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Tips from Dr. Riedel, Chief Academic Officer, Walden University

Dear Walden Student:

Welcome to the Doctoral Capstone Website. This website contains links to all the resources provided by the university to assist students in starting, progressing, and ultimately completing their dissertation, doctoral study, or project study. It is my hope that you use this site early and often in your academic program. In the spirit of faculty and staff who have contributed to this site, I’d like to offer a few suggestions as you begin your capstone process.

Edit as you write. Pay attention to the quality of your writing as you go through each draft. Every effort in avoiding mistakes and promoting clarity early in the process pays off in review by the committee. Clear, precise writing helps committee members to focus on the content of your work and will help to accelerate the overall timeline for your study. Use all the tools available for this including resources from the Walden Writing Center. Avoid needless misunderstandings by learning to summarize and paraphrase well.

Your faculty members are helping you to become their peers. In this process, you are demonstrating the ability to produce new scholarship and new applications of research. At this level, disagreement on different areas of research and methodology may be expected. Even committee members may not always agree with each other. While following the direction of your chair is always a good strategy, ultimately your committee is looking for your ability to provide a well-reasoned, evidence-based argument to support your case.

Approach the capstone realistically and with humility. The capstone is a significant project but not the only important project in your professional and academic career. You will likely have opportunities to continue discovering and applying new knowledge in your field – often in the same area as your capstone. Knowing that the high quality of capstone work required at Walden takes considerable time, select the focus and scope of your capstone carefully. Choose a topic that both makes a new contribution to scholarship and practice but is also focused enough to be carried out with available time and resources.

The doctoral capstone is an exciting and challenging stage in your doctoral program. As you proceed, please make use of every support offered by the university through this website. Have confidence that you will complete. You follow in the footsteps many other students over the last 45 years who have worked with their faculty to make a contribution to positive social change through scholarship and practice.


Best wishes in your program,

Eric Riedel, Ph.D.
Chief Academic Officer
Walden University