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Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation


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Table of Contents

PART I: TAKING CHARGE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR WORK 1. A Complete Dissertation: The Big Picture Objectives Overview Front Matter Dissertation Chapters Back Matter Evaluating the Quality of Qualitative Research 2. Gearing Up: There is Method in the Madness Objectives Overview Organizing and Managing Your Project Identifying and Developing a Researchable Topic Seeking Suitable Advisors Stakeholder Responsibility and Standards of Good Practice Establishing a Realistic Timeline 3. Choosing a Qualitative Research Approach Objectives Overview The History of Qualitative Research Defining Features of Qualitative Research Knowledge Claims Qualitative Research Traditions or Genres The Current Landscape of Qualitative Research Choosing a Qualitative Approach Annotated Bibliography 4. A First Step: Developing Your Proposal Objectives Overview Proposal Components Guidelines for Academic Writing Integrity Matters Institutional Review Board Approval Annotated Bibliography Part I: Summary and Discussion PART II: CONTENT AND PROCESS: A CHAPTER-BY-CHAPTER ROAD MAP 5. Introduction to Your Study Objectives Overview Section I: Instruction Chapter Summary Discussion Quality Assessment Chapter Checklist Section II: Application Annotated Bibliography 6. Developing and Presenting Your Literature Review Objectives Overview Section I: Instruction Chapter Summary Discussion Quality Assessment Chapter Checklist Section II: Application Annotated Bibliography 7. Presenting Methodology and Research Approach Objectives Overview Section I: Instruction Chapter Summary Discussion Quality Assessment Chapter Checklist Section II: Application Annotated Bibliograhy 8. Analyzing Data and Reporting Findings Objectives Overview Section I: Instruction Chapter Summary Discussions Quality Assessment Chapter Checklist Section II: Application Annotated Bibliography 9. Analyzing and Interpreting Findings Objectives Overview Section I: Instruction Chapter Summary Discussion Quality Assessment Chapter Checklist Section II: Application Annotated Bibliography 10. Drawing Trustworthy Conclusions and Presenting Actionable Recommendations Objectives Overview Section I: Instruction Chapter Summary Discussion Quality Assessment Chapter Checklist Section II: Application Part II: Summary and Discussion PART III: NEARING COMPLETION 11. Some Final Technical Considerations Objectives Overview Revisiting the Importance of Alignment Crafting a Title Writing the Abstract Assembling the Manuscript Proofreading and Editing Quality Assessment Checklist for Your Complete Dissertation: All Together Now! 12. Defense Preparation Objectives Overview Pre-Defense Preparation Post-Defense Preparation Part III: Summary and Discussion Afterword Appendices References

About the Author

Dr. Linda Dale Bloomberg, author of the Strategies and Tips for Successful Online Teaching series, has served for the past seven years as Professor and Associate Director of Faculty Support and Development and full professor of education at Northcentral University, a fully online university. In this capacity she coaches and evaluates online faculty, develops curriculum for graduate research courses, and serves as dissertation Chair and subject matter expert for online doctoral candidates. She also serves in an advisory and leadership capacity for the University's community engagement platform and was a founding member of University's diversity committee. Recently she was invited to serve on the Future Talent Council, Global Advisory Board for Faculty and Staff Development. Linda is the author of numerous publications in the fields of distance education. She is also the author of The Art [and Science] of Teaching Online: Engaging and Empowering Online Learners (forthcoming, Teachers College Press). She has also been researching best practices for online instruction since 2003 when she began her doctoral dissertation, studying the development and facilitation of online learning communities. With the advent of the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020 Linda is even more committed to producing material that can be swiftly shared so it is immediately useful and usable in multiple online educational contexts. Marie Volpe is adjunct faculty in adult learning and leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University, where she teaches dissertation seminars and serves as advisor to doctoral candidates. She conducts workshops for teachers in Mongolia and lectures on qualitative research methods at Suzhou University, China. After a career spanning thirty-five years with Exxon Corporation, where she held the position of manager of education and development, Dr. Volpe embarked on a second career in higher education, in which she has practiced for the past twenty years. She has contributed to publications in the areas of staff development and informal learning in the workplace. She received her master's in organizational psychology and doctorate in adult education from Columbia University.


Students interested and/or committed in engaging in qualitative research would find Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation to be extremely informative and easy to read. The organization and presentation of the content are both visually appealing and the content is presented in a very student friendly manner. The organization of the chapters including the chapter objectives, chapter summaries and checklists are also helpful for faculty in terms on developing syllabi and pacing of course materials. The charts and diagrams are also very helpful and beneficial. Students need resources and tools to help with the thinking, collecting and analysis of rich qualitative data-of which can be found in almost every chapter of this text.

This book does not lecture students but provides helpful tools to the assist in the collection of rich qualitative data. In addition, in many instances the students are actually able to see the tools and suggestions provided in the text in "action." When reading this text, the students are not left with figuring out next steps and how, this book provides a very clear road map.
-- Kriss Y. Kemp-Graham
I applaud the author for taking on the challenge of describing the conceptual/theoretical model. This piece of information alone will meaningfully improve doctoral students' ability to progress forward with writing their dissertations. The conceptual/ theoretical model is one of the most misunderstood aspects of the dissertation, and yet the most important aspect of the dissertation because it anchors the study. But the single most impressive aspect of Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation is that the authors make sense of writing a qualitative dissertation in a way that will likely enhance the active and inactive students' ability to complete their dissertation. -- Antonio C. Cuyler

I have used previous editions of Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation and, while they have been excellent, I find the third edition to be the best resource for students that I've seen. The chapters are practical and applied, using a real life example throughout. There are even sections in each chapter that address frequent errors that students make. The third edition also provides a detailed description of various qualitative genres, making it easier for students to locate their own work within the book. This book will be required reading for each of my doctoral students, long before they start thinking about their dissertations.

-- Kate de Medeiros
In this third edition, I appreciated even more the intention the authors give to demystifying both the process of doctoral research and the rationale for the dissertation as a culminating product. It is heartening to have experienced researchers and teachers provide such clarifying and encouraging support to novices, particularly those whose progress through the complicated journey of becoming a qualitative researcher has become stymied and who are thereby feeling demoralized or despairing of ever completing their research work. The challenges of providing good research advisement stood out for me in reading this revision, so even though Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation is primarily designed for a graduate student audience, I have already recommended the third edition to my faculty colleagues within counselor education who are looking for a way to better transition excellent clinicians into excellent qualitative researchers for the counseling profession.
-- Karen Mackie

This third edition is a valuable guide for doctoral students. Theoretical and often abstract elements of the dissertation process are translated into clear and practical steps that students can take and instructors can share on the road toward successful completion of the dissertation.

-- Amira Proweller

Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation is well written and clear. There is an enjoyable mix of scholarly and informal tone that should engage students well. Figures and tables are useful and are appropriate and well placed or referenced within the manuscript. I especially like the use of related examples and included resources. I also like that the authors enumerate common student errors or mistakes in each chapter.

-- Nathan R. Templeton

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