What To Know About Dissertation Reading Committee

Many students forget about one of the most important stages in the process of dissertation writing. They don’t pay much attention to its presentation to reading committee. However, successful cooperation with them may be beneficial. In order to know what to expect, you should be aware of the main information about this committee. The following facts may help you be more prepared and get a better grade.

  1. Usually, the reading committee consists of three members: an advisor and two faculty representatives. There can’t be more than 5 members. These people will read your dissertation and sign it.

  2. The members of the reading committee may also serve on the oral exam committee. Make sure you have the signatures of all its members before the final processing of your paper.

  3. If there any changes in the composition of the reading committee, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs should review and approve them.

  4. The main purpose of this committee is to ensure that certain standards and rules are adhered to. The members help students focus on their topics and write papers according to requirements. The reading committee plays a vital role in the final evaluation of students’ works.

  5. Students should perceive the reading committee as a source of support and expertise. Having a possibility to turn for several professors for help, students are more likely to find assistance when they really need it. Besides, the dissertation advisor doesn’t feel the pressure of being responsible for the whole work.

When you know the main information about committees, you may need guidelines for your successful cooperation. The following tips will help improve your communication with its members and increase your chances to get a great mark:

  • Inform your advisor and the reading committee about the main changes in your paper. Find out whether the committee members want to see the final draft of the dissertation or drafts of every chapter.

  • Discuss the time when you can show them your work.

  • Keep them aware of your progress.

  • Make sure you correct all mistakes they’ve told you about.

  • When facing a problem, ask members for any suggestions.

  • Stay in close contact with them.

  • Make sure you understand the main rules and requirements.

  • If you aren’t certain about something, feel free to ask for clarifications.

  • Be ready to hear different suggestions from different committee members.

  • Don’t be afraid to seek for help.

  • Show the committee members that you are really interested in your topic.

  • Focus on good results!

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