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Premise Prospectus Proposal and Dissertation

Premise Prospectus Proposal and Dissertation

Premise Prospectus Proposal and Dissertation

An explanation of how completing a dissertation fits into your program of study, identifying at least two potential benefits of completing your dissertation.  Explain the role of the premise, prospectus, and proposal in your dissertation. Finally, list one question you would like to have answered about the guidelines in Walden’s Dissertation Prospectus Guide.

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    dissertation_guidebook_may_2014_final.pdf

    Walden University

     

    Dissertation Guidebook

     

     

    For internal use only. Walden University Academic Offices 100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 900 Minneapolis, MN 55401 1-800-WALDENU (1-800-925-3368) Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.ncahlc.org. Walden University is a registered trademark of Walden University, LLC. © 2014 Walden University, LLC.

     

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    Contents Introduction ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5

    The Walden University Dissertation Statement ……………………………………………………………….. 5 How This Guidebook Is Organized ………………………………………………………………………………… 6

    Part 1. The Dissertation Process ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 8 Process Overview ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8 Beginning the Process ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 10 Dissertation Premise …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 10 Dissertation Supervisory Committee ……………………………………………………………………………. 11 Dissertation Prospectus ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 12 Registering for Dissertation Credits ……………………………………………………………………………… 12 Developing the Proposal …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 13 Gaining URR Approval of the Proposal ……………………………………………………………………….. 15 Proposal Oral Presentation ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 16 Getting Approval for Research…………………………………………………………………………………….. 17 Completing the Dissertation ………………………………………………………………………………………… 18 Gaining URR Approval of the Dissertation …………………………………………………………………… 21 Form and Style Review ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 22 Dissertation Oral Defense …………………………………………………………………………………………… 23 Final Approval and Submission …………………………………………………………………………………… 24 Academic Integrity and Plagiarism ………………………………………………………………………………. 26

    Part 2. Style: APA and Walden University ……………………………………………………………………….. 27 Overall Structure ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 27 Abstract ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 27 Appendices ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 29 Curriculum Vitae ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 29 Definitions of Terms and Glossaries …………………………………………………………………………….. 29 Copyrights and Permission To Use ………………………………………………………………………………. 30 Crediting Sources ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 31 Footnotes ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 34 Point of View ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 34 Verb Tense ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 34 Inclusive Language ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 35 Type …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 36 Line Spacing ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 36 Margins and Page Numbers ………………………………………………………………………………………… 37 Headings …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 38 Lists: Seriation …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 38 Tables and Figures …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 40 Numbers and Percentages …………………………………………………………………………………………… 41 Abbreviations ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 41 Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation ……………………………………………………………………………. 42 Capitalization ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 44

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    Sample Pages …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 46

    Part 3: Frequently Asked Questions ………………………………………………………………………………… 51 Questions About the Dissertation Process …………………………………………………………………….. 51 Questions About Form and Style …………………………………………………………………………………. 52

     

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    Introduction The final phase of study for Walden University doctoral students is completion of a dissertation, which begins with the preparation of a dissertation premise and ends with approval of the final dissertation. Walden does not favor any particular research approach or methodology, but does require that a dissertation reflect a high level of scholarly effort and be an original contribution to knowledge or professional practice. Students should demonstrate knowledge of research design and execution as well as the ability to interpret research findings both orally and in writing. The final product should have the level of detail and sophistication expected of a doctoral level scholar-practitioner in the discipline. Premise Prospectus Proposal and Dissertation

    The Walden University Dissertation Statement This statement is designed to provide a broad vision of the Walden University dissertation and an understanding of the university’s dissertation requirements:

    The Walden University dissertation embraces and reflects the core values and mission of the university. Walden strives to produce graduates who combine academic credentials with professional skills and leaders whose actions are motivated by informed intellect and educated attitudes. As accomplished practitioners, Walden students bring a wealth of expertise to their studies. Walden’s curricula then provide the foundation upon which students build their competence and mold their interests, culminating in the dissertation learning experience. Through this process, Walden graduates are provided the learning necessary to set forth new ideas through enlightened insights and to effect change in individuals, organizations, and society. Because Walden students and their courses of study vary, the nature and purposes of Walden dissertations also vary. The university’s approach to scholarship is flexible. The dissertation can be built upon a foundation of basic or applied research, multidisciplinary perspectives on scholarship, improved teaching, or an appropriate and acceptable combination of different forms of rigorous scholarship. Each suits the Walden dissertation insofar as it relates to the nature and purpose of the inquiry and demonstrates a literate grounding in the relevant fields in which it is written, while maintaining the fundamental elements of quality and integrity required of stewards of the discipline. The Walden dissertation demonstrates a commitment to improving the caliber of professional practice. It is an inquiry that addresses unanswered questions or issues lacking thorough study and envisions what could happen as a result of the research outcomes. It contributes to professional practice by offering new knowledge or new understanding of existing knowledge arrived at through rigorous application of appropriate research methodology and provides a basis for further research. Therefore, the results of a research study conducted for a Walden dissertation are worthy of publication as a significant contribution to professional practice.

     

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    The Walden dissertation demonstrates a commitment to addressing the phenomena of social change and, within that context, exhibits sensitivity to societal conditions and a consideration of social issues. The Walden dissertation confirms a student’s understanding of and commitment to academic honesty and scholarly integrity. Every dissertation is shaped by the university’s core values of integrity and quality, as well as its mission: to provide a diverse community of career professionals with the opportunity to transform themselves as scholar-practitioners so that they can effect positive social change. The dissertation is the unifying culmination of a doctoral student’s academic experience at Walden. The most important outcome of all teaching and learning at Walden is to produce graduates with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to:

    • Understand and continuously develop and change themselves, the organizations in which they work, and society at large.

    • Create new knowledge dedicated to the improvement of social conditions and to impact society positively by putting that knowledge into practice by both modeling their learning through action and by being civically engaged.

    • Continue learning across their lifetimes as practitioners, researchers, and scholars and continue to impact social change.

    • Achieve professional excellence as active and influential professionals by applying their learning to specific problems and challenges in their work settings and professional practice.

    • Be information literate, including knowing the literature of their professional fields and reading it critically.

    • Understand the design and methods of inquiry in their professional fields. • Practice in their professional fields legally and ethically. • Communicate effectively, particularly in communicating their learning and research to

    others. • Appreciate, respect, and advocate for diversity and multiculturalism within their

    professional fields. • Function flexibly and effectively in a variety of educational environments, including

    online and distributed environments.

    How This Guidebook Is Organized The Dissertation Guidebook complements other important resources during this phase of students’ graduate career, including their dissertation supervisory committee, their academic program leaders, the academic advisors and other university staff members, the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA style manual), and the Walden Writing Center. Premise Prospectus Proposal and Dissertation

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    The Dissertation Process. Part 1 of this guidebook describes the steps of the dissertation process, including the use of evaluative rubrics. Part 1 also explains the policies and procedures related to ethical standards and use of human subjects in research. Style: APA and Walden University. Form and style guidelines are provided in Part 2, as an introduction and a supplement to the APA style manual. The APA style manual is students’ main source of form and style information when writing their dissertation. References to APA style in this edition of the Dissertation Guidebook reflect the sixth edition of the APA style manual. When the university has style preferences for dissertations that supersede APA guidelines, those preferences are indicated in green boxes. Frequently Asked Questions. Part 3 of this guidebook includes a series of frequently asked questions regarding the dissertation process as well as form and style issues.

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    Part 1. The Dissertation Process The processes for dissertations are continually evaluated and updated to make the experience easy for both faculty members and students. The steps are detailed in this guidebook. A shorter description of the dissertation process and relevant forms can be found on the Office of Student Research Administration (OSRA) section of the Walden University website.

    Process Overview If students wish to graduate in a specific term, they must plan their program carefully. They should begin planning for program completion at least 13 months in advance of their anticipated graduation date. The table below provides a quick summary of the steps involved in completing the dissertation. The following sections describe these steps in more detail. Step Description Premise The dissertation premise is a short document that identifies a preliminary topic for the

    dissertation and supports formation of the dissertation supervisory committee. Students’ primary goal for the premise is to narrow their dissertation topic such that they have provided a general sense of the direction of their research. Premise Prospectus Proposal and Dissertation

    Committee Nomination

    At this time, students also nominate their dissertation supervisory committee, following the steps outlined for their program of study and in the Dissertation Committee Process document found on the OSRA website. Students nominate a committee chair and a committee member who provide guidance related to the content and research methods appropriate to the study. After approval of the prospectus, a third member serving in the role of the university research reviewer (URR) is assigned by the program director.

    Prospectus The dissertation prospectus builds on the premise by helping students organize, delineate, and make decisions regarding their dissertation and appropriate research style. The prospectus serves as an agreed-upon plan for developing the proposal and finalizes the structure of the dissertation supervisory committee. The supervisory committee uses the Dissertation Prospectus Rubric to give feedback on the prospectus.

    Proposal Development

    The first three chapters of a dissertation are known as the dissertation proposal. The proposal establishes the rationale for conducting the study, including a review and analysis of the relevant literature, and describes the design and methodology that will be utilized for the study. Students work with their supervisory committee to develop the proposal, consulting the specific university-approved dissertation checklist indicators that will be used to organize the dissertation. When ready, students complete a self-evaluation of the dissertation checklist and a Turnitin report and submit these documents to their dissertation chair. (Note: The dissertation chair may complete a separate Turnitin report, which is submitted to the URR member for review along with the dissertation checklist and proposal). Students’ committee members, including the URR member, evaluate the proposal against the Dissertation Minimum Standards Rubric using the annotated checklist that students provide to guide their reviews.

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    Step Description Proposal University Research Review

    When the supervisory committee is satisfied that the proposal meets all the requirements specified in the minimum standards rubric, the chair submits the proposal, Turnitin report, the dissertation checklist, and completed rubrics from each member to the assigned committee member serving in the URR role. The URR member reviews the proposal, again using the minimum standards rubric, including items relevant to content, methodology, form and style, and ethical procedures. The URR member either approves the proposal, which enables the student to set up an oral conference, or returns the proposal with a set of suggested revisions. Students work with their committee to make any requested revisions. Premise Prospectus Proposal and Dissertation

    Proposal Oral Presentation

    Following URR approval, students orally present the proposal to their committee via teleconference scheduled with OSRA. Requests should be made 1 week in advance of the meeting. This presentation is used to confirm students’ plans for their research, clarify any remaining questions that committee members may have regarding the study, and help ensure that students initiate their research from a sound foundation. After the proposal has been successfully defended, the chair submits the Proposal Approval form and the clean, approved copy of the proposal to OSRA. Note: Walden provides a conference call service for the oral defense that is toll-free for most countries outside the United States. Students living in areas outside this coverage will be responsible for toll charges associated with this call.

    IRB Approval Walden’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews each study conducted by Walden students to determine if the anticipated benefits of the study outweigh risks associated with participation in it. While developing their proposal, students should draft the IRB application and submit it to their chair for feedback. After the proposal has received final approval following the presentation, students receive a notice from OSRA to submit their formal application directly to the IRB. Note: Please remember that no data may be collected until IRB approval is granted.

    Dissertation Completion

    Following IRB approval, students can collect and analyze their data and report their findings, complete the remaining chapters of their dissertation, and prepare the abstract. They complete a self-evaluation of the remaining chapters in the dissertation checklist and another Turnitin report to submit to their dissertation chair. Note: The dissertation chair may again complete a separate Turnitin report, which is submitted to the URR member for review along with the dissertation.

    Dissertation University Research Review

    When the supervisory committee is satisfied that the full dissertation draft and abstract meet all the requirements specified in the minimum standards rubric, the chair submits the dissertation, abstract, completed dissertation checklist, rubrics from each member, and Turnitin report to the URR member for review of the abstract and Chapters 4 and 5. Students work with their committee to make any requested revisions.

    Form and Style Review

    Upon URR approval of the dissertation and abstract, the research service specialist submits the document to a Writing Center editor for a form and style review—a final check for errors in APA style, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and related issues. Premise Prospectus Proposal and Dissertation

    Oral Defense Teleconference

    After receipt of the form and style evaluation, students present their dissertation via teleconference scheduled with OSRA. Requests should be made 1 week in advance of the meeting. This final oral defense is a formal discussion of the scholarly content of the dissertation, followed by an evaluation of the dissertation. At this point, students may need to revise the dissertation based on feedback during the teleconference as well as from the form and style review.

    Final University Research Review

    After successful completion of the oral defense and committee approval of the dissertation, the chair forwards the final dissertation and abstract to the URR member for a final review to make sure all methodological, content, and writing issues have been addressed. In addition, the URR member reviews the abstract to make sure it meets university guidelines.

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    Step Description Chief Academic Officer Review

    After final URR approval, the abstract is sent to the university’s chief academic officer (CAO) or designee as a final endorsement of the study. Revisions may be required at this point, and these changes are facilitated through consultation with the chair and others. Upon CAO approval, the dissertation is officially completed.

    ProQuest Submission

    To graduate from Walden University, students must submit their dissertation to ProQuest for publishing. After this submission has been approved, students have completed all the graduation requirements for the dissertation and their degree can be validated.

    Beginning the Process Students begin the dissertation phase of their program when they complete their premise and then prospectus and nominate the first two members of the dissertation committee: a chair and a committee member. Students can find more guidance in Starting the Dissertation Process and in the Dissertation Premise and Dissertation Prospectus guides. More detailed information on the committee can be found in the Dissertation Committee Process document and on the Committee Member Nomination form. These documents, forms, and additional supporting resources can be found on the OSRA section of Walden’s Center for Research Quality website. Premise Prospectus Proposal and Dissertation

    Dissertation Premise Students’ first step to completing the dissertation is developing the Dissertation Premise. This document is used to identify a preliminary topic for the research and to help identify the faculty members who will guide development of the Dissertation Prospectus. Students can find more information in the Dissertation Premise guide. The premise consists of four parts: title, problem statement, approach for the study, and references. An annotated outline and sample premise are included in the guide and can be used to create the premise document. Students’ primary goal for the premise is to narrow the dissertation topic such that a general sense of the direction of the research has been provided. Significantly, the foundation for quality in every dissertation is a research question that reflects a high level of conceptual manipulation and a significant and original contribution to knowledge or professional practice. A brief litmus test of doctoral level research problem can be found in the Dissertation Premise guide as well as on the Research Resources page of Walden’s Center for Research Quality website. These basic indicators will appear throughout the dissertation process. Every doctoral student’s journey is a little different, so it is difficult to say exactly when to start the premise. All students should be sure to check their program of study and consult with the Academic Advising team. Because the premise is used to form their supervisory committee, however, students should plan to start the premise toward completion of their core research sequence and at least 2 quarters before beginning the dissertation prospectus, either in a companion or dissertation course or research form (SBSF 7100 or EDUC 8800). In the quarter prior to starting their prospectus, students submit their premise to the faculty member whom they nominate as chair of their supervisory committee (some Education students submit the premise to their specialization coordinator).

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    Note: The premise is used to help students form their dissertation supervisory committee, but they will confirm their committee structure and finalize their topic at the end of the prospectus development process.

    Dissertation Supervisory Committee The dissertation supervisory committee is a unique feature of doctoral education. The primary goal of the committee is to provide students with the guidance and support that they will need to conduct an independent research project of the highest quality and relevancy. Walden dissertation supervisory committees are generally composed of three members: a committee chair, a committee member, and a committee university research reviewer (URR). In some rare cases, a fourth, external (non-Walden) member may be added to the committee to provide special expertise. Finding the first two members of the committee is a student’s responsibility. The URR member will be assigned to the committee at the time that the committee is approved, upon approval of the prospectus, or at the time that the committee members have both approved the proposal, depending on the student’s program. One resource for finding committee members is the Faculty Expertise Directory (available on the myWalden university portal), which provides information on the diverse experience and expertise found among the Walden faculty. Other faculty members, program leaders, and the academic advisors can assist students with locating faculty members who may be both suitable and available for their committee. As students move through the initial stages of their program, they should be watching for potential committee members as well. A few guidelines are used to shape committee formation. Between the chair and second member, someone must be designated as the context expert and someone as the methodologist, although one person can do both. The dissertation chair must be from a student’s program. As some academic programs have further requirements for chairing a dissertation committee, students should be sure to confirm with an advisor and/or the proposed chair that he or she is eligible to chair the committee. Students should also be mindful of any department-mandated core courses, pertinent residencies, and prerequisites that must be completed before they can nominate their dissertation supervisory committee members. To nominate a committee member, a student must send the Committee Member Nomination form and a copy of the premise or draft prospectus document to a nominee. After the nominee agrees to serve on the committee and that nominee’s service has been approved by the program director, the student begins the process of finalizing the prospectus. Most students find their committee chair first. The timing of when students find the second member, however, depends on a number of factors, including the role he or she will have, the nature of the project, and also the context in which students develop their prospectus. Students should note than an approved chair is only effective at the start of the following quarter, whereas a committee member may become effective immediately, depending on when final approval is given to the committee. Premise Prospectus Proposal and Dissertation

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    Dissertation Prospectus The dissertation prospectus builds on the premise and provides more information about the dissertation research. Writing the prospectus will help students organize, delineate, and make decisions regarding their topic and appropriate research style. An approved prospectus serves as an agreed-upon plan for developing the proposal and finalizes the structure of the dissertation supervisory committee. The Dissertation Prospectus guide provides more details on the document and process. The prospectus consists of several small sections, which are detailed in the annotated outline in the Dissertation Prospectus guide. The goal for the prospectus is to create a plan for developing the dissertation proposal. Therefore, a student needs to have more information for the prospectus than for the premise, but does not need to know all the specific details of the study that will ultimately be conducted. That remaining work will occur when the proposal is written. The final draft of the prospectus is assessed against the quality indicators in the Dissertation Prospectus Rubric. After both committee members have approved the final version of the prospectus and completed their rubrics, the chair will send the rubrics and prospectus in to the OSRA office, and they will submit a request to the program director for the final approval. Depending on the academic program, some students work with their chair in a companion course that supports prospectus development. Students in Knowledge Area Module (KAM)-based programs work on their prospectus in the EDUC 8800 or SBSF 7100 – Research Forum with their faculty mentor, who is now their chair. Other students may start their prospectus in a course led by a senior member of the faculty in their area before moving into a dissertation completion course with their chair. Yet other students may directly work with their chair in a dissertation course, during which they complete the prospectus. Students should be sure to check their program of study to know which path they will follow. As for the proposal and dissertation, for which students will receive feedback on working drafts, prospectus development is an iterative process. When the prospectus is completed, students should follow the submission guidelines for their program. Generally, students should submit a final prospectus to their dissertation supervisory committee for review after completion of the core research sequence but before taking any advanced research course, and • as required in the students’ dissertation course, if students are currently enrolled in this

    course; • toward the end of their time in a companion course, following the guidance of the chair; or, • prior to beginning the dissertation proposal in the EDUC 8800 or SBSF 7100 -Research

    Forum, following the guidance of the chair.

    Registering for Dissertation Credits Students enrolled in a KAM-based program (Ph.D. in Education or Management) are automatically be placed in EDUC 8800 or SBSF 7100 – Research Forum with the chair of their dissertation supervisory committee. Students cannot register for this course themselves; they will be registered by their academic advisors after the appointment of their dissertation chair is confirmed. Students remain registered in EDUC 8800 or SBSF 7100 until successful completion

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    of the dissertation. The Office of the Registrar assigns all 20 dissertation credits when the final academic audit is complete. Students enrolled in a course-based program (Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, Criminal Justice, Education, Health Services, Human Services, Management, Nursing, Psychology, Public Health, or Public Policy and Administration, Social Work) must register for a total of 20 dissertation credits (for Counselor Education and Supervision: 12 credits). Registration for the dissertation course (COUN 8650, EDUC 9001, HLTH 9001, HUMN 9001, MGMT 9000, PSYC 9000, PUBH 9001, PPPA 9000, or SOCW 9000) takes place during the regular course registration period. Once registered for the first term, students are then registered automatically for the dissertation course until the dissertation is formally approved by the CAO. Students enrolled in a mixed-model program (Ph.D. in Education, Management, or Public Policy and Administration) must register for a total of 20 dissertation credits. Registration for the dissertation course (EDUC 9002, MGMT 9000, or PPPA 9000) takes place during the regular course registration period. Once registered for the first term, students are then registered automatically for the dissertation course until the dissertation is formally approved by the CAO. Note: Students who have an approved dissertation supervisory committee may register for the dissertation course during any term in which they are working on the proposal and dissertation. Students who have only a committee chair may register for the dissertation course, but they will not be able to submit their proposal for review until they have an approved committee. All students should check the Walden University Catalog regarding their program’s prerequisites for enrolling in the dissertation course. Premise Prospectus Proposal and Dissertation

    Developing the Proposal The proposal consists of the first three chapters of the dissertation document and an APA style reference list. The proposal presents a detailed plan of the proposed research for the dissertation and describes a specific idea, the related literature, and the intended research methodology. Students should consult with their committee chair early and frequently when developing the proposal. With guidance from their supervisory committee, students conceptualize a topic, organize and synthesize the literature, and determine a research methodology appropriate to the subject matter. Additional details and information on developing and writing the proposal and dissertation are found within this guidebook, on the OSRA website, and at the Walden Writing Center. The Writing Center offers a dissertation template, which can be very useful.

    Consult the Dissertation Checklists and Minimum Standards Rubric Walden’s Dissertation Checklists are used to operationalize Walden’s Dissertation Statement. Each checklist is designed to assist students, dissertation supervisory committees, and the university’s academic leadership to determine whether a dissertation meets Walden’s standards.

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    Students should download the appropriate dissertation checklist when their committee and prospectus are approved. Walden’s evaluations for dissertations follow a university-approved process, as described below: • The purpose of the dissertation checklist is to guide students and dissertation supervisory

    committees as they work together to develop high-quality doctoral proposals and dissertations. The checklist should be shared with students early in their doctoral programs and frequently used in advisement and graduate courses to reflect Walden’s expectations for high-quality dissertations. The checklist is designed to help ensure a rigorous reporting across the common components that are used to build the dissertation. Premise Prospectus Proposal and Dissertation

    • Specific dissertation checklists have been developed for use with studies employing qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-research designs. As students begin the process of developing a proposal for the dissertation, the specific checklist that best reflects the design of the proposed dissertation study should be used.

    • As the proposal is developed and submitted for review to the dissertation supervisory committee, each committee member should use the most current version of the dissertation checklist to communicate his or her evaluations to the student, the chairperson, and any other members of the committee. This process of ongoing evaluation and communication will continue throughout the development of the dissertation.

    • Detailed content elements are specified in the checklist for each chapter of the dissertation. The subsections for each chapter are made up of descriptions of substantive characteristics of the dissertation, specifically related to the scholarly quality and integrity of the document. Students annotate the page numbers where these substantive characteristics are found within the dissertation. This documentation serves three important functions: it presents the general consensus of the Walden faculty regarding the specific content areas that should be addressed within each chapter of an acceptable Walden dissertation, it assists students in reflecting on areas for improvement within the document, and it helps guide the committee members’ review of the documents.

    • A space for comments is provided for each subgroup of substantive characteristics in each chapter. Comments provided by the evaluator (committee member) should refer to praiseworthy aspects of the document and offer specific guidance for revision when needed. Comments should provide formative evaluation for that particular chapter and be useful to the student and other members of the dissertation supervisory committee. The spaces provided for comment are not to be used for communicating line-by-line editing of the manuscript. If the document is in need of editing, the committee member needs to comment to that effect but provide any extensive comments in a separate communication.

    • The use of a dissertation checklist is intended to provide ongoing reflection, evaluation, and reevaluation of the specific subcomponents of the proposal and dissertation drafts as they are developed into a comprehensive document that is internally consistent and aligned to serve the purpose of the doctoral level investigation. The minimum standards rubric is applied by the members of the committee to verify that the substantive characteristics of the dissertation guided by the checklist have been adequately demonstrated to meet core quality standards. For the final copy of each document (either the proposal or the dissertation), there must be unanimous approval by the dissertation supervisory committee, including the URR member, before the student proceeds to the oral defense (although revisions may be required following the oral defense). Premise Prospectus Proposal and Dissertation

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    The checklist and minimum standards rubric will aid students, along with their committee, in writing the proposal for the dissertation. Forms can be accessed via the OSRA website.

    Committee Review To help clarify the research framework for the project, a student’s committee chair reviews drafts of the proposal, along with a preliminary draft of the IRB application (see the Getting Approval for Research section for more about the IRB). When satisfied that the documents meet university criteria outlined in the Dissertation Minimum Standards Rubric, the chair authorizes the student to submit the proposal and draft IRB application to the other committee member for review. After the chair has deemed that the dissertation is ready, he or she will submit it for Turnitin review. At the same time, the student completes and submits a Turnitin self-evaluation to the chair, with a plan for revisions if warranted. After the chair has determined Turnitin compliance and believes the dissertation is ready, the chair forwards the dissertation and abstract, dissertation checklist, each committee member’s minimum standards rubric, and a copy of the formal Turnitin report to the URR member, copying research@waldenu.edu. The committee members have 14 calendar days to review the proposal draft and preliminary IRB application. Guided by the student’s annotated checklist, the committee member uses the minimum standards rubric to evaluate the proposal and shares evaluations with the committee chair. The committee member may assist the chair in providing feedback to the student on revisions requested; an additional 14 calendar days are allotted to committee members for each subsequent round of revisions. After both members of a student’s committee completes a minimum standards rubric reflecting that no further changes are necessary, the proposal is ready for review by the committee URR. The committee chair forwards the proposal, a minimum standards rubric from each member, dissertation checklist, and Turnitin report to the URR member, copying research@waldenu.edu. The URR member, form and style editors, and CAO or CAO’s designee have 14 days (including the day of submission—except for during the initial review cycle, which begins the day after submission) to complete their review. If the materials are submitted after noon Central time, an extra day will be added. The review cycle cannot begin until all required documents (rubrics, Turnitin reports, clean copies, etc.) are submitted. If the review takes place during any of the official Walden holidays (New Year’s Day; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Thanksgiving Day and day after Thanksgiving; or Christmas Day), the holiday will not count in the 14-day review cycle.

    Gaining URR Approval of the Proposal Informed by the student’s annotated dissertation checklist, the URR member completes an initial review of the proposal using the minimum standards rubric, including items relevant to content, methodology, form and style, and ethical procedures. After the URR member has completed the review, he or she sends the outcome of the review to research@waldenu.edu, copying the student and the chair. At this stage, the URR member can refer the student for mandatory consultation with the IRB office and/or the Writing Center to address ethical or writing concerns, Premise Prospectus Proposal and Dissertation

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