You cannot understand what you cannot measure. At some point in the dissertation development process, everyone needs to confront the issue of measurement. We’ve found that many if not most students have a fuzzy sense at best failed dissertation how to define and measure important characteristics of the concepts or phenomena they propose to study.
Likert-type scales are commonly used in surveys and other quantitative work, but it is essential to understand how the underlying constructs are measured with Likert scales, and the assumptions and limitations that accompany use of such a measure. Data is often reported in generalities and, and thematic analysis is frequently vague and insubstantial. Rarely are such instruments subjected to structured analysis and evaluation criteria. Use of a validation rubric for surveys and interviews is an excellent strategy to overcome common weaknesses in surveys and interviews. Interview Validation Rubric developed by Marilyn Simon and Jacquelyn White is a useful tool in assessing the validity and credibility of an instrument and the data that results. Tense is an important element of dissertation writing.
Some of the most common writing problems we see as dissertation mentors relate to tense. Early proposal drafts are frequently riddled with tense errors. Our updated recipe, below, addresses this problem and provides guidance on how to use tense correctly. This is the latest accepted revision, reviewed on 11 February 2019.