Thesis Support

The purpose of this group is to provide support for anyone working on a Ph.D. or Master's thesis, especially in Education and Psychology.

Members: 26
Latest Activity: Nov 1, 2012

Discussion Forum

Thesis Support

Started by Bob Zenhausern. Last reply by Bob Zenhausern Oct 15, 2010. 30 Replies

Goal Setting and Fessing

Started by Penny Coutas. Last reply by Amanda Wilson Oct 13, 2010. 1 Reply

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Comment by Bob Zenhausern on July 17, 2010 at 1:25pm
I can't help here. My support for research is in design and analysis. I am not a good source for the latest references.
Comment by RJ Dake on July 11, 2010 at 8:53pm
My program is PhD in Educational Leadership. I'm interested in the impacts of teacher licensure, particularly as it has impacted Computer Science instruction options in high schools. I've seen CSTA's study on the diminishing programs from the mid 1990s until now. If you have studies or are aware of needed studies in areas associated with these topics, please let me know ... an email is even better! - RJ Dake
Comment by Bob Zenhausern on July 9, 2010 at 6:31am
It looks like you have things reasonably under control. I started my career when all we had was Psych Abstracts and mail reprint requests. I am not the one to ask about such software. I am not even sure how such software works. Can you tell me about them and name a few names?

If you feel comfortable sharing your topic and your tentative plans, I would be glad to share my ideas. Either on this forum or in private.
Comment by DebbieFuco on July 8, 2010 at 7:55pm
Hello DrZ,

Thanks for getting back to me and for the advice. I do have a dissertation topic that is being refined, and I am pretty sure I have a population that is available and accessible to study.

Do you use or recommend any software applications to organize your research?


Comment by Bob Zenhausern on July 8, 2010 at 2:39pm
Debbie, I am another Bob, so to avoid confusion I will call myself drz. I taught neuropsychology, research design, and statisitcal synthesis for 35 years and directed about 100 dissertations, as well as published or presented 200 papers. Here is my advice.

The number one rule is to treat the dissertation as a stumbling block not a challenge. Go after the challenges when you have your degree. Look for the easiest project that will still result in meaningful results with publication potential.

What is the hardest part of a dissertation?? Finding and testing the subjects.

What population is most available to you? Design your dissertation around that population. Now examine the important issues for that population. Speak to those who work with that population. I am sure there are many problems that would make a good dissertation.

Starting with the population leading to the problem has another advantage. You have focused your research of the literature based on the actual issues you need.

If you start with a review of the literature you have to summarize and condense the chaos of the literature to try to find a problem.

Debbie, do you have an idea on what you would like to do?
Do you have a population that is readily available for many projects?
Comment by DebbieFuco on July 8, 2010 at 2:08pm
Thanks, again, Bob. By the way, we were told that we should hire someone to crunch our stats and edit our dissertation. Hmmmm.

I should be where you are next year this time. Good luck, you are almost there!
Comment by Bob Livingston on July 8, 2010 at 1:47pm
I'm not sure which version it is. I just googled endnotes to see if there was a version that supported Windows 7 and Word 7 and noticed that Mac OS X is supported. It also mentions Lepard and SnowLepard. You can find out more specifics at the EndNotes website

Hope this helps...
Comment by DebbieFuco on July 8, 2010 at 1:31pm
Thanks for your reply, Bob. I was reading that the version I need is EndNotes X1 for Mac OS X. Is this the version are you talking about?
Comment by Bob Livingston on July 8, 2010 at 12:46pm

I no sooner posted my comments when I read my emails and found the following:

Dear Robert,

You may recently have been contacted about dissertation support from Statistics Solutions or other outside services that claim to be endorsed by Capella. These messages can be confusing and sometimes even appear to be coming directly from Capella.

Capella does not endorse any outside statistical, editorial, or other service provider for dissertation support or assistance.

Your best sources of dissertation guidance and insight are your faculty, mentor, dissertation committee, advisor, and iGuide resources.

If you have any questions, please contact your academic advisor or a faculty member. You can also contact the chair of your specialization, your dean, or your dissertation mentor for more information.


Amy Donovan
Director of Research & Scholarship

I have placed a call to my advisor to make sure I won't be violating any dissertation rules by hiring an "editor." I would read their email to mean that they don't endorse any particular third party support, but that they don't forbid it either. If that proves to be the case, I still want to go forward with my suggestion in the prior posting. The reason for the outside support is to speed up the dissertation process and hopefully complete it by summer's end. As you know, the usual system is a good system but not timely. After completing the dissertation it has to get through my chair - 2 weeks without rewrites; be sent to the readers - 2 weeks (if I'm lucky) without rewrites. The usual timing is I can get a submission through one process per course (~$3000). I'm thinking more like how to jump-start the process by next week.

Look forward to hearing from you. If there is a problem with Capella, I will know by the end of business today or first thing in the morning.

Thanks Bob,

Bob Livingston
Comment by Bob Livingston on July 8, 2010 at 10:57am
Comment to Debbie: I'm using EndNote with my PC. I've upgraded to Windows 7, so I now have issues with compatability. While trying to solve my problems, I saw that EndNote supports Mac OS X versions and I've considered moving my dissertation to my Mac. So far I've not done that or solved my Windows 7 issues either, so it's still a work in process. You may consider downloading a trial version of EndNote for your Mac. It's a great program that I highly recommend it.

Bob: I want to hire an editor before submitting my final draft of the dissertation. I've completed chapter 4 and will try to complete chapter 5 within the next week or two. There are three areas I need support for: 1st, Writing a dissertation is a multi-year process and done in chuncks - proposal - research - chapters 4 & 5. My dissertation has too much redundancy built into it. 2nd, durring the dissetation process, the apa styling rules changed. I would like someone to check to see if my apa is up to today's standards. 3rd, I've spend a great deal of time brushing up on statistics and I think my use of statistics is correct. But, if I am wrong, I may be coming to some erroneous conclusions. I've noticed that even though I selected excellent readers, many scholars have a weak grasp of statistics.

Are you interested? If so, please contact me at or give me a call at 714 612-4199 (cell) and I'll send you a copy of the first 4 chapters. I would insist on compensating you for your time, and I would like to start immediately if you are available.

...Bob Livingston

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