Scholarly Writing: Grammar

Scholarly Writing: Grammar
Sep 18, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

To write at the doctoral level, you must meet high standards of communication. Both the content of your writing (i.e., your ideas per se) and the formatting of your document (i.e., how you present your ideas) are equally important in doctoral writing. The areas that you must pay special attention to when you write are:
 

 

Content

Organization

Grammar

Style

 

In this article, we examine issues related to the grammatical correctness of your doctoral papers. 

Scholarly Writing: Organization

Scholarly Writing: Organization
Sep 11, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

To write at the doctoral level, you must meet high standards of communication. Both the content of your writing (i.e., your ideas per se) and the formatting of your document (i.e., how you present your ideas) are equally important in doctoral writing. The areas that you must pay special attention to when you write are:
 

 

Content

Organization

Grammar

Style

 

In this article, we examine issues related to the organization of your doctoral papers. 

Scholarly Writing: Content

Scholarly Writing: Content
Sep 04, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

To write at the doctoral level, you must meet high standards of communication. Both the content of your writing (i.e., your ideas per se) and the formatting of your document (i.e., how you present your ideas) are equally important in doctoral writing. The areas that you must pay special attention to when you write are:
 

 

Content

Organization

Grammar

Style

 

In this article, we examine issues related to the content of your doctoral papers. 

The Secret to Accelerating Your Doctoral Journey

The Secret to Accelerating Your Doctoral Journey
Aug 28, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

This article is about how to optimize your doctoral journey so that you can produce your best work and complete your program of study in the shortest possible time.

Dissertation Research: Finding a Dissertation Committee

Dissertation Research: Finding a Dissertation Committee
Aug 21, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

Earning a doctorate is not just about writing a quality dissertation. That is necessary, but not sufficient. Besides selecting a dissertation committee whose members have the expertise to assist you in crafting your dissertation, you must choose a chair with the knowledge and competence to guide you through the dissertation review process.

 

Because choosing the members of your dissertation committee is a crucial decision that can make the difference between earning a doctorate or being ABD, you need to do so with care. But how do you decide who should be on your committee and why they should be on it?

Dissertation Research: Finding a Dissertation Topic

Dissertation Research: Finding a Dissertation Topic
Aug 14, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

One of the biggest challenge that students face in their doctoral programs is finding a viable (i.e., doable and researchable) dissertation topic.

 

The most common initial topic that I have encountered in many years of working on dissertation committees (as chair, member, content expert, or methodologist) is one that a student lives with every day at work.

Dissertation Research: A Systemic View

Dissertation Research: A Systemic View
Aug 07, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

One of the characteristics of systems that we are all familiar with is the fact that the parts of a system are interconnected. As a result, a change in one part of the system affects the other parts of the system to varying degrees.

There are 10 interrelated steps in the dissertation process:

Critical Thinking at the Doctoral Level

Critical Thinking at the Doctoral Level
Jul 31, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD
What does it mean to exercise critical thinking? Does it mean to be negative and adversarial? Does it mean to provide constructive criticism? Or does it mean something totally different?

The 4Ps of Doctoral Study: Participation

The 4Ps of Doctoral Study: Participation
Jul 24, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

One of the secrets of accelerating your progress toward your ultimate goal of earning a doctoral degree is to practice the 4 Ps.

 

I am not referring to Product, Price, Promotion, and Place, the 4 Ps of Marketing.

 

Rather, I am referring to an equally important list of Ps related to doctoral study—Planning, Persistence, Patience, and Participation.

 

In this article, I will discuss the fourth P—Participation.

The 4Ps of Doctoral Study: Patience

The 4Ps of Doctoral Study: Patience
Jul 17, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

One of the secrets of accelerating your progress toward your ultimate goal of earning a doctoral degree is to practice the 4 Ps.

 

I am not referring to Product, Price, Promotion, and Place, the 4 Ps of Marketing.

 

Rather, I am referring to an equally important list of Ps related to doctoral study—Planning, Persistence, Patience, and Participation.

 

In this article, I will discuss the third P—Patience.

The 4Ps of Doctoral Study: Persistence

The 4Ps of Doctoral Study: Persistence
Jul 10, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

One of the secrets of accelerating your progress toward your ultimate goal of earning a doctoral degree is to practice the 4 Ps.

 

I am not referring to Product, Price, Promotion, and Place, the 4 Ps of Marketing.

 

Rather, I am referring to an equally important list of Ps related to doctoral study—Planning, Persistence, Patience, and Participation.

 

In this article, I will discuss the second P—Persistence.

The 4Ps of Doctoral Study: Planning

The 4Ps of Doctoral Study: Planning
Jul 03, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

One of the secrets of accelerating your progress toward your ultimate goal of earning a doctoral degree is to practice the 4 Ps.

 

I am not referring to Product, Price, Promotion, and Place, the 4 Ps of Marketing.

 

Rather, I am referring to an equally important list of Ps related to doctoral study—Planning, Persistence, Patience, and Participation.

 

In this article, I will discuss the first P—Planning. In, subsequent blog articles, I will discuss the other three Ps.

Secrets of Dissertation Research: Do Something Every Day

Secrets of Dissertation Research: Do Something Every Day
Jun 26, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

What are the secrets of completing a high quality dissertation (or doctoral study) successfully and rapidly?

 

That’s what I most wanted to know when I was a doctoral student. So, I made it a point to seek out experts in dissertation research who spoke at required doctoral residencies I attended.

 

The experts I had the privilege to meet, who were exceptionally knowledgeable and helpful, all said the same thing:
 

If you want to succeed in your doctoral journey, then you must do some work on your dissertation frequently—every day if possible.

 

Let’s contrast this approach to what most students do.

 

Secrets of Doctoral Study: Speed vs. Quality

Secrets of Doctoral Study: Speed vs. Quality
Jun 19, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

When I was a doctoral student, my mentor was a terrific fellow who had very high academic standards (which I appreciated), but who was also blessed with a sense of humor (which I also appreciated).

 

A short time into my program of study, he correctly surmised that I had several key goals: (a) to learn as much as possible by doing high quality work, (b) to save money by finishing as quickly as possible, and (c) not to trade-off one (quality) for the other (speed).

 

In short, I wanted it all. Compromise was not an option. Given this set of specifications, my mentor came up with a saying that became my mantra: “Work hard, go fast, save money!”

The Doctoral Journey

The Doctoral Journey
Jun 12, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

A doctoral journey is the academic adventure of a lifetime.

 

If you find the right school and have good advisors, a doctoral journey can be a magical ride. If you are less fortunate, it can be an endurance test rivaling an ultramarathon. Either way, it will have its share of ups and downs. How you handle them will determine whether you succeed or fail in your quest.

The World’s Greatest Tracker

Jun 05, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

You are walking through the woods, and you see a deer just off the path. You freeze in your tracks!

 

You approach the animal slowly, your heart beating faster with every step, until you know that you can reach out and touch it.  But you stop short to avoid startling it. Eventually, the deer wanders off.


 

How did you do this without the deer sensing your presence and bolting?

Golfing in Paradise

May 29, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

I have been a golfer since I was a teenager inspired by the Big Three (Arnie, Jack, and Gary) to take up the game, play on the college golf team, and ultimately become a Certified Golf Teaching Professional®. My love of the game has also taken me to many beautiful places, such as Hilton Head, South Carolina, where we owned a condo for over a decade.

I love variety, in golf and in life in general. A trip in 2015 to Hilton Head Island reminded me of the many wonderful rounds of golf I played on the multitude of designer courses on the island. I had played great golf courses before, like Pinehurst No. 2, a Donald Ross masterpiece, but until we bought a quarter share in Hilton Head’s Palmetto Dunes Plantation, I have never had such easy access to so many excellent designer golf courses. I was, unabashedly, like a kid in a candy store.

Practical Statistics: Using Basic Statistics to Make Better Decisions

Practical Statistics: Using Basic Statistics to Make Better Decisions
May 22, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

Arguably, everyone wants to make better decisions, be they personal or professional. One way to do that is to learn something about basic probability and statistics. However, for most people this is a frightening prospect.

 

What beginners need to cross the chasm is a simple (not to be confused with simplistic), basic, yet systemic book on the subject. Sounds easy enough. However, when I tried to find such a book for an undergraduate statistics class I was teaching,  I could not find one.

 

Most statistics books, even the so-called easy ones with titles which suggest that anyone can learn statistics by reading them, do not focus on statistical reasoning and practical application. Instead, they emphasize theory and mathematical manipulation. As a result, many people trying to learn the essentials of this important subject (particularly the majority who are not strong in math) find themselves intimidated and confused, rather than engaged and informed.

 

Frustrated by my search for a simple, basic, and systemic book on the subject to using statistics to make better decisions, I decided to write my own. The result was Practical Statistics.

A Memorable Day Hiking in Acadia National Park

A Memorable Day Hiking in Acadia National Park
May 15, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

I was on my way to Baxter State Park for some mid-summer hiking, when I made a spur of the moment decision to go to Acadia National Park for a day hike to avoid inclement weather forecast for Baxter. Located on Mount Desert Island, and encompassing Bar Harbor, an iconic Maine seaside resort, Acadia National Park is a beautiful place to visit and hike in.

 

Having been to Acadia in the fall of 2012 (as part of a reconnaissance mission to scope out the park) and driven to the top of Cadillac Mountain on a picture perfect day, I was looking forward to hiking Acadia in September. To that end, I had eagerly poured over Hiking Acadia National Park: A Guide to the Park’s Greatest Hiking Adventures, a well written and beautifully illustrated book, and identified a number of hikes that sounded like they were within my capability. On the top of my list was the Cadillac North Ridge Trail, which I understood was of moderate difficulty, only a 4.4 mile round trip from the trailhead to the summit of Cadillac Mountain and back and rewarded the successful hiker with some excellent views of Bar Harbor, the Maine coastline, and the surrounding mountains from open ridges on the last part of the climb. It sounded perfect!

The Modern Leadership Model: A Creative Synthesis

The Modern Leadership Model: A Creative Synthesis
May 08, 2019 by Robert E. Levasseur, PhD

How do you lead? Do you plan, organize, staff, exert influence, and control? Or is that the definition of management? Do you focus on providing strategic direction and leave the implementation to others? Or do you dive into the details of day-to-day operations to ensure that people do things right? Do you one-minute manage, or do you focus on moving the cheese?

 

The answer is a resounding “None of the above.” In fact, the answer lies in a creative synthesis of time-honored management practices, contemporary leadership principles, and a few secret ingredients from the experts in change management.