Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation

Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale, Dissertation Coach for UMBC, presents:

“Practical Steps for Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation.”

This seminar will be held on Thursday, February 23, 2012, 4:30 PM – 6:00 PM. Light refreshments will be served.

Location: UMBC Campus, AOK Library 7th Floor open area.

Directions to campus:

Dr. Carter-Veale is the coach for The Dissertation House ( and is the founder of TADA, Thesis and Dissertation Accomplished.

This is a seminar for all graduate students who will be writing a thesis or  dissertation.  Please RSVP early so that we can have an accurate count for reservations.

This post is mirrored on MyUMBC:

UMBC’s students are asked to RSVP via the MyUMBC link above. Students from other campuses should RSVP as a reply to this post. 


Are you working on your dissertation now? Regardless of your discipline or school, you’re welcome to join the PROMISE Dissertation House’s blog: Page down, introduce yourself, tell the group what you’re working on, and join the fun!

Published by Renetta Garrison Tull

Dr. Renetta Garrison Tull is the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at the University of California Davis. She previously served as Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives at The Graduate School at UMBC, and was Professor of the Practice in the College of Engineering & IT. She was Special Assistant to the Sr. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Director of Graduate and Professional Pipeline Development for the University System of Maryland (12 institutions). She is the Founding Director of PROMISE: Maryland’s Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate (AGEP) –, and Co-PI for the USM LSAMP. Her research on global diversity in STEM continues, and she is an international speaker, covering nearly all continents, for groups and conferences such as the World Engineering Education Forum, the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies, and the Pacific Sciences Congress. Her personal website is: Connect with her on Twitter: @Renetta_Tull;

11 thoughts on “Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation

  1. The company provides 24/7 full support to enable clients to monitor the progress of their ordered essays or to consult their problems with professional academic writers. When you let the company take care of your essay, you can simply take a deep sigh of relief and then relax yourself to do other activities. Using this kind of service can help you enhance your writing ability and your self confidence because your score will gradually increase.


  2. The “Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation” seminar which i attend last November showed me the importance of disciplining myself when writing not just my dissertation, but other research reports as well. This semester, I am taking an independent study course and will be expected to write a report by the end of the semester. To avoid the cardinal sin in academia that is procrastination, I have started writing summaries of each journal article I have written as well as outlining the content of my final report. I have documented my progress through pictures and time-lines.

    Another significant point I took from the seminar was the importance of formatting your paper. Your content can be perfect but if it is in the wrong format, all of your hard work will count against you. Dr. Carter said to take as little as thirty minutes a day to work on formatting your paper. She said the best times to do this are the days or moments when you don’t feel like writing. I have definitely taken heed to this advice, and use my study breaks or homework breaks to format my paper for my independent study. Though I am far from writing my PhD dissertation, I will be prepared to write it.


  3. While entering the library for Dr. Carter’s presentation last Thursday, I wasn’t sure how much information to expect to receive that evening. Little did I know that I would be taking down pages of notes about the important intricacies of the graduate student’s “to-do” list. There was so much useful information in Dr. Carter’s talk regarding writing a dissertation/thesis/proposal for my degree; I was quite amazed that she was also able to bring up several tips about preparing my defense, getting over writer’s block, and handling financial issues. Dr. Carter gave great examples of what not to do as well, including leaving advisors out of the loop and waiting until the last minute to format your work. I will be sure to keep all of this new knowledge at hand for when I begin my thesis. Thank you Dr. Carter for sharing your wisdom.


  4. Although I had class, it seems like the people I spoke with about the event learned a lot. Namely I learned that a tedious part of the process is the formatting of the dissertation. Detailed information abut this can be found on the graduate school’s website. Also, my peers stressed that it’s crucial to write something everyday that counts towards the completion of your dissertation. It cam be as simple as only 15 minutes of writing each day. Lastly, I often encounter writer’s block. Dr. Wendy Carter-Veale noted one way to overcome this and still write each day is to work on your bibliography or formatting. Overall, this seemed like a very beneficial seminar and I hope to be able to attend in the fall. Thanks to Patrick Carrington, Joshua Austin and Jared Dixon for sharing what you learned!


  5. Dr. Carter’s presentation highlighted the difficulties of writing the dissertation, while giving important advice. I liked how she discussed the proposal and then compared it to defending your thesis. In both situations, she highlighted the fact that you will be the expert of your research, so have confidence in what you are saying. As far as completing the dissertation, she touched upon the fact that you should be writing something everyday. I am glad that she said this because I know I have a bad habit of putting off anything that involves writing. There was so much that she touched upon, as far as the role of your advisor, how to deal with financial issues, and the role of the committee. This seminar was very useful and I was glad I was able to attend.


  6. Dr. Carter’s talk was very informative and useful. At the beginning I though that this would not apply to me, since I feel like I have a long way to go until my dissertation, but after hearing her discussion I realized that this is very useful. Not only can I try to plan early for when it is my time to write, but I do believe that these rules can also be applied to many other aspects of life. From listening to her talk, I can start building up my research in a way that it would facilitate writing at the end, and also I can start downloading all the templates and getting all the required information that does not need to be done the last minute. Also, I can use the tools for when I write research papers or class assignments, since it is something so versatile and can be tuned to fit my needs.


  7. I found Dr. Carter’s talk to be very informative. It highlighted a lot of very important “pitfalls” of working on a dissertation. However, for every pitfall there was a strategy that could be used to continue to make progress. One of the most useful things Dr. Carter mentioned during her talk was a breakdown of the process of writing and submitting the dissertation. Understanding how the process works makes it a little easier to approach such a massive project. I will definitely apply what I learned during the seminar to my dissertation writing as well as all of my research papers. This is definitely a great seminar to offer. I really learned a lot!


  8. Although I did not attend Dr. Carter-Veale’s Seminar on “Practical Steps for Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation,” I was able to learn a lot about what it means to have a good dissertation from what notes and insight were shared with me. I realized how important it is to set deadlines and work on things gradually. Times should be allotted to work on certain things even if it’s only for a few minutes a day. Take the time to find out what standard lengths are for your field as well as how many chapters are typical. Find out what formats are best to have and begin with the simpler formats and work your way out to the larger details and more specifics of what you’re working on. Be sure to have a clear idea in mind about what the difference between each chapter is and what each chapter will entail.
    I was also reminded of how important it is to keep accurate records of everything with backed-up sources like flash drives and binders with hard copies. It is also vital to keep in mind the role of your advisor and your role with your advisor.
    It is also important to know yourself well and know what environments you work best under. Also know what you need help with like typing for example or emotional support.
    Dr. Carter also spoke on ways to fight writers, block which includes writing in a journal, writing an outline, and making the point out loud. She discussed what questions to consider when choosing a research topic and what questions need to be answered in your proposal. She also went into the sections of your proposal and how to prepare for your defense. Some key tips were getting a good night’s rest, being sure to read through your defense, and being confident in yourself. I definitely appreciate the information presented and will use it in the future.


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