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Writing a Watertight Thesis


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Table of Contents

Introduction Part I: Moving in 1. The need for a 'watertight' thesis 2. Structuring your proposal 3. Structuring in the early stages Part II: Moving through 4. Focusing on the major research question 5. Creating your research sub-questions 6. Linking the research sub-questions to the thesis chapters 7. Structuring the early chapters 8. Structuring the middle chapters 9. Structuring the later chapters Part III: Moving out 10. The examiners' need for structural clarity 11. Preparing for the summative viva 12. Structuring and publishing your first articles References Appendix Index

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A clear and scholarly guide to making the thesis structurally sound, which will be of value to students, supervisors and examiners.

About the Author

Mike Bottery is Professor Emeritus at the University of Hull, UK. Nigel Wright is Lecturer in Education at the University of Hull, UK.


Overall a well-written and very useful volume for research candidates ... Useful and valuable to researchers at any stage of their doctoral project. It is written engagingly in an approachable manner, and with focus questions and exercises that are clearly articulated and easy to follow. A worthwhile addition to the research candidate's bookshelf. * LSE Review of Books *
A clearly written, engaging and practical guide to students in completing their thesis at doctoral level. The authors' extensive experience of supervising and examining students at this level shines through clearly in the advice they give, the anecdotes they use and the practical suggestions put forward for a complete and successful thesis ... The book helps to make the mystery of "doctorateness" open and explicit as opposed to something discussed by examiners behind closed doors who have been heard to say "I know a doctoral thesis when I see one". * Jerry Wellington, Professor of Education, University of Sheffield, UK *
This book will help the candidate develop an unassailable thesis structure. It is the only book I've ever read that approaches thesis-writing from a structural perspective, and it does so in a way that is clear and easy to apply. A must-have for doctoral students! * Mark A. Fabrizi, Associate Professor, Eastern Connecticut State University, USA *
This book provides excellent information and support for doctoral students and supervisors about writing a truly watertight doctoral thesis. The authors draw on their extensive experience as doctoral supervisors and thesis examiners to distil wise advice about developing robust research questions, structuring thesis chapters and addressing examiners' requirements. Highly recommended! * Patrick Danaher, Professor, University of Southern Queensland, Australia *
Bottery and Wright have produced a really helpful book for doctoral students. Using their expertise, developed over many years of working at doctoral level, this will be required reading for postgrads. I am sure any doctoral student will find this book full of excellent ideas that will help them to be successful. -- Megan Crawford, Professor and Director of Postgraduate Programmes, Research Centre for Global learning, Education and Attainment, Coventry University, UK
The authors' rich experience of supervising doctoral students and examining doctoral theses and their understanding of students turn the book into one of the most readable. The contents covered are very close to students' needs. It helps students to understand, to plan, to structure, to write, and to publish in the whole "journey" of not only writing up watertight theses but also becoming competent researchers. -- Chang Junyue, Professor, Vice President, Dalian University of Foreign Languages, People's Republic of China

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