This qualitative study sought to investigate how the constructs of writing as a creative process both informed and supported the process of writing a dissertation as well how writing as a creative process can help determine graduate students' positionality of empowerment. The initial wondering observed a lack of confidence among doctoral candidates when writing a dissertation. The purpose of this study was to investigate which constructs of writing had the ability to contribute to an author's degree of empowerment to write a dissertation. It sought to answer the following research questions: RQ1: How, if at all, can writing as a creative process be used to determine graduate students' positions of empowerment throughout the process of writing a dissertation? RQ2: How, if at all, do creative writing artifacts inform the process of dissertation writing? RQ3: How, if at all, can creative writing strategies be utilized to support the process of writing a dissertation? This study, a Critical Discourse Analysis of doctoral candidates' creative artifacts that participants determined had aided them on their journey towards writing a dissertation relied on Norman Fairclough's (1992) theory of Discourse and Social Change. Additionally, it utilized John Gaventa's (2006) Power Cube as its theoretical framework. Findings yielded that out of the thirty-four artifacts submitted, 98% reflected the artifacts' ability to inform the process of writing a dissertation for RQ2 and 98% reflected creative writing strategies' ability to support the process of writing a dissertation for RQ3. Of these, 89% of the artifacts provided enough information to determine a degree of empowerment but only 60% showed positive increases in degrees of empowerment. The implications of this study suggest that writing instruction be imbedded within the core and supplemental courses already laid out for graduate programs or be implemented as a semesterly, online course which will provide graduate students with an invited to space to develop their degree of empowerment as writers, opportunity to collaborate with peers, and time to foster their writing skills in a manner which allows them to become independent authors.


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Graduation Date





Olan, Elsie


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


Learning Sciences and Educational Research

Degree Program

Curriculum and Instruction


CFE0009771; DP0027879





Release Date

August 2028

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until August 2028; it will then be open access.