Dissertations and Theses From Start to Finish: Psychology and Related Fields, Second Edition aids student writers through all the practical, logistical, and emotional stages of writing dissertations and theses. It offers guidance to students through such important steps as

  • Defining topics;
  • Selecting faculty advisers;
  • Scheduling time to accommodate the project; and
  • Conducting, analyzing, writing, presenting, and publishing research.

Readers will find guiding questions, both mundane and sophisticated, which they may never have considered before, even after coursework in preparation for research writing.

Authors have thoroughly updated the text for this new edition to reflect new ethical standards for research, new style manuals, and new texts in statistics, as well as current thinking on behavioral science research. They have also updated the 30+ special elements, adding entirely new checklists, diagrams, and sample parts of research papers. Also new to this edition is up-to-date information on computerized literature searches, writing and statistical software, and use of computers for data and schedule management.

Table of Contents

—Gregory A. Kimble


  1. What Are Theses and Dissertations and Why Write a Book about Them?
  2. Starting Out: Assessing Your Preparation for the Task Ahead
  3. Time and Trouble Management
  4. Finding Topics and Faculty Collaborators
  5. Formulating and Communicating Your Plans: An Overview of the Proposal
  6. Reviewing the Literature
  7. Research Methodology and Ethics
  8. Measurement
  9. Selecting the Appropriate Statistics
  10. Collecting, Managing, and Analyzing the Data
  11. Presenting the Results
  12. Discussing the Results
  13. Managing Committee Meetings: Proposal and Oral Defense
  14. Presenting Your Project to the World

Appendix A: Selected Ethical Standards Relevant to the Conduct of Research in Psychology



About the Authors

Author Bios

John D. Cone, PhD, earned his BA in psychology from Stanford University and his MS and PhD from the University of Washington. He has taught at the University of Puget Sound, West Virginia University, the University of Hawaii, United States International University, San Diego State University, and Alliant International University. He is a fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychological Society, a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis, and a board-certified behavior analyst. His research interests include the development of idiographic assessment methodology; autism intervention; and the development, implementation, and evaluation of large-scale service delivery systems, especially those for individuals with developmental disabilities. An executive coach and frequent organizational consultant, he is the author of several books, including Evaluating Outcomes: Empirical Tools for Effective Practice (2001).When not being professionally active, John spends his time jogging, working on his 42' trawler (Carefree II), and cruising the waters of the blue Pacific.

Sharon L. Foster, PhD, is a distinguished professor at Alliant International University in San Diego. She received her PhD in psychology in 1978 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook after completing a clinical internship at the University of Washington Medical School. She also taught at West Virginia University. She has served as an associate editor for Behavioral Assessment and the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in 2000–2001. She is the author of four books in addition to numerous articles and book chapters on children's peer relations, assessment and treatment of parent–adolescent conflict, and research methodology.