Introduction This guide has been created to assist my graduate students in thinking through the many aspects of crafting, implementing and defending a thesis or dissertation. It is my attempt to share some of the many ideas that have surfaced over the past purpose of dissertation years that definitely make the task of finishing a graduate degree so much easier. Usually a guide of this nature focuses on the actual implementation of the research. This is not the focus of this guide.
Instead of examining such aspects as identifying appropriate sample size, field testing the instrument and selecting appropriate statistical tests, this guide looks at many of the quasi-political aspects of the process. Of course, many of the ideas that are presented can be used successfully by other graduate students studying under the guidance of other advisers and from many different disciplines. However, the use of this guide carries no guarantee – implied or otherwise. When in doubt check with your adviser. Probably the best advice to start with is the idea of not trying to do your research entirely by yourself. Do it in conjunction with your adviser.