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Writing the Winning Thesis or Dissertation - Book Cover

Writing the Winning Thesis or Dissertation

A Step-by-Step Guide
This updated edition of the classic step-by-step guide to thesis and dissertation success features new case studies, advice for leveraging the latest technology, and more.

Full description

Writing the Winning Thesis or Dissertation - Book Cover
Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781544317205
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2018
  • Page Count: 344
  • Publication date: June 07, 2018

Price: $45.95

Price: $45.95
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The classic step-by-step guide to thesis and dissertation success, fully updated for 2018.

From selecting your topic to defending your finished work, a masters thesis or doctoral dissertation is a major undertaking. Since 1998, this book has been the go-to resource for scholars seeking guidance and best practices at every phase of the process.

This revised and updated fourth edition is the most comprehensive guide yet to researching, writing, and publishing a successful thesis or dissertation. It includes:

  • Insights on leveraging new technologies to maximize your efficiency.
  • Current case studies demonstrating the book’s teachings in action.
  • Tested principles of effective planning, an engaging writing style, defense preparation, and more.

Written in an easy, digestible style perfect for a thesis or dissertation-writer’s busy schedule, this latest edition of a contemporary classic belongs on every advanced degree candidate’s shelf.

Dr. Joyner and Dr. Rouse have again put together an in-depth, comprehensive, and practical guide that is a valuable resource for graduate students. This edition includes important information related to current and emerging trends in technology and valuable case studies focusing on the most common problems encountered in writing at the master’s and doctoral levels.
James R. Machell, Dean
College of Education and Professional Studies, University of Central Oklahoma

Writing the Winning Dissertation is an essential guidebook for students writing a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. I used the first edition to write an award-winning dissertation and now use the updated edition with the doctoral students I advise. I highly recommend it to both students and advisors.
Susan Colby, Director of Faculty Professional Development, Appalachian State University; Boone, NC
Appalachian State University

Key features

Current Features and Benefits: This book has been developed as a careful and practical step by step guide to writing theses and dissertations. Much of the emphasis here has been placed on 'demystifying' the process so that users can approach this important topic with confidence instead of terror.


Randy L. Joyner photo

Randy L. Joyner

Randy L. Joyner is an adjunct professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC. He is retired from the Department of Educational Leadership in the College of Education of East Carolina University, where he directed or served as committee member for 25 dissertations. Furthermore, he has served as a doctoral committee member at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia; and North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina. He has received several awards for his research: the Delta Pi Epsilon doctoral research award, the Omicron Tau Theta Iota Chapter Research Award, and the Delta Pi Epsilon Alpha Chapter Research Award. The results of his research have been published in numerous national and international journals.

William A. Rouse photo

William A. Rouse

William A. Rouse Jr. is the Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Faculty Affairs in the College of Education, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC as well as an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership in the College of Education, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. He was a public school teacher and a secondary school principal prior to joining the faculty at East Carolina University. He has worked with several school districts’ administrators to refocus their efforts on effective school leadership practices that result in a dynamic teaching and learning environment. He has also worked with a school district to redesign large comprehensive high schools into smaller learning communities resulting in increased student academic performance. In 2004, he coauthored the Outstanding Paper delivered at the Delta Pi Epsilon National Research Conference; his research has been published in national refereed journals.

Allan A. Glatthorn photo

Allan A. Glatthorn

Allan A. Glatthorn (1924–2007) was a major contributor to the third and fourth editions; his research used in the preparation of the first and second editions of Writing the Winning Thesis or Dissertation: A Step-by-Step Guide was the foundation for the third edition. He was the Distinguished Research Professor of Education (Emeritus) in the College of Education of East Carolina University, where he advised doctoral students, chaired dissertations, and taught courses in supervision and curriculum. He was formerly Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to his university assignments, he was a high school teacher and principal. In his work as a professor, he chaired close to 100 dissertations. He is the author of numerous professional books, several of which have been published by Corwin.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Exhibits


About the Authors

Publisher’s Acknowledgments

Part I: The Foundations

Chapter 1. Groundwork for Theses and Dissertations

Dissertation’s Special Nature

Securing the Needed Resources

Thesis and Dissertation Key Differences

Chapter 2. The Thesis or Doctoral Committee

Roles and Responsibilities of the Committee

The Dynamics of the Committee

Preventing Problems With the Committee

Dealing With Committee Problems

Solving Personal Problems With the Dissertation

Chapter 3. The Degree-Granting Institution’s Requirements

Degree Completion Time Lines


Specific University Guidelines or Requirements

Chapter 4. The Institutional Review Board

Knowledge Requirements (Training)

IRB Resources

Certification Time Frame

Case Study I: Selecting Members of the Doctoral Committee

Forming the Committee/Selecting Committee Members

Points to Ponder

Part II: Research Problem Development

Chapter 5. The Research Problem

Make a Personal Assessment of Topics

Reflect and Discuss

Fix on the Research Topic and Research Problem

Chapter 6. The Focused Review of the Literature

Reorganize Your Files

Retrieve All Related Abstracts

Evaluate the Results

Check for Prior Dissertations

Retrieve the Full Texts of the Most Useful Sources

Use Primary Sources

Develop an Annotated Bibliography

Chapter 7. Comprehensive Critique of the Literature

Maintain Good Research Practices Throughout the Search

Develop a Focused Outline of the Search

Establish Parameters for the Search

Conduct a Comprehensive Search

Critique All Sources Retrieved

Chapter 8. Focused Review of Available Methodologies for Data Collection and Analyses

Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives

Research Types

Research Methods

Make Preliminary Choices

Chapter 9. Selected Methodology

The Research Design: Its General Nature

The Research Design: Type-Specific Issues

Develop Your Research Design

Case Study II: Selecting/Developing a Research Topic

Developing a Research Topic

Points to Ponder

Part III: The Prospectus Preparation

Chapter 10. The Work Plan

Develop a Planning Chart

Make the Tentative Entries

Chapter 11. The Prospectus Overview

Peer Collaboration

Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages

Structuring the Collaborative

Formalize the Structure and Request Adviser Approval

Help the Group Remain Productive

Chapter 12. The Doctoral Committee and the Prospectus

Developing the Prospectus and Organizing the Committee

Prospectus Rationale

Prospectus Development

Committee Selection

Committee Dynamics

Developing the Proposal: Writing Chapter 1

Developing the Proposal: Writing Chapter 2

Developing the Proposal: Writing Chapter 3

Developing the Proposal: The References

Developing the Proposal: The Appendices

Chapter 13. The Prospectus Defense

Coordinate Committee Schedules: Date and Time

Prepare for the Proposal Defense

Present the Proposal Defense


Deal With Other Defense Issues

Committee Requirements

Postproposal Steps

Case Study III: Developing the Research Proposal

The Research Proposal

Points to Ponder

Part IV: The Dissertation

Chapter 14. The Communication Process and the Writing of the Dissertation

Communicate Periodically With the Chair

Ensure Access to the Research Site

Avoid Premature Data Collection

Develop a Detailed Planning Calendar

Change the Schedule as Needed

Prevent Problems With the Intervention

Use Computers Mindfully

Ensure a High Rate of Return on Surveys

Maintain Careful and Duplicate Records

Chapter 15. Academic Style

Recommended Style Guide

The Writing Process

The Academic Style

Writing Software

Chapter 16. The Dissertation Organization

How Are Dissertations Organized?

What Principles Govern the Organization of Individual Chapters?

How Can the Organization Be Made Clear to the Reader?

How Is the Dissertation Finally Packaged?

Chapter 17. The Introduction

Introduction to the Chapter

The Background of the Study

The Problem Statement

The Professional Significance of the Study

Overview of Methodology

Limitations and Delimitations

Definition of Terms

Chapter 18. Review of the Literature

Comprehensive Critique of the Literature

Reread All Sources

Develop the Final Outline

Levels of Headings

Write the Introductory Paragraph

First Section of the Review

The Remaining Sections, Including a Summary

Chapter 19. Methodology

Prepare to Write

Use an Objective Writing Style

Determine the Chapter Content

Outline the Chapter and Use Headings Appropriately

Describe the Study’s Context

Identify the Subjects or Participants

Identify the Data Collection Instruments

Explain the Research Design Procedures

Explain the Data Analysis/Analyses Procedure(s)

Write a Summary

Chapter 20. Data Analysis/Analyses

Prepare to Present the Results

Decide on the Contents and Format of the Chapter

Determine the Organization of the Chapter

Develop the Tables and Figures

Write the Introductory Paragraph

Write the First Section

Write the Remaining Sections, Using Appropriate Headings

Revise the Chapter and Submit for Review

Chapter 21. The Results Discussion

Review the Results Reported

Develop an Outline of the Final Chapter

Write the Introductory Paragraph

Restate the Problem and Review the Methodology

Summarize the Results

Discuss the Meaning of the Study

Case Study IV: Writing the Dissertation

The Dissertation

Points to Ponder

Part V: The Dissertation Defense

Chapter 22. Defense Committee Meeting


Secure Needed Resources

Edit the Dissertation

Check on Content and Order

Write the Abstract

Write the Title and Approval Pages

Write the Acknowledgments Page

Write the Table of Contents and Lists of Tables and Figures

Include the Chapters

Finalize the References

Finalize Any Appendices

Submit the Dissertation

Holding the Defense

After Your Presentation

After the Defense

Institutional Review Board Completion Requirements

Chapter 23. The Degree-Granting Institution’s Graduation Requirements

Handbooks: A Source of Information

Graduation Requirements

Chapter 24. The Publication of the Dissertation

Add to the Research Knowledge Base

Present a Scholarly Paper

Publish a Journal Article

Develop a Plan to Publish a Book

Case Study V: Defending the Dissertation

The Dissertation Defense Hearing

Points to Ponder

Part VI: Technology

Chapter 25. Technology and the Dissertation

University Research Librarians


Software Capabilities

Creating Charts

Creating Figures and Tables

Collecting and Analyzing Data

Numbering Pages

Editing the Style

Editing the Content


Software Compatibility


Packaging the Final Dissertation





Price: $45.95
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.