Research Handbooks & Guides

Graduate students embarking on in-depth research and writing can benefit from the following classic guides and handbooks, which mark milestones along the academic journey of lifelong scholars in the making.

  • Before the Dissertation: A Textual Mentor for Doctoral Students at Early Stages of a Research Project 
    This book focuses on purposes for doctoral dissertation writing, topic choice and development, choosing and working with advisers, reading and informal writing, and quality-of-life issues. Each of the nine chapters begins with a common myth about advanced academic work that is then dispelled. It should help instructors and advisers understand and respond to the kinds of obstacles faced by students that tend to impede or halt their progress.
  • Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping With the Emotional, Interpersonal, and Spiritual Struggles
    Author Noelle Sterne demystifies the dissertation-writing process, offering practical strategies so this often overwhelming process can become less intimidating to doctoral candidates. She addresses common fears and hurdles students face when writing and defending their dissertations and provides inspiration and encouragement during this long stressful time. A must-read for doctoral candidates, this important resource helps readers cope with moments of despair, navigate family and social commitments, avoid self-sabotage, and persevere.
  • Completing Your Qualitative Dissertation: A Roadmap From Beginning to End
    Graduate students often struggle with turning qualitative research projects into a master′s thesis or doctoral dissertation because the research itself is inherently messy. This work by Linda Bloomberg and Marie Volpe helps address that challenge. They focus on finding and articulating a clear research problem, purpose, and questions; laying out a research design that will lead to gathering relevant data and conducting insightful analyses; and writing up and defending the study. The text provides working tools, an integrative summary discussion at the end of each chapter, comprehensive checkists, and an annotated bibliography in each chapter.
  • The Craft of Research, 4th edition
    Conceived by seasoned researchers and educators Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, this fundamental work explains how to find and evaluate sources, anticipate and respond to reader reservations, and integrate these pieces into an argument that stands up to reader critique. The fourth edition has been thoroughly but respectfully revised by Joseph Bizup and William T. FitzGerald, who provide fresh examples and standardized terminology to clarify concepts like argument, warrant, and problem. It retains the original five-part structure, as well as the sound advice of earlier editions, but reflects the way research and writing are taught and practiced today.
  • Participant Observation: A Guide for Fieldworkers
    From the publisher: "This book serves as a basic primer for the beginning researcher and as a useful reference and guide for experienced researchers in many fields who wish to reexamine their own skills and abilities in light of best practices of participant observation. This new edition includes discussions of participant observation in nontypical settings, such as the Internet, participant observation in applied research, and ethics of participant observation. It also explores in greater depth the use of computer-assisted analysis of textual data in issues of sampling and in linking method with theory."
  • Restarting Stalled Research
    Written for researchers and graduate students writing dissertations, this unique book offers detailed advice and perspective on many issues that can stall a research project and reveals what can be done to successfully resume it. Author Paul C. Rosenblatt draws on his decades of experience to guide readers through challenges, such as clarifying the end goal of a project; resolving common and not-so-common writing problems; dealing with rejection and revision decisions; handling difficulties involving dissertation advisers and committee members; coping with issues of researcher motivation or self-esteem; and much more.
  • Writing Ethnographic Fieldnotes
    From the publisher: "Using actual unfinished notes as examples, the authors illustrate options for composing, reviewing, and working fieldnotes into finished texts. They discuss different organizational and descriptive strategies and show how transforming direct observations into vivid descriptions results not simply from good memory but from learning to envision scenes as written ... This new edition reflects the extensive feedback the authors have received from students and instructors since the first edition was published in 1995."