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Writing a Successful Thesis or Dissertation - Book Cover

Writing a Successful Thesis or Dissertation

Tips and Strategies for Students in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

This comprehensive manual offers direction for every step of the thesis or dissertation process, from choosing an appropriate topic to adapting the finished work for publication.

Full description

Writing a Successful Thesis or Dissertation - Book Cover
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781412942256
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2007
  • Page Count: 352
  • Publication date: December 21, 2007

Price: $51.95

Price: $51.95
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"Accurate, clearly written, and easy to understand even for the beginning researcher, with equal coverage of both qualitative and quantitative research. This is the only book to combine a textbook approach with a how-to approach."
—Carol Roberts, Professor, University of La Verne
Author, The Dissertation Journey

"This is a very practical book and will be immediately usable for graduate students at any stage in their research. The multitude of examples is wonderful, and the content is very current."
—Mary Betsy Brenner, Professor of Education
University of California, Santa Barbara

The advice and resources you need to complete your thesis or dissertation!

No matter what state or stage your project is in, this how-to manual provides comprehensive guidance to help you tackle your master's thesis or doctoral dissertation.

Covering both quantitative and qualitative research methods, this essential resource offers direction for every step of the process. Drawing on 40 years of experience supervising dissertations, the authors provide examples from 100 completed projects to guide readers through:

  • Choosing a topic and writing research hypotheses
  • Selecting a chair or committee
  • Ensuring a successful proposal and oral defense
  • Adapting the finished product for publication
  • Using the Internet and desktop publishing effectively

With a conversational style suitable for both faculty and students, Writing a Successful Thesis or Dissertation demystifies the writing experience and presents step-by-step directions for successfully completing your project.

Key features

  • Comprehensive guide aimed at faculty and students on the process for completing the master's thesis or doctoral dissertation
  • User-friendly book to help ABD students over the hump
  • Includes both quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Covers how to use technology effectively
  • Offers guidance on each stage of writing
  • Provides overview and tips on the oral defense and presentation of analysis and data
  • Includes tips on adapting the thesis or dissertation for publication


Frederick C. Lunenburg photo

Frederick C. Lunenburg

Fred C. Lunenburg is Jimmy N. Merchant Professor of Education at Sam Houston State University. Previously, he was on the faculty of educational administration at the University of Louisville, Loyola University Chicago, and Southern Utah University, where he also served as Dean of the College of Education. In addition, he has held public school positions as a high school English teacher and reading specialist, high school assistant principal, high school principal, and superintendent of schools. Dr. Lunenburg’s scholarship includes 45 books, 15 book chapters, and over 200 articles published in both practitioner and academic/research journals.

Beverly J. Irby photo

Beverly J. Irby

Beverly J. Irby, Ed.D. is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling at Sam Houston State University. She has also served as Director of Field Experiences, Supervisor of Mentor Services, Liaison for Sam Houston State University’s Urban Professional Development Site, and as a Title VII Grants Coordinator at an urban elementary school. She has published widely, authored or co-authored numerous grants, and consulted frequently with school districts.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


About the Authors

Part I. Getting Started

1. Selecting a Suitable Topic

Sources of Topics

Criteria for Topic Selection


2. Selecting a Chair and Committee

Criteria to Consider in Selecting a Chair

Composition and Role of the Committee

Research Prospective Committee Members

The Desirable Student


Part II. What You Need to Know

3. Quantitative Research Designs

Descriptive Research

Correlational Research

Causal-Comparative Research

Quasi-Experimental Research

Experimental Research

Theory Development


4. Basic Statistics

Descriptive Statistics

Inferential Statistics


5. Qualitative Research Designs

Phenomenological Research

Case Study Research

Ethnographic Research

Grounded Theory Research

Mixed Method Research


Part III. The Dissertation Chapters

6. Writing the Introduction Chapter

Background of the Study

Statement of the Problem

Purpose of the Study

Significance of the Study

Definition of Terms

Theoretical Framework


Research Questions (or Hypotheses)




Organization of the Study


7. Writing the Literature Review Chapter

Searching the Literature

Writing the Literature Review

Synthesizing the Literature


8. Writing the Methodology Chapter


Selection of Participants


Data Collection

Data Analysis



9. Writing the Results Chapter


Descriptive Statistics

Testing the Research Questions (Hypotheses)

Additional Analyses



10. Writing the Discussion Chapter



Implications for Practice

Recommendations for Further Research



Part IV. The Defense and Afterward

11. The Proposal and Final Defense

Prepare a Well-Written Document

Know the Format

Prepare Your Presentation

Practice Your Presentation

Anticipate Questions

Final Oral Defense

Tips on How to Avoid Common Mistakes


12. Publishing Your Dissertation


Job Interview

Academic Journals


Chapters in Books

Popular Press

Internet Publishing

Desktop Publishing

Planning the Writing Process


Appendix A: Initial Letter to Participants

Appendix B: First Follow-up Letter to Participants

Appendix C: Second Follow-up Letter to Participants

Appendix D: Dissertation Proposal Outline (Correlational)

Appendix E: Dissertation Proposal Outline (Analysis of Variance)

Appendix F: Dissertation Proposal Outline (Multivariate Analysis of Variance)

Appendix G: Dissertation Proposal Outline (Qualitative)

Appendix H: The Qualitative Research Critique

Appendix I: Agreement: Guidelines for Chairing a Dissertation

Appendix J: Checklist for Dissertation Quality





Price: $51.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.