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Writing the Winning Thesis or Dissertation
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Writing the Winning Thesis or Dissertation
A Step-by-Step Guide

Fourth Edition


June 2018 | 344 pages | Corwin

The classic step-by-step guide to thesis and dissertation success, fully updated for 2018.  

From selecting your topic to defending your finished work, a masters thesis or doctoral dissertation is a major undertaking. Since 1998, this book has been the go-to resource for scholars seeking guidance and best practices at every phase of the process. 

This revised and updated fourth edition is the most comprehensive guide yet to researching, writing, and publishing a successful thesis or dissertation. It includes: 

  • Insights on leveraging new technologies to maximize your efficiency. 
  • Current case studies demonstrating the book’s teachings in action. 
  • Tested principles of effective planning, an engaging writing style, defense preparation, and more.  

Written in an easy, digestible style perfect for a thesis or dissertation-writer’s busy schedule, this latest edition of a contemporary classic belongs on every advanced degree candidate’s shelf. 

Dr. Joyner and Dr. Rouse have again put together an in-depth, comprehensive, and practical guide that is a valuable resource for graduate students. This edition includes important information related to current and emerging trends in technology and valuable case studies focusing on the most common problems encountered in writing at the master’s and doctoral levels. 
James R. Machell, Dean
College of Education and Professional Studies, University of Central Oklahoma 


Writing the Winning Dissertation is an essential guidebook for students writing a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. I used the first edition to write an award-winning dissertation and now use the updated edition with the doctoral students I advise. I highly recommend it to both students and advisors.
Susan Colby, Director of Faculty Professional Development, Appalachian State University; Boone, NC
Appalachian State University 




 
List of Exhibits
 
Preface
 
About the Authors
 
Publisher’s Acknowledgments
 
Part I: The Foundations
 
Chapter 1. Groundwork for Theses and Dissertations
Dissertation’s Special Nature  
Securing the Needed Resources  
Thesis and Dissertation Key Differences  
 
Chapter 2. The Thesis or Doctoral Committee
Roles and Responsibilities of the Committee  
The Dynamics of the Committee  
Preventing Problems With the Committee  
Dealing With Committee Problems  
Solving Personal Problems With the Dissertation  
 
Chapter 3. The Degree-Granting Institution’s Requirements
Degree Completion Time Lines  
Styles  
Specific University Guidelines or Requirements  
 
Chapter 4. The Institutional Review Board
Knowledge Requirements (Training)  
IRB Resources  
Certification Time Frame  
Case Study I: Selecting Members of the Doctoral Committee  
Forming the Committee/Selecting Committee Members  
Points to Ponder  
 
Part II: Research Problem Development
 
Chapter 5. The Research Problem
Make a Personal Assessment of Topics  
Reflect and Discuss  
Fix on the Research Topic and Research Problem  
 
Chapter 6. The Focused Review of the Literature
Reorganize Your Files  
Retrieve All Related Abstracts  
Evaluate the Results  
Check for Prior Dissertations  
Retrieve the Full Texts of the Most Useful Sources  
Use Primary Sources  
Develop an Annotated Bibliography  
 
Chapter 7. Comprehensive Critique of the Literature
Maintain Good Research Practices Throughout the Search  
Develop a Focused Outline of the Search  
Establish Parameters for the Search  
Conduct a Comprehensive Search  
Critique All Sources Retrieved  
 
Chapter 8. Focused Review of Available Methodologies for Data Collection and Analyses
Quantitative and Qualitative Perspectives  
Research Types  
Research Methods  
Make Preliminary Choices  
 
Chapter 9. Selected Methodology
The Research Design: Its General Nature  
The Research Design: Type-Specific Issues  
Develop Your Research Design  
Case Study II: Selecting/Developing a Research Topic  
Developing a Research Topic  
Points to Ponder  
 
Part III: The Prospectus Preparation
 
Chapter 10. The Work Plan
Develop a Planning Chart  
Make the Tentative Entries  
 
Chapter 11. The Prospectus Overview
Peer Collaboration  
Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages  
Structuring the Collaborative  
Formalize the Structure and Request Adviser Approval  
Help the Group Remain Productive  
 
Chapter 12. The Doctoral Committee and the Prospectus
Developing the Prospectus and Organizing the Committee  
Prospectus Rationale  
Prospectus Development  
Committee Selection  
Committee Dynamics  
Developing the Proposal: Writing Chapter 1  
Developing the Proposal: Writing Chapter 2  
Developing the Proposal: Writing Chapter 3  
Developing the Proposal: The References  
Developing the Proposal: The Appendices  
 
Chapter 13. The Prospectus Defense
Coordinate Committee Schedules: Date and Time  
Prepare for the Proposal Defense  
Present the Proposal Defense  
Facilities  
Deal With Other Defense Issues  
Committee Requirements  
Postproposal Steps  
Case Study III: Developing the Research Proposal  
The Research Proposal  
Points to Ponder  
 
Part IV: The Dissertation
 
Chapter 14. The Communication Process and the Writing of the Dissertation
Communicate Periodically With the Chair  
Ensure Access to the Research Site  
Avoid Premature Data Collection  
Develop a Detailed Planning Calendar  
Change the Schedule as Needed  
Prevent Problems With the Intervention  
Use Computers Mindfully  
Ensure a High Rate of Return on Surveys  
Maintain Careful and Duplicate Records  
 
Chapter 15. Academic Style
Recommended Style Guide  
The Writing Process  
The Academic Style  
Writing Software  
 
Chapter 16. The Dissertation Organization
How Are Dissertations Organized?  
What Principles Govern the Organization of Individual Chapters?  
How Can the Organization Be Made Clear to the Reader?  
How Is the Dissertation Finally Packaged?  
 
Chapter 17. The Introduction
Introduction to the Chapter  
The Background of the Study  
The Problem Statement  
The Professional Significance of the Study  
Overview of Methodology  
Limitations and Delimitations  
Definition of Terms  
 
Chapter 18. Review of the Literature
Comprehensive Critique of the Literature  
Reread All Sources  
Develop the Final Outline  
Levels of Headings  
Write the Introductory Paragraph  
First Section of the Review  
The Remaining Sections, Including a Summary  
 
Chapter 19. Methodology
Prepare to Write  
Use an Objective Writing Style  
Determine the Chapter Content  
Outline the Chapter and Use Headings Appropriately  
Describe the Study’s Context  
Identify the Subjects or Participants  
Identify the Data Collection Instruments  
Explain the Research Design Procedures  
Explain the Data Analysis/Analyses Procedure(s)  
Write a Summary  
 
Chapter 20. Data Analysis/Analyses
Prepare to Present the Results  
Decide on the Contents and Format of the Chapter  
Determine the Organization of the Chapter  
Develop the Tables and Figures  
Write the Introductory Paragraph  
Write the First Section  
Write the Remaining Sections, Using Appropriate Headings  
Revise the Chapter and Submit for Review  
 
Chapter 21. The Results Discussion
Review the Results Reported  
Develop an Outline of the Final Chapter  
Write the Introductory Paragraph  
Restate the Problem and Review the Methodology  
Summarize the Results  
Discuss the Meaning of the Study  
Case Study IV: Writing the Dissertation  
The Dissertation  
Points to Ponder  
 
Part V: The Dissertation Defense
 
Chapter 22. Defense Committee Meeting
Planning  
Secure Needed Resources  
Edit the Dissertation  
Check on Content and Order  
Write the Abstract  
Write the Title and Approval Pages  
Write the Acknowledgments Page  
Write the Table of Contents and Lists of Tables and Figures  
Include the Chapters  
Finalize the References  
Finalize Any Appendices  
Submit the Dissertation  
Holding the Defense  
After Your Presentation  
After the Defense  
Institutional Review Board Completion Requirements  
 
Chapter 23. The Degree-Granting Institution’s Graduation Requirements
Handbooks: A Source of Information  
Graduation Requirements  
 
Chapter 24. The Publication of the Dissertation
Add to the Research Knowledge Base  
Present a Scholarly Paper  
Publish a Journal Article  
Develop a Plan to Publish a Book  
Case Study V: Defending the Dissertation  
The Dissertation Defense Hearing  
Points to Ponder  
 
Part VI: Technology
 
Chapter 25. Technology and the Dissertation
University Research Librarians  
Software  
Software Capabilities  
Creating Charts  
Creating Figures and Tables  
Collecting and Analyzing Data  
Numbering Pages  
Editing the Style  
Editing the Content  
Telecommunicating  
Software Compatibility  
Formatting  
Packaging the Final Dissertation  
 
References
 
Index

Dr. Joyner and Dr. Rouse have again put together an in-depth, comprehensive, and practical guide that is a valuable resource for graduate students. In addition to the excellent information provided in earlier editions, this edition also includes important information related to current and emerging trends in technology and valuable case studies focusing on the most common problems encountered in writing at the master’s and doctoral levels. If you are embarking on a thesis or dissertation, use this most valuable of resources to avoid the pitfalls inherent in the process.

James R. Machell, Dean
College of Education and Professional Studies, University of Central Oklahoma

Writing the Winning Dissertation is an essential guidebook for students writing a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. I used the first edition to write an award-winning dissertation and now use the updated edition with the doctoral students I advise. Each chapter of this cogent and comprehensive book addresses crucial elements that lead to success. I highly recommend it to both students and advisors.

Susan Colby, Director of Faculty Professional Development, Appalachian State University; Boone, NC
Appalachian State University

In this book, Joyner, Rouse, and Glatthorn thoroughly introduce and explore writing a thesis or a dissertation – walking the reader through every path and pitfall imaginable.  It is a must-read for anyone starting one of these writing processes and a good read for the faculty working with them.

Sara Olin Zimmerman, Curriculum Specialist Program Director, Reich College of Education; Boone, NC
Reich College of Education

This book offers a thorough and detailed look at how to develop a research project. It is suited to those studying in US universities, as terminology and some of the focal points relate to this.

Dr Louise Campbell
School of Education & Social Work, Dundee University
August 30, 2018
Key features
Current Features and Benefits: This book has been developed as a careful and practical step by step guide to writing theses and dissertations. Much of the emphasis here has been placed on 'demystifying' the process so that users can approach this important topic with confidence instead of terror.

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ISBN: 9781544317205
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