Destination Dissertation: A Traveler's Guide to a Done Dissertation

Destination Dissertation: A Traveler's Guide to a Done Dissertation

by Sonja K. Foss

Hardcover(Second Edition)

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Dissertations aren't walls to scale or battles to fight; they are destinations along the path to a professional career. Destination Dissertation is a handbook that helps students successfully develop and complete their dissertations. It uses travel as a metaphor, framing the process as an exciting trip of twenty-nine steps that can be completed in fewer than nine months. Designed for use by students in all disciplines and for both quantitative and qualitative dissertations, the book shows concrete and efficient processes for completing those parts of the dissertation where students tend to get stuck, from conceptualizing a topic to editing the final work. It includes a wealth of real-life examples from throughout the dissertation process, such as creating the proposal and coding data. This time-tested method comes from the authors' successful work at the Denver-based Scholars' Retreat. Essential for all PhD candidates!

About the Author:
Sonja K. Foss is professor of communication at the University of Colorado at Denver

About the Author:
William Waters assistant professor of English, coordinator of composition, director of the writing center, and coordinator of assessment at Northwest Missouri State University

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442246133
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/15/2015
Edition description: Second Edition
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Sonja K. Foss is professor of communication at the University of Colorado at Denver. She created and is co-director of Scholars' Retreat, designed to provide intensive, focused, and supervised writing time for dissertations, theses, and other writing projects. William Waters is associate professor of English at the University of Houston, Downtown and co-director of Scholars' Retreat.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     xi
Preparing to Go: The Dissertation Journey     1
Can a Dissertation Really Be a Trip?     2
Packing Your Bags     3
Enjoyment     3
Doability     3
Competence     4
Agency     6
Support     6
Our Guarantees     7
Your Travel Agents     10
How to Use This Guide     13
The Journey before You: 29 Steps     17
Our Timetable     18
Yeah, But...     22
Dissertation Checklist     23
Planning the Trip: The Conceptual Conversation     25
Selecting and Orienting a Partner     27
Asking and Answering Questions     28
Identifying Key Pieces     31
Developing Your Itinerary: The Preproposal     35
Formulating Your Research Question     36
Criteria for a Good Research Question     37
Multiple Research Questions     43
Selecting Your Data     46
Aligning Your Research Question and Your Data     48
Identifying Your Method of Data Collection     50
Identifying Your Method of Data Analysis     51
Identifying theLiterature to Review     52
Identifying the Significance of Your Study     57
Identifying Your Chapters     59
Writing Your Preproposal     60
Assessing Your Decisions     69
Committing to the Preproposal with Your Advisor     71
Advice from Other Travelers: The Literature Review     75
Coding the Literature     75
Sorting Your Codes     84
Checking Your Codes     86
Creating Your Conceptual Schema     86
Writing It Up     92
Getting There: The Dissertation Proposal     113
Introduction     115
Research Question     120
Definition of Terms     122
Literature Review     125
Research Design     126
Data     126
History or Context     135
Procedures     142
Data Collection     142
Data Analysis     146
Assumptions     151
Significance of the Study     157
Outline of the Study     161
Recap: Sections of a Dissertation Proposal     163
Approval of the Proposal     163
Things to See and Do: Data Collection and Analysis      185
Collecting Your Data     185
Creating Codable Data     186
Identifying Your Unit(s) of Analysis     186
Coding Your Data     187
Sorting Your Codes     191
Checking Your Codes     194
Creating Your Explanatory Schema     196
Writing It Up     212
Making the Most of Your Travels: The Last Chapter Plus     217
Summary     218
Interpretation of Findings     224
Limitations     237
Suggestions for Future Research     243
Finishing Up     249
Useful Phrases: Writing and Editing     265
Fast Writing     266
Turning Off the Screen     268
Making Notes to Self     269
Writing with Headings     270
Skipping Around     272
Keeping the Ideas Flowing     272
Slow Revising     273
Editing     273
Proofreading     275
Computer-Aided Proofreading     276
Hard Copy Proofreading     277
Travelogue: The Dissertation Defense     279
Preparing for Your Defense     280
The Defense Itself      284
Following Your Defense     290
Making the Best Use of Your Guide: Advisor Advising     293
Asking Appropriately     294
Agreeing on a Vision     298
Expectations about Roles     298
Expectations about Advising     299
Replication Model     300
Apprenticeship Model     300
Cocreation Model     301
Expectations about Dissertations     301
Articulating Needs     303
Conceptual Conversation     303
Ground Rules     303
Information about the Dissertation Process     314
Information about Research and Writing     315
Information about the Dissertation Defense     315
Enacting Professionalism     317
Assessing Your Relationship     320
Understanding Your Advisor's Perspective     321
Framing Issues Collaboratively     322
Protecting Your Advisor's Face     323
Planning for Action     324
Applying Productive Chicanery     325
Performing Completion     327
Asking for Help from a Mediator     328
Adding a Coadvisor     328
Switching Advisors     329
Avoiding Delays and Annoyances: Enacting the Scholar Role     331
Incomplete-Scholar Roles     332
Housekeeper     333
Model Employee     334
Undocumented Worker     336
Patient     337
Good Student     339
Proxy Critic     340
Executor     341
Maverick     343
Enacting the Scholar Role: Writing Regularly     343
Writing on a Schedule     345
Focusing on Successes     350
Index     361
About the Authors     367

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