Resources and posts about Dissertations and Doctoral writing

Achieving a Scholarly Voice

2020-06-04T21:56:21+00:00Tags: |

Completing assignments and writing papers requires much of a writer as writing is more than just filing in blanks of information. Writing, real writing, in which we wrestle with ideas and come to conclusions is hard work. Writing requires critical engagement with material, deep understanding to be able to summarize others’ work, and original articulation […]

The Art of Effective Presentations

2020-06-04T21:57:30+00:00Tags: , , |

A final presentation has become a regular feature of most academic programs as it offers another modality for a student to present their learning. A “public talk” is a great way to stimulate awareness about a topic as well as receive validation of the researching effort. This is a fundamental reason that the oral presentation […]

WEX Tips: The Literature Review

2020-06-04T21:49:32+00:00Tags: |

It’s advisable for students to regard an evolution of the literature review to gradually becoming more involved and complex as they progress through graduate programs. When it comes to a project, dissertation or thesis proposal, the literature review transforms into a more expansive and comprehensive review of the research related to a topic and field. […]

Creating a Personalized Video Multimedia Abstract

2020-06-04T22:28:21+00:00Tags: |

Author Video on Electronic Theses & Dissertations


For the past few years, many programs have required graduates to upload a photo with their dissertation. Most times, these photos are taken at the final presentation or oral defense. Having a picture of the new doctorate with their committee helps readers connect with the person who […]

Writing the Chapters: You have the Power!

2020-06-04T22:06:03+00:00Tags: , |

You’ve already written a proposal, so you probably have an idea that each chapter has a distinct purpose. However, don’t be fooled into thinking the literature review of the proposal becomes the Chapter II of the dissertation. Just consider how much has changed within the study and your understanding of the field during the expanse […]

Organizing the Dissertation

2020-06-11T19:04:19+00:00Tags: |

Dissertation Overview

All dissertations must include the following elements and pages:


  • Title page (aka cover page)
  • Signature page (aka committee page but without signatures)
  • Copyright page (strongly recommended to protect your scholarship)
  • Abstract (We’ll emphasize spending quality time refining the abstract as it’s widely read)
  • Dedication page (optional)
  • Acknowledgments page (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Table of […]

Including Media in Your Scholarly Work

2020-06-12T16:31:32+00:00Tags: , , , , , , |

The contemporary reader has grown to appreciate, if not expect, visuals included in a piece of writing. Media in your dissertation or thesis can improve readability, and it’s become more common to see these additions even in heavy scholarly work. As long as your chair approves and the visual is directly relevant to the material, […]

Quick APA Table and Appendices Formatting Tips

2020-06-04T22:07:18+00:00Tags: |

This reference is for tables and appendices only. Be sure to consult your department/program handbook to view the dissertation formatting requirements. Figures (e.g., photos or graphics) may have different formatting requirements. For formatting photos and videos, consult the WEX resource “Best Practices for Media.”


General Considerations for Tables

  • There are many kinds of tables, […]

Quick Dissertation Formatting Reference

2020-06-09T23:52:03+00:00Tags: |

Congratulations! You’re ready to write your dissertation. One way to mitigate the “intimidation factor” of this manuscript is to begin with small steps. This resource encourages you to become familiar with the auto-formatting functions in Word and to prepare the document ahead of time. Doing so can be a productive activity that will save time […]

Dissertation Survival Tips

2020-06-04T22:29:50+00:00Tags: , |

  1. Suffering from writer’s block? Take a break! Try taking a shower or a short walk, then come back to your writing with fresh eyes.


  1. Avoid burnout! While working on your dissertation, remember to give yourself a break every once in a while: read something for fun that’s outside of your field or watch […]

DOIs & URLs in References

2020-06-19T21:02:22+00:00Tags: |

DOIs & URLs in the Reference Section

Periodically, we field questions about how to properly format  online resources within the References section of a dissertation. Since online researching has become more of a standard practice, guidelines have been adapted. The DOI is a “Digital Object Identifier” that ensures a direct, permanent online location of the source. […]

What is my ORCID Number? 

2020-06-04T22:08:06+00:00Tags: |

ORCID Scholar Number:

AU students are required to include their ORCID [1] number on the title page of their dissertations/theses. Doing so, will ensure that the dissertation and your identity are protected and acknowledged. Similar to periodicals having individual DOIs, the ORCID number becomes a researcher’s digital identification.

The ORCID number an individual numerical […]