"How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

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"How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

Postby Russ Veldman » Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:29 am

My hope is to enroll in the D.Th. program at the South African Theological Seminary sometime late this year or in early 2009. The school uses the text, "How to Suceed in Your Master's and Doctoral Studies" by J. Mouton as a guide to researching and writing a thesis/dissertation South African style. I have ordered this book and should see it in the mail in a couple of weeks.

In addition to this book, which I have never yet seen, can anyone recommend other "How To" books that clearly describe the whole process of researching and writing a doctoral thesis? While I am sure the Mouton book is good, I suspect I will need help from other texts as well. Specifically, my thesis will be in systematic theology, so any texts that focus on theological studies will be particularly helpful.

I'd like to get a good overview of the whole process in my head early. And I'd like to begin running my thesis idea through the grid to see if it is doable at all.

Dr. Bill Grover, please share your thoughts with me if you see this post.

Russ Veldman
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Re: "How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

Postby TheoloM » Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:54 am

Russ,

Welcome to the forums! I too am considering the D.Th. from SATS myself. From where did order the book you referenced?

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Re: "How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

Postby Russ Veldman » Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:24 am

I ordered it from www.kalahari.net, which SATS recommended. Amazon had one used copy only - for $99! Kalahari had it for around $30 plus shipping. Total was about $50.
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Re: "How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

Postby Jack » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:19 am

Consider these:

How To Complete And Survive A Doctoral Dissertation (David Sternberg)

Writing Your Dissertation In 15 Minutes A Day (Joan Bolker)

A Manual For Writers Of Term Papaers, Theses, and Dissertations (Kate Tutabian)

Also, expect slow delivery from South Africa.

(but, Kalihari is great. If you email them they will talk to you like a human being)
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Re: "How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

Postby Bill » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:36 am

Hi Russ

In addition to Moutan, the Seminary offers a programmed course in how to do the Research proposal and the thesis. Before beginning the thesis, you will work closely with a supervisor for months to prepare the research proposal to his or her satisfaction. When the supervisor thinks the RP is ready, he/she will submit it to the post graduate committee. The committee may require modifications of the RP or may accept it. When the RP is accepted, you have an approved road map to follow to do your thesis ; the RP becomes part of the thesis.

In my experience a key to success is to have strong, even passionate feelings about the subject of your research.

Bill
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Faculty, http://www.satsonline.org
BA,(Bible),ThB -1966, SCTS
MA (Religion)- 1968, PL Naz Uni
Tea Creds USD (Lang Arts)-1969/OSU (Spec Ed)1978
MDiv (Equiv)-1992 and ThM (Biblical Studies)-1994, Western Seminary
D.Th. (Theology)-2005 Unizul
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Re: "How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

Postby uncle janko » Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:57 pm

Here's a link to an older thread, with some overlap in recommendations:
viewtopic.php?f=8&t=369&p=2887&hilit=dunleavy#p2887

I found Bolker, Dunleavy, and a book called "Getting What You Came For" (author???) especially helpful.

Get clear up front on any style manual or style requirement of your school; this will save time later.

Use SA spelling at a SA school: it's polite and appreciated from an American, even if it's not strictly required at your particular school.

Bill is right: gotta LOVE YOUR TOPIC. There is an enormous amount of slog work in doing a doctoral thesis, and so the core of it better be something you get obnoxious about when drunk (says the teetotaler).

Another poster here has a passionate intellectual addiction, and I have advised this other poster that his knowledge and pothos (no, not pathos) for the topic trumps more staid options.

All best to you: it's an exciting and scary time, this embarkation.

PS. Vyhmeister is crap. Don't bother.
Doing good, doing well, raising hope and raising hell. Janko Shave.
"Airplane music? Just like music for big bees, only louder."--Arnold Schoenberg
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Re: "How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

Postby Russ Veldman » Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:48 pm

Thank you to all for the help.

Another question - How have SA doctorates been received in the U.S.? Are they proving to have good utility?

My motivations for a doctorate are pretty simple: (1) become a more theologically astute pastor, (2) in my adjunct teaching be able to teach higher than the bottom-rung classes, and (3) be more useful in the kingdom of God overall.

Russ
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Re: "How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

Postby Jack » Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:08 pm

How are South African degrees received? I can't really ask that question. It probably depends on how you hope it will help you. If you want to become a tenure-track professor then you may have some difficulty. Not because there's anything wrong with South African degrees but perhaps because there's still some reservation toward any DL PhD. Also, I'd like to emphasize the issue brought up be Uncle. Find out immediately what style they're requiring you to use. APA? Harvard? It will save time to know up front. Also, there are software packages you can buy that will do a lot of that work for you. Be sure that you have a clear understanding of the time differences and be sure that you understand the differences in the academic calendars. Sometimes the telephone works better than email. Also, wiring money is a pain. Use a credit card.
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Re: "How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

Postby Russ Veldman » Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:52 pm

The SATS website has a series of helpful articles about doing research here: http://www.satsonline.org/satsonline/in ... ?q=node/52

The article by K.G. Smith on "How to Prepare a Research Proposal" is particularly helpful and tailored for SATS students. Others will find it a helpful place to start, too.
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Re: "How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

Postby some gobbledygook » Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:47 pm

Excellent thread! I just hope my library has some of these titles for free...
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Re: "How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

Postby Russ Veldman » Tue Sep 16, 2008 6:35 pm

To update those interested, the Mouton book I ordered from Kalahari arrived just a bit over two weeks from when I placed the order. Not bad for a book coming from South Africa.

O ... on a very happy note, I received an email from SATS today informing me that I have been "provisionally accepted" into the D.Th. program! I think that I will become "fully accepted" when I send them the $2000 required to start :) . That will happen when I have the cash saved up. Hopefully, I can send the money in before January when the fee goes up $400!

If you wish, see my latest blog entry on why I chose a SA school: http://russellveldman.typepad.com/
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Re: "How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

Postby Poimen » Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:00 am

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Re: "How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

Postby Russ Veldman » Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:36 am

I own and have read the Smith book. It is excellent. Highly recommended for anyone doing a SA dissertation or thesis.
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Re: "How To" Thesis/Dissertation Books

Postby johnalbert888 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:43 pm

yes you are right smith book is excellent.
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