Developing Quality Dissertations in the Sciences
A Graduate Student's Guide to Achieving Excellence

Paper: 978 1 57922 259 8 / $9.95
Published: December 2008  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 62036 025 5 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: December 2011  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
48 pp., 8 1/2" x 11"

Series: Developing Quality Dissertations
This is one of three short booklets designed to be given to graduate students as they begin their studies.

They explain the purposes of the dissertation and the criteria by which it will be assessed. They help students understand the context of their course work; the need to take an active role in shaping their studies; and the importance of thinking ahead about the components of the dissertation and the quality of scholarship they will need to demonstrate.

These booklets are intended to support the dissertation research and writing process by providing faculty and advisors with guidelines for setting clear expectations for student performance, and with a model for helping students produce the desired quality of work.

They encourage dialogue between faculty and students about the quality of the components of their dissertation project. They include rubrics that students can use to self-assess their work and that can aid faculty in providing focused feedback.

Setting explicit targets and benchmarks of excellence of the sort advocated in these booklets will enable departments and universities to respond to demands for accountability with clear criteria for, and evidence of, success; and will raise the overall quality of student performance.

Table of Contents:
List of Tables; Preface: To the Faculty; Preface: to the Student; 1) Identifying the Purpose of the Dissertation; 2) Understanding Originality and Significance; 3) Aiming for Excellence in the Dissertation; 4) Maintaining Consistent Quality Within the Dissertation; 5) Achieving Excellence; Appendix A: Tasks of the Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Division; Appendix B: Advice for Writing a Science, Engineering, or Mathematics Dissertation; Making the Implicit Explicit: About the Study; About the Authors.

Teachers - Request Exam Copy NACADA Review

Reviews & Endorsements:
"The writing style and organization of this guide are as accessible to students as its size and price. As the authors state in the "Note to Faculty", they hope this guide will be used by faculty and students together as they negotiate the dissertations process (Lovitts & Wert, 2009, v).... Advisors and students will find significant value in this dissertation guide. With focus on faculty provided feedback, students may feel more confident in their abilities to engage effectively in the process. Advisors may also use this as a go to resource in aiding doctoral students through the mental and physical processes of the biggest paper in their lives so far."
- NACADA Journal (National Academic Advising Association)
"By offering practical, directly applicable quality metrics for scientific and technical dissertations, including originality and significance, the authors help students and faculty clarify mutual expectations and eliminate the misunderstanding that makes dissertations unnecessarily onerous. The authors especially intend that students use their advice to become more proactive in consciously managing the communication demands of their professions. The responsibility, they emphasize, lies more with the student than the teacher.
Short, inexpensive, practical, offering usable advice based on Lovitts’ own previously published research, laid out in distinct modules that are easily identified and assigned, and focused on representative disciplines that are generally applicable, this pamphlet can readily supplement in-depth study of dissertation research and writing methods. Recommended."
- Technical Communication
Related Titles by Subject:
See Graduate & Doctoral Education ( Higher Education )