Unlike a bachelors or masters degree, the quality of research at the doctoral level is extremely rigorous. Not only do you need to identify other scholarly work to support your arguments or hypotheses, but you need challenge, critique and find deeper meaning behind existing research in the field you are studying. As you become a scholar, you need to contribute innovative thoughts and foundations for practice, all within a predetermined, theoretical framework. Your writing and research need to speak to the core of an existing problem or social issue and you need to have a thorough understanding of the existing research, for and against your theory to solve that problem or social issue.
Throughout this process, your discipline is tested and your values and priorities in life become redefined. Research at the doctoral level is transformative. At times I prefer to get a hotel or a motel room for the weekend (depending on my budget), so I can focus, research and write. I need to pull myself out of the distractions of home and create the mental space needed to think clearly and critically.
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