Dissertation Resources

This page contains links to some resources that I’ve developed over the years to help doctoral students working on dissertations.  Access to the resources here is free, subject only to the rules of copyright.


To open a conversation for possibilities, click here


For general disquisitions on research quality, check out “Dissertation Research Quality” and “Respecting the Data“.

There are also my four short essays on doctoral research:

On the review of research proposals

Theses and dissertations

Thinking the “PhD Way”

Thoughts on teaching and learning research


newA useful presentation on Table Tidying, or how to take output from SPSS or similar source and easily reformat it into copy suitable for inclusion in a document.

A short audio/video presentation on “Diagramming Theoretical Models“. It’s about what a “model” is, its relationship to theory, and what are the various kinds of effects that a model might represent.

A brief description of how one of my students a long time ago went about constructing a theoretical framework and model for his dissertation, starting with research questions and some known literature. It’s a bit cryptic in places, but shows the overall logic of the process.

A brief presentation on Operational Definition and Scaling. Don’t get into it farther than you are comfortable going.

A somewhat more advanced presentation on Conceptualization, Operationalization, and Measurement

A fairly advanced presentation on Qualitative Research (don’t let this discourage you; it looks a lot more complicated than it is. But it does serve to illustrate that qualitative research ought to be taken seriously.

Here is some general advice on the development and use of PowerPoint Presentations

Here is a short guidance on the submission of final versions of things. It’s addressed particularly to dissertation proposals, but the advice is good regarding any formal documents, even ordinary course papers.

Some time back, I wrote an eight-part series of posts on the idea of causality. In the course of that rather rambling series, I explored the idea of variance and why it might be interesting to social scientists and others, I recommend this series for anyone interested in the analysis of social phenomena:

Exploring Causality Part 1

Exploring Causality Part 2

Exploring Causality Part 3

Exploring Causality Part 4

Exploring Causality Part 5

Exploring Causality Part 6

Exploring Causality Part 7

Exploring Causality Part 8

Socio0economic karma?


More to come soon!



The picture here represents five generations of chair-to-student transmission of PhD anointing; I’m the second from the right. For details about who the others are and why this is interesting check out my post, “Academic Generations“.