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Post-Masters DNP

Guide for the Post-Masters DNP students.

1. Brainstorming

Any research project starts with brainstorming the topic.  Sometimes a topic has been assigned to you and if that is the case, you still need to brainstorm.  Brainstorming can take on a variety methods, but the end result is the same: to explore connections between ideas and narrow down what you want to work on.

Short Brainstorming Video

2. Research

Research involves going to various sources and looking for information.  The process itself tends to be cyclical:

  • Explore topic material on a basic level by looking at encyclopedias or other similar sources
  • Refine your topic and your search terms
  • Search for information using a discovery tool like SmartSearch to get a broad range of information sources
  • Use more subject specific databases to help narrow your searching

Repeat this cycle as often as you need to in order to get the information you need to create a great cache of resources.


See the tabs "Library Resources" and "Citing Sources" to help you further with this process.

3. Writing

Just as research is an iterative process, so is writing.  Writing is also like sport; you need to practice it to get better at it.  Some general tips for writing:

  • Start your essay or report where you feel most comfortable.  You don't have to start with the introduction!
  • Do NOT write your material the night before it is due.  Good writing needs time to sit so you can revise.
  • Revise your writing.  Reread it.  Read it aloud.  Have other people read it.
  • Take a day or two or a week from what you have written and then read it again.  After giving your brain a rest, you'll be surprised at how much you'll find that needs to be polished/revised/edited/explained.
  • Cite as you write.  Do NOT go back and put your citations in.  You don't want to forget a citation!

Short Video on Writing

4. Citing

CITE CITE CITE!  If you have directly quoted, paraphrased, or summarized anything from any work that is not your own, you need to give credit where credit is due otherwise, you are being academically dishonest and plagiarizing.  Plagiarism has very significant consequences up to and including expulsion.  Checking out the "Citing Sources" tab for more information and resources.

5. Presenting

Presenting your research whether that is in person in a classroom or conference or through a recording of your presentation is vital in disseminating the knowledge that you have acquired.  It's not enough to just present the information though.  You need to present the information in a way that people can connect with and understand.  See the "Presentations" tab for more resources on presenting.

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