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Webinar Transcripts

Writing Process for Longer Research Projects

Presented Thursday, June 23, 2016

View the webinar recording

Last updated 7/18/2016

 

Visual: The webinar opens with a main pod for the slides and captioning, Q&A, and files pods stacked on the right side of the screen. The slide is titled “Housekeeping” and details how to use the webinar features that Beth discusses.

Audio: Beth: Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today. My name is Beth Nastachowski and I'm the manager of multimedia writing instruction and I wanted to get us started by going over a couple housekeeping notes before I hand over the session to our presenter today, Lydia.

So just a couple things, if you haven't been to a webinar in the past or recently, or if you're new to Writing Center webinars, a couple things to keep in mind. First is I have started the recording for this session, so you'll note the red button at the top right hand corner. This means you're more than welcome to come back to our webinar archive where we post all the recordings of our sessions and review this at a later date. Maybe you have to leave early, or review what we go over today, you're more than welcome to do so. And as I said, we actually record and post all our webinars in that archive. I encourage you to take a look if you haven't already. We have a lot of recorded sessions there that might be useful to you.

There are also a lot of ways for you to interact with us today. I know Lydia put together some polls and chats today, but we also have the files, like these slides and a couple handouts in the bottom right hand corner. And also note any of the links she has, are also interactive. You can download the PowerPoint slides, but also you can click during the session to find out more session if you'd like, so we encourage you to do that.

Another way is to interact with us is through the Q and A box. We encourage you to use that for any questions or comments you have throughout this session. Myself and my colleague Meghan, are going to be monitoring that, and we're happy to answer those questions.

I'll also note that if you have any technical issues you're happy to post those there as well. However, also note, that there's a "help" button at the top right hand of the screen. That's Adobe Connect help and that's the best place to go.

And last thing to note, that if you have any questions after this session, maybe we haven't able to get to all the questions because of the rush at the end or you think of a question after the session has ended, please do e-mail us at editor@waldenu.edu, we're happy to take questions there as well. And I’ll be sure to display that at the end of this session, too. All right. So with that, I will hand it over to you Lydia.

 

Visual: The slide changes to show the title slide for the webinar and shows Lydia’s name and job title.

Audio: Lydia: Thank you, so much, Beth! And thank you, Beth and Meghan for answering questions and thank you Merilee our captionist for captioning for us this evening, and thank you all for coming. I'm thrilled to see everybody, and I hope -- I hope you will find this webinar useful to you in your progress, in your degree.

This is writing process for longer research projects. Some of this may be review, some of this may be stuff you've heard before, some of this may be totally new information. But I -- I hope that this presentation will give you some perspective on your writing process, and a little idea of what to expect moving ahead, whether or not you are in a master's program, or doctoral program or whatever your longer research project is, I hope you'll find something of use to you in this session.

 

Visual: Slide #4 “Learning Outcomes: After this webinar, you will (be able to)…” and shows four textboxes, each with a learning outcome that Lydia reads and discusses in detail.

Audio: A little background, a little overview on what we're going to talk about. There are going to be three main sections to this evening's presentation and then a section on resources available to you and some links out to some resources I want to go over before we go over questions.

But the first thing I want to talk about the first section I'm going to address, is really understanding what it means to approach a big research project, or a longer writing research writing project. As academics, as doctoral students, master's students, as professionals, as people who have been doing writing all of your lives and all of your academic lives, you've had a lot of practice doing a lot of the skills that will be useful to you in longer writing projects, but often you may not have had a lot of practice, actually undertaking a large research project.

So there are a lot of skills that are easy to develop during shorter writing projects, but it's really hard to practice certain elements of longer – longer research projects and I want to talk about how – how the approach to a longer document is a little bit different than what you may be used to.

And then I'm going to talk a little bit about the specific elements, in the document itself, what it means to have good writing in a longer research project. And I want to talk a little bit about what to expect, how you can develop some appropriate expectations for what's going to happen to you. During the longer research and writing process, and then like I said, we're going to go over some resources, that I hope will be helpful to you.

 

Visual: Slide #5 “Poll” opens and shows the poll question that Lydia reads and discusses. Then the layout changes. The slide pod gets a little smaller, the Q&A and captioning pods move to the top right, and a new pod opens with the poll choices. Lydia reads these. The files pod is not visible.

Audio: But to get us started I want to get a sense of where people are at the moment. So as a Walden student, what is the longest written assignment you have completed so far? So as a Walden student, are you used to writing things that are one to 10 pages, 10 to 25 pages, have you done a 25 to 50 page research paper? Have you moved on to 50 to 100 pages? Kind of what -- what's the longest document that you've had to write so far as a Walden student? It looks like we have a broad range.

Okay. So people have had lots of different – varying experience with how much writing you've had to do at one time, so this is interesting. I think it looks like everybody is reporting. So it looks like people have had -- oh, sorry, Beth, can you show the votes? I think I clicked on it and it didn't work. Oh, okay, good. It looks like people have had lots of different experiences. A lot of people in about the 10 to 25 mark, and I would say that that kind of goes -- that's where the shift really starts to happen. The shift between what is a good writing practice, and what can start to become a little bit overwhelming, is the 10 to 25 mark. So it looks like a lot of people are right there in that length area.

 

Visual: The layout returns to the original setup. The next slide opens “Approaching Longer Writing Projects” and has this quote: "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." - Lao Tzu

Audio: So how do you approach a longer writing project? Well, what is it to start off with?

Visual: Slide #7 “Significant, original scholarly contribution” opens and shows two key points for writing a longer research project. Lydia reads and discusses these bullet points.

Audio: What is this longer writing project? Why are you writing something that's so long? It is not just that something is -- it's not just going to take longer or have more words in it.

There's actually a lot more to it than that, and the reason for that is undertaking a willing long research project like this is to demonstrate that you're doing original scholarship, that you're doing something new that no one has done before. Doing something with significant depth and necessity, that's going to necessitate 25 pages, 30 page, 50 pages, 100 pages, something like that. The long form research allows you to explore complex issue and ask more sophisticated questions. And if you're doctoral Capstone, it's an original contribution to scholarship and it's going to take months and months of writing and rewriting and more writing.

If you're used to doing a 10-page paper or a 15-page paper, I know that doesn't seem short, it may seem especially not short if you're taking a full course load and you have a full-time job and a family, 15 pages may not seem short. But for our purposes today, I'm going to talk about 10 to 15 pages as the short version of how you write and what you do for those papers. May not seem short at the time. Once you get to a 200 page document, it's a totally different experience what you're doing.

 

Visual: Slide #8 “Writing as part of the process versus writing as the final product” opens and shows a bulleted list that details the process of writing longer research papers. Lydia discusses each of these.

Audio: When you are writing something that's 5, 10, 15 pages long, it's easy to write something as a product. It means you're writing toward creating a document and turning in the document you have. What is really helpful when you shift over to a longer writing and research process, is to think about writing as a process. And what that means you need to start treat writing as part of your thinking process, it's not just what you're going to show to your faculty member, what you write is not just going to be what you present to the world.

What you're writing is the thinking that you're doing so you're writing to yourself as much as your faculty member. You're treating as external memory, one of the bullet points, in the longer writing process -- keep track of it at a later date. If you think of it in terms of, a poet, and you're writing a short poem, you may be able to remember and recite it. If you're a novelist, you're not able to sit down and just recite it from beginning to end. It's too long. It’s a function of a human mind and human memory.

Once something gets to a sufficient size, you really can't hold it all in your head at the same time. So thinking of writing is a process, rather than a product, is a good way to get in the habit of making writing part of your daily routine, writing part of your daily approach, and be a less stressful when you sit down to write. So you're not faced with a blank page and have to start on page 1 and write to page 200, how am I going to do that?

If you think of writing as a process, writing is part of your thinking about a topic, it can be a lot easier to get in the habit of writing in a way that is helpful to you through this process.

 

Visual: Slide #9 “Linear versus iterative process” opens and has graphic for linear process at the top with writing steps in arrows that point from left to right. The bottom half of the slide shows a graphic for an iterative process for writing with the steps written in textboxes in a circle and a clockwise arrow connecting them all together. Lydia discusses the difference between the processes.

Audio: Another way to think of it is linear vs. an iterative process. When you're writing a shorter paper, it's a linear process. It tricks you into thinking it's linear. At the end of this week, I have to turn in 10 pages, so collect all my information, I'm going to organize it, outline what I want to say, main ideas are, I'm going to sit down and write it and turn it in.

On the face, it's a very linear process. What's actually going on is much more complicated than that. And as you get into longer projects, and as you are writing longer and longer documents, it's harder and harder to visualize it as a linear process. It starts to look much more iterative. So you can sit down and collect your information. Same steps, organize information, and outline it, write a draft and read over it, but as you're reading over it, and you're looking at what you said, and you're remembering what you meant to say and you're seeing more clearly how the ideas are fitting together, you have to go back to the beginning of the process, collect more information, revise it, and it starts to show you it's not a straight forward linear start on page 1, start with first idea, write your conclusion. It really starts to become apparent that writing is an iterative process, that you're going to cycle through many times.

 

Visual: Slide #10 “Personal organization” opens and says: Completing a longer research project is one way scholars demonstrate they are independent researchers. You will need to be self-directed, self-sufficient, and self-aware about your writing skills and your writing process. Lydia discusses this information.

Audio: And for that reason -- I like to think of it, the longer the writing assignment, the more your bad habits are going to show. That's how I think of it for myself. As an academic writer, I was very used to writing 10-page papers, 20-page papers. I could -- I knew how long it was going to take me. I knew what kind of preparation I needed to do, and I could knock one of those out fairly easily.

When I got into masters and doctoral programs, and I started having to write much more than that, I realized how unprepared I was, in terms of my own personal organization, and in terms of my own personal approach to writing. And even though I was really used to writing, what I'm calling shorter papers, I have not ready for what it meant to really sit with a research project, and write it for a long period of time.

So one of -- the reasons for that, was that I wasn't thinking in terms of developing my own independent research skills. And what it really means to be an independent researcher on your own, and how much it means you have to be self-directed. You have to know what you need to do and when you need to do it. You need to be self-sufficient, which means you need to know where to go -- that doesn't mean you necessarily need to do everything on your own. But it means you need to know where to go for help. Where to go for help, when you need help. And how to handle issues and solve problems when it may come up. Because you don't necessarily have peers that are working on the same thing. You may not necessarily have a faculty member who is immediately available, and you're stuck on something.

So what kind of self-sufficiency can you cultivate so you can move ahead in the process, even if there's not someone there to tell you what to do at a given time? And also, what is more important for us this evening, is that you need to be self-aware about your writing skills and your writing process. You need to know, what works for you, you need to know -- you need to be honest with yourself about when you're available, when you do your best work, how prepared you are, and how much you need to work on becoming more prepared, what are your time management skills, being self-aware of the kind of writer that you are, so you can take that into account when you make your plan for how you approach your longer writing project.

 

Visual: slide #11 “Time management” opens. It shows three key points each with details. Lydia reads and discusses this.

Audio: And time management is the big one. Time management is definitely the big one. It's the first place you will see what I call bad has been bits or problem areas creep into your practice is time management. Because you can't hold the whole thing in your head all at once. You also can't think of each step all at once. You can't think of the whole process all at once. You can't think, what I have to do is write 150 pages, by next year. That's too much. That's too big.

You need to keep that ultimate goal in mind, but you need to be able to break it up into smaller goals, and do it in a systemic organized way so you can just focus at one piece at a time. You don't get overwhelmed. Whatever you're doing, it still fits in with a big picture. Establish an outline from the outset. Whether you're doing a K.A.M., a master's thesis, a doctoral dissertation, figure out what your end goal is, and that goal may change, but be realistic with yourself.

Okay, how long is this going to take me? When is my plan to finish this research writing that I'm going to do? And what are the maybe steps along the way? So you know what to expect. The different stages of what the whole process is, estimate how long you expect that to take. Okay, I know this process is going to take me 6 weeks, or I know this part of the process is going to take me a week. But I want to make sure that I'm finished after a week. Estimate how much each stage is going to take, so you know not only what your end goal is but what's going to happen in-between.

You also want to set aside official time in your day. So this is different than course work and course papers or when you have time naturally set aside, when you are doing writing or work for a course. This is time that you're going to have to officially carve out of your day on your own, based on your schedules. So be realistic about how much time you have to spend on work per week. How much time you have to set aside for family, personal time, leisure, sleep, eating. You can't -- you can't cut those out too much or you're going to fall apart. So map out how much time you have in your day, and figure out how much time you can dedicate to this research project.

And what everybody says, especially -- especially when you are at the doctoral Capstone phase, treat it like a full or part-time job. Figure out how much time you have to spend. Do you have 30 hours a week? Okay. Set aside those 30 hours. Do you only have 10 or 20? Okay. Set those aside and make sure that's an official part of your day. Not something you're going to add as you can on top of your other responsibilities. You have to be protective of that time. Otherwise, you're going to be stuck at 3 o'clock in the morning, not finished with what you meant to do, and you're going to be strung out and you're going to be upset, so make sure you're protective of that time from the beginning, and then you can get through it more efficiently, and painlessly, I guess.

And remember to set aside time for breaks. I'm going to talk about that again. I think it's important to mention twice, make sure you set aside time for breaks, set aside time for family, set aside time for holidays and friends and fun. Because while you do want to finish, you don't want to burnout. You don't want to overwhelm yourself to the point where you're unable to assert or -- you don't have the creative, or the mental energy to really focus on your research, so make sure you don't wear yourself out.

One of the things that our editors recommended that I think was actually a really effective idea for people undertaking longer research projects, so I won't take credit for this one, is to keep different sets of lists. So while you want to have a list of all your main tasks, you want to know everything you have to do in the project. Don't look at that master list every time you sit down to do work. Don't look at everything you have to do. Break it up into smaller lists. Master list, save it in a file, put it in a drawer, put it where you know you have a reference, but don't look at it.

Don't have that be the only list you look at. Make shorter lists, whether daily lists or weekly lists, break it down into small manageable pieces, so you can look, okay, I have these six things to do this week, and you can just cross them off the list. And that is really how you make progress. Is breaking things down -- breaking big tasks down into smaller tasks, and then checking them off. And you have that sense of completion, you have that sense of motivation, and you're still on track, but you don't have to worry about doing the whole thing at once, you're doing little tiny pieces.

So I think that's -- if that's -- if there's one theme that I hope people take away from this evening, it's to allow yourself to focus at one thing at a time. Be organized and structured enough in your approach that you don't have to think about everything at once. Have things scheduled, have things prepared, have things outlined in a way you don't have to think about everything at once. And it will go a lot faster and it will be a lot easier. And you can stay more focused on what you really want to get done.

 

Visual: Slide #12 “Note-taking and reference tracking” opens and shows three key point with details that Lydia reads and discusses. At the bottom of the slide are hyperlinks for Literature Review Matrices and Zotero.

Audio: In addition to time management, you want to make sure that you are systemic and organized in your net taking and your reference tracking. And then you sort of drafting you're doing or free writing or reflections, any sort of notations you're making as you go through the research process, so this includes reading notes you're taking if you're doing a literature review, this includes notes to yourself or outlines, or ideas, or mind maps you're doing if you're doing literary analysis, or if you are doing quantitative data analysis, or qualitative data analysis, whatever kind of information you are collecting and assessing, you want to make sure your note taking and reference tracking is clear and systemic.

The reason you want it to be clear, this process is going to take a long time. Sometimes, you know, it may take a year and you want to make sure whatever it says in your notes, it's going to make sense to you a month from now, or a year from now, that you're not taking notes that – that make sense to you in the moment or make sense to you as you're reading a certainly article for instance. But then you go back to an article and think, on what this means. Or my handwriting is so sloppy I don't remember what I said. I don't know this notation.

Being clear enough in your notes. Imagine you're writing to yourself in the future. Not just jotting down something that occurs in the moment. Make sure it's clear enough that it will make sense to you in the future, when you're going through your notes and putting things together.

Being systemic is good, too. Being systemic can mean different things for different people. So I have some links on this slide for organizational tools that may be of use to you. You may already be using them or heard of them. These are not, by any means any organizational tools that may be useful to you. But there are organizational tools out there to help you. And my recommendation is, whatever you choose, stick to it. And develop a system that is going to work for you, and work with the way your mind works and work with what you have available to you.

So if it helps you, to be systemic, meaning you print everything out, and you put it in the filing cabinet organize it, and the file cabinet so you know where everything is, highlighted and color coated great. Digital, keep it all in the same place, don't keep references in one place for a topic and references for another topic. Everything in the same place, same organizational structure. Make sure everything is laid out in way that you don't have to think too hard about where it is.

And that's the same thing, would be consistent. Develop your preferred organizational method and stick to it. So if something -- if you are doing things a certain way in February, it's probably a good idea to do them in the same way, in November. You don't want to just keep changing strategies, and changing approaches. You want to stick to the same thing so that as you go through this process, everything fits together, and everything makes sense in the same context. And just to say, again, please save -- please don't save your references in different places. Save them all in the same place so you don't lose, you don't lose track of citations. All the information is clear where it came from, and you're citing and attributing everything in the research. Which is the name of the game.

 

Visual: Slide #13 “Practicing discipline” opens. Two key points are listed with details for each that Lydia reads and discusses. In the second detail for the first key point, “prewriting” is hyperlinked.

Audio: Another thing that you want to keep in mind, is practicing discipline. You may already be very disciplined in your writing. So keep it up. And find ways that you can maintain that discipline as you move into larger and larger research projects. You want to get in the habit of writing every day. Whether or not you think you have time, look at your schedule, see if you can figure out, enough time to write every day, just so you're in the habit of writing. So that the writing itself, is not what is holding you up, is not where the blockage is. The writing itself, can just flow because you're in the habit of doing it, you're in the practice of doing it. So you can really focus on shaping your ideas.

Because writing is like anything. Writing is like, you know, calculus. Maybe you learned calculus in school, if you haven’t done it for a while, it's not going to come easily. Same thing if you spoke in a different language, but you haven't done it in a while, it's going to be harder to pick it back up again. So you want to make sure you're in the habit so it comes naturally and writing flows naturally so can you do it and just focus on getting ideas together and not just writer's block. And there's lots of ways to get over that.

My faculty gave me a suggestion, set a timer and write. 30 minutes, 15 minutes, even if it's five minutes. Set a time, sit down, and write. Don't write because it's something you're going to use or turn in. Get used to getting words on the page. Try different prewriting exercises depending on your needs for a certain task. Maybe listing. Maybe you can just list and list things until that kind of jogs your memory, or maybe you want to make a cluster map, or maybe you want to do guided tree writing. There's lots of different kinds of prewriting exercises you can do, if you feel stuck. But getting in the habit of writing every day, regardless of whether you're going to use that material, is great. It's a great habit to get into, because then the writing is not what's going to hold you back, when you get into your research. You're going to be able to write, and write and write and write until you write something you want to use.

If that can't happen, if you're just like, I can't -- I can't do it. I just can't do it. There are no words in me today. I can't bring myself to write a sentence there's no inspiration, there's no -- there's nothing. Or maybe I don't have time or the materials in front of me. I just can't write anything. You still want to find ways to stay productive. And this is part of staying discipline in your writing practice.

Okay. Maybe you don't have anything you can write that day. What are some things that you can get done that can help you progress. Maybe go through writing files and make sure you written your drafts consistently. Maybe dated your reading notes. Go back and check -- you don't have to give yourself busy work. But make sure you have a list of tasks prepared. Make sure you know what those tasks are, so when you do get to those days, you can't write anything, you can still do something with the time you have set aside, so you're not just staring at the wall, frustrated thinking, I have nothing to write and not getting anything done. A list of tasks, and you're still making progress.

When in doubt, even if you don't have anything to organize, or don't have anything to -- anything to do, you can still read. Even if you read it already, read it again. Maybe it will inspire you, or do another library search and do new stuff. Maybe something's been published in the time you've been writing. If you can't write, and you can't do anything else, instead of writing, you can always read. So make sure that you have something productive to do with that time you've set aside. And then you're still making progress.

 

Visual: Slide #14 “Staying motivated!” opens. It has four key points that Lydia reads and discusses.

Audio: And then stay motivated. And part of this is take a break when you need to. Rest when you need to. Rest regularly, don't look at your schedule and say, I have a full-time job, I have a full-time family, I have a full-time life, the only time I can set aside is when I would need to be sleeping. Don't do that. You still need to sleep. You still need to eat, you still need to have, you know, things that are going to keep you up and alert and functioning. So rest when you need to, and make sure you take care of yourself through this process. Because it can be long. Especially you're writing a dissertation.

A dissertation is long and pardon and, you know, it doesn't have to be too long, but something you want to keep -- you want to take care of yourself through it, so it's as painless an experience as possible. And you want to find ways to celebrate even the small milestones. Even if it's a question, I checked off all three things on my checklist for today. I turned in a draft to my faculty member when I said I would, so I'm going to go out with friends. You know, find ways to celebrate the smaller milestones, so that you're still enjoying yourself, and you're still celebrating your process through the process.

And let yourself adjust the timeline if you need to. If something happens, and something will happen, because this is life, and things happen, if something happens, and the deadline's change, and things have to take longer than you thought, or things are due sooner than you thought, allow yourself to adjust your timeline. You want to be disciplined and systemic, but you don't want to be so rigid, that if a change needs to be made, everything falls apart.

So let yourself adjust your timeline if you need to. Even if it means, okay, I know I scheduled myself to work 20 hours this week, but I'm tired. I'm only going to work 15. Maybe I'm not going to work this weekend. Let yourself adjust your timeline, based on what your needs are.

And write with other people. Find other people to write with. Even if it's -- you know, you can find other people in your program, you can find other people in your cohort. Or find other people who may not even be writing on research. They may be doing other projects, and helps to sit in a room and write together. Just -- but find a way to be around other people. Whether it is just to bounce ideas off of them, or commiserate, or ask them a question, just to see their perspective.

Finding a group or a community of people and staying connected through the individual research process, is a great way to keep yourself motivated and keep yourself grounded, and maybe to open up avenues that you didn't think about when you were originally conceiving of a project. Maybe you have a colleague in another program, or maybe you have a colleague at work, who is in another field, or is -- does other research or has expertise in another area, and they may have another perspective that you totally didn't think about, but is actually going to help you formulate your own ideas. And they may have a recommendation that's really going to help you.

So make sure that you stay connected to other people, through this process. And that you don't just lock yourself in a room, and force yourself to write for ten hours a day so you can finish in an unrealistic amount of time. Make sure that you stay connected, because that's what -- that's the whole point. That's the whole name of the game, that you are being a contributory member to a conversation. It's a conversation. It's being connected to other scholars, to writing with other people is often a motivating factor.

 

Visual: Slide #15 “Poll” opens. The layout changes to show the poll pod in the bottom right corner with the Q&A and captioning pods side-by-side above it. Lydia reads and discusses the poll question and participants’ answers.

Audio: After all that, I wonder if we can take time for another poll. I am interested to see how much time you normally set aside. So in your current approach to writing, in your current writing process, how much time you set aside for revision, once you've completed a draft? Do you just sort of read over it quickly? Less than five minutes? Do you set aside an hour to read over everything? A few hours? Do you give it a day? Or does it take you longer than a day to do your normal revision process?

And it look itself like -- Beth, I'll let you do, this because I think I did it wrong last time. We're going to go ahead and take a look at the results. And it looks like, right now, with the projects people are undertaking, it takes about a day or so to do revisions. And I mean -- that's heartening. That's heartening that people are taking at least a day to do revisions. As you may expect, the longer it takes you -- or the longer a document is, the longer it's going to take you to revise it.

So if it takes you about a day or so, to revise a 25-page document, you can imagine, if you are writing, a 200 page dissertation, it's going to take you longer than a day. It may take you a week. But it is -- you want to be realistic about the amount of time you're going to set aside to do revision.

And you want to build in revision time, just like you want to carve out time in your day, or time in your week to dedicate to this research project. To the -- to your actual writing and research. You also want to carve out time in your schedule, that you know you're going to dedicate to revision. So you're not just writing up to the deadline. And you're just working on your first draft to the last minute. You don't want to turn around and say, I'm just going to read over it and then check -- do a spell check and turn it in. You want to make sure you're giving yourself the benefit, and the luxury to read what you wrote and see if you wrote what you meant to say. A day or so, or even more. Even a week. So figure out how much you've written, and how much -- how much work you have yet to do on it, and make sure you factor in that revision time in your writing.

 

Visual: The next slide “Evidence of Good Writing and Strong Composition in Longer Documents” opens. This quote is in the middle of the slide: “Don’t miss the forest for the trees” – English language idiom

Audio: So what does it mean to write well in a longer research project? What does it mean to actually be successful in the undertaking of a longer research project?

 

Visual: Slide #17 “The ‘5-paragraph essay’” opens. The slide has three key points that provide details about this essay style which Lydia reads and discusses.

Audio: As I said, or as I indicated, there are a lot of skills that you are developing, writing, what I'm calling shorter papers, that are going to be useful and relevant to you, but what makes a good short paper, is not necessarily what makes a good book. Or a good article. Or a good longer research document of any kind.

So what are the hallmarks of a good, successful longer research document? Well, in order to talk about that, I will just talk about what I call the 5 paragraph essay, or -- well, not just me. A lot of people call it the 5 paragraph essay. And that is a name for kind of a standard format used in academic writing, that is kind of a standard organizational format for essay ideas. Or essay length ideas. It's also known as the key hole essay.

You may have seen, if you've seen writing courses or instructors or faculty talk about writing expectations for papers, you may have seen the key hole starts with a broad topic and tapers into a specific thesis, and the key hole part is all of the body paragraphs that provide the evidence, and then the conclusion brings it back out to a broad claim, again. But that's essentially the same as the 5 paragraph essay, introductory paragraph, that orients your reader to the topic.

That's a clear thesis statement. 3 or more body paragraphs that a distinct point in support of the thesis statement. And a point that re-summarizes the point of your paper. This is a useful format for up to, I would say, probably 10 to 15 page paper. Still think of it in terms of the 5 paragraph essay.

Once you get longer than that, the 5 paragraph essay is not good enough. It's not appropriate if you have an idea that requires longer than, let's say, 15 pages to really fully explore in an academic context. After you get past that length, the 5 paragraph essay just isn't going to cut it. That's because it doesn't support broader deeper, more complicated ideas. The 5 paragraph essay is very good for succinct clear straight forward arguable thesis statements, that have clear straight forward evidentiary support. But anything more complicated.

With more depth, breadths or background, doesn't fit easily into the 5 paragraph format. And this is where I will admit, this is where I sort the fell apart when I started doing longer research projects. Because I was trained to do this type of writing. Clear introduction, clear thesis, paragraph, paragraph, paragraph, conclusion.

And when I was getting into deeper ideas and assignments, 5 paragraph format wasn't cutting it and I didn't know what was wrong. I didn't think of the structure of my writing in a more complicated way. So if you learn anything, please learn to -- don't be like me. Or don't make the same mistakes I did. Because it took me a lot of time to figure out how to approach, and scaffold myself, so I was writing my longer projects, in a way, that was useful, and helpful to the reader, and not just kind of an endless string of body paragraphs, that didn't really fit together clearly.

 

Visual: Slide #18 “Knowing your goals, writing with purpose” opens. It shows a side-by side comparison between short essays and dissertations. Lydia reads, compares, and contrasts these points.

Audio: And one way you do that is to know what your goals are. So for the short essay, and short can be up to 20 pages, but for the short essay, what you're doing is you're trying to present a clear position. So whether that -- and that is also known as the thesis statement. So the thesis statement can take several forms, but generally, in shorter research writing, the thesis is a sentence, or maybe one or two sentences, but it is succinct, something you can really summarize, quickly and concisely.

You argue for or against that position, and argue can be defined broadly. Because, basically you're saying, here's my one sentence thesis. Here are all the contentions in support of that thesis. And here's all the evidence for that. So it is -- it's more straight forward, it may not feel straight forward. You may be arguing for very complicated -- you may be arguing for complicated ideas or very specific or influenced or very different evidence supporting it. You may be taking a very unique or original position in your thesis, but it is, essentially, a very straight forward kind of writing. There's not room for a lot of exploration, there's not a lot of room for a complexity of ideas. And there's a thesis that you made.

So conclusion is similarly concise, straight forward, easily supported by all the evidence. And that's what you're doing in a short essay, is you're proving that you can present concise, organized ideas, in an academic and supported way. That's not what you're doing in, let's say, a dissertation, which is one example of long-form research writing.

In a dissertation, you're not really presenting a succinct position. You are defining a specific area, and need further research, and you are demonstrating that it's necessary to do that research, so what you're arguing for is not necessarily a thesis statement, what you're essentially arguing for in a dissertation is, this is a type -- this is a type of study that needs to happen. This is a question that needs to be asked, this is data that needs to be collected, and analyzed. This is a gap that needs to be filled.

So it's not enough to define a gap in the research, or define a specific research problem. The purpose of your dissertation is to say, here is something that we don't know, and here is why we need to know it. Here's what it is. Here's how it contributes to the larger scholarly conversation. So there's a -- it may seem subtle, but there is a difference in what the purpose is behind the short essay, and long form research project, like the dissertation. You're not just putting forward one idea. And supporting that one idea. You're really doing something more complicated, and something that requires a lot more depth and exploration, which is why it takes you 200 pages to do it, instead of just 20.

 

Visual: Slide #19 “Thesis statement versus research problem” opens and shows a side-by-side comparison between these that Lydia reads, compares, and contrasts.

Audio: The kernel of what you're writing, is essential to your purpose. So when I talk about the kernel, in a short essay, the kernel of what you're doing is your thesis statement. Everything hinges on that. And that's that one -- everything can reduce to that one sentence. That states your position in the paper. So it generally appears in standard American academic writing, it generally appears at the end of an introductory paragraph, where you've introduced it, and last sentence says, "And this is what this paper is going to be about." It's usually a single sentence, and it takes a stand on an issue or puts together a single main idea. The thesis statement can't be overly broad or complicated or vague, because you -- it needs to be something that you can successfully address in a short amount of time. Or a short amount of space, so up to -- maybe ten pages. So you don't -- the thesis needs to be clear and concise, and specific. The research problem itself, also needs to be clear and concise and specific, but it's much longer as you know, if you've written one, than a sentence.

So if you are doing a master's thesis or a longer research paper, you're not necessarily doing a doctoral Capstone, the vocabulary may be different, but the research may be the same. The thing you're defining is going to be much longer than a single sentence. You're not going to be able to reduce it into that kind of level. You're going to -- it's going to take you little bit longer to explain what it is you're doing. And if in the dissertation, since that's the example that I am using, for now, is the dissertation. It appears in chapter 1, but it doesn't appear at the end of the first paragraph.

Often your research problem is not -- doesn't appear until after you've had an introductory section and background session. So research problem may not appear until page 4, 5, at which point you've already gone through what would be the equivalent of a regular short essay, introducing your topic

And then your research problem shows up, and it's -- it is between -- it can be a single paragraph, it can be one to two pages, depending on the requirements of the program or standards of your discipline. But it's not just a single sentence. Because there's depth and complexity, you have to establish and define and express what your research problem is. And it defines a specific area in scholarship that writers further research. So instead of saying, like you would in a short essay, this is the point I'm going to argue, you're really defining, this is the area that I need to explore. And even if you're doing a master's thesis, even if you're not doing a dissertation, that's essentially what you're doing when you're doing long form research.

This is an area of research that needs to be filled. And that's why I'm taking, you know, the length of an article, or the length of a chapter, or the length of a book to do it. Because this is an area of research, that needs to be filled. This is a gap that needs to be addressed. It's not necessarily to demonstrate that I can take a position and argue for that position. You're going to be doing that throughout the dissertation, multiple, multiple times. But -- so it's like writing a dozen short papers, in service of this larger research problem that you've defined.

So you'll see that it's a little bit different, what your goal is, and what you're writing towards in a longer research. It's not just to prove -- to reduce everything to a single provable or arguable sentence. It's really to explore a new area, with the kind of depth and complexity that requires a lot more information than just 10 to 20 pages.

 

Visual: Slide #20 “Structure and organization” opens and has two bullet points about the structure of longer research papers. At the bottom is a silhouette of a suspension bridge. Lydia reads and discusses these points and uses the analogy of a suspension bridge.

Audio: And I think of it in terms of -- the suspension bridge or bridge is a helpful metaphor for me to conceive of what it takes to organize and support long form academic arguments. So if you think of trying to cross a small creek. So if you think of an idea that only requires, maybe, 10 to 15 pages, you're crossing a small creek. It's not narrow enough for you to jump across, but maybe you just need to put a board down or you can just cross a fallen log. A simple bridge, you can put a piece of wood down, walk across, and get to the other side. Because the area isn't so large you need more than that.

 

Visual: Slide #21 “Structure and organization cont’d” and has two lists side by side comparing short essays and dissertations. Lydia reviews and discusses the information.

Audio: If the idea is large, if your idea is deep or complicated, if you're trying to cross a giant river, it's going to take a lot more than just a board or a log to get across. Not only are you going to have to get something that reaches all the way to the other side. You're going to have all these support structures in place, to support that, all the way across. So I like to think of a suspension bridge, as a metaphor for all the -- To support you and sustain you as you develop your idea from one end to the other. And when I talk about support structure, those are the elements of the document that signal to the reader, what you're doing as an author.

So in the short essay, your support structures, your structural elements, you're working request fewer structural elements in an essay, and you don't need as many. You have your paragraphs, and that's basically it. The structural unit you're working with in a short essay is pretty much paragraphs. You're not going to lead a lot of subsections because you just really don't have that information. You might have some, but not that many. You're not going to separate it into chapters. It's not long enough for that. Really your standard building block is just the paragraph. And within that paragraph, you're going to have topic sentences and thesis statements that alert your reader to the main idea. And you pretty much just click those paragraphs together, make sure the main idea of each paragraph comes out, make sure all the body paragraphs support the thesis statement, and you're done.

You're going to need a lot more structural elements to support you through long form research. So instead of the paragraph, your main structural unit is going to be the chapter. So you think, in a short essay, your paragraphs correlate to the different chapters, instead of a 5 paragraph essay, you actually have a 5 chapter dissertation. Which has an introduction, conclusion, and supporting information in the middle, instead of paragraphs, those are chapters.

And the thesis statement itself isn't just a single sentence. Once you get to the long form, it's actually grown into, it correlates to the problem statement and the purpose statement. So instead of just a single sentence explaining what you're doing, you have two whole sections explaining what you're doing and why you're doing it.

And similar with topic sentences. Instead of just having topic sentences that alert their reader in every paragraph, the next structural unit is going to be section headings, and those are going to tell the reader, this is what the section is about. And on and on about that. So you'll see, in long form research, paragraphs are actually doing a different job than they are in a short essay. In a short essay, the paragraphs themselves, actually correlate more clearly to chapters.

So when you're doing your writing, you can think of it that way. When you think of paragraphs, it's not carrying the same weight or forming the same function. The paragraphs themselves are tiny pieces in support of the chapter. If that makes sense. I hope that wasn't confusing. But I think -- I think that it's very helpful to think of the structural elements in that way, and how --what's going on in a short essay, actually maps on to what you're going to do in your long form research. And that a paragraph is not the same in an essay as it is in long form.

 

Visual: Slide #22 “Incorporating evidence: MEAL plan” opens and MEAL plan is hyperlinked. The four main parts are listed horizontally in different colored font across the slide: (red font) Main Idea, (green font) Evidence, (blue font) Analysis, (purple font) Lead out. The main body of the slide shows a paragraph with each type of sentence in a different colored font: (red font) Multiple studies indicated a strong link between transportation availability and student engagement in extracurricular activities. (green font) Author X (2010) argued that the cost of public transportation in the Midwest affected student participation in after school activities, (blue font) which was similar to findings in studies across the country. (green font) Author Y (2012) reported that 60% of high school students in the United States relied on school buses to get home, (blue font) meaning that the majority of students had no alternative means of getting home if they decided to stay after regular school hours. (green font) According to Author Z (2009), in a study of after school program attendance most of the participants (74%) received rides home from parents or friends. (purple font) In addition to transportation availability, researchers have noted a strong correlation between student participation in extracurricular activities and parental involvement . . .

Audio: With those paragraphs -- you're going to be doing different things in your paragraphs. And depending on the function of the paragraph, you may need to organize that paragraph in different ways. There are lots of organizational principles that we can suggest at the Writing Center for how to put your paragraphs together, and these are just a few of them.

But just keep in mind, the goal of every paragraph -- every paragraph has to have a reason for being. You can't have paragraphs to take up space. Every paragraph has to have a main idea and it has to have some idea of in service of whatever section. They may look different in your literature review, than if you're talking about methods or talking a personal reflection. So depending on what you're doing, the paragraph needs may be different. But every paragraph has to have a reason to exist. You can't just have empty words that don't really have a purpose.

One way to make sure your paragraph has a main idea, follow what we call the MEAL plan. This may be very familiar to you guys, because I know a lot of instructors and courses, and everybody at the Writing Center talks about the MEAL plan all the time.

It's not required, but it's a quite device to figure out how to organize your paragraphs. That's to have a main idea, which is the topic sentence, evidence and analysis, woven throughout, and not just making claims and supporting those claims and analyzing, and explaining those claims to your reader. And then the lead out. And that's the way that you sort of summarize everything and then lead into the next, or lead out to the larger argument.

And I think of it as, that's how you know the order your paragraphs should be in. So you have your main idea, your evidence, and lead out, and you can tell by the way you lead out of an idea, what should come next. Not only does your paragraph make sense, your paragraph makes sense in the context of the next paragraph. So that's how you start to build a structure, that's going to sustain your argument across the longer discussion.

 

Visual: Slide #23 “Incorporating evidence: PEAS” opens. PEAS is hyperlinked. To the left side is a list of the words used to make the mnemonic: Point of the paragraph, Evidence, Analysis, Summary. Two reminders about paragraph construction are listed on the right side of the slide. Lydia reads and discusses this information.

Audio: But as I said, the MEAL plan is not the only way to organize your paragraphs. Another suggestion that we have is PEAS. So -- which is very similar to the MEAL plan, except that it handles the end of the paragraph a little differently. So the lead out is sometimes kind of a tricky concept or maybe not always necessary to the discussion, depending on what your paragraphs are doing.

But you need to have a point of the paragraph. Every paragraph needs to have a point. Often in academic writing, that point is apparent in the topic sentence that happens first, but regardless, however you organized it, your paragraph needs to have a reason for existing. And that is the point of the paragraph. There needs to be some kind of evidence and analysis, so there needs to be some sort of information that is there, to support that point, or to justify that point or illustrate that point. Depending on what the needs of the section are, and then you need to summarize it in some way that wraps everything up. So that you can then move on to the next idea. Kind of a more, like, one -- one level past the MEAL plan.

 

Visual: Slide #24 “Incorporating evidence: NO TEARS” opens. NO TEARS is hyperlinked. To the left side is a list of the words used to make the mnemonic: Nothing Omitted: Topic Sentence, Evidence, Analysis, Repeat as necessary, Synthesis. Two more reminders about paragraph construction are listed on the right side of the slide. Lydia reads and discusses this information.

Audio: So this is a little more, if you want to add a little more complexity or sophistication to your paragraphs, we have the NO TEARS plan. Nothing omitted, topic sentence, evidence, analysis, repeat as necessary, synthesis. So this is a way of building paragraphs that aren't necessarily -- you're not locked in to kind of -- you're not locked into a 4-sentence paragraph.

You have room to sort of explore and adjust and maybe have evidence and analysis, and evidence and analysis, or maybe lots of analysis and lots of evidence, so this is just -- this is similar to the MEAL plan, but built into the mnemonic devices. More room for experimentation with how your organize it. Essentially the same idea. Main topic sentence, information within that paragraph that supports that topic sentence, and then you wrap it up, somehow.

All of these organizing principles that I've mentioned so far, are especially helpful if you are doing a literature review. If you are talking about previously published work. Even if it's not a. Even if doing a literary analysis, any time you are taking information and analyzing and synthesizing that data, these acronyms are really useful for that. But in long form, that's not necessarily going to be what you're doing in every paragraph.

 

Visual: Slide #25 “Incorporating evidence: Splitting and lumping” opens and describes these concepts as “Split” – alternate focus in a paragraph between two things. “Lump” – focus on one thing per paragraph. An example of how to conceptualize these is at the bottom: In the methods section of a doctoral capstone study, you need to explain what you did in your study and what previous researchers did in their studies. Does it make sense to alternate between your study and previously published studies in a single paragraph, or does it make sense to discuss them one at a time?

Audio: Sometimes in a paragraph, you might not be analyzing previously published research. You might be doing something totally different. For example, if you are doing a study, in this case a doctoral study, where you have to talk about your -- the method that you're going to use, or the procedures that you followed in data collection. If you're discussing your procedures, maybe it's not necessarily important for you to bring in previously published literature at that time. Maybe you're not going to have any evidence in a sentence. It really depends on the context.

Maybe you're just going to explain, I distributed surveys, and I -- you know you're going to explain how you distributed surveys, when you scheduled interviews. Whatever sort of method or procedure that you're following, but it may not be appropriate to always incorporate previously published research in that paragraph. May have to put it in another section.

I wanted to mention something that one of our editors brought from her background in art history, is a practice of what she called splitting and lumping. So splitting and lumping is a way of organizing things that you're going to compare and contrast. So if you think of it in terms of your methods session, if you are comparing and contrasting what you did, the procedures you followed, with what other researchers have done, you can either split or you can lump.

So you can split and alternate focus in a paragraph. Which means you can say, "I did this" and other researchers have done this. And this is why I did it this way. Or lump, talk about what you did first in a section, and then in the section or paragraph you talk about what other people did. So this is just another way of organizing things in a way that conceptually makes sense depending on what you're trying to do, that you can think about as you're putting paragraphs together.

Keep in mind, long form, paragraphs are going to be performing more varied functions than you are in more short form writing. So think carefully about the best way for a paragraph to achieve its purpose.

 

Visual: The next slide is a chat prompt. The layout shifts to that similar to the poll setup but with a chat pod in place of the poll pod. Lydia reads and briefly discusses the chat prompt and then discusses participant responses.

Audio: I see we have a little bit of time -- I hope -- yeah, I think -- I think we have -- time for a chat. I hope so. And I also just want to give people a chance to think about, and maybe type. And you can type while I'm talking. About what kind of feedback do you prefer from faculty on your writing? What kind of faculty is often most helpful to you? Do you like simple feedback? Do you like just sort of a grade -- do you like a lot of direction from your faculty for revision?

Yeah, constructive and honest feedback. I think -- I -- sometimes people are worried about giving honest feedback and I think that's all people ever want. They want an honest assessment of their own work. Specific points on revision, good. Structure. Conversation -- yeah, good point. Conversation is good, too. Depending on what kind of research you're doing, you want to make sure that you've established -- everybody's clear on what the communication expectations are. Is it a situation where you can have a conversation with your chair? A lot of direction, critical feedback. Good. And succinct information.

Yeah, it's -- people have different needs, depending on what their research and their writing goals are. Oh, timely feedback, yes, good point. Good point. But I'm going to bring up -- I'm going to bring up that in a little bit. In emergency rooms it of expectations for how long it takes to give feedback. Because the longer -- the more you've written, obviously, the longer it's going to take to give real substantive helpful feedback for it. So sometimes it may seem, why aren't they getting back to me? It's been more than a week? But sometimes it takes more than a week to get in and dive into what you've done. And, yeah, good communication so you don't repeat -- you don't repeat problems. Yeah.

Yeah. These are all great, you guys. But thinking about -- I think -- it's important to think about not only the kind of feedback that you want, but the feedback that you expect, but how do you -- how do you communicate to the person giving you feedback, too? Do you feel comfortable talking to your chair about what you expect or what you'd like? Have you formulated specific questions or gotten the kind of feedback you want? You kind of send it off and say, what do you think?

So thinking about not only the kind of feedback that you want, but how you elicit that feedback and how you communicate that with your chair, or any faculty, is very important. Yeah, and sort of needing to know, needing to know what you need to do. So that you don't keep going in the wrong direction, I think is -- yeah, that's very important, too. Oh, thank you so much, you guys.

 

Visual: Lydia skips quickly over the title slide for the next section and opens slide #28 “Feedback for longer research projects.” Three key points are listed for faculty feedback. Lydia discusses them in detail.

Audio: I'm going to -- I'm going to go back to the presentation for a minute -- in a minute. This was really -- yeah, that was really helpful, thank you, everybody. So feedback is one of the things -- the way feedback changes or the way feedback happens, is one of the things to anticipate when you're doing a longer research project. So you're going to spend -- I would say, at least as much time revising your draft, incorporating feedback as you did writing it. The long process is that back and forth with your chair, or with your overseeing faculty, if you're not writing a doctoral study or a dissertation.

There's going to be a lot of back and forth in the development of what you've written. And that is a very different relationship to feedback than you may be familiar with, for the shorter – the shorter form of writing that you've done. And this goes to what some of you were saying about needing to know what you've done wrong so you can stay on course.

You should also expect layers of feedback from people, because they may not comment on everything. They're probably not going to comment on everything the first time. So -- and part of that is, part of that is not to overwhelm people, just with the length of the document, and the length of changes and suggestions that they have.

But also, your faculty member is probably not going to make a lot of comments about sentence level issues or like proofreading or kind of smaller -- smaller scale issues, if what they have to say really has to do with kind of the content or organizational structure or the broader things like that. Not only expect more feedback and rounds of feedback, but also expect layers of feedback, and faculty kind of do that already, when they give you feedback on your work.

But you're going to see it more clearly, kind of like -- writing is already an iterative process, even if it seems linear. It's going to seem more layered when you have more rounds of feedback. You'll say, why didn't you comment on that last week? You liked it last week, you didn't say anything. Maybe they were focusing on something else in their feedback. So that's another reason that communicating about the expectations for feedback is important.

And your faculty member may say, I'm going to focus on X, or this time I'm going to look at this. Okay, that's why they didn't comment on this. They're not going to comment on everything, every time. And they may comment on things they didn't comment on before. That's because that's part of the process with the long form, they are going to focus on different things each time.

 

Visual: Slide #29 “Academic integrity: Avoid accidental plagiarism!” which shows five points to avoid plagiarism. The Plagiarism Prevention Modules is hyperlinked. Lydia reads and discusses these potential issues.

Audio: I know that we're getting close to the hour, I want to make sure I mention this, and that is the way academic integrity and accidental plagiarism, find their way into longer writing projects, so I have a link to the plagiarism prevention modules, which are fantastic. And that's one way to practice and get used to what -- how intentional plagiarism crop up and how you address it in your own writing, but I wanted to mention that it -- it comes up in very specific ways in long form writing, too.

Partly because it's a long writing process, and goes through so many drafts. This is another reason you want to make your systemic in your note taking, because if you revise something, and delete a paragraph or revise something and you delete a bunch of reference entries, do you delete a citation, did you delete one that needed to be there or all the citations for the information you used? Did you delete something? Did some sentences get confused?

Part of the reason you want to stay organized, if you're going through a draft, you can easily reconstruct where the information came from, so it makes all your citation correct. Make sure the references and citations from draft, match. That you didn't suddenly delete and have reference entries and vice versa.

Specifically, if you're using a lot of secondary sources, to get to the seminal works or primary sources. You want to make sure you're not just citing the information that you used from the seminal work. If you're using analysis that you got from a secondary source. You still want to cite that analysis. So don't obfuscate intellectual work that you did on a way to a seminar. So if Smith is an author in your field, and you found a dissertation by Jones, and Jones makes an excellent statement about Smith, don't just cite Smith, you want to cite the person that did the intellectual work, and the analysis that you're using. So keep that in mind that that extra layer it pop up in longer form writing. It's not just the concept, but -- every time you want to make sure you're giving credit. I'll talk about this more in a slide coming up.

 

Visual: Slide #30 “Build your own support system” opens and has a list of ideas for creating a support system for writing longer research papers. The last point, connect with colleagues and alumni, is hyperlinked. Lydia reviews and discusses all of these ideas.

Audio: But you want to build your own support system. So not only do you come to us at the Writing Center and the other support centers. You want to build a support system on your own, with your colleagues. So start a writing group. If it's -- or join the writing community. Which I’ll talk about in a minute. Some of you are already members. Whether online or in person, you could start with people across the global or people in your town, but some way that you could have a group of people that you can support, and -- you can hold each other accountable, so you are still part of a community, getting each other to that finish line. Getting each other to that graduation. That graduation date if you're doing a doctoral study or you're doing longer research to finish your degree. Getting your writing group together is really good way of staying motivated and connected while you do that. And ask for help when you need it.

 

Visual: Slide #31 “Walden Resources for Doctoral Capstone Students” opens. The right side of the slide has a screen shot of part of the homepage. The left side of the slide has a hyperlink for the page and this description: Compilation of resources from all centers and departments. Lydia reads and briefly discusses the information.

Audio: One of those resources I talked about, is the doctoral Capstone resources website. And this links to all the resources available at Walden, that are specific to your doctoral Capstone writing needs. And even if you're not writing a doctoral Capstone, a lot of those research and writing tips will be helpful to you.

 

Visual: Slide #32 “Walden Capstone Writing Community” and shows a screenshot of the capstone community. Lydia discusses three key points that are bulleted with the last one “Find out more, including how to join!” hyperlinked. Lydia briefly discusses the information.

Audio: And here is a slide for how to join the Walden Capstone writing community, if you're not already a member. And that's a place you can go to build these relationships with your colleagues and connect with people and see how other people are doing in the process, as a way of staying motivated and staying on track with your writing, with that slide. You can find out more how to join.

And I see we're at time, so we may not have time for a lot of questions, but I want to make sure that I pause and see, Meghan or Beth, if there are any questions I should address for the whole group?

 

Visual: The “Questions?” slide briefly opens.

Audio: Beth: You know, Lydia, I think for the most part, we've covered all of them. Yeah, I think that's good.

Audio: Lydia: Sure. You guys are so great. Thank you so much. Thank you to Meghan and Beth for answering all the questions. And thank you to all of you for asking a bunch of great questions.

 

Visual: Slide #34 opens and shows ways to contact the editors with future questions, as well as a hyperlink for main page for the capstone writing webinars. Lydia reviews the information.

Audio: If you have more questions, feel fry to write at editor@waldenu.edu. If you are in a doctoral program, and you found this webinar useful, or you are planning to join a doctoral program or you're starting in a doctoral program, another session that may be useful to you is transitioning from course work to Capstone writing.

And I guess as a final thought, I will say that if you know what to expect, you're going to be okay. So as long as you are prepared, and kind to your future self, and you are disciplined and organized, you can do it. You don't have to do it all at once. Just do it a piece at a time. One piece and another piece and another piece and then you're finished. So I look forward to seeing all of you at the form and style stage before you're ready to graduate. And good luck with your writing.

Beth: Thank you, so much, Lydia. That was fantastic. And thank you everyone, as Lydia said for coming. We're going to go ahead and end this session. We hope to see you at another webinar coming up in the next couple weeks. Have a great night, everyone.