Designing a Research Project is Like Shopping–but worse.

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I’m approaching the last few hurdles of my PhD. Calling my secondary comp exam and the dissertation “hurdles,” however, is a pretty sad comparison. It’s like telling Aries Merritt “I’m sorry. We’ve switched out your 42-inch hurdles. You’ll now be jumping over the Empire State Building. Good luck.”

But I digress.

I’m scheduled to take my secondary comp exam at the beginning of April. My focus for the exam is on qualitative research methods (specifically workplace ethnography), which will help gear me up for my dissertation prospectus and eventually my dissertation work. (Yeah… that big nasty D-word.)

One of my comp questions will essentially give me a jump start on the methods section of my dissertation prospectus. Sounds simple, right? All I have to do is figure out what kind of research questions I want my dissertation work to answer, then go about telling my committee what methods I intend to use to answer them. Yeh…it’s only simple if you’ve never tried it.

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