Dissertation and Scholarly Research: Simon and Goes Provide Recipes for Success (Book Review)
If you are writing a dissertation, doctoral or project study, or any other doctoral-level capstone research project, chances are it is the first time you have done anything of the kind. While you have years of practice with what it means to participate in the classroom, complete proscribed assignments, and even conduct original research, the doctoral capstone research project is a unique document and a unique task. Why not take advantage of any number of excellent resources available for helping you through the various steps and stages of tackling a project of this size?
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Authors Marilyn K. Simon and Jim Goes have done just that, and they just happen to be Walden faculty to boot. In their resource, Dissertation and Scholarly Research: Recipes for Success—A Practical Guide to Start and Complete Your Dissertation, Thesis,or Formal Research Project, Simon and Goes (2013) have crafted a guidebook that addresses students working outside of traditional brick-and-mortar institutions to complete their degrees. Their use of metaphor (specifically, food) helps make what could otherwise seem like a dense and complex process more, well, digestible.
The mnemonic devices, “cutting board” exercises, and links to outside resources offer practical and accessible advice, and the guide offers help with everything from how to formulate your research questions to what to do when it comes time to format your document for final submission to ProQuest.
While you could certainly sit down and read this book cover to cover, one of the guide’s strengths is in offering a breadth and specificity of information, so you could just refer to the table of contents and read those sections that pertain to your current needs.
One thing that can be frustrating at times when conducting this level of research in a virtual space is how to know where to go for the right information and how to get a hold of who can answer your questions. This guidebook is particularly relevant to Walden student needs in this regard because it addresses content and design as well as APA and scholarly style. Simon and Goes did a particularly thorough job really explaining to the reader how everything fits together and how the way you craft and express an idea can support and inform your research.
As with any comprehensive guide, the sheer amount of information can seem daunting at first, but everything is organized and presented in such a way that a reader will not feel overloaded. Dissertation and Scholarly Research: Recipes for Success should be high on the list of any Walden student looking for that extra bit of guidance and support while beginning this next step as a scholar-practitioner.
Lydia Lunning is a dissertation editor and the coordinator for Capstone Resources in the Writing Center. Lydia also helps oversee the Walden Capstone Writing Community, a place where doctoral students working on their proposals and final studies can connect with colleagues and get support through the capstone writing process. Outside of Walden, Lydia enjoys literature for children and young adults, writing pedagogy, contemporary cinema, and cooking.
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