This book guides students through the process of planning, researching, and writing the final version of theses and dissertations. Five major stages of the process are illustrated with multiple examples from the social and behavioral sciences, humanities, and such allied fields as education, social work, and business administration. The first stage, Preparing the Way, describes problems and alternative solutions in working with faculty advisors and in searching the professional literature. Stage 2 explains how to find good research topics and define them clearly for presentation to faculty advisors.
Stage 3 describes problems often encountered in data collection and suggests solutions for those problems. At Stage 4, students learn ways of organizing and interpreting information, including classification schemes, verbal and statistical summaries, and methods of deriving meaning from data. The final stage, Presenting the Finished Product, offers guidelines for thesis and dissertation writing and for publishing the results in such media as books, journal articles, and popular periodicals. Stage 5 also includes a chapter about how students can mount a convincing defense of their work during a faculty committee's final oral examination session.
|Edition description:||Second Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)|
About the Author
R. Murray Thomas is professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Dale L. Brubaker is Professor, Educational Leadership and Cultural Studies, University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Table of ContentsPrefaceAbout the Authors1. The Nature of Theses and DissertationsStage I. Preparing the Way2. Sources of Guidance3. Searching the LiteratureStage II. Choosing and Defining Research Topics4. Sources and Types of Research Problems5. Building and Adapting Theories6. Stating the Problem and Its RationaleStage III-A. Collecting Information7. Types of Research Methods and Sources of Information8. Data Collection Techniques and Instruments9. Things That Go WrongStage III-B. Organizing Information10. Classification Patterns11. Summarizing Information Verbally, Numerically, GraphicallyStage IV. Interpreting the Results12. Modes of InterpretationStage V. Presenting the Finished Product13. Writing the Final Version14. Mounting a Persuasive Defense15. Reaching a Wider AudienceAppendix: Outline of a Dissertation ProposalReferencesIndex
What People are Saying About This
"Too many students complete their thesis or dissertation and say 'If only I had known x.' Thomas and Brubaker have provided the book that will help all such students. The clear exposition, the recognition of problems, multiple perspectives, and advice coming from years of experience make this an essential book for those considering, and completing theses and dissertations. The Checklists, the breadth of coverage, and the attention to details and depth provide readers (both students and supervisors) with an excellent resource. As a supervisor of 180+ students, the book is invaluable both for my students and me. I will use the book to help initiate students into the supervision process, assist when we reach the usual impasses, and provide perspectives for both. Too often the thesis or dissertation is a once-only experience for students and Thomas and Brubaker's book will be the voice of experience for the student."
"Coming generations of graduate students will be in debt to Professors Thomas and Brubaker for providing a long overdue guide to the rite of passage called the Theses and Dissertation. This book is realistic, clear and refreshingly sensitive to what the student too frequently does not but needs to know. Why such a book has not been written before is mystifying."