Theses and Dissertations: A Guide to Planning, Research, and Writing

By R. Murray Thomas; Dale L. Brubaker | Go to book overview

Preface

This book is designed for graduate students who are preparing master's degree theses or doctoral dissertations. As the table of contents indicates, the book is organized according to stages of the research-and-writing process. Although those stages are applicable in all academic disciplines, the book's examples of topics and data-gathering methods are more directly associated with the social and behavioral sciences than they are with the physical sciences and the arts. Thus, students in the social and behavioral sciences--and in such allied fields as education, social work, and business--are likely the ones for whom this volume will be most useful. The writing style throughout is intentionally conversational, as if we were talking directly with students.

We expect that readers may wonder from what sorts of experiences the authors of this book have derived the suggestions they offer about how to create respectable theses and dissertations. Here is the answer:

R. Murray Thomas, during a 40-year career of directing graduate students' work, served as an advisor and committee member for scores of theses and dissertations in three universities in the United States ( San Francisco State, the State University of New York at Brockport, and the University of California at Santa Barbara) as well as at Pajajaran University in Bandung, Indonesia. He also has been an external examiner of doctoral dissertations for five universities in Australia, four in India, two in Malaysia, one in Hong Kong, and one in Fiji.

Dale L. Brubaker, in a 34-year career of guiding graduate students, has functioned as an advisor and committee member for over 50 theses and dissertations at the University of California ( Santa Barbara), the University of Wisconsin ( Milwaukee), and the University of North Carolina ( Greensboro). At present he is directing dissertation projects of more than a dozen doctoral candidates.

-xi-

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