Monday, February 23, 2009

Early Questions to Ask Your Committee Members

Now what do I do?

Today's discussion with Professor Lori Anne Ferrell was fantastic! Check the blog later for details of her talk. In the meantime, Tanya has sent in her list of questions that she used when putting together her committee:

Questions About Process

  1. How does the committee usually operate during this process?

  2. What do you think about having Joe Smith and Jane Doe as other members? Should I approach them now, or wait until I have a prospectus or draft of my proposal? (At what stage do I have the committee sign the form?)

  3. Do you prefer emails or telephone calls for communication?

  4. For written work, do you accept emailed drafts, or only US mail?

  5. About how much time should I allow for your review?

  6. Is it better to wait until I have relatively polished drafts, or do you prefer to see smaller chunks of writing more frequently?

  7. Do you prefer to see each chapter when completed, or parts of the chapter? Should I submit each chapter as completed or multiple chapters at once? Do you prefer to see them in the order I write them as they are finished, or in the order they will end up in the dissertation?

  8. When should I submit chapters to other members? Should I wait until after you have reviewed them, or submit them to all of you at the same time? Do I submit copies at each stage to all members, or do other members decide how they would like to see them?

  9. How do I manage feedback from committee members- should I discuss their recommendations with you before incorporating suggestions? What if there are contradictory recommendations?

  10. In setting up a timeline, what are reasonable goals for time to complete:
    • Prospectus
    • Proposal
    • Chapters
    • Complete first draft of dissertation
    • Final dissertation with revisions

  11. About how much time should I plan to complete the dissertation from start to finish? When should I plan to go on the job market relative to my dissertation progress?

  12. What are the average page lengths for a typical dissertation?

  13. Any other helpful advice or suggestions?

Final questions:

  1. Is the next step a prospectus outline of the topic, or wait to submit a proposal draft?

  2. Can we schedule our next meeting now? How much time before our next meeting should I send you the prospectus/proposal for review?

Thanks to Tanya for sharing these helpful questions!


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