Request for consultation
This book provides masters and doctoral students with an in-depth and comprehensive guide to the process of writing a thesis or dissertation. It breaks down this often foreboding and overwhelming goal into achievable steps, presenting models that prepare readers for each stage of the process. Within each step, the authors supply all the tools and detailed instructions necessary for the successful completion of a thesis or dissertation. Along the way, the book offers readers skills and techniques that can help them cope more effectively with the psychological or emotional blocks that often get in the way of accomplishing their goal.
Factors that May Impede Your Success. Summary and Conclusion. Strengths and Barriers Exercise. My Thesis or Dissertation Self-Care Plan.
2. IDENTIFYING YOUR TOPIC AND MAKING IT RESEARCHABLE.
The Affective Side: Focusing on Your Feelings. Factors in Selecting a Research Topic. Finding Research Topics. Developing a Topic into a Researchable Study. Further Refining a Topic by Identifying Initial Research Questions. Grant Support for Graduate Research. Conclusions. Developing a Focus to our Research Topic: An Exercise.
3. OVERVIEW: SETTING THE STAGE FOR THE THESIS OR DISSERTATION.
The Funnel: An Essential Writing Tool. Key Elements of the Overview Chapter. Checklist for Chapter One of the Thesis or Dissertation.
4. SEARCHING AND REVIEWING THE RELEVANT LITERATURE: FINDING WHAT HAS COME BEFORE.
The Search Process: A Highly Specialized and Non-linear Process. Resources to Conduct a Literature Search. Organizing the Results of your Search. Conclusions.
5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESES: THE MOTOR THAT DRIVES THE STUDY.
Specifying Research Questions. Types of Research Questions. Examples of Research Questions within a Programmatic Line of Research. Specifying Research Hypotheses. Writing Research Questions and Hypotheses. Summarizing the Literature to Establish Research Questions and Hypotheses. Research Questions and Analyses. Conclusions.
6. WRITING YOUR LITERATURE REVIEW: INTEGRATION AND CASE BUILDING.
Structural Elements in Writing a Research Review. Describing, Analyzing and Synthesizing the Literature within the Text. Writing Style and Process. Conclusions. Exercise: Synthesizing Information across Studies. Checklist for Chapter Two of the Thesis or Dissertation.
7. QUANTITATIVE METHODS: MAPPING YOUR RESEARCH PLAN.
Where to Begin: The Chapter Roadmap. Participants. Instruments. Procedures. Statistical Analyses. Conclusions. Checklist for Chapter Three of the Thesis or Dissertation.
8. QUALITATIVE METHODS: ON THE ROAD TO EXPLORING THE UNKNOWN (co-authored with Yu-Wei Wang).
Before Telling you the Story: What is Qualitative Research. Definition of qualitative research. Myths and facts about qualitative research. Where does this story start? Paradigms: The ground rules.
9. EXCLUSION IS EASIER, INCLUSION IS BETTER: DIVERSIFYING SAMPLES (co-authored with M. Meghan Davidson).
Advantages of Diversifying Samples. Drawbacks to Diversifying Samples. Advice for Drawing the Circle Bigger. Conclusions.
10. WORKING WITH YOUR ADVISOR AND COMMITTEE.
Working with the advisor. Formation of the committee. Contacting potential committee members. Level of contact with committee members outside of the meeting. Providing copies of the proposal to the committee and scheduling the meeting. Preparing for the proposal meeting. Data Collection and Analysis Scheduling and Presenting the Defense. Conclusions.
11. DEMONSTRATING INTEGRITY AND PROFESSIONALISM IN YOUR RESEARCH.
Attitudes Toward Conducting Research. Reflecting on Each Phase of the Research Process. Conclusions.
12. CONDUCTING QUANTITATIVE ANALYSES AND PRESENTING YOUR RESULTS (co-authored with Dong-gwi Lee and Hyun-joo Park).
Where to Begin: The Chapter Roadmap. Common Preliminary Components of the Results Chapter. Writing the Results chapter. Conclusion. Checklist for Chapter Four of the Thesis or Dissertation. Useful references for other statistical techniques.
13. QUALITATIVE RESULTS: THE MEANING MAKING PROCESS (co-authored with Yu-Wei Wang).
Grounded Theory. Consensual Qualitative Research. Phenomenology/Hermeneutics. Conclusions.
14. THE DISCUSSION: MAKING THE DATA SING.
Affective Reactions. Most Important Elements of a Discussion Chapter. Conclusions. Checklist for Chapter Five of the Thesis or Dissertation.
15. CITATIONS AND REFERENCE LISTS: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS.
Style of Citing References in the Text. Common Problems in Combing References. Common Reference List Errors. Utilizing Bibliographic Computer Programs for Your References. Summary and Conclusions. A Sample Reference List.
16. PUBLISHING THE THESIS OR DISSERTATION.
Affective Reactions. Myths About the Writing Process. Steps on the Road to Professional Publication. Common Problems in Manuscripts Submitted for Publication. Conclusions. References.
"This book is a must resource for anyone writing a thesis or dissertation, for anyone teaching a research methods course, or advising students. The chapters compiled demystify the research process from finding a topic, reviewing the literature, designing the study, writing the methods, to potential obstacles that might impede completion of the project. The inclusion of both qualitative and quantitative research and the role of technology are other examples of the breadth of information covered. The diversity of examples included from actual theses and dissertations provides concrete models that will surely help guide beginning researchers. I will use this text in my research methods courses for years to come!"
"Heppner and Heppner provide comprehensive information about developing research ideas, formulating the methodology for both qualitative and quantitative studies, and overcoming the emotional and psychological obstacles that hinder completion of independent research. The book is innovative in that it addresses the use of technological advances in searching the literature and provides guidelines for collecting data using the Internet. I not only want to highly recommend this book to my students, I want to highlight multiple points throughout the book and encourage them to memorize them. This book will make a difference in the lives of graduate students...and their advisors."