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PhD Student, Advisor, and Committee

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges & Seminaries' started by Rhetorician, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician Active Member
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    Feb 1, 2005
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  2. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member
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    Feb 9, 2004
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    It's a good conversation about the oddities in the relationship between PhD candidates who are ABD and their committees.

    I know for my PhD I had my primary advisor, two internal readers, and an external reader from another school who collaborated to evaluate (or charitably destroy...that what it felt like at points) my dissertation.

    The analogy isn't a bad one either. For the PhD candidate they really are in charge of their dissertation like a CEO is in charge of a company. Thus, and the analogy fits here, the CEO can appear to have all the power but when the Board is a tough board they really are working for the Board's approval.

    Every dissertation is a journey into a) obscurity and b) frustration. I was told, and I always tell others, that your dissertation isn't perfect, its just complete. And it is complete to the satisfaction of your committee. I remember having submitted one of the chapters to my advisor who farmed it out (since it wasn't in his specific area of research) to another prof, one of my internal readers, for critique. The prof came back with having me remove a couple of sections and do research on a perspective that he believed was more important. Did I disagree? Yep, those couple of sections reflected a solid month's worth of work. However, I did what he "advised" and the process (well from his part) went smoother.

    A dissertation is so important to the quality of a PhD. I think the process is fine (for the hummanities) and as it lives in ambiguity it reflects the art of research rather than the science. :)