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The Global Dissertation Narrative (GDN): a strategy to develop a final doctoral dissertation story

As I mentioned earlier on my blog., two of my PhD students are THIS CLOSE to finishing their draft and defending. This week, I sat with one of them to go over her entire doctoral dissertation. I just wrote a Twitter thread on how my (close-to-defending) doctoral students are writing their Global Dissertation Narrative (GDN), and I wanted to keep it for posterity as a blog entry.

Library Cubicles at El Colegio de Mexico

I explained to my student that she needed to develop a Global Dissertation Narrative (GDN) that clearly tells the story of her work. As my PhD advisor once told me: “research is telling stories with data”. For me, storytelling is key, and I make sure that my students learn how to do it, and how to do it well.

To avoid having to click on this thread, you can read the components of the narrative below, and you can download my template here.

Global Dissertation Narrative

Global Dissertation Narrative

Global Dissertation Narrative

So how does a doctoral student fill out their GDN template? Below, I explain in detail.

Obviously, you could easily tweak my GDN template to apply to STEM dissertations, book-style theses, undergrad and Masters’ theses AND book manuscripts. In fact, strongly believe you could totally use the DTP, the DAT and the GDN to craft your book proposal.

Hopefully many doctoral students and their supervisors will be able to test my GDN to see if it works for them. It certainly works for mine!

If you liked this blog post, you may also be interested in my Resources for Graduate Students page, and on my reading notes of books I’ve read on how to do a doctoral degree.

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Posted in academia, graduate school.

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  1. David says

    For me who is in postgraduate level, this article has been very informative and helpful. Thanks much.

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