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The Dissertation Journey
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The Dissertation Journey
A Practical and Comprehensive Guide to Planning, Writing, and Defending Your Dissertation

Third Edition (Revised Edition)

October 2018 | 240 pages | Corwin

"Few books provide such a concise overview of the dissertation process. From understanding your relationship with faculty to collating materials for each chapter, Roberts provides a clear, step-by-step guide on how to plan, write, and defend your doctoral research. Do not procrastinate; read this book and proceed on the road to successful completion of your dissertation!"

—Deborah A. Schreiber, Assistant Professor of Education

TUI University

It's an uphill climb—but the view from the top makes it all worthwhile.

The dissertation is a tough mountain to climb; half of all doctoral students never make it to the top. To overcome the practical, emotional, and psychological obstacles along the way, you'll need the right tools and a knowledgeable guide. This informative and inspirational book readies you for each step of the dissertation process, including choosing a topic, selecting the committee, getting acclimated to academic writing, preparing for your oral defense, and publishing your research.

This third edition of The Dissertation Journey offers new and updated features, including:

  • A revision of all chapters assuring the reader of concise and current information
  • A redistribution of material for clarity and utility for the reader
  • A resources section at the end of each chapter offering beneficial websites with helpful tools for the completion of your dissertation

With graphics, checklists, inspirational quotes, illustrations, sample forms, and useful tips, this valuable resource is your essential guidebook to preparing, writing, and defending your dissertation.


 
Foreword
 
New to This Edition
 
Preface
 
A Note to Doctoral Students
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
Part I: Quests and Questions
 
Do You Have What It Takes?
Why Take This Journey?  
Do You Have What It Takes to Journey to the Peak?  
Avoiding the Hazards of High-Altitude Climbing  
Procrastination  
Emotional Barriers  
Writer’s Block  
Lack of Concentration  
What Are the Inner Essentials?  
Summary  
Resources  
 
What Exactly Is a Dissertation?
What Is a Doctoral Dissertation?  
Typical Dissertation Structure  
Studies Using Quantitative Methodology: Sample Format  
Studies Using Qualitative Methodology: Sample Format  
Alternative Formats  
Components of a Typical Dissertation  
Major Steps in the Dissertation Process  
Roles and Responsibilities  
Summary  
 
What Are the Ethical Considerations in Research?
Institutional Review Boards  
Rights of Human Subjects  
Ethical Issues in Data Collection  
Ethical Issues in Data Analysis and Interpretation  
Ethical Issues in Reporting Research Findings  
Ethics of Writing Up Research  
Other Ethical Considerations  
Recommended Websites  
Recommended Books  
Summary  
 
Part II: Beginning the Climb
 
Choosing a Dissertation Topic
Approaches to Choosing a Topic  
Where to Look for Potential Topics  
Some Criteria for Topic Selection  
Replication Studies  
Replication Studies Dos and Don’ts  
Summary  
 
Creating Your Dissertation Team
Peak Principle: Always Climb Fully Equipped  
Selecting a Dissertation Advisor  
How to Approach a Potential Advisor  
Selecting the Committee  
The Care and Nurture of Advisors and Committee Members  
Choosing Outfitters and Bearers (Other Specialized Consultants)  
Where to Locate Specialists  
Dissertation Support Groups  
Critical Decisions  
Other Considerations  
Summary  
Resources  
 
Organizing Yourself
Organize Your Workspace  
Organize Your Time  
Working Smart  
Maintain Balance  
Strategies for Getting a Life While Dissertating  
Summary  
Resources  
 
Mastering the Academic Style
Qualities of Scholarly Writing  
Common Writing Problems  
Guidelines for Successful Academic Writing  
Clarity  
Other Distinguishing Characteristics of the Academic Style  
Verbs That Introduce  
Summary  
Resources  
 
Part III: Climbing to Base Camp
 
Reviewing the Literature
Purpose and Scope  
Preparation  
Steps in Conducting a Literature Review  
Techniques for Writing the Literature Review  
Advice on Writing a Literature Review  
Helpful Technologies for Searching the Literature and Collaboration  
Tips to Keep You Sane and Productive  
Literature Review Checklist  
Summary  
Resources  
 
Writing the Introduction
Introduction  
Problem Statement  
Theoretical or Conceptual Framework  
Purpose Statement  
Statement About Method Type and Research Questions/Hypotheses  
Significance and Relevance  
Delimitations  
Assumptions  
Definition of Terms  
Organization of the Study  
Summary  
 
Selecting and Describing the Methodology
The Methodology of Research  
Describing the Methodology  
Data Collection Procedures  
Data Analysis  
Limitations  
Methodology Chapter Elements – A Checklist  
Summary  
Resources  
 
Part IV: Final Preparations for the Peak
 
The Proposal Meeting
Preparing for the Proposal Meeting  
During the Proposal Meeting  
After the Proposal Meeting  
Summary  
Resources  
 
Analyzing and Presenting the Findings
Understanding the Data  
Writing the Introductory Paragraph  
Tables and the Narrative Description  
Presenting the Findings  
Summary  
Resources  
 
Conclusions and Recommendations
Reflect on Findings  
Chapter Organization  
Questions to Ask About Summarizing and Discussing the Findings  
Summary  
Resources  
 
Part V. Final Ascent and View From the Top and Beyond
 
The Final Defense:
 
Remote or Virtual Participation Options
 
A Defense Scenario
Helpful Hints: Prior to the Final Defense  
During the Final Defense  
After the Final Defense  
Commencement  
Summary  
Resources  
 
The Next Peak
The Descent  
Mount Analogue  
Helping Others  
Mentoring  
Disseminating Your Study’s Findings  
Summary  
 
Parting Thoughts
 
Appendix: Dissertation Content Checklist
 
References

"The Dissertation Journey has been a valuable read for graduate and doctoral students for more than a decade, providing an accessible and practical guidebook for the journey of research. Dr. Roberts and Dr. Hyatt bring years of doctoral teaching and dissertation advising experience to this essential book. My students’ comments and my own experiences with referring to the book for my dissertation seminars reinforce the value of this highly recommended text."

Stuart Allen, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Organizational Leadership, Robert Morris University
Robert Morris University

"This book offers an excellent practical guide for doctoral students working on their dissertations. Dr. Roberts and Dr. Hyatt’s work ensures the student will have a rigorous,yet rewarding dissertation experience. The book contains sound academic research advice in an easy to understand and follow format. The book is thorough and its benefits extend beyond the dissertation to any subsequent scholarship that the reader undertakes."

Dr. Farzin Madjidi, Associate Dean, Education Division and Professor of Leadership, Pepperdine University
Pepperdine University
Key features
  • Features checklists, organizing graphics, in-depth list of resources for further inquiry, quotations, illustrations, and other user-friendly elements.
  • Full of easily accessible, practical advice that is administered in small bites.
  • Conversational, warm, and personal writing style unique to this genre.
  • Updates of previous topics,  as well as, new information integral to successfully navigating the dissertation process.
  • A new section titled Resources is incorporated at the end of the chapters and includes websites that are useful throughout the course of completing the dissertation.   

This edition includes updates of previous topics,  as well as new information integral to successfully navigating the dissertation process:

  • Every chapter in this edition has been reviewed and revised to offer the reader current information. 
  • The revisions provided an opportunity to redistribute the material and amalgamate some chapters for greater clarity and utility
  • A new section titled Resources is incorporated at the end of the chapters, which includes websites that are useful throughout the course of completing the dissertation.

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ISBN: 9781506373317
$36.95