Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation: A Roadmap From Beginning to End

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Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation fills an important gap in qualitative research literature by specifically addressing the fast-growing practice of qualitative master's studies and doctoral dissertations in colleges and universities throughout the world. Many students struggle with turning qualitative research projects into a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation because the research itself is inherently messy. To address this challenge, authors Linda Dale Bloomberg and Marie Volpe have distilled decades of experience into a first-of-its-kind, highly practical reference for graduate students.
  • Offers “roadmaps” in the form of tables, figures, and matrices. These are intended as “working tools” to clarify thinking, and to organize and present data.
  • Presents an integrative summary discussion at the end of each chapter that highlights key concepts and issues raised in the chapter
  • Provides comprehensive checklists at the end of each chapter to review what has been accomplished before proceeding to the subsequent chapter.
  • Includes an annotated bibliography in each chapter for easy referral to additional relevant sources.
Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation is a must-have resource for any student contemplating a qualitative research project, thesis, or dissertation, and equally valuable to researchers undertaking and writing up their qualitative research.

Praise for Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation

“Bloomberg and Volpe wisely, caringly, and thoughtfully share their hard-earned experience and the experiences of many doctoral students’ journeys from diverse universities, which are profound. Their wisdom is offered in an easy-to-understand fashion and provides practical advice for doctoral students as they move forward in each and every step of their dissertation journeys. They speak eloquently to broad and intricate principles and nuances of qualitative research and to how to work with qualitative data. This is extremely valuable book and I suggest that you use it in your courses as you work to support your students—and your teaching. I will use it in mine. It is a gift!"
—Ellie Drago-Severson, Teachers College, Columbia University

“Working in the post-course limbo that is the dissertation stage is the hardest part of the life of a graduate student. Drawing on the experiences of doctoral students across the United States, Linda Dale Bloomberg and Marie Volpe aim to provide a practical and accessible guide to dealing with the obstacles and pitfalls that confront researchers as they struggle with writing a qualitative dissertation.”
—Stephen D. Brookfield, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis-St Paul

“Bloomberg and Volpe have written a refreshingly pragmatic, must-read text that is geared toward getting doctoral students back on the fast track to completing their qualitative dissertations. They expertly unveil the shroud of mysticism that surrounds the process of writing a qualitative dissertation by writing in a succinct, straightforward manner, providing concrete examples, and offering ample practical advice and hope. The ideas presented are extraordinarily clear and simple, yet comprehensive in breadth and profound in depth — precisely what's needed to complete a qualitative dissertation.”
—Julia Sloane, Founder of Sloan International Consulting

“The dissertation study can seem, to many people, like the longest, loneliest, and most difficult open book exam that they will ever take. Bloomberg and Volpe give not just a clear roadmap, but a personal account of the journey — both of the research task and of the interpersonal and political processes that must be navigated to complete it. What I like best is that they do not stop with the dissertation document, but help the student think beyond the study to the publications and potential research streams that it may launch. This then is really a mentoring guide for new scholars, not just a great resource for students writing a dissertation.”
—Karen E. Watkins, University of Georgia

“Bloomberg and Volpe’s Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation: A Roadmap From Beginning to End, is a must read for students committed to the wonderful and rewarding journey that transforms an idea requiring passionate research, into a dissertation that merits scholarly and confident completion. This work is an essential resource, and in it are meaningful lessons for all students serious about qualitative research.”
—John M. Carfora, Amherst College

“This book does so much to de-mystify both the process of conducting qualitative research as well as writing a dissertation. Not only do I wish the book had been available when I was a student, but I wish all of my advisees had been able to have such a rich resource. This book will definitely be required reading and reference for my future students!”
—Barbara A. Macaulay, University of Massachusetts

“Completing a qualitative research project can be a messy task for both experienced and inexperienced researchers, and for those who are working on their first qualitative project for their dissertation, the ambiguity can be a stopper. The authors “walk beside” their readers on this challenging learning journey, providing both concrete tools for bringing clarity to some of the conceptual challenges and practical suggestions for crafting a quality dissertation. I see this book as an invaluable aid for my students.”
—Ann K. Brooks, University of Texas, Austin

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412956505
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 1/8/2008
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 7.02 (w) x 10.15 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Dale Bloomberg is former adjunct faculty in adult learning and leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. As senior researcher for the South African Human Sciences Research Council and National Institute for Personnel Research, Dr. Bloomberg’s work focused on change management, diversity initiatives, and enhanced workplace learning. She currently teaches qualitative research in graduate programs, serves as dissertation advisor, and also serves as consultant to various research, higher education, and nonprofit advisory boards. She is founder of Bloomberg Associates and ILIAD (Institute for Learning Innovations and Adult Development), and a cofounder of Columbia University’s Global Learning and Leadership Institute. She has authored and edited numerous publications in the fields of organizational evaluation, qualitative research, leadership development, adult learning, and distance education, including 100 Questions (and Answers) About a Qualitative Dissertation (Sage, 2016). She is currently working on Executive Coaching: Supporting Adult Development and Implications for Learning and Leadership. Dr. Bloomberg holds master’s degrees in counseling psychology, organizational psychology, and Jewish education. In 2006 she received her doctorate in adult education and organizational learning from Columbia University.

Marie Volpe is adjunct assistant professor of adult and organizational learning at Teachers College Columbia University, where she teaches dissertation seminars and serves as advisor to doctoral candidates. She received her doctorate in adult education and master’s in organizational psychology from Columbia University and has done postdoctoral work at Harvard University. She conducts workshops for teachers in Mongolia and lectures on qualitative research methods at Suzho University, China. After a career spanning 35 years with Exxon Corporation, where she held the position of manager of education and development, Dr. Volpe embarked on a second career in higher education, where she has practiced for the past 20 years.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
List of Appendices
About the Authors
Part I. Taking Charge of Yourself and Your Work
Part II. Content and Process: A Chapter-By-Chapter Roadmap
1. Introduction To Your Study
2. Developing and Presenting the Literature Review
3. Presenting Methodology and Research Approach
4. Analyzing Data and Reporting Findings
5. Analyzing and Interpreting Findings
6. Drawing Sound Conclusions and Presenting Actionable Recommendations
Part III. Nearing Completion: Some Final Considerations
Author Index
Subject Index
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