There is a typical timeline for defending one's dissertation. During the 2 years of coursework prior to taking comprehensive examinations, the doctoral candidate is thinking of possible dissertation topics, exploring· them with faculty, and writing course seminar papers related to possible topics. Normally, the student will pass a comprehensive examination in the spring of his or her fourth semester. That summer, he or she will select a topic, re-read related seminar papers, search for key literature and read it, draft a dissertation proposal, and perhaps write an initial chapter of the dissertation as a practice exercise. This is also the time the dissertation student should work with his or her advisor on dissertation grants in support of the proposed research (see Chapter 25). In the fall after the comprehensive examinations, the doctoral student will revise his or her dissertation proposal and submit two or so chapters to his or her advisor (usually the problem chapter and the literature review chapter, and perhaps the methods chapter). The proposal should be defended before the full committee by later that fall.. Data collection commences simultaneously, with a view toward completing it by the end of the following spring.