Welcome to the IMM Virtual Writing Assistant!
Write the best thesis or dissertation possible by consulting the IMM Virtual Writing Assistant.
This page offers answers to questions frequently asked by our students and tips on writing better papers.
Scroll down and read the tip of your choice. Remember to check back often, too, as we periodically add new tips to this list. If the answer to your question isn’t here, check the Master’s Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation Handbooks, or email the thesis/dissertation advisor at UOS@Metaphysics.com.
For even more tips, visit our Online Center.
Top 4 Tips for Passing Your Thesis/Dissertation:
- What: The statement is the cornerstone of your thesis. Your paper must pivot on it.
- Purpose: It tells readers specifically what you intend to “prove” about your topic through your writing and research. Everything you write should be toward that end goal. If it’s not, omit it.
- Construction: It usually begins with, “This thesis (or dissertation) will prove, claim, or show that…” followed by a few narrowly focused sentences about your theory on your topic and why it is significant to metaphysics and/or the benefit to mankind.
- Where: The statement of purpose must appear in the introduction as approved by your advisor. To have your statement of purpose approved, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As per the thesis and dissertation handbooks, in order for your thesis or dissertation to pass review, it is a requirement that your approved statement of purpose appear in your Introduction exactly as it was approved by the Thesis or Dissertation Committee.
If during the writing process you wish to change your statement of purpose, you may do so; however, you must have your revised statement of purposed approved, and the revised statement must appear in the Introduction of your thesis or dissertation as approved.
For your thesis, you must choose a topic from Dr. Masters’ Bachelor’s or Master’s Courses that is different from what you plan to do for your dissertation. The dissertation cannot be an extension of the thesis.
Your thesis and dissertation topics can be “related” but they need to be diverse, or independent, from each other. For example, you cannot write about different aspects of dreams, even if they are targeting different metaphysical properties of dreams because both papers would cover too much of the same ground. However, you could, for example, write about healing from the prospective of using energy work to heal, and then write about healing by using affirmations and meditation to heal, because they would be related, but divergent; i.e. completely different topics even though they are both healing.
It is a very slippery slope to have your papers’ topics too close in nature. We have returned papers to students because their topics were too similar and they actually plagiarized some of their previous papers. Or, they quoted the same quotes for both papers, which is not permitted because it doesn’t show new research. Or, they quoted from mostly the same books so they wouldn’t have to read different ones. Or, their papers were just too similar in nature to their previous ones even though they assured us they would be different.
We just want to caution you to make your thesis and dissertation topics as different as you can to avoid having to rewrite your paper. Even students with the best intentions can accidentally slip, so why chance it. Besides, you learn a lot more that way, which brings you even closer to mastering metaphysics!
For this reason, students are cautioned to follow the instructions in Thesis or Dissertation handbook first and foremost, rather than relying on what is posted online. The papers online serve best as content examples and to generate ideas.
Students writing their theses or dissertations will be happy to learn there are websites that offer free and/or discounted books in e-book formats and/or downloadable PDF files you can save on your computer or borrow. Some are out-of-print books that are difficult to find. Here is the revised list:
Boston Public Library: https://archive.org/details/bostonpubliclibrary
Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/search/?query=spiritual
Truth Unity: https://www.truthunity.net/pubs/books
New Thought Archives: http://lessonsintruth.info/library/
Open Library: https://openlibrary.org/
Sacred Text Archives: http://www.sacred-texts.com/
Metaphysic Spirit: http://metaphysicspirit.com/
Note: Since some of these sites offer books for purchase, be careful to only download free versions if you do not wish to incur an expense. Other websites require you to register so you can borrow e-books or PDFs. While the Boston Public Library offers free PDF versions of some of their books, others on their website may require you to be a library member.
If you know of any additional reputable places to obtain free books, please help us add to this list by emailing the information to UOS@Metaphysics.com, and we will share it with students.
One of the criteria of your paper’s review by the Thesis and Dissertation Committees is whether you sufficiently supported your theory; i.e., statement of purpose. If those books by the same author aren’t saying something different with each publication, then you are trying to prove a point with one voice. To sufficiently support your theory, you need the opinions of many experts to agree with your statement. Besides, you will learn much more by featuring a variety of authors, and isn’t that what it’s all about? Don’t miss this opportunity to grow!
Also, the student’s work must be treated like any other author’s work, meaning if quoted, it must be within quotation marks with in-text citations. If paraphrased, it must also contain in-text citations. As with other authors’ works, students should not use too many overly long quotes, so this means students may end up paraphrasing their own material if they want to use already-published works they, themselves, have written.
Think about it … you are setting your intention to immerse yourself in a metaphysical subject that will surely enlighten you. By this act, you will be Divinely guided to each source you require. Then, as you quietly read and absorb information, your mind opens to receiving what is meant for your greater good, just as it is in meditation. Later, as you write your paper, you are “listening” to Higher Self as it interprets, applies, and pieces together what you learned into something meaningful for yourself and those who read your paper.
Based on what students share with me, as well as my own personal experience, this intimate act of receiving and re-communicating a Metaphysical Truth on behalf of Divine Mind is another way to connect with Source/Universal Presence Within. How could it not change your life?
The Introduction and Discussion are the best places for your personal information. However, make sure the Discussion is based more on what you studied, with a few of your personal experiences distributed amongst your text.
The Review of Literature is NOT the place for personal information, as that chapter is more of a synopsis of the other experts’ opinions as they pertain to your topic.
Your sources help you prove your point; therefore, most of them should be contributing something important to your paper. This means you will review most of your sources in the Review of Literature. However, if you are quoting or paraphrasing a source that is only contributing a fact here or there, or a single statement that simply adds emphasis to your paper, then you don’t need to review that source.
For example, if you are writing about Transcendental Meditation, and you are quoting a source that says, “Fifty percent of people interviewed in the U.S. say they practice TM,” and not much more than that, you would not have to review that source. Or, if you are looking up the definition of TM on Wikipedia, for example, then you would not have to review the whole article on Wikipedia. However, you must always list any source you quote or paraphrase in the Works Cited no matter how little of their text you use.
Long story short, the amount of text you paraphrase or quote from a source and the significance of the information you glean from that source is a good barometer for knowing whether you should review the source or not.
For tips on telling the difference between the Review of Literature and the Discussion, email email@example.com.
The purpose of the Review of Literature is to give us a synopsis for each source you studied, as it pertains to your subject. You will need to write one to four paragraphs in order to tell readers each expert’s opinion/research on your topic. This is where you showcase what your authors have to say about your topic with minimal commentary, which lays the groundwork for your Discussion––a bit like dropping clues in a mystery book. This is not the place, however, for your personal experiences.
The Discussion is where you put together the authors’ ideas and testimonies in support of your statement of purpose. Here, you expand on and support your theories––mostly in your own words––telling readers how what your sources have written, said, or researched applies toward your theory, opinion, or deduction. The Discussion is where you analyze the material from the Review of Literature and show how your research supports your argument. You may include a minimal amount of personal experiences here.
What this means is you are telling readers what your sources have to say about a point you are making, and then you may corroborate it with your own experiences; or visa-versa, telling readers your own experiences, and then comparing it to what your sources said in the Review of literature. When using your own personal experiences and beliefs in the Discussion, it should be a melding of both your experiences and opinions with that of the sources who are backing you up point-by-point.
To access helpful thesis/dissertation writing tips, log into the Online Center, scroll down until you see the Thesis/Dissertation Tip Page image, and click on it to open the tip center!
1. Your subject requires the use of your own designed questionnaire or other tool from a number of participants (not including yourself);
2. Your subject includes your own review of a project that you used as a counselor or a project you are designing for this thesis; or,
3. Your subject includes a demonstration about the specific method(s) you used in the technique you chose to examine as your topic.
The use of a Methods chapter is optional and infrequently used. Only use Methods and Findings chapters (your chapters 3 and 4) if your subject requires the following:
The use of a questionnaire or other analytical tool from a number of participants, possibly with statistical analysis; or
An analysis of a project that you used as a counselor or you prepared specifically for your thesis.
The Methods chapter describes an experiment, treatment, survey, scientific study, questionnaire, or other information-gathering method used by you or another expert in the field to gather data as it pertains to your topic. It is usually a short chapter since it only describes the mechanics of the method you used to gather data.
If you are not writing that kind of thesis (like the majority of our students), skip this chapter and the next chapter (Findings) as well. Your chapter 3 instead will be titled Discussion. Also, see Appendix A3 to view which of the Table of Contents examples you will need to use.
Only use Findings if you use Methods. This chapter reviews and analyzes the data gathered by your methods or the results of your experiment or treatment. Here you explain what was found through your methodology and discuss why these findings are significant to your topic. Tell how your discovery contributes to the already existing field of knowledge on the subject you chose for your thesis.
You can also use the information to argue the question(s) or statement(s) expressed in the statement of purpose.
Note: If you have Methods and Findings, then you will want to discuss what you learned from Methods and Findings as well as what you learned from the Review of Literature in your Discussion chapter.
- Too many unnecessary definitions are included. The only time you would need to include a definition is if it is for something really unusual that you don’t think the Thesis/Dissertation Committee would understand.
- Too much history is included. History is really interesting, but rarely important to proving your thesis statement.
- Too much non-essential information is included. You only need to include that which proves/supports your statement of purpose. Anything else is extraneous information that is actually detracting from your paper.
If you think your paper is getting too long, we suggest you re-read it with these three points in your mind. With every paragraph that you read, ask yourself, “Is this absolutely necessary for proving my point? Can I take this out and still prove my point?” If you come across anything that isn’t absolutely necessary, then edit it out. It is sometimes difficult for authors to cut their own work, but it almost always makes for a much tighter, better paper. It’s like tough love, but it has to be done.
You might also consider having someone else read your paper, someone who won’t go easy on you, and ask that person what he or she thinks is detracting from the paper.
Let us know how this process works for you. It’s helped many of our students already.
As part of the thesis or dissertation review process, we cross-reference your Works Cited to the text in the body of your paper. The only sources that need to appear in the Works Cited are those you either quoted from or paraphrased (with in-text citations). Anything else does not count toward your minimum number of required sources and should, therefore, be left out.
On the flip side, every single source you quote or paraphrase should be listed in the Works Cited section, and credit should be given to all quoted or paraphrased material via in-text citations as instructed in the thesis and dissertation handbooks.
Instead of stringing long quotes together to write your thesis or dissertation, we ask you to paraphrase the material, which means write the information your sources are conveying in your own words, with quotes sprinkled in for emphasis. Why? Because this tells us you fully understand what you read. AND, you will learn the information on a deeper level this way.
To receive a handy Paraphrasing Tips page that includes: an easy way to get paraphrasing right, how to do in-text citations for your paraphrased material, which voice you should use, and what the rules are for paraphrases that span more than one page, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to make your writing journey pleasant and rewarding!
Why?: The reason for this is that we need to know students fully understand the material they are reading and writing about before we can graduate them. By having students tell us what
they’ve read in their own words, we can be sure they have a working knowledge of their topic.
Paraphrasing is the best way for students to thoroughly grasp their subject, because it pushes the brain to learn better, remember longer, and apply the information they read. Through paraphrasing, the knowledge they attain becomes an “experience” that lasts a lifetime.
For paraphrasing tips, contact email@example.com
Indicate the location by using the chapter number in which you found the information you are paraphrasing or quoting. Most likely you will be citing the author in your introductory text for the citation (if not, put the author’s name in the in-text citation, too). Of course, the full citation of the work will be in your Works Cited entries, using eBook instead of print at the end.
Here is an example from Chapter 2 of Deepak Chopra’s book, Overcoming Addictions. Note: Facebook doesn’t let me use italics, so be sure to italicize the book titles!
Deepak Chopra, in his Kindle book Overcoming Addictions, helps us understand how the modern world has produced addictions beyond substances: “Addiction to work, to destructive relationships . . . to television” and, I would add, to the computer (Ch. 2).
Note: If a chapter number is not available, we will accept the title of the chapter instead. Example (Ch. “Nurturing the Spirit”)
For example, if Deepak Chopra is quoting Carl Jung, your TEXT would attribute the quote to Jung, but your in-text CITATION would say (qtd. in Chopra). Make Sense?
Whenever you have a quote contained within a quote, the inside quotation marks should be single quotation marks (‘ ’) while the outside quotation marks at the beginning and end of the quote should be double quotation marks (“ ”). This does mean that at times you may have three quotation marks that look like this (’”) at the end of a sentence or three (‘“) at the beginning.
Example: Everything in the universe exists in the, “Mind of The All in which we ‘live and move and have our being’” (The Kybalion 15-16).
Once in a while, a student asks how to handle quoting from books that are written by an author, but they are actually writing what has been channeled by a spirit entity.
This makes more sense when you actually see it, so here are two good examples of this.
The Works Cited Listing (Abraham is the entity that Ester and Jerry Hicks channel):
Hicks, Ester and Jerry (with Abraham). The Vortex: Where the Law of Attraction Assembles All Cooperative Relationships. Carlsbad, California: Hay House, 2009. Print.
From the Body of the Thesis:
We offer this definition from Ester and Jerry Hicks’ book, The Vortex, which came to them via a group of Beings calling themselves Abraham. “The Law of Attraction is the Universal manager of all Vibration which expands to everything that exists through the Universe. And so, at the same time that the Law of Attraction is responding to the Vibrational content of your physical thoughts, it is also responding to the Vibrational content of your Inner Being” (19-20).
If you didn’t mention the Hicks in the text, the in-text citation would be (Hicks 19-20).
You only have to give us the Entity’s name the first time you mention the channeled book when the whole book is channeled.
However, in a case such as the Seth books by Jane Roberts, in which it is actually Seth, and her partner, Robert E. Butts, are talking in the book because Roberts is in a trance state. Then things can get complicated. Here’s how this would be treated:
The Works Cited Listing:
Roberts, Jane (with Robert F. Butts and Seth). Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul. Novato, CA: New World Library. Reprint edition 1994. Kindle e-book.
From the Body of the Dissertation:
In Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul, Robert Butts recalls Roberts unexpectedly entering a trance state, which at the time they didn’t realize was such. He says they learned she was in a writer’s group, “Who called themselves ‘The Five.’ Long and involved letters were exchanged among the members of The Five by a round-robin technique” (Roberts CH 3).
One night, Seth began to discuss The Five: “Now, in my work as a teacher, I travel into many dimensions of existence, even as a traveling professor might give lectures in various states or countries” (Roberts CH 3).
He went on to say that prior to working with the group, he sets up, “Preliminary psychological structures and learn[s] to know [his] pupils before teaching can even begin” (Seth qtd. in Roberts CH 3).
Now you see how this particular book is more complicated, because the book is written by Roberts, but both Butts and Seth are writing or speaking in it. Therefore, we must always make it clear who is speaking when, and that the source is Roberts, who is listed on the book cover as author––even though Butts’ transcriptions are contained in the book. If this confuses you, please re-read it until you understand.
Also notice that this second book was a Kindle book, so the in-text citation contains the chapter instead of the page number.
Current students and graduates also have the opportunity to enroll and earn a second or third Doctoral degree with affordable scholarship tuition which allows them to acquire further knowledge, expand their training, and provide more opportunities for their career fulfillment.
The requirements for earning an additional Doctoral Degree are:
- Submitting an additional dissertation in alignment with the new degree and different from previously completed dissertations
- IMM affiliation status is current
- Additional Degree tuition paid in full.
Check out our Doctoral Degree Specialities by clicking on the school of choice below:
- UOS Doctoral Degree Specialties: https://universityofmetaphysics.com/doctoral-degrees-uos/
- UOM Doctoral Degree Specialties: https://universityofmetaphysics.com/doctoral-degrees-uom/
Because it’s much easier to do a paper right the first time than it is to revise it later, please don’t rush your paper. Take time to:
- Include your statement of purpose, as approved, in your Introduction.
- Ensure you have the required number of sources and quotes.
- Include in-text citations for paraphrased and quoted text, and format them correctly.
- List all the necessary entries in the Works Cited and alphabetized it by author last name. Include “print” at the end of printed materials, “e-book” after electronic books, and “web” after sources from the Internet.
- Put the required information in the correct chapters.
- Write meaningful text and do the research so your sources are speaking for you instead of writing prose from your own knowledge base.
- Check your paper against the Thesis or Dissertation Handbook and the 8 Great Thesis-Dissertation Proofreading Tips (downloadable in the Student Online Center) before submitting it.
Questions? Contact your thesis or dissertation advisor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The dissertation for the Ph.D. in Conscious Business Ethics is like any other of our regular doctoral degrees in that you write a metaphysically inclined dissertation toward this degree. There are no other course materials for it.
The Conscious Business Ethics degree is all about teaching business owners, managers, and employees (or yourself) the benefits of using metaphysical principles for making business decisions; i.e., making them from the heart or Higher Mind, rather than “what’s in it for them.” When decisions are made in consultation with the Higher Mind, they will naturally be ethical and the best decisions for the whole. Decisions will be compassionate and empathetic, yet strong businesswise because they will be guided by the Higher Mind which leads to abundance on all levels.
When you write your dissertation, you should write it from the standpoint described above. Therefore, many of the books on our recommended reading list will apply to your dissertation. However, you are not required to take your material from this list, and you may choose other books that will help you support your dissertation statement of purpose.
Most students have a favorite author, one whose material they’ve read extensively. For this reason, we want to caution you on an easy-to-make mistake made by some students, who are very familiar with certain metaphysical experts or writers.
Since theses and dissertations are research papers, you must back up everything you write about these well-studied individuals’ theories, work, and lives with cited quotes and paraphrases. Some students accidentally write too much uncited commentary that comes from their own knowledge base, which is really easy to do when you’ve thoroughly read someone and followed their works.
Even though what you know by memory factually comes from a certain writer or expert, you still must connect it to a tangible source, such as a book or report, and cite the location the information can be found.
If you find your Discussion to be too short, which would be anything less than four to six pages for the average paper (but ideally longer), you likely included too much of your own analysis and discussion in the Review of Literature. This is a common mistake students make.
The Review of Literature shouldn’t include too much of your opinion of what you read as much as simply reporting in your own words what the authors are conveying. The Review lays the groundwork of your Discussion. Then in the Discussion, you analyze what they wrote, and put the pieces together, giving us your opinion on how their information proves your statement of purpose. This is what we mean by “meaningful conversation.” The Discussion uses the points made by your sources in the Review to argue your statement of purpose in the Discussion.
If you think this is the case with your paper, we suggest you relocate some of that Review text (discussion and your own opinion) into your Discussion.