guiding students through the thesis / dissertation process

ralph c. gomes, ph.d.

March 12, 2008

Video Segments

  1. How can you become a good advisor?
  2. How do you help students find an appropriate topic?
  3. How do you help students select a title?
  4. How do you help students plan a research proposal?
  5. How do you help students write the introduction?
  6. How do you help students develop the rest of the proposal?


For decades, Howard University has produced more “on-campus” African American Ph.Ds. than any other U.S. institution.  Yet, according to former Provost Richard English, nationwide, “no more than 50 percent of individuals across all groups complete the doctoral degree and two-thirds of all blacks pursuing doctoral programs do not complete the degree.”   Some scholars have attributed this high rate of attrition to financial need, transfers from one Ph.D. program to another, and decisions to pursue a different career, but they have also cited ineffective advising.  That is why this video is so timely.  In the video, Sociology Professor Ralph Gomes explains how to help graduate students develop a topic, title, introduction, review of the literature, theoretical framework, and research methodology for a thesis or dissertation—and how to help students establish a timeline for completing the work.