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Mon. – Thurs: 10am – 9pm
Fri: 10am – 4pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: 1pm – 5pm

Compression Session Hours
Mon-Tues: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Wednesdays: 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Thurs-Fri: 11:00am – 1:00pm
Sundays: 1:00m – 3:00pm


Dissertation Forum

This Spring, the Writing Studio, the USF Libraries, and the Office of Graduate Studies bring you the Fifth Annual Dissertation Forum.

What is it?

  • Dissertation Forum is an all-day event that provides resources and services for doctoral candidates currently working on prospectuses or dissertations. Breakout sessions include information about writing strategies, research tools, stress management practices, and first-hand advice from recently hired assistant professors. To watch the New Faculty Panel from last year’s Dissertation Forum, please go here »
  • This year is the first time that Dissertation Forum is being offered in conjunction with two Writing Retreats designed for dissertating writers. Please see here for more information »

Date & Location

Friday, February 5th, 2016, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Grace Allen Room, LIB 4th Floor

Cost to Attend

Doctoral candidates can choose from an à la carte menu of events they would like to attend. The respective costs are as follows:

  • Dissertation Forum…………………………………$25
  • Dissertation Forum and 1 Writing Retreat……….$50
  • Dissertation Forum and 2 Writing Retreats………$75
  • 1 Writing Retreat (no Dissertation Forum)………..$25
  • 2 Writing Retreats (no Dissertation Forum)………$50

How To Apply

  • Space is limited.
  • Applications to attend are due by 11:59 PM on December 1st, 2015.
  • While it is free to apply, there is a $25 registration fee to attend.


The Dissertation Forum is organized conference style; most sessions run concurrently. Please see below for session descriptions, links to presenters’ biographies, and corresponding room numbers. Please don’t hesitate to speak with an organizer if you have questions about which session might be most useful for your needs. Individual Writing Center consultations will be held in the Writing Center and individual library consultations will be held in librarians’ offices.

Time Session Room Session Room
9:00-9:15 Coffee and Introductions Grace Allen (GAR) (4th floor) N/A N/A
9:20-9:35 What Dissertators should know about The Office of Graduate Studies
Speaker: Dr. Peter Harries, Graduate School Associate Dean. This overview will briefly highlight the Graduate School’s web resources, upcoming ETD workshops, and important deadlines for submitting dissertations to Graduate Studies.
9:40-10:25 Apps for Research
Speaker: Drew Smith, Academic Services Librarian. Learn how to use graphical mind mapping software to generate and preserve ideas, how to record, organize and preserve notes and images, and how to back up and synchronize your most important working documents and other files across multiple computers, tablets, and smartphones.
GAR Citation Management: RefWorks & EndNote
Speakers: Audrey Powers & Claudia Dold, Academic Services Librarians. This session offers an overview of RefWorks & Endnote, two of USF’s most-used citation management systems. Presenters will demonstrate the advantages of each system and the features that best assist graduate students in managing citations for their dissertations. If you have been using either of these tools, this session will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions or schedule individual and advanced training.

Powerpoint Slides

10:30-11:15 Publishing your Dissertation: Copyright
Speaker: Drew Smith, Academic Services Librarian. This session provides an overview of copyright issues and author rights regarding the decisions involved in publishing content from a dissertation before it is completed or after it has been placed in a digital repository.

Powerpoint Slides

GAR Citation Management: RefWorks & EndNote
Speakers: Audrey Powers & Claudia Dold, Academic Services Librarians

Powerpoint Slides

11:30-12:15 Lunch GAR
12:30-2:00 New Faculty Panel

  • TBD

This panel provides candid advice about managing dissertation committee relations, planning postdoctoral goals, and practicing flexibility and patience with topic changes and research challenges.

2:00-2:45 Time and Stress Management
Speaker: Dr. Lisa Ferdinand, Counseling Center PsychologistDr. Ferdinand will address resources and coping habits that specifically pertain to healthfully managing the stress of a dissertation project.

Powerpoint Slides

GAR ETD Formatting Requirements Q&A 
Speaker: Matthew Cordner, Office of Graduate Studies staff. This session will be most useful to candidates who need to ask specific questions about Graduate Studies’ ETD formatting rules and submission requirements.
2:50-3:35 Writing a Literature Review: Organizing a strong argument
Speakers: Megan McIntyre and Danielle Farrar, Writing Studio Coordinators. Determining where to draw boundaries around your topic – and deciding when you’ve included “enough” information in your literature review – is a challenging but necessary task. This session focuses on strategies for developing a strong literature review that justifies, narrows, and clarifies your research topic.
GAR Organizing a Literature Review: Beyond the Basics
Speakers: Susan Ariew. This session will address how to expand your knowledge of specialized databases, employ advanced searching techniques, and use bibliographies and cited references to find new materials.

Powerpoint Slides

3:40 – 4:00 Closing/ feedback/ collaborative insights / goal-setting
Speakers: Forum organizers
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