Student's Guide to Writing Dissertations and Theses in Tourism Studies and Related Disciplines

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Around the world every year very many students have to complete dissertations or theses as part of their undergraduate or masters studies in tourism and related subjects. Often this substantial piece of self-directed work is the culmination of their programmes. More than just a means to consolidate their final grades, it is also an exciting chance to research a topic of their choosing and a potential gateway to more advanced study as well as job offers and future career paths.

Yet for all these reasons, many students view the dissertation as a tricky challenge. This comprehensive book intends to take the stress and anxiety out of doing a dissertation in tourism studies and related disciplines. The process is examined from the germination of an idea to the submission and assessment of the final document. Written primarily for students conducting independent research for the first time, this book offers simple advice and a clear framework which students can adopt even in more advanced studies at masters and doctoral level. This book debunks popular myths, and aims to overcome common pitfalls. It focuses on the aims and objectives as the DNA of every dissertation. Rather than view it as a single, overwhelming project, the dissertation is presented as a series of more modest, manageable yet crucially inter-linked tasks that all students can successfully complete through careful preparation and effective time management.

Dissertations are not to be underestimated and they demand great care and attention, but they can also be immensely rewarding and enriching experiences academically and personally. This ‘jargon free’ book is also written with overseas students specifically in mind, drawing directly on our overseas students’ experiences. This valuable resource contains start of chapter learning objectives and end of chapter checklists, as well as numerous boxed case studies, to further help assist students through their dissertation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is a very timely, much needed and unique text in that it demystifies the dissertation in a way that both academics and students will benefit hugely. Authored by three leading academics, who between them have 60 years of dissertation experience to share, the book will excite readers from the very first page in that it is written in a highly engaging, thoughtful, practical and sometimes humorous manner. The book is systematic and comprehensive in coverage, with its logical structure ensuring a seamless journey through process and procedure, idea generation, methods, ethics and presentation. Containing many excellent and highly pertinent examples throughout, the book will be of considerable benefit to all students for whom the dissertation represents that one last hurdle prior to graduating." – Professor Alan Fyall, Rosen College of Hospitality Management, University of Central Florida, USA.

"This erudite book delivers an exceptionally sound and well-structured approach to designing research proposals, collecting and analyzing data, and writing a dissertation/thesis, not only for tourism studies but for all social sciences. It clearly and effectively describes a process that so many academics struggle to explain to their students. It is accessible to all levels of academic study where theses or dissertations are required—undergraduate, masters and PhD—yet it compromises nothing in terms of accuracy, depth and academic rigor. With this book we finally have a manual for success! This is an absolute must-read for every scholar, young and old, who is either currently writing a dissertation or is supervising one." – Professor Dallen J. Timothy, School of Community Resources and Development, Arizona State University, USA.

"The accessible and engaging chapters open with a box of intended learning outcomes and end with chapter summaries and progress checklists. Figures are used selectively to offer simple and effective visual aids…I highly recommend this text…and I am a physical geographer. It should be read by every dissertation student and adviser." – Jennifer Hill, Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Management, University of the West of England. Review published in

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415460187
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/30/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Coles is Professor of Travel and Tourism Management at the University of Exeter Business School, UK, and Director of the ESRC-funded Centre for Sport, Leisure and Tourism Research, an internationally-recognised centre of excellence in post-graduate research training.

David Timothy Duval is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Winnipeg, Canada. He is also Honorary Associate Professor in the School of Business at the University of Otago and a Senior Visiting Fellow in the School of Aviation at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Gareth Shaw is Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Exeter Business School, UK. As Professor of Retail and Tourism Management, over 50 of his students have completed PhDs.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Starting Out Part I: Preparation Chapter 2. Some Basics about Dissertations Chapter 3. Selecting a Topic Chapter 4. What’s Been Done Before? Working on Your Literature Review Chapter 5. Methods and Data: Some Early Considerations Part II: Proposal Chapter 6. Formulating Your Research Proposal Chapter 7. Developing Your Research Programme Chapter 8. Your Personal Safety Chapter 9. Ethical Considerations Part III: Production Chapter 10. Obtaining and Acting on Advice Chapter 11. Directing Your Data Collection Chapter 12. Analysing Your Data Chapter 13. Structuring Your Dissertation Chapter Part IV: Post-production 14. Before You Submit: Some Final Considerations Chapter 15. Just When You Think It’s All Over….

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