The first edition of this book grew out of the dearth of written information on the subject for either students or faculty. They told us they needed to know much more about doing or directing theses and dissertations than they found in college catalogues, graduate office instructions, or discussions with those who had experienced the process.
We decided to write about the “how to” aspects of thesis and dissertation study and to emphasize the intellectual effort required of both students and professors.
This book is designed to inform and advise about the thesis and dissertation process, how to get through it and get the most out of it. The fact that half of the students who complete course requirements do not go on to complete the dissertation (in some schools as high as 70%) makes our objective more urgent (Monaghan, 1989).
This fifth edition was prompted by suggestions from students, colleagues, and other users of earlier editions. In response to those helpful recommendations and our own observations, we believe that the book is substantially improved in the following ways: