Book Reviews

Book by Randy L. Joyner, William A. Rouse, & Allan A. Glatthorn
Review by Kiana Shiroma
Honors & Regents & Presidential Scholars Programs
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa


As a doctoral student in education who is currently writing her dissertation, I know firsthand, how difficult writing one can be. As an academic advisor of a honors program that requires its seniors to write a thesis, I know that helping students write one for the first time can be equally, if not, more challenging. Thus, I turned to the third edition of Writing the winning thesis or dissertation: A step-by-step guide for two reasons: to help guide me as I write my dissertation and to assist me in becoming a better advisor for my students who are writing a thesis.

As I read through Writing the winning thesis or dissertation, I was consistently impressed with the authors’ thoroughness. Each phase, from thinking of a topic to getting published, is discussed in intricate and specific detail. The authors do not just talk about what needs to be accomplished, but they take the time to explain how and why each step is important. Excerpts from real theses and dissertations further clarify the content Joyner, Rouse, and Glatthorn are conveying. They even go a step further in that they also discuss use technological tools in each chapter.

The only challenge that I may have as an advisor is that this book seems geared more toward students who are conducting research using qualitative methods in fields like education and behavioral and social sciences. Most, if not all the examples are from such areas. Moreover, the methodology section focuses mostly on qualitative methods. This tendency may be due to the fact that Joyner and Rouse are from education backgrounds. Because of this preference, those who are researching with quantitative methods in other fields of research may find another book more suitable.

In conclusion, as someone who is in the middle of writing a dissertation, this book is helpful in making sure that I covered everything thus far. It is also helpful in preparing for what is yet to come. I am certain that those who are also conducting research using qualitative methods would have the same positive experience with this book. Professionally, even though this book is geared toward graduate students, I can easily see myself giving this book to my advisees when they are having a difficult time getting through a certain part of the writing process, as this book is an easy read. I believe other advisors will find this book a worthy investment as well. 


Writing the winning thesis or dissertation: A step-by-step guide (3rd ed.). (2013). Book by Randy L. Joyner, William A. Rouse, & Allan A. Glatthorn. Review by Kiana Shiroma. Herndon, VA: Corwin. 328 pp. Price $38.95. ISBN # 978-1-452-25878-2
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