Turn it in

Yesterday afternoon, I sent my thesis proposal to my dissertation committee chair. This is a big deal. Although programs and disciplines differ, my school’s Organizational Leadership PhD program calls for students to submit and defend the first three (out of an eventual five) chapters of their dissertation prior to collecting, analyzing, and reporting on their data. The first chapter provides an overview of the project, the second reviews the literature on the proposed topic and highlights trends and avenues for potential future inquiry (i.e., the dissertation), and the third chapter explains the selected methodology and method.

With all the references, my proposal weighs in at 31,046 words, the equivalent of about 138 double-spaced pages in Word. Although the writing of it “only” took me three months, I spent two years trying to come up with a topic and identify a central research question. I did a lot of intellectual wandering.

Now, I wait and see what comments and proposed revisions my advisor has for me. Even though I know there is a lot of work ahead, this is a good way to end the week.

Happy Labor Day, y’all.


  1. Congratulations! This is a big deal in so many ways and one big accomplishment for those not faint of heart. I know you have watched others go through this process. As I watched Alicia go through her journey, I was not prepared for the negative feedback at all steps in her writing which eventually resulted in a paper she and her committee were satisfied with and she was proud of. She was so happy and proud after her dissertation defense to be Dr. Kerr. I know you will be too. I also learned to appreciate the many ABDs out there. It really is an act of courage to put yourself on the line like that.


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