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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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Epilogue (Antonina Lukenchuk)


In closing, I would like to highlight what in my view are some essential ideas about the dissertation process. Dissertation is indeed the work of a labourer, a craftsman, and an artist. A dissertation carries the mark of a dedicated and committed labourer. It takes thousands of daytime hours and sleepless nights to develop the drafts of each dis- sertation chapter, put them together into a comprehensive and well-aligned whole, and then refine the whole to an acceptable level of quality so that the manuscript can be approved by the dissertation committee and the scholarly community at large. Additional hours of hard labour are invested by the dissertation chair and the committee members who repeatedly review the dissertation drafts and provide substantive feedback. The labour of working with the mechanics of a formal style is strenuous and very important. Thankfully, smart technology eases the tasks of recording, transcribing, storing, processing, and organizing massive dissertation- related data. Imagine the manual labour equivalents of these tasks and the approxi- mate time it may have taken to complete them without the aid of smart technology, which was the reality of the day only several decades ago. A doctoral candidate as a craftsman must demonstrate mastery of the knowl- edge of the research process and the skills of conducting research projects, from the beginning, wondering stage, through the stages of planning, constructing research purposes and questions, collecting and analysing data, and, finally, presenting the results and findings. In this regard, this dissertation guide aimed...

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