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Theses and Dissertations
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Theses and Dissertations
A Guide to Planning, Research, and Writing

Second Edition


August 2007 | 352 pages | Corwin
A thoroughly revised and updated classic. This step-by-step guide takes masters and doctoral students through the five stages of writing a thesis or dissertation: preparing the way, choosing and defining research topics, collecting and organizing information, interpreting the results, presenting the finished product. The authors have successfully led hundreds of graduate students through the masters theses and disseration process. This comprehensive guidebook includes helpful checklists, multiple examples, and practical strategies. It covers both qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research.

 
Preface
 
About the Authors
 
1. The Nature of Theses and Dissertations
 
Stage I. Preparing the Way
 
2. Sources of Guidance
 
3. Searching the Literature
 
Stage II. Choosing and Defining Research Topics
 
4. Sources and Types of Research Problems
 
5. Building and Adapting Theories
 
6. Stating the Problem and Its Rationale
 
Stage III-A. Collecting Information
 
7. Types of Research Methods and Sources of Information
 
8. Data Collection Techniques and Instruments
 
9. Things That Go Wrong
 
Stage III-B. Organizing Information
 
10. Classification Patterns
 
11. Summarizing Information Verbally, Numerically, Graphically
 
Stage IV. Interpreting the Results
 
12. Modes of Interpretation
 
Stage V. Presenting the Finished Product
 
13. Writing the Final Version
 
14. Mounting a Persuasive Defense
 
15. Reaching a Wider Audience
 
Appendix: Outline of a Dissertation Proposal
 
References
 
Index

"Coming generations of graduate students will be in debt to Professors Thomas and Brubaker for providing a long-overdue guide to the rite of passage known as theses and dissertations. This book is realistic, clear, and refreshingly sensitive to what the student needs to know. Why such a comprehensive and helpful book has not been written before is mystifying."

Seymour B. Sarason, Professor of Psychology Emeritus
Yale University

"Too many students complete their thesis or dissertation and say, 'If I had only known X.' Thomas and Brubaker have provided the book that will help all such students. The clear exposition, the recognition of problems, the multiple perspectives, and the advice coming from years of experience make this an essential book for those considering or completing theses and dissertations. The checklists, breadth of coverage, and attention to details provide readers (both students and advisors) with an excellent resource."

John A. Hattie, Professor of Education
University of Auckland, New Zealand

"Moves beyond simplistic discussions of 'procedures to follow' that are commonly found in dissertation or thesis guides to in-depth discussions of stages in the research process that provide strong reference points and examples for students as they embark on the disciplined inquiry of thesis and dissertation research. This book is a valuable text for proposal writing classes, faculty members who direct dissertations and theses, and students throughout the research process."

Betty J. Alford, Chair of Secondary Education and Educational Leadership
Stephen F. Austin State University

"A top pick for any basic college-level collection catering to graduate students, this book is sure to be a popular, often-consulted, and practical reference."

The Bookwatch, October 2007

A very helpful guide to planning, researching and writing. This book will be a most helpful aid in structuring and planning research at thesis and dissertation level.

Accessible and well organised, with guidance on avoiding pitfalls.

Miss Rebecca Tall
Faculty of Edu & Children's Services, Chester University
December 12, 2014

A clear and considered guide to thesis and dissertation writing. I introduced this recently within a reading session, students found it to be informative and useful.

Ms Danielle White
Education , University of Manchester
May 14, 2014

I really liked the layout of this book. The structure takes the reader through the complete process of completing a dissertation. The checklists are very helpful for the reader. The section on research methods was very good.

Mr David Biggins
The Business School, Bournemouth Univ.
April 22, 2014

This book would be an useful addition to any student writing a dissertation as part of the PGCE primary course. Very informative and gives a good guide to those who are not confident when structuring research based dissertation.

Mrs Delyth Roberts
School of Education, Bangor University
September 10, 2013

Great guide for educational research. Covers all the stages and gives advice on how to avoid pitfalls.

Lynette Morris
Internal Quality Assurance, Chiltern Training Group
June 14, 2013

Very accessible book for a broad range of research areas. Excellent examples and case studies.

Professor Damian Mooney
Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin
March 7, 2013
Key features
  • Outlines 5 stages of writing a thesis or dissertation
  • Conversational tone and style helps graduate students approach this intimidating topic
  • Each chapter includes checklists to help readers stay on track and make continual progress toward their goal
  • Includes a sample outline of a dissertation proposal

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