Writing a PhD-level dissertation is a daunting task because of the rigor, critical thinking, and a more nuanced understanding doctoral theses demand. I feel that I am adequately prepared to complete my dissertation. The robust academic experiences proved useful in sharpening my research skills, including thinking critically and approaching problems systematically. I have learned how to brainstorm, a technique that is an essential element of the research process, especially owing to its power to generate and evaluate ideas (Ciampa & Wolfe, 2019). I have mastered the capability of determining the most appropriate approach to address issues and search for relevant data. Furthermore, I have honed the ability to decipher the links between ideas, evaluate the arguments from different perspectives, and synthesize information and findings critically to draw evidence-based conclusions. I understand how to leverage relevant empirical evidence to defend my conclusions. Developing these critical skills has adequately prepared me to deliver on my research project.
Another strength is self-directed learning, a skill that is evidenced by accountability for my goals, responsibilities as a student, and the overall learning process. Empirical research shows that self-directed learning supports doctoral students’ academic writing (Ciampa & Wolfe, 2019). In addition, I have also acquired essential interpersonal and leadership skills, such as collaborating on projects, responding to feedback (both positive and negative) appropriately, and facilitating discussions. By developing these skills, I believe that I am well prepared to deliver a quality research project.
However, I have some weaknesses which I need to address before commencing the research process. Mainly, I am concerned with my ability to understand and synthesize vast amounts of data, design, implement, and analyze surveys, and manage long-term projects. I intend to improve in these areas by reading extensively on preparing, planning, implementing, and evaluating research projects. I will also consider seeking peer and faculty support and assistance with tips on developing strong organizational and management skills. Most importantly, I will aim to work in small increments to help master what I learn. This tactic will involve analyzing the new knowledge and skills and contemplating the areas of strength and improvement. Asking others for ideas and opinions and integrating them with my reading will help enhance my writing and research skills.
Ciampa, K., & Wolfe, Z. (2019). Preparing for dissertation writing: Doctoral education students’ perceptions. Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, 10(2), 86−108. Web.