In this weeks episode of Office Hours Marvette talks about the importance of data collection, making a roadmap and the 4 steps you need to follow when writing chapter 3 of your dissertation.
Hey friend, the time has come to finish your dissertation, graduate and become doctor. Welcome to office hours with Dr. Lacy where we talk about how to finally master this time management thing so you can stay on top of it without losing your mind. Every Wednesday you can find a new episode wherever you listen to podcasts, make sure you hit the subscribe button to make sure you never miss an episode. I’m Dr. Marvette Lacy, your dissertation writing strategist here to be with you along every step of the way. I would like to thank you for coming to today’s office hours. Let’s get started on today’s episode. Hey, how’s writing going? I know you don’t like the question, but let me tell you, when you join the finish your dissertation program, you will love that question. Clients often report feeling excited and joyful to go into their process even before they even get to the dissertation process, and that’s what I’m inviting you to do. I’m inviting you to come inside the group and join us so that you can get the structure you need and the tools that will help you to show up consistent and disciplined in your process. All you need to do is come on over to Marvette lacy.com/apply and sign up for the wait list and you will be the first notified when doors are open. See you soon.
Welcome back to a new week of the podcast. Y’all how you doing? How y’all mama and them doing? It is December I guess it was December last week, huh. But I hope you all are doing fine. I hope the semester is wrapping up as nicely as possible as it can, right. In a whole pandemic and in 2020. But I hope you are doing your best to finish your last assignments or projects or whatever you’re working on as it relates to your dissertation and whole like doctoral journey. And for those of you who are preparing to take your exams, first, go listen to the episode about how to prepare for your exams. But to just know that you got this, you got this, you know what you know? And I know that sounds a little bit strange, but you know what you know, and you know how to answer the question. So just use what you know and answer the question. That’s it.
Um, what is going on with me this week? Um, nothing too much. I’m just turning on all the lights in my house because you know, I think I talked about this last week that the grayness is here. And so this is really random. I think, um, as an adult, I have taken it upon myself to be okay with the fact that I’m going to have a higher electric bill. Why? Because when I was young, my mom would never let us get the lights on, you know, how black parents do. Like we could never have the lights on and I could not understand. I’m like, it gets dark at four o’clock. You mean I got to sit in the dark all day and she’d be like, you got enough light from the TV. It used to, I don’t know, like it just to just dampen my spirit. And now that I know about like seasonal, like depression, had I known that information as a young person, my mom would have got all this smoke and I would’ve just took whatever came along with me, trying to, you know, talk back. But that’s a whole other thing. So I’m just sitting in my apartment with all the lights on enjoying all the things that was random y’all. But listen, I don’t like sitting in the dark. I don’t like it. This week um, we are talking about data collection.
Client Spotlight: Khalia:
But before we get there, I want to do a client spotlight. And this week spotlight goes to Khalia, Oh, Khalia, Khalia. Uh, we started working together last August, August, 2019. She signed up and then she ghosted me y’all. And she probably was going to get me for telling you this story. But she goes to me, she was, um, she, I believe she had, like, she was taking some classes and maybe a study abroad trip that might be wrong, but I know there was, there were things happening. And then, you know how, at least I know I could completely relate to this where you have all the intentions of doing something and then something else comes up or maybe you like misjudged the amount of time something was going to take. And then you look up and weeks have gone by and maybe you didn’t like respond to that text message or return that phone call or return that email. And then your brain tells you well too much time has gone by. So now I can’t respond. It’s going to be too disrespectful if I respond. So you never respond. And then more and more time just goes by. And the more time that goes by the more you start to beat yourself up, listen, I have been there so much. And I think a little bit of that was happening with Khalia and so something in my spirit, because I normally, if a client signs up and we have things on a book and you’re supposed to show up and you don’t show up, I will do my best to reach out three times.
But if I do not hear from you that I’d take it as you wanted it to leave the program, but you didn’t know how to say it. Um, but for some reason, with Khalia something in my spirit, something in my spirit kept saying, reach out to her, reach out to her. And so it just became a thing that I scheduled. I would sending an email every week and just see like how she was. I wanted to make sure she was alive. And she was well. And I believe I sent the email that said, just, just respond back. No hard feelings, not going to make you feel bad, just respond back. And she did. And I feel like that was one of the best one-on-one session I’ve ever had with a client. And now we’re stuck with each other because not only is client, um, is Khalia still a client. She is also now on Team Lacy. Um, now I want to try to get the wrong ideas, thinking you’re going to sign up for the finish your dissertation program and go ghost, and like, you know, we do come find you, let me be clear. We come find you. We come find you in your social media accounts. We email you, we got your phone number now. Like it’s not just me. Now. We got a whole crew of people who will come looking for you, but that does end at a certain point. So, you know, we, all we ask is that you show up, we don’t care how you show up. We don’t care if you showed up in your bonnet or, you know, maybe you have some libations. We don’t care. We just want you to show up. Cause we know if you show up, you’re going to do some other stuff. You’re going to get some things done. We gonna make sure of it.
Um, so anyway, I had this spirit with Khalia and we have been working on her proposal its a beautiful proposal with a dope topic. And, um, I’m excited as she is preparing to defend her proposal, but I just Khalia, what are words? Now? She always comes through on a zoom call with flawless looking just like sun kissed, highly moisturized skin. Okay. And she always got a word or two for you. And she always got a resource, right? If you ever need help with trying to figure out a writer, uh, an article, a book about a topic, especially as it relates to critical qualitative research or, you know, Black women in the Academy, or just, I mean, just a wealth, like health and wellness in the Academy. Like any like anything that features soul, go ask Khalia. Cause she knows exactly where to point you, like which direction to point you in. I don’t know. It’s like an endless well of resources. Well, she is just a joy to have in the group. And she is an invaluable member of team Lacy. And we just, we just, we just adore her. Um, she will get you together, but you won’t even know that you got together until like hours later. Cause it’s real smooth. It’s real quick. Um, and you know, she’s probably not going to be saying the most, but when she does speak, just watch out. So I am excited to keep cheering for her and support her as she is going into this season of preparing for defending. And so I hope that you go and say hi to her and give her some encouragement and some love You can um, she runs the qualitative dissertation made simple Facebook group. So she’s always hanging out there and you can also find her on Instagram at qual_scholars and say, Hey to her, but just wanted to spotlight Khalia.
Data Collection Roadmap:
Now, today we are discussing data collection and I believe this episode is titled data collection roadmap. I’m a try my best to not go on any rants. But here’s the thing it’s already starting. When I’m reading chapter three and y’all chapter three is my jam. Like it is my whole jam. What I see when I’m reading people’s chapter three is they done did all of this talking about like theories. They got a 20 page positionality statement, right? Like they talk about all the big words and you know, systemic oppression. But then when it comes to how they’re going to get this and what data they’re going to get, crickets, crickets, crickets. It’s like, you got a 50 page chapter three and I still don’t know what you’re going to do. Right. And let me be clear. It’s not that you have the whole entire plan and every detailed laid out in chapter three, because that’s what you have, right the appendix in the back for. Right. And I should still be able to read your chapter three and have a pretty solid idea of, uh, what you’re doing and why you’re doing it and how you’re going to do it. Right.
So for example, if you’re going to do interviews, okay, what are interviews? Why are you using interviews? Like how does the method of interview connects to your methodology? How does it connect to your paradigm? How does it connect to your research questions? If you have those, how does it connect to your purpose and your problem? If I can not answer those questions by reading your section around interviews, you got some work to do. Further when I’m reading that section, what types of things will you be asking about. Again, you don’t need to put the whole interview protocol in chapter three, but you can still give me some general things or directions of types of questions you will be asking your participants. And I hear you, my friends who are like, I don’t like to be boxed in, I don’t, I don’t want to, I don’t want to have a rigid protocol that I can’t feel free. This is a, this is a, um, unstructured interview. That’s great. That’s so great. But I’m a need some general areas, right? Cause you can go on there and be like, how’s the sky? Oh, it’s blue. Its purple. Or Oh, what did you eat last night? Like y’all can have a whole conversation about something else. Now if that relates to the framing of your study. Okay, great.
But if it doesn’t, how do you know one, how do you know what to focus the conversation on and two, like what are you going to do with all that information you get? Like, how do you know what you’re going to do in an analysis and findings and discussion like, and there is a way to say I’m going to do an unstructured, unstructured or a semi-structured interview without boxing yourself in. Right. And so for example, when my dissertation, right, those were going to be unstruc, I said, unstructured. I said that I’m a participant in my study as, because I use sista circle methodology. And as a result, like there’s not one person who’s leading the ship. However, in my protocol, what I did say is: for our first circle, here’s what we will talk about. We will talk about black women identity in general. And then I am going to ask my like collaborators, my co-researchers to come up with additional topics for us to discuss in our next circles. And I will come back to IRB and update that, right. That allowed me the flexibility to say, I can give you topics, but I still won’t be able to give you like a traditional interview protocol in which I will tell you exactly which questions, because I’m not the only one guiding this project. Right. And that connected to my methodology, that connected to my paradigm, that connected to my overall philosophy as it related to research, I did a great job of setting that up before getting to the point of saying nah fam I don’t, I can’t tell you exactly what we’re going to talk about. Cause wherever the conversation goes, it goes. But I can tell you it will be around these areas. Right?
And I can come back later and tell you in more detail, what that looks like. It won’t be all the details, but I got you because on the back end, when I went to go defend the dissertation, then I was able to say, Oh, this is what came up. Here are the transcripts, right? Like now in my committee, nobody’s seen that, but I had the transcripts. Right. And I wrote chapter four and five in a way that you could clearly see what our conversations were. So I say that to say, all right, to go back first, you need to identify what method you’re using. Because just because you’re doing qualitative research doesn’t mean you’re going to be doing interviews. That was a a side and a rant. And I’m trying to hold myself back. But qualitative research doesn’t mean interviews. Okay? Sure. That might be the most common commonly used method.
Draw A Roadmap:
So once you do that in chapter three, then what I encourage clients to do is to open up another document. And if you are someone who needs to draw it out, because that’s how I am, I’m visual, create a roadmap and a roadmap essentially is you walking through each step of the journey for your participants from the time that they become aware of your study to the time that you are saying, thank you so much. Here’s your gift bye. What are all the things and steps that they will need to take? Most people will say, Oh, they will do. They will reach out. And then they’ll do the consent process. And then we’ll collect the data and then, two weeks later, I’ll give them their transcripts. And then I’ll give them a $5 gift card and send them on their way. But there are so many steps that you’re missing because the, the intention or the goal behind the data collection roadmap is for the fact that like, if anyone picked that up, they could essentially conduct your study for you. That they would know exactly what to do, right? So the roadmap may begin with, I will post for two weeks, starting December 8th to December 18th, I will post on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the graphic. Please see appendix a or whatever.
I will post every day. People who see the posts will be or inform through the caption of the post, um, that they can email or go to website, whatever www.thedissertation.com. Is that a real website? It might be right, but whatever, you can have a website. This is just me coming up with a random example, right? So they will go to the website. On the website, they will be able to read the consent form. They will be able to read background information. They will be able to read all the things that are required at the bottom of the website. There will be a button that says schedule. If you meet the criteria, right. Schedule your thing. And then they can, they will be taken to a Google form. They will review the consent form. Again, they would do an electronic signature from there. They will be directed to a Calendly link and they will be able to schedule their first interview. You see the level of detail, this is important for you. This is more for you. Yes. It’s for your participants, so they know what to expect. But most of people, right? Like I’m thinking, you know, they’re not as familiar with the research process as you, they’re just whatever you tell them to do. They’re like, I just want to be a part of it. Great. But for you, this is important because here’s what happens. You are writing the proposal, right? You’re like, yeah, I’m going to do this. I’m going to do that. Nobody’s seen this before. I’m going to do all these things, right? So you put all these fancy methods in there and you package it up, make it look real cute. You send it to your committee, go defend it.
You like little bit scared, but you go in there and they say, yeah, change this, tweak this add this. Right. You make the changes. They say, you pass, you submit to IRB. The tedious long process. You do that. And then IRB comes back with their 50 11 changes and questions. You answered that. And then IRB comes back and says, congratulations. Now you are able to conduct your study. You know what happens with you? You go into a panic, right? Because it was all cute and good up to this point. You were like, you’ve been waiting your whole doctoral journey to get to the point where you can collect data for your dissertation. And the moment it happens and it becomes real, you freak out. You’re like, I don’t know what to do. Oh, it’s real. Like I actually got to do it now. I mean, I know I wrote it, but I got to do it now.
Don’t Panic, Use Roadmap:
And then you might start to ask yourself like, okay, but what is my first step? Or what do I do? And will I be able to get participants? I don’t know. Maybe I need to reach out. Maybe I need to go like watch a webinar or how to do this. Nope. And you like, people spin out in this stage for months. You may think like, what do you mean? Like they wrote the whole proposal. Shouldn’t they know what to do. Nope. Cause their chapter three was lacking some details. Right? But when you have a roadmap that clearly lays out each step in the way that I just described. Yeah. You still gonna freak out, but your brain is going to be like, just follow the steps. We just got to make sure these things are set up. That’s it? It gets you moving into action.
It gets you from feeling stuck and overwhelmed to being like, Nope, I know exactly what to do. I’m going to call my friend to help me do it. Cause I’m a little nervous, but I know what to do. This is critical. It seems tedious in the moment. But I promise you, it will save you so much heartache. And here’s a bonus. If you go into your proposal defense with this roadmap, you will pass your defense. 80% of the questions you’re going to be asked in your proposal defense. They’re going to be around data collection. They’re going to be around: What are you doing? How are you doing it? Why are you doing it? Why did you make the decision? And the people who don’t pass their proposal defense are the people who spent too much time in their literature review. They know all the articles, but they can’t tell you nothing about chapter three, which is the project.
It’s the heart of the project. So the more time that you can prepare and spend on knocking out those details and being very clear on what you’re doing, even if you’re a committee and/or IRB give you changes, you could, those are easy to make and you know, where they fit in the process. So do yourself a favor, sit down and lay out your roadmap, promise you, it will save you.
Register for Write Your Dissertation!
So that is all for today’s episode. We’d love to know what you think. You can come on over to the Facebook group: Qualitative dissertations made simple and let us know we continue the conversation there every week. I also want to let you know that Write Your dissertation is coming up in January. It’s a three-day live event, all about how to write your dissertation in 12 months or less. We are going to be talking about how to improve your academic, writing, different hacks and tools and resources you can use for your writing. Um, and of course all the mindset stuff that comes along with writing a whole dissertation. It is going to be a good time if you were at the event in August and you know, you know, it’s going to be so good, it’s going to help. And we don’t believe in taking up all your time. So it’s not going to take the whole day. Friday is, um, I believe it is 5 to 7:00 PM Eastern and Saturday and Sundays, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Eastern. Real short, real cute, real simple, but you will get so much from it so much. Um, so if you, the, the link will be in the show notes. If you want to check out the page and learn more about the event, um, but I’m going to tell you to get your ticket because early bird pricing is still going on at $97 and you do not want to miss out. So go to the link in the show notes and we will see you there. I will be back next week with a new episode. Bye for now.
Join Finish Your Dissertation!:
Hey, you ready to take this work further? Then it’s time for you to join the finish your dissertation program. Finally get the tools, resources, and structure. You need to show up consistent and disciplined in your process. All you need to do is come on over to MarvetteLacy.com/apply and join the finish your dissertation wait list. I’ll see you there. Bye for now. Thanks. Thank you for joining in for today’s office hours. Make sure you come on Instagram and tag me at Marvette Lacy. Let me know what your thoughts were on today’s episode until next time. Do something to show yourself some love. I’ll talk to you next week. Bye for now.