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writing strategies for future PhD holders

How To Find A Good Dissertation Advisor: Step-By-Step Instructions

When it comes time to writing your dissertation, you will need to find a dissertation advisor. This is someone to help you with writing your dissertation and to help you understand the topic that you are writing about. Some students have a good idea of who their advisor will be pretty early on but some students have not thought about it. If you are one of those students who haven’t thought about who your advisor would be and you are really struggling to even know where to begin, here are some step-by-step instructions to help you find a good dissertation advisor.

Your dissertation is a very complex assignment that will take you a lot of hours to develop, research and write. It is designed to capture a piece of everything that you have learned over the course of your studies and apply it to creating a new piece of scholarly work for your field. Because of the intensity and severity of this assignment, you need to find an advisor that will really help you along.

  1. Check the department

    The first step is to get ahold of a list of all of the possible facility that you could ask to be your advisor for your field. The school directory is usually the easiest way to get the contact information. This will give you a workable list.

  2. Research the Faculty

    Research the various faculty members. You can visit their classes, set up a meeting, read their published works, and learn as much as you can about them.

  3. Choose your top three

    It is easiest to compare three choices, so pick your top three candidates. Put them in order from first to last. Set up a meeting with each of the three choices. Make your final decision and then ask the faculty member if they would like to do it. If they turn you down, you still have the other two choices to try.

When choosing an advisor, you want to make sure that the advisor is well versed in your dissertation topic. So you can’t even start looking for one until you have nailed down your topic and got it approved. Your advisor should also be available to assist you. The main point in having an advisor is to have a professional or someone versed in the topic to use for guidance.


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