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The Qualitative Dissertation

A Guide for Students and Faculty Second Edition

Maria Piantanida University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Noreen B. Garman University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Foreword by Frances Schoonmaker

© 2009   328 pages   Corwin   
Complimentary Review Copy
Individual Purchasers
Paperback ISBN: 9781412951081 $41.95
Ebook ISBN: 9781452274027

"The authors coach students through processes of conceptualizing the dissertation and treating it as an integral dimension of the journey of living. They enable students to develop the dissertation into a line of inquiry that evolves and enriches a career in academe or practical leadership."
—William H. Schubert, Professor of Education, Director of Graduate Studies
University of Illinois at Chicago

Make reflection an integral part of your dissertation journey!

Most dissertation guides offer a basic recipe for the research and writing process. Like those books, this resource provides all the necessary steps for crafting and conducting a qualitative dissertation, but it also adds one key ingredient: reflection.

This book guides students through the issues and questions that may arise as they conduct qualitative research, taking a reflective, experiential approach to turn student-researchers into instruments of inquiry. The authors show readers how to integrate themselves into the research and writing process by using their own beliefs, experiences, interests, and strengths. Updated with new examples and cases, this comprehensive resource guides readers through the process of:

  • Preparing for the dissertation journey
  • Rethinking the concepts of method and data
  • Working through the proposal process
  • Defending the dissertation
  • Living life after the dissertation

This essential guide helps student-researchers learn both the practical aspects of writing a qualitative dissertation as well as the mental and emotional preparation required for success.

The Qualitative Dissertation

A Guide for Students and Faculty

Second Edition
Maria Piantanida University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Noreen B. Garman University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Foreword by Frances Schoonmaker

© 2009   328 pages   Corwin  

Available Formats

ISBN:   9781412951081 Paperback Suggested Retail Price:   $41.95 Bookstore Price:   $33.56
ISBN:   9781452274027 Electronic Version Suggested Retail Price:   $41.95 Bookstore Price:   $33.56

Previous Editions Published by SAGE

First Edition: © 1999

Substantial Content Revisions

The second edition of The Qualitative Dissertation is a major revision of the book with the addition of new material, substantial reorganization of information, and the incorporation of new features.

The concept of “cycles of deliberation” served as the organizing principle of the first edition. While the recursive nature of interpretive inquiry remains an important message of the book, greater emphasis has been given to the concept of “self as instrument of inquiry” and the centrality of constructing texts in interpretive inquiry. Information has been added to clarify the nature of knowledge claims generated through interpretive studies. Additionally, more emphasis is placed on encouraging doctoral students to relate concepts of qualitative research to their own experience, beliefs, talents, and sensibilities. This has led to several new features in individual chapters as well as some reorganization of the book.

The contents of the book have been organized into four sections. The first three highlight phases of the dissertation journey—facing the journey, preparing for the journey, and living through the journey. Case Examples of interpretive dissertations have been removed from individual chapters and consolidated into a fourth section for easier reference. A key to the Case Examples is also included on the inside of the front cover. Many chapters have been given new titles to clarify the conceptual content being presented. In addition, the content of the book has been divided into shorter chapters to make complex concepts more accessible.

New features within chapters include a preliminary listing of key concepts to be discussed. The reference list has been updated and sidebars have been added in many chapters to help readers locate references of relevance to particular topics. A key feature is the addition of “Reflective Interludes” which prompt readers to think carefully about their own assumptions about, conceptions of, and capacities for interpretive dissertation research. Textboxes highlighting criteria for judging the merits of interpretive dissertations have been added. The Index has been greatly expanded and refined.

Should you need additional information or have questions regarding the HEOA information provided for this title, including what is new to this edition, please email Please include your name, contact information, and the name of the title for which you would like more information. For information on the HEOA, please go to

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