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on July 9, 2011
As both a dissertation student and a dissertation mentor, I utilize this straight-forward, step-by-step text. In all, this book is by far the best book of the many that are out there regarding the writing of the dissertation. This book has many great features. First, it provides a no-nonsense, clearly stated approach to the dissertation writing process. In my own dissertation writing and in the dissertation mentoring process that I undertake with many, many mentees, this book lays out not only the successful processes that finish dissertations, but provides clear information about each section and how to go about each step of the process. Second, Dr. Roberts' second edition is not only updated for the latest and greatest, but also has numerous added features. For example, in the first 84 pages, she offers all the prework that needs to be undertaken to start the research process. In my experience, this is one of the most lacking areas in both writers and the books that talk about the dissertation process. The 150 pages that follow offer a wonderful step-by-step discussion of each STEP of the dissertation process -- which is slightly different than chapter-by-chapter approach. Many people reading this will be caught up in "writing chapter 1" when they should actually be "Reviewing the Literature" as the book suggests. This was the BIG "AH-HAH" that got me propelled at lightning speed to finish my dissertation -- and Dr. Roberts was the one that gave me this realization through her book. READ THIS CHAPTER!!! (Chapter 9). Finally, Dr. Roberts provides the reader the ability to check out each chapter of the dissertation before writing it. Before writing each chapter, I would read the associated chapter in the book and see the clear purpose of this chapter. She does this "what is the purpose of this?" approach to nearly every section of the dissertation. VERY VERY cool. In all, if you want a book that will propel you in completing your dissertation, get this book. It will help you (as long as you read and follow it)! :)
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on August 13, 2011
I wish I had known about this book when I started my PhD program four years ago. Thankfully, however, I found it before I began the actual work of putting together my dissertation proposal. Her suggestion of doing a short 3-5 page prospectus has not only helped me focus my own thoughts but I believe will assist me in communicating my research topic concepts to my prospective committee members. I'll find out very soon as the semester starts next week. In short, though, I would recommend this for every PhD student and moreover would urge professors and PhD program coordinators to recommend it to their students as early in the PhD process as possible. Heck, if it were up to me the PhD programs would provide this as part of their introductory packet for prospective students!
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on August 10, 2012
Roberts' book is most useful for those doctoral candidates who intend to collect data, use samples or instrumentation, and analyze their results. For others, like me, who will not be collecting and analyzing data, the book has some gaps. Although Roberts offers formats and suggestions for both qualitative and quantitive methods, I think her distinction is more in terms of analyzing data, not epistemological. I dispute Roberts' assertion that regardless of discipline, research follows the scientific method (20). Interdisciplinary research such as a cultural studies perspective is not aligned with the scientific method.

Also, I find it troubling that Roberts needs to remind readers (who are commencing to write a dissertation!) to be careful about using internet sources because anyone can put anything on the web (77). Possibly, I'm being unrealistic in expecting doctoral students and candidates to understand the (un)reliability of the Internet.

If thirty dollars and odd change is not a lot of money for you, and if you are working in the hard or soft sciences, then you will find this a very helpful book and I would go as far to say it's a must-read. However, for those of us working in alternative conceptual frameworks and methods, her book is okay - if you can find it in a library, or borrow it from someone else, then read it. But if you are like me, and $30 is a lot of money, you might re-consider buying it.
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on June 22, 2014
Carol Roberts has written a wonderful guide that walks you through every step of the dissertation process. With in-depth detail and a personal voice, this is the book that has prove most helpful to me as I have begun the processes leading me toward my dissertation. It is a great resource.
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on July 27, 2011
LOVING this book!! I'm getting ready to enter a doctorate program, and wanted to learn more about this scary thing called a "dissertation". Dr. Robert's style is easy, straightforward, and relevant. I am enjoying this book and feel more empowered in entering the doctoral journey. This should be in EVERY doctoral candidate's library!!
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on March 17, 2015
After reading this, I told my wife, "I can do this. A dissertation is just a long fill-in-the blank, and I can fill in those blanks." Roberts is engaging and encouraging in pointing the way for prospective dissertation writers. Repetitive at times—just like a well-written dissertation—Roberts walks readers through step-by-step.
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on March 18, 2013
The author engages a user-friendly approach which I found extremely helpful in understanding the dissertation process. She presents informative guidelines and examples to facilitate comprehension of scholarly concepts.
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on May 15, 2013
I teach in a program that offers classes to help students through the dissertation process. Therefore, I use several texts to support the journey, but this is definitely a staple in my course and our program.
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on February 18, 2015
Excellent book if you are already engaged in dissertation writing or considering taking on a doctoral program. If the later, this book provides valuable insight into the process and can help you make an informed decision.
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on November 8, 2013
I found this book coincidentally on amazon while doing review literature
I wish I had gotten at beginning of doctoral studies over 2 years ago!
Glad my faith helped me find read and now integrate into my project
It details items professors assume the student knows..It gives examples,
It gives inspirational quotes
Thank you
I am cryin with tears of joy!
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