the leadership experience that initially grew out of the Oz character Dorothy Gale to more advanced roles articulating soliloquies and per- forming arias. On the stage, under the lights with audience near, I revelled in my ability to positively affect others through my “tools” or God-given talents. In Lead- ership on the Line, Heifetz and Linsky (2002) posited that leadership can be found anywhere. Leadership is about behaviours, not about individuals. It is independent of title...

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