Preliminary Examination Written Sections
You will construct 15-20 page responses to each of three sections of the preliminary examination. You may ask your advisor questions during the preliminary examination writing process, but the advisor may not to be used as a co-author or editor. You may also converse with field experts and other professionals, but the final product must be your work and reflect your testable knowledge. Finally, it is your responsibility to produce a reader-friendly, carefully edited, and thoroughly proofread final copy of the preliminary examination.
The written preliminary exam is comprised of the following three sections:
The purpose of Section One is to develop a focused, critical review of the research literature relevant to the student’s proposed dissertation topic. There are many models of review papers available to consult, including those found in Review of Educational Research, Review of Research in Education, Educational Research Review, Educational Psychology Review, Psychological Review, etc. Many other top quality journals in a variety of education sub-fields can provide models of a literature review.
The purpose of this section is to write a reasoned, critical analysis and integration of key theoretical constructs that will constitute the conceptual framework for your dissertation research. This section should demonstrate knowledge of theoretical constructs relevant to your inquiry domain and thoughtful assembly of relevant constructs into a reasoned conceptual
system. In other words, this section should constitute an “argument” for the conceptual approach you will take and the conceptual framework that will guide your inquiry.