What do I do with mentor and committee feedback?

by | April 29, 2012

Podcast Description: Feedback is a necessary part of the dissertation process and will come from your mentor, your committee and your department chair. How you respond to that feedback is an important part of how you will be able to progress through the dissertation.

Transcript: The following presentation is a production of Capella University and is not intended for commercial use.

Welcome to another topic in a series of podcasts regarding aspects of the comprehensive exam and dissertation process.

Many dissertators both look forward to and also dread receiving feedback from their mentor and others who are reading their dissertation.

Yes, getting feedback means that your mentor is responding specifically to you and your dissertation. But it also means that you need to pay attention to the feedback. Read through it. What is your mentor asking you to do? Does the feedback focus on the content or on the writing? Do you understand your mentor’s suggestions? Does a recommended change in Chapter 1 mean you have to rework sections of other chapters, even if your mentor did not specifically ask for it?

Do not let feedback from your mentor, committee or program chair paralyze you. The feedback is designed to help you to improve your dissertation. Early in the dissertation process, the mentor may be trying to guide you into a topic that can actually be done with questions that can actually be answered. The mentor might also be pointing out that, although your desire is to do a qualitative study, that is going to be rather difficult if your research questions demand a quantitative approach.

Once you have topic approval and begin to produce those first three chapters, the feedback from your mentor might focus on such topics as the organization of your chapters, the need to use more recent research articles to help justify your topic, and on your writing skills. Your mentor expects your literature review to be comprehensive without being redundant, to be logically organized, and to show those gaps in the literature. Your mentor also expects your methodology chapter to be as detailed as possible. And when you write those last two chapters of your dissertation, remember that details will still be very important.

The feedback from all parties is designed to strengthen your paper. Your dissertation will eventually be published for other scholars to peruse, and all who play a role in your dissertation want your final product to be a dissertation that you can be proud of. So, absorb, reflect, and incorporate the feedback.

Remember, you bring unique circumstances to your doctoral journey. Follow-up with your doctoral advisor for clarification and additional information about the dissertation process.

This presentation has been brought to you by Capella University and may not be re-transmitted or used for any commercial purpose without the expressed written consent of Capella University.

# # #
428 words