Dissertation Coaching


What is dissertation coaching? There are many available services that offer a range of options for doctoral students who have reached the dissertation proposal or actual dissertation writing stage.

Gradmentor services address the most essential aspects for completing and successfully defending the dissertation. These include:

  • Assistance with topic selection or refinement
  • Help with selecting appropriate methodology and research design
  • Breaking down the dissertation into manageable sections
  • Help with understanding major advisor or committee comments
  • Providing timely critical feedback on manuscript in progress
  • Helping keep track of references
  • Managing critical and weekly deadlines, especially as defense deadline approaches
  • Guidance with consistency of dissertation title, purpose statement, problem statement, and research questions (logic)
  • Help with finding appropriate theory or theories for developing theoretical/conceptual framework
  • Help with determining appropriate sample sizes and validity of results
  • Guidance on data analysis options, including appropriate software
  • Evaluation of options for conducting qualitative versus quantitative research
  • Help find gap in literature
  • Help find significance of study
  • Explain each section and give examples
  • Help find relevant peer-reviewed, current research, and dissertations
  • Provide template for annotation of research
  • Assist with developing and synthesizing the literature review
  • Identify passive voice when requested
  • Help find relevant instrument(s)
  • Referral to a quantitative statistician when appropriate
  • Help with figures, charts, and graphs
  • Cross checking references (help find missing references)
  • Assistance with editing
  • Help with Institutional Review Board (IRB) preparations
  • Assist with defense preparation including mock defense sessions
  • Assistance with PowerPoint presentations for the final defense 

With guidance from Gradmentor, you will succeed at all of your graduate degree and career development goals. Scott’s services are provided confidentially via telephone and email. On special request, in-person meetings can be arranged in the San Francisco Bay region. 

Scott’s Coaching Themes and Areas of Emphasis

Motivation to Succeed – discovering how to use positive psychology to reduce time needed to complete your graduate degree

Setting Realistic Expectations – understanding and enhancing your thesis or dissertation writing patterns

Boosting Self-Confidence – maximizing your intellectual potential and personal growth

Choosing a Meaningful and Valuable Research Topic – building a solid investigation plan for shaping your research emphasis

Conducting an Effective Literature Review – identifying the leading publications in your discipline with the most recent, and pertinent, studies in your area of specialization

Fine-tuning and Editing Your Dissertation or Thesis – providing a careful review of your drafts in progress, including careful discussion of literature and research data presentations

Preparing for Your Dissertation or Thesis Defense – guiding careful preparation and timeline-setting for completion of your defense

Assessing Your Professional Development Needs – developing an effective plan for graduate degree and career success

Overcoming Obstacles – identifying and moving beyond barriers to your degree progress

Maintaining Your Well-Being and Preserving Your Relationships – creating life balance and fulfillment; managing relationships with spouses, partners, or family members

Understanding Academic Politics – recognizing the power dynamics of working with advisers and academic committees; understanding your rights as a graduate student

Clarifying Career Outcomes of Graduate Students ­– researching the career development outcomes of graduate students in your particular program and field of study


For further information about dissertation and thesis research, visit the Gradmentor Tools page. For further details about GradMentor dissertation coaching services, contact Scott.

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