Thought Clearing

Dave Harris, Ph.D. Editor & Coach.


Time constraints do not permit me to share with you the many challenges I faced while pursuing the Ph.D. Let's fast forward and get to the part where I had been working on my dissertation for about 2 years with very little progress. I had come up with a lot of ideas and research designs and even conducted several intensive literature searches for two different dissertation ideas, yet I had written fewer than 8 pages for my dissertation! That's when I found Dave's website and I contacted Dave. We started working right away. At first, we worked together two to three times a week. Once I had made significant progress, we moved to once a week. When needed, we would increase to the number of sessions I needed to make sure that I would continue to make rapid progress. What I loved about working with Dave was his earnest and sincere commitment to helping me navigate and accelerate completion of the dissertation process. Some of the major challenges Dave helped me with include working through anxiety about writing my literature review, creating realistic measurable goals, organizing my life so that adequate time was available to work on my dissertation, managing boundaries, and my favorite - celebrating the small wins. I worked with two friendly, well accomplished, but didn't-work-for-me coaches before Dave. I'm glad I didn't give up on dissertation coaching, since working with him is exactly what I needed to finally get to the Ph.D. finish line! I am recommending Dave to you, because I know that he is an effective dissertation coach. Thank you Dave for being the best dissertation coach ever - you rock!!!
 Nichole, Ph.D., Psychology, Walden University
-- Nichole, Ph.D., Psychology, Walden University

Dave - I did it!!!
My corrections were all really minor so I was really pleased about that and one examiner had no corrections at all. All the corrections have been accepted, all units signed off and I am on the graduation list! Thank you again so, so much - I am hugely grateful for your work. You really helped me to think differently about my work and got me through some very tough times! As I have said before, your role in that time of my life will always be something I will remember.

-- D.Psych., Macquarie University

Dear Dave,
I would like to extend a hearty thank you for your contributions that helped me make it in the timeframe I hoped for! It was indeed a huge sigh of relief, followed by a celebration, when just this past weekend I found out the last of my committee members was ready to sign off on the dissertation!...
Your feedback and thoughtful comments on my writing and particularly my paragraph and section structures were an instrumental part of my process during the last weeks when I was really churning out the substantive portion of the dissertation writing. I appreciate your flexibility, professionalism, and timeliness with feedback. It was a pleasure working with you. And now, my family and I get to celebrate! Indeed, this is all quite wonderful!

-- Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Dear Dave,
I hope this finds you well. I just wanted to thank you again for your great help on my dissertation. I just received PhD at the end of September and started to enjoy non-student life, from which I have been away for so many years. I do not remember if I told you this already or not, but I heard from a friend of mine who [works with one of my readers] that he commented that my dissertation had been really transformed after your work and that it was the right strategy to have asked for your help. Once again, thank you for your wonderful help.

-- Ph.D., Rikkyo University

Through the process of working with Dave Harris, I actually came to appreciate the utility of writing a dissertation in one's career. I began to receive and use criticism from advisers in a different way. Dave was always there with kind, gentle, encouragement but the work was entirely my own to be proud of. For me, writing the dissertation carried so much meaning. It marked, rather symbolically, my transition from student to professional. Thank you, Dave, for your guidance through this crucial last step of my academic journey. I recommend Dave Harris whole-heartedly and without reservation.
-- Psy.D. candidate, Clinical Psychology, Argosy University

I began working with Dr. Harris during my eighth year of graduate school, the last four of which I had spent trying write my dissertation. I had materials, extensive notes and various parts of chapters, but nothing close to the organized, book-length study of my topic that was required to achieve my degree. Dr. Harris helped my focus on my thesis, asking me valuable questions about my approach to the topic that I had forgotten in the years of searching for materials and note-taking, such as "Why is this topic important to you?" and "What do you want to say?" Dr. Harris suggested re-viewing and re-writing my thesis statement with these questions in mind. The suggestion was counterintuitive for me; I wanted to plow ahead and finish writing. However, by returning to and honing my thesis statement, I was able to get a better sense of how the various parts of my dissertation worked together. With this new clarity, I revised my chapter abstracts in relation to my general thesis statement. My breakthrough came when I began to see how my chapters worked together to build my argument. Most importantly, I found my purpose and I had something to say. Early on, Dr. Harris identified the areas of my work process that were preventing me from moving forward. His insights and advice helped me to reconsider many aspects of my approach to the dissertation writing process. After developing a more efficient and productive relationship to my project, I was able to complete and file my dissertation in less than a year. The coaching support that I received from Dr. Harris was integral to the completion of my degree. I highly recommend Dr. Harris as an insightful, attentive coaching professional who achieves results.
-- Ph. D., University of California, Irvine

Dr. Harris was a lifesaver for me. I was completely lost in the woods when I first located him on Craigslist. I had a pile of papers and my head was just spinning with words on the computer screen with no clue on how to get started with this thesis . Dr. Harris, with his amazing patience and masterful skill helped me come up with a plan. He coached me through the difficult parts and made me believe that I could write a thesis paper and finish it. He is astute, funny and warm with broad insight into the writing process. He was a joy to work with and I don't think I could have done it with out his help. Not only did I finish it but with his help my graduate advisor said the paper was great and wants to help me publish it. Now that is academic nirvana! I cannot thank him enough for his generous spirit.
-- M.A. Art Education, Ohio State University

Working with Dave has brought a clarity to both my thinking and my work process that wasn't there before. I've been so inspired by his advice as well as his approach to research and, with his coaching, have been able to parlay his insights into renewed motivation and improved productivity. Dave's wisdom, lucidity, optimism, and geniality make him a truly excellent coach, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have learned from him.
-- post-doc, Stanford

I hope you still would like to work with me because your help has been wonderful (not to mention my chair thinks you are doing a great job helping/coaching me through this process)...I have really enjoyed working with you and benefited from your help.
-- Psy.D. candidate, California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant University

Your coaching and assistance resulted in a February 2007 graduation date on my resume instead of an ABD -- All But Dissertation. With family, a family business and a never-ending job search I was not certain that I would ever graduate. "Thank you" is what I say to people who hold a door open for me. Your assistance has held open a door for me that would have otherwise closed.
-- Master of Science, Sloan School of Management, MIT

Having trouble getting started? Want another pair of keen eyes? Are your friends sick of hearing you complain about your dissertation? Well, look no further! I answered yes, yes, yes to the above questions, and was so thankful when I found Dave on the internet by searching on Craigslist. Dave was an invaluable resource during every single part of my dissertation process. I couldn't have done it as well without him! Throughout the process, Dave offered fabulous humor, playfulness,and support combined with strong editing and research skills. He is a remarkable editor as well as a super coach.
-- Psy.D., California Institute for Integral Studies

I have to say, having the opportunity to work with you this year was one of the best things that happened to me. . . Thank you very much for all of your help. I look forward to working with you next year!
-- Ph.D., Rutgers

I am writing regarding editorial services that were provided for my dissertation by Dave Harris. I have nothing but great things to say; it was overall a painless experience once I began working with him....He was very prompt with feedback...His work editing my paper was exceptional and in accordance with APA guidelines....There are many editors that are out there and I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive at first, but he was very professional and above all prompt, which was very unlike any of the experiences my peers had with their editors. Overall, I highly recommend using his services.
-- Psy.D., Argosy University, Orange County

I can not speak more highly of Dave's abilities... He was truly great to work with on a really tight schedule. We were able to finish my entire dissertation in 4.5 months. I was lucky to work with him and highly recommend him to others.
-- Psy.D., The Wright Institute

David Harris was my editor throughout the process of developing, executing and evaluating the data of my dissertation.... His help probably saved me six months of slow hair-pulling grind....I’m very grateful to him for helping me and I strongly recommend him.
-- Psy.D., The Wright Institute

I am very grateful to have your guidance and wisdom. You are a wonderful dissertation coach. I hope many more people may benefit from your experience and effort. Your peaceful persistence is a gift.
-- Ph.D., Johns Hopkins

Working with Dr. Harris while writing my Masters thesis was an honor and a pleasure. He not only possesses the ability to effortlessly and intuitively zero in on writing issues that need addressing, but he is extremely thoughtful and kind in his suggestions as well. Dr. Harris is an amazing human being who truly cares for others with his heart and spirit, as well as his mind. Working with him is an all-around uplifting experience where one walks away with much more than a standard tutoring session. With Dr. Harris, you walk away with dignity, a sense of pride in one’s own work, intelligent direction, and confidence that you can overcome your obstacles. Dr. Harris is quite simply the very BEST deal for your money! Thank you, Dr. Harris, for making my dream of earning my Masters come true!!
-- M.A. English Literature, U.C. Berkeley

Thanks for your help, I could successfully file my thesis today on time. I really appreciate your work... and I really want to meet you for appreciations.
-- JP (a native speaker of Korean), Ph.D. Civil Engineering, U.C. Berkeley

I'd be honored to give you an excellent reference. Again, thank you for all your help. It was (and always will be) appreciated.
-- Ph.D. Psychology, The Wright Institute

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