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A Counselor's Guide to the Dissertation Process: Where to Start and How to Finish



A Counselor's Guide to the Dissertation Process: Where to Start and How to Finish

Brandé Flamez, A. Stephen Lenz, Richard S. Balkin, Robert L. Smith

ISBN: 978-1-119-37562-3 May 2017 218 Pages


This engaging book not only offers step-by-step guidance on planning, writing, and defending a dissertation but also helps create a beginning-to-end process that is meaningful, rewarding, and exciting. Each chapter answers commonly asked questions, contains a checklist for each part of the dissertation, provides a summary of key points, and lists additional resources. Topics addressed include tips for staying motivated, time management, and self-care; selecting a dissertation committee and narrowing down the topic; writing a proposal; preparing the literature review; creating the problem statement, purpose statement, and research questions; understanding research methodology and ethics; collecting and analyzing data; presenting results; and best of all—publishing a dissertation.


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Preface vii

Acknowledgments ix

About the Authors xi

Chapter 1 The Doctoral Dissertation 1

Chapter 2 Staying Well Throughout the Dissertation Process 17

Appendix A: Example of a Student Wellness Plan 27

Chapter 3 Selecting the Dissertation Committee and Narrowing Down the Topic 29

Chapter 4 Writing a Proposal 57

Appendix B: Example Quantitative Proposal 74

Appendix C: Example Qualitative Proposal 83

Chapter 5 The Literature Review 93

Appendix D: Example of a Literature Review Outline 107

Chapter 6 Creating the Problem Statement, Purpose Statement, and Research Questions 111

Chapter 7 Research Methodology and Ethics 123

Appendix E: Subject Informaed Consent 141

Appendix F: Subject Assent 144

Chapter 8 Collecting and Analyzing Data 145

Chapter 9 Presenting and Discussing the Results 157

Chapter 10 Preparing for the Defense 171

Chapter 11 Disseminating the Project to the Professional Community 183

Appendix G: Example Authorship Agreement 201

References 203

Index 209

“This book will help doctoral students in counselor education programs navigate the difficult waters of moving beyond ‘ABD’ to graduation. The authors demystify the dissertation process and illustrate how to avoid common pitfalls, stay on track, and successfully complete a dissertation. Students and their faculty will benefit from this easy-to-follow and fun guide for getting it done!” —Kelly Coker, PhD, Assistant Dean, School of Counseling, Walden University

“This is exactly the kind of resource that every counseling doctoral student needs to be successful.The authors bring their wealth of experience to a book that is sure to inform, encourage, and guide students through their dissertation journeys. A true gem for counseling students and educators!” —Thelma Duffey, PhD, The University of Texas at San Antonio

“This book offers a balanced and highly pragmatic stance toward the entire dissertation process, from conception of the research topic to dissemination of results to effect social change. Most helpful is a reminder that successful completion of the dissertation requires attention to the personal wellness of the doctoral student as a human being.” —David M. Kleist, PhD, Idaho State University