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Restarting Stalled Research

Restarting Stalled Research

May 2015 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Written for researchers and graduate students writing dissertations, this unique book offers detailed advice and perspective on many issues that can stall a research project and reveals what can be done to successfully resume it. Using a direct yet conversational style, author Paul C. Rosenblatt draws on his decades of experience to cover many diverse topics. The text guides readers through challenges such as clarifying the end goal of a project; resolving common and not-so-common writing problems; dealing with rejection and revision decisions; handling difficulties involving dissertation advisers and committee members; coping with issues of researcher motivation or self-esteem; and much more.

About the Author
Chapter 1. Problems in Deciding What the Research Is About
When the Problem Is Conceptual  
If You Do Not Know What You Are Doing in Your Research  
When the Problem Is with the Model of How to Do Research  
When the Project Seems Outdated  
Chapter 2. Restarting Your Writing
Writer’s Block  
Dealing with Editorial Rejection or a Revise-and-Resubmit Editorial Decision  
Dealing with Unreasonable Demands for Dissertation Revision  
General Guidelines and Resources for Moving Writing Forward  
Chapter 3. Social Relationship Issues Connected to Research Being Stalled
Problems with Research Collaborators  
Dealing with a Research Assistant’s Dishonesty, Poor Functioning, or Incompetence  
Problems with Advisers or Committee Members  
If You Have Lost Your Adviser  
Who Owns the Data?  
Dealing with Powerful, Possibly Dangerous Gatekeepers  
Problems with People You Want to Study  
Stalled Because You Do Not Have a Research Peer Group  
Chapter 4. Self of Researcher
If You Do Not Know What to Do Next on Your Research  
If You Have Lost Your Motivation  
If You Do Not Feel Good Enough about Yourself to Do the Work  
Getting Out of the Mental Rut You Are in About Being Stalled  
Chapter 5. Stalled Because of a Shortage of Resources
If You Have No Research Funds  
Research Assistant Troubles  
If Your Records Are Not Good Enough  
When the Problem Seems to Be with Quality or Amount of Data  
Issues with Data Resources: Stalled When Working with Someone Else’s Data  
Stalled Because of the Time, Focus, and Energy Demands of the Rest of Your Life  
Chapter 6. When to Quit
Consider Consulting with Someone First  
Liquidating a Project  
Maybe Research Is Not for You  
Appendix. Advice for Research Consultants, Mentors, and Dissertation Advisers Helping Others With Stalled Projects

“This book addresses common writing issues in a clear and matter-of-fact, but thoughtful and thorough manner. The author addresses issues often outside the control of the researcher—funding, ownership of data, collaborative relationships, student-chair and mentor relationships, and concerns about reputation after abandoning a research project. All need addressing and I applaud the author for doing so in a forthright manner.”

Roma B. Angel, Appalachian State University

“I believe this text could be a helpful tool to assist dissertation students who become bogged in the research mire.” 

William Figg, Dakota State University

Readers will find themselves in these pages, and find themselves attended to without judgment, without impatience, and without ridicule.”

Karin Lindstrom Bremer, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Key features


  • Diverse illustrations from the literature and from the author's extensive experience in consulting, advising, and mentoring to researchers give readers a clear idea of how to make sense of their own research issues.
  • Perspectives, suggestions, and possibilities (rather than simplistic solutions or formulas) are offered to help researchers deal with the complexities of their own situation so that they are able to solve the matter themselves.
  • The author normalizes stalled research throughout the text to affirm that stalled research is a normal part of the research process and not an individual problem.

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1

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