Dissertation Completion – Instructor Spotlight
A new book : “Dissertation Completion Guide: A Chapter-by-Chapter Nontechnical Guide for Graduate Research Projects” has just been released this month. The Author, Dr. Daniel S. Alemu, teaches research methods courses at The Sage Colleges’ doctor of education program where he is also the director of doctoral research. Dr. Alemu received his PhD from Illinois State University. He has served in numerous doctoral dissertation committees and chaired more than twenty-five successfully defended dissertations. His publications, on various issues, appeared in internationally and nationally circulated peer-reviewed journals including International Review of Education , Kappa Delta Pi Record, Journal for Effective Schools, and Planning and Changing Journal. He also presented his research in professional conferences, including at AERA, NCPEA, UCEA, and MWERA to mention some.
Explaining what motivated him to write the book, Dr. Alemu explains “Writing a dissertation is not an easy process. It demands commitment, preparation, and hard work for obvious reasons. It shouldn’t however be confusing. Where there is confusion and disorientation, producing a quality product in a timely manner is challenging. The purpose of this book is to provide guidance and to minimize disorientations and confusions in the dissertation writing process.”
There are three types of books that are abundant in the market with regard to dissertation writing: 1) books that are psychological/ therapeutic by nature for dissertation writers; 2) research methods text books that teach methodology (quantitative, qualitative, mixed), and 3) books that focus in one aspect of the dissertation process such as how to write the proposal, how to write literature review, etc. There aren’t many books that provide practical guidance in writing dissertations which encompass all chapters. That is what makes Dr. Alemu’s book unique. It is written in a user-friendly manner and presents the otherwise complex and intimidating subject of dissertation writing in a plain language and in an understandable manner.
While this book is primarily written as a reference to doctoral students in education and the social sciences, it could be useful for those writing master’s thesis as well. Dissertation committee members could also benefit from using it as a reference. It comprises three parts: Part 1 follows the commonly used five-chapter dissertation format in education and the social sciences and explains specific components to be included in each chapter. It also elaborates the technical aspects of each chapter. Part 2 gives guidance in designing and pilot testing data-collection tools and instruments. It also provides sample questionnaire, interview protocols, and observation instruments. Part 3 focuses on common research terminologies and concepts helpful to any novice researcher. At the end, the appendices section provides some useful resource as well.
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