A Concise Guide to Writing a Thesis or Dissertation provides clear, succinct, and intentional guidelines about organizing and writing a thesis or dissertation. Part I provides an overview for writing a thesis or dissertation. It describes the big picture of planning and formatting a research study, from identifying a topic to focusing on writing quality. Part II describes the framework and substance of a research study. It models the pattern generally found in a formal, five-chapter research study.

Each chapter of a thesis or dissertation has a specific purpose, and this book focuses on each in an easy-to-follow structure. Chapter One reviews the headings and contents expected in the introduction of a study. Chapter Two provides advice for writing a literature review. Chapter Three discusses what to include when describing the methodology. These first three chapters form the proposal section of a study. Two additional chapters present results (Chapter Four) and provide discussion and conclusions (Chapter Five).

Appendices offer resources for instructors and students, including a rubric for evaluating writing, exercises to strengthen skills in APA format, sample purpose statements, a research planning organizer, and a guide for scholarly writing. The book is designed overall to be a practical guide and resource for students for their thesis or dissertation process.

Note to readers: Due to publishing limitations, some of the titles within the book do not accurately conform with APA format. For precise APA format, please see the APA manual (2010, pp. 62-63), or refer to Table 1.1, (p. 8) or Table D.1 (p. 107) in this book.

part Part I|12 pages

The big picture

part Part II|72 pages

Framework and substance of chapters

chapter Chapter 1|17 pages


chapter Chapter 2|12 pages

Review of the literature

chapter Chapter 3|22 pages


chapter Chapter 4|13 pages

Findings and analysis