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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book describes the dissertation/theses process from start to finish. The step-by-step guide will help the reader complete a seemingly monumental task. The first edition was published in 1993.
Purpose: According to the authors, their purpose is as follows: "Our major purpose in writing the first version of this book was to help students. We have received many letters, e-mails, and other communications from students (and from the occasional dissertation supervisor!) expressing thanks, so we believed we had accomplished our goal. We also received some constructive criticism and began to realize that some of our material had become out of date. In revising this volume, we have updated each of the chapters in significant ways."
Audience: The intended audience is graduate students in psychology and related fields. Dr. Cone is a fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society. Dr. Foster is a professor at Alliant International University in San Diego and has served as associate editor for Behavioral Assessment and the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.
Features: The book's 14 chapters walk students through the process of beginning and completing a thesis or dissertation. It is easy to read and extremely practical. Beginning with the second chapter, there is a "to do" list at the end of the chapter, with specific steps, based on the chapter contents. Wonderful exhibits help elucidate the material. All of the chapters are great, not a bad one in the bunch. The only appendix, Selected Ethical Standards Relevant to the Conduct of Research in Psychology, part of the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct from 2002, will help students become aware of the ethical responsibilities when writing such a large project and communicating the results to others. Another nice feature is the supplemental resources listing at the end of most of the chapters. This book is like sitting with your advisor and getting answers to all your questions. These authors know how to communicate the material.
Assessment: This is a wonderful resource for any graduate student in psychology or related fields. In fact, it is must-reading in order to do a thesis/dissertation well. If I would encourage a student to buy any particular book, besides their required textbooks, this would be the one. No advisor or chairperson has the time to tell you all this important information and the book is reasonably priced. Because it's been almost 15 years since the first edition, this new edition is justified. The chapters have been updated and new information added.