Critical thinking, academic writing, and apa form and style 8115


Critical thinking and academic writing are two of the most important skills required to complete your Dissertation.

Critical thinking. Your use of critical thinking throughout the Dissertation process will help you select a theoretical framework for your study, make arguments about why your study is important, analyze your data, and assess the implications of your results.

From previous work, you may be familiar with Bloom’s Taxonomy of critical thinking. The revised version is described in three links in this week’s Learning Resources.  Each of the three links provides a different slant, visual, and list of resources. In everything you write in this course, as well as your other Ph.D. courses and, of course, your Premise, Prospectus, Proposal, and Dissertation, you are required to demonstrate higher levels of thinking. The levels of thinking in the revised version are:  Remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. It is at the highest three levels—analyzing, evaluating, and creating—that scholarly thinking and writing take place, including the development of your Prospectus.

Academic writing. Your use of academic writing will ensure that you communicate effectively in all sections of your Dissertation, both to your committee and the academic community at large. Being able to demonstrate academic writing generally means that you can convey your ideas, thoughts, and findings clearly, succinctly, and coherently.

APA format and style. Part of academic writing is being able to write in correct APA style and format, and this is a requirement in this course and all others, for each document you write.  Academic, scholarly writing and the correct APA style and format extend far beyond citing in the text correctly and writing a reference list in correct APA style and format.

Academic writing is a skill you will continue to hone throughout the rest of your academic and professional career. The APA Manual contains a wealth and depth of information on writing. It is recommended that you read the entire manual.

To prepare for this Assignment, review this week’s Learning Resources. Pay special attention to the “Walden’s Doctoral Capstone Resources” and review Useem B. (1997), “Choosing a Dissertation Topic” found in the Walden Library databases as well as Walden University Library. (n.d.). What is a good topic? Retrieved from

Write 2–3 pages on the topic you are considering for your Dissertation. How did you come to select the topic? What is your interest in studying it? What is the problem that makes it worth studying? What is its significance?

Then, in another half page, briefly explain how your topic relates to criminal justice.  Appropriate use of the APA format and style is required and expected for this assignment.

Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You are asked to provide a reference list for all resources, including those in the Learning Resources for this course.


Required Readings


ABD Survival Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved June 05, 2017, from

Rudestam, K. E., & Newton, R. R. (2015). Surviving your dissertation: A comprehensive guide to content and process (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Chapter 1, “The Research Process” (pp. 3–8)
Chapter 10, “Writing” (pp. 259–279)

Miller, R. K. (2003, April 1). Finishing the dissertation. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Perlmutter, D. D., & Porter, L. (2005, December 12). Thinking beyond the dissertation. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Robinson, B. (2001). The dissertation…and beyond: Developing your academic career. ABNF Journal, 12(1), 17–18.

Laureate Education. (Executive Producer). (2010d). The Dissertation research process. Baltimore, MD: Author

Useem, B. (1997). Choosing a dissertation topic. PS: Political Science & Politics, 30(2), 213–216.

Walden University Library. (n.d.). What is a good topic?
Retrieved from

Walden University, Writing Center. (2009). PhD dissertation. Retrieved from

Walden University Center for Research Quality.  (n.d.-b). Research Center home page. Retrieved from

Walden University, Center for Research Quality. (n.d.-c). Ph.D. dissertation process and documents. Retrieved from  
Dissertation Premise Guide
Dissertation Prospectus Guide
Dissertation Prospectus Rubric
Dissertation Student Process Worksheet

Walden University, Center for Research Quality. (2012b). Dissertation prospectus. Retrieved from

Walden University, Doctoral Capstone Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Simon, M., & Goes, J. (2011). Words and phrases to avoid when discussing your research. In M. K. Simon, Dissertation and scholarly research: Recipes for success (pp. 1–3). Seattle, WA: Dissertation Success. Retrieved from

Ms. Mentor. (2013, September 11). A dissertation on Pussy Riot? The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Writing Resources

University of San Diego. (n.d.) Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy: Process verbs, assessments, and questioning strategies. Retrieved from

Illinois Central College. (n.d.). Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy – verbs, materials/situations that require this level of thinking. Retrieved from

Overbaugh, R. C., & Schultz, L. (n.d.). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Retrieved from

Walden University, Doctoral Capstone Resources. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Choose Write a Proposal -> Decide on a Topic

Walden University, Online Writing Center. (n.d.-f). Writing Center home page. Retrieved from

Walden University, Online Writing Center. (n.d.-a). APA style. Retrieved from

American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

Walden University, Online Writing Center. (n.d.-e). Scholarly writing. Retrieved from




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