ERIC Number: ED198601
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Feb
Reference Count: 0
Alternatives to the Doctoral Dissertation in Speech Communication.
King, Corwin P.
The need to train speech communication students for new, nonacademic forms of employment has raised questions about whether the doctoral dissertation is of any significant value anymore and whether doctoral degree requirements should be modified. Ideally, the dissertation is supposed to contribute to the fund of scholarly knowledge in a student's field of study, familiarize the student with the tools of scholarly research, and promote the mental characteristics of self-discipline and perseverance. Unfortunately, in an effort to find a topic that is "do-able," students and advisors often minimize the question of whether the topic is worth doing. In addition, dissertations do not always demonstrate a student's grasp of the research process and, most importantly, dissertations do not demonstrate competencies needed outside of academic employment, such as managerial or interpersonal relation skills. Alternatives to the dissertation are twofold. The first involves completion of a research paper stressing the interpretation or use of existing research of a socially relevant nature. The second alternative involves the completion of an internship or "field experience" project, in which the student works at a job related to his or her academic training and analyzes the experience for academic credit. Clearly, a balance is needed between the conduct of research and its translation to everyday work. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Dissertation Alternatives
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Speech Communication Association (San Jose, CA, February 14-17, 1981).