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Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation
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Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation
A Road Map From Beginning to End

Fourth Edition


November 2018 | 456 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation offers comprehensive step-by-step guidance and practical tools for navigating the personal and professional challenges that can arise during the qualitative dissertation journey. Authors Linda Dale Bloomberg and Maria Volpe skillfully blend the conceptual, theoretical, and practical, empowering readers to successfully master both the content and the process of their qualitative dissertations.  

The Fourth Edition has been thoroughly updated to respond to developments in the field, allowing the book to have wider application for dissertation work within the evolving world of qualitative inquiry. Included in this edition is a new chapter titled “Achieving Alignment Throughout Your Dissertation,” a greater focus on how all qualitative traditions can encompass activist research and social justice inquiry, and enhanced coverage on the role of the researcher, emphasizing the importance of reflexivity and approaching research critically.
 
List of Tables
 
List of Figures
 
List of Appendices
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
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 a Qualitative Dissertation  
 
2. Gearing Up: There Is Method in the Madness
Objectives  
Overview  
Identifying and Developing a Researchable Topic  
Selecting and Forming Your Dissertation Committee  
Stakeholder Responsibility and Standards of Good Practice  
Organizing and Managing Your Project  
 
3. Choosing a Qualitative Research Approach
Objectives  
Overview  
The History of Qualitative Research  
Defining Features of Qualitative Research  
Knowledge Claims  
The Role of the Qualitative Researcher  
The Current Landscape of Qualitative Inquiry  
Qualitative Research Methodology (Genres or Traditions)  
Moving Forward With Your Chosen Qualitative Methodology  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
4. Developing Your Research Proposal
Objectives  
Overview  
Proposal Components  
Guidelines for Academic Writing  
Integrity Matters  
Institutional Review Board Approval  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
5. Achieving Alignment Throughout Your Dissertation
Objectives  
Overview  
Research Problem and Research Approach  
Research Problem and Research Purpose  
Research Problem, Research Purpose, and Research Questions  
Research Problem, Research Purpose, and Research Methodology (Qualitative Genre or Tradition)  
Research Methodology and Research Methods  
Research Problem and Literature Review  
Literature Review and Theoretical/Conceptual Framework  
Theoretical/Conceptual Framework, Research Questions, and Research Findings  
Research Methodology, Research Design, and Data Analysis  
Research Methodology, Research Design, and Presentation of Findings  
Research Findings, Interpretations, and Conclusions  
Conclusions and Recommendations  
Chapter Summary  
Annotated Bibliography  
Part I: Summary and Discussion  
 
PART II. CONTENT AND PROCESS: A CHAPTER-BY-CHAPTER ROAD MAP
 
6. Introduction to Your Study
Objectives  
Overview  
Section I: Instruction  
Reflexive Questions for Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study  
Chapter Summary Discussion  
Quality Assessment Chapter Checklist  
Section II: Application  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
7. Developing and Presenting Your Literature Review
Objectives  
Overview  
Section I: Instruction  
Reflexive Questions for Chapter 2: Literature Review  
Chapter Summary Discussion  
Quality Assessment Chapter Checklist  
Section II: Application  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
8. Presenting Methodology and Research Approach
Objectives  
Overview  
Section I: Instruction  
Reflexive Questions for Chapter 3: Methodology  
Chapter Summary Discussion  
Quality Assessment Chapter Checklist  
Section II: Application  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
9. Analyzing Data and Reporting Findings
Objectives  
Overview  
Section I: Instruction  
Reflexive Questions for Chapter 4: Analyzing Data and Reporting Findings  
Chapter Summary Discussion  
Quality Assessment Chapter Checklist  
Section II: Application  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
10. Analyzing, Interpreting, and Synthesizing Findings
Objectives  
Overview  
Section I: Instruction  
Reflexive Questions for Chapter 5: Analyzing and Interpreting Findings  
Chapter Summary Discussion  
Quality Assessment Chapter Checklist  
Section II: Application  
Annotated Bibliography  
 
11. Drawing Trustworthy Conclusions and Presenting Actionable Recommendations
Objectives  
Overview  
Section I: Instruction  
Reflexive Questions for Chapter 6: Drawing Trustworthy Conclusions and Presenting Actionable Recommendations  
Chapter Summary Discussion  
Quality Assessment Chapter Checklist  
Section II: Application  
Part II: Summary and Discussion  
 
PART III. NEARING COMPLETION
 
12. 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!  
 
13. Defense Preparation and Beyond
Objectives  
Overview  
Pre-Defense Preparation  
Post-Defense Preparation  
Annotated Bibliography  
Part III: Summary and Discussion  
 
Afterword
 
Appendices
 
References
 
Author Index
 
Subject Index

Supplements

Student Study Site

·         Downloadable templates and appendices from the book include charts, tables, and other dissertation tools.

·         EXCLUSIVE! Access to certain full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected for each chapter.

·         101 Questions and Answers provide further insight from Dr. Linda Bloomberg.

·         Additional online dissertation resources assist in organizing and developing your manuscript.


“This book is a ‘must have’ for all doctoral students from their acceptance into a program until they upload their finished dissertation to their institutional library. Forget Agatha Christie; they should keep this on their bed side table until it is dog-eared and they have graduated.”

Shelley K. Taylor
Western University

“I will continue to use Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation until I find a better text, and that just does not seem likely. The authors’ writing is straightforward; they write as academics, from an academic bent, yet write practically for doctoral candidates who need guidance, a "road map" of how to complete their dissertation.

JoAnn Danelo Barbour
Gonzaga University

“An excellent resource for doctoral students! The authors take the fear of writing a dissertation, and break down each component into manageable tasks that once completed will help students deliver a scholarly research project: a project that they will be proud to defend!”

Joe R. Putulowski
California Baptist University

Sample Materials & Chapters


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Linda Dale Bloomberg

Linda Dale Bloomberg, lead author, is former adjunct faculty and dissertation advisor inadult learning and leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. As senior researcherfor the South African Human Sciences Research Council and National Institute for PersonnelResearch, Dr. Bloomberg’s work focused on change management, diversity initiatives, andenhanced workplace learning. She currently develops curriculum for qualitative research ingraduate programs, serves as dissertation chair and subject matter expert, and also serves asconsultant to various research, higher education, and nonprofit advisory boards. She is founderof Bloomberg... More About Author

Marie F. Volpe

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... More About Author