Additional Online Dissertation Resources

Author Linda Bloomberg’s Blog

Visit the author’s blog:

Dr. Linda Bloomberg Academic Writing Resource

Download the worksheet to assist with your academic writing: Linda Bloomberg Academic Writing Resource

See more resources organized by topic below. Click on each link to expand and view the content. Click again to collapse.

Organizing and Developing Your Manuscript

Creating a table of contents

To create a table of contents that’s easy to update, apply heading styles to the text you want to include in the table of contents. After that, Word will build it automatically, from those headings. This applies to: Word for Office 365 Word 2016 Word 2013 Word 2010 Word 2007

Checking for spelling, grammar, and clarity

Developing an academic writing skill set

APA Format and Style

APA: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Inclusive Language Guidelines

APA is systematically and institutionally examining, acknowledging, and charting a path forward to address racism and other forms of destructive social hierarchies including, but not limited to, sexism, ableism, ageism, heterosexism, classism, and religious bigotry by avoiding language that perpetuates harm or offense toward members of marginalized communities through our communications. These guidelines are written for those working to champion equity, diversity, and inclusion in the spaces that they learn, teach, work, or conduct research. The guidelines aim to raise awareness, guide learning, and support the use of culturally sensitive terminology that center the voices and perspectives of those who are often marginalized or stereotyped, and also explain the origins for problematic terms and phrases and offer suitable alternatives or more contemporary replacements. This document will be flexible and iterative in nature, continuing to evolve as new terminology emerges or current language becomes obsolete.

APA Guidelines to Bias-Free Language

 The American Psychological Association emphasizes the need to talk about all people with inclusivity and respect. Writers using APA Style must strive to use language that is free of bias and avoid perpetuating prejudicial beliefs or demeaning attitudes in their writing. Just as you have learned to check what you write for spelling, grammar, and wordiness, practice reading your work for bias. This resource includes both general guidelines for writing about people without bias across a range of topics and specific guidelines that address the individual characteristics of age, disability, gender, participation in research, racial and ethnic identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and intersectionality.

APA-7 Instructional Aids

This document provides an overview of what’s new in the seventh edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. Content throughout the manual has been significantly expanded and revised from the sixth edition.

APA-7 Quick Reference Guide

This is a brief but sufficiently detailed quick-access reference guide for journal articles, books, and edited book chapters.

Writing in APA-7 Example Paper

This is an excellent brief resource that outlines the key elements of APA 7th edition, highlighting the information that students need most, including details pertaining to the Abstract, references, and use of headings. This resource also usefully points out the main differences since the previous edition of the manual. This is a go-to and immediately usable resource!

APA-7 Quick Reference Guide

The examples in this guide are based on the Concise Guide to APA Style, Seventh Edition, which is adapted by the American Psychological Association (APA) from its Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Seventh Edition. Master’s and Doctoral students should consult the Publication Manual for more in-depth explanation of formatting and preparing works cited lists.

American Psychological Association’s Academic Writer Tutorial: Basics of APA-7 Style

The modules of this tutorial were developed to help students become familiar with the new APA style and writing requirements. 

College of Scholastica: Citation Help for APA, 7th Edition: Reference Formats

This is a helpful guide regarding reference formats and in-text citations.

Grammar and Academic Writing

Guide to Grammar and Writing

This resource is sponsored by the Capital Community College Foundation, an organization that supports scholarships, faculty development, and curriculum innovation.

The Punctuation Guide

This guide illustrates the current style of American punctuation. British punctuation is slightly different, as explained here. The author, Jordan Penn, explains various positions and presents the style believed to be most useful.

Purdue University: Excelsior College Online Writing Lab (OWL)

Tips and Tools: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Writing Center

This resource offers practical suggestions about thinking about and preparing for dissertation research

Crafting an Effective Abstract

APA-7 Abstracts: Morningside University

This brief resource covers requirements for the APA-7 abstract.

How to Write a Research Paper Abstract: Guide With Examples

This piece covers the important criteria for crafting an abstract, including purpose, sections, formatting, and choice of keywords. As stated: “The abstract is a brief summary of your paper, but it is one of the most important—if not the most. However, writing one is never easy…The pithy, straightforward style of the abstract lends itself well to a well-written, well-researched study”.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Anti-plagiarism strategies

Turnitin’s Plagiarism Spectrum

A resource on the Turnitin site that provides a plagiarism spectrum. It breaks plagiarism into 10 types. Turnitin provides with very clear examples, on one screen, of Source Text and Student Work.

University of Oxford: Plagiarism

It is a principle of intellectual honesty that all members of the academic community should acknowledge their debt to the originators of the ideas, words, and data which form the basis for their own work. The most common form of plagiarism when it comes to resources and research is misrepresentation of the work of others as one's own and using someone else's ideas or words without giving credit. This site explains all aspects of plagiarism and how to avoid plagiarizing.

IRB Resources

This tool can be used to check for citations/references, which is a very time consuming process. Recite is optimized for those who use APA or Harvard referencing styles. Free access allows two uploads per day:

Qualitative Research

The Qualitative Report

This peer-reviewed online monthly journal includes a wealth of valuable information, such as cutting edge articles in the field, training and work opportunities, conferences, as well as suggestions and resources for those embarking on a qualitative research project.

Qualitative research journals

Online journal: The Qualitative Report

Qualitative research

Critical thinking and bias

Philosophical assumptions and worldviews

Qualitative versus quantitative research

Critiquing qualitative research

Qualitative Research Methodology

Case study research


Grounded theory

Selecting a research topic

Developing research questions

Purposeful sampling

Mahin, N., Hamideh, G., & Fereshteh, G. (2017). Snowball sampling: A purposeful method of sampling in qualitative research. Strides in Development of Medical Education, 14(3), e67670.

Snowball sampling is a convenience sampling method. This method is applied when it is difficult to access research participants who display the required selection criteria. In this method, the existing participants are asked recruit further participants, and sampling continues until data saturation is achieved.  This sampling method, which is also referred to as “chain sampling,” is an efficient and cost-effective means to access people who would otherwise be difficult to find, thereby helping researchers gain access to the target population.

Malterud, K., Siersma, V. K., & Guassora, A. D. (2016). Sample size in qualitative interview studies: Guided by information power. Qualitative Health Research, 26(13), 1753–1760.

Sample sizes must be ascertained in qualitative studies like in quantitative studies but not by the same means. The prevailing concept for sample size in qualitative studies is “saturation.” These authors propose the concept “information power” to guide adequate sample size for qualitative studies, explaining that the more information the sample holds, relevant for the actual study, the lower amount of participants is needed. They suggest that the size of a sample with sufficient information power depends on (a) the aim of the study, (b) sample specificity, (c) use of established theory, (d) quality of dialogue, and (e) analysis strategy, and they present a model where these elements of information and their relevant dimensions are related to information power.

Observation Instrument

Stearns L.M., Morgan, J., Capraro, M. M., & Capraro, R. M. (2012). A Teacher Observation Instrument for PBL Classroom Instruction. Journal of STEM Education, 13,  3, 7-16.

This document includes an observation instrument that can easily be adapted for use.

Critical Incident Questionnaire

Keefer, J. M. (2009). The Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ): From Research to Practice and Back Again. Paper presented as Adult Education Research Conference.

This paper reviews ways the Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ) has been used, adapted and developed over four years of organizational and academic use. The author explores how the tool is implemented, the issues that led to its adaptation, and the current working version.

Doing Research Online

Fielding, N. G. (2019). New data and old dilemmas: Changes and continuities in online social research. Qualitative Inquiry, 25(8) 761-772.

This article traces the development of online research according to four domains: Collaborative and Online Working, Citizen Research & Opening Up Research, Analyzing Online Materials, and Merged Methods. Despite being published prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this article reveals important developments which can be built upon going forward as the online research world expands exponentially.

Gray, L. M., Wong-Wylie, G., Rempel, G. R., & Cook, K. (2020). Expanding qualitative research interviewing strategies: Zoom video communications. The Qualitative Report, 25(5), 1292-1301.

The proliferation of new video conferencing tools offers unique data generation opportunities for qualitative researchers. The uses and advantages of face-to-face interviewing are well documented; however, utilizing video conferencing as a method of data generation has not been well examined. The purpose of this paper is to examine the specific attributes of Zoom that contribute to high quality and in-depth qualitative interviews when in person interviewing is not feasible.

Lynch, M., & Mah, C. (2018). Using internet data sources to achieve qualitative interviewing purposes: A research note. Qualitative Research18(6) 741–752.

This article examines and compares the function, merits, and challenges of using internet data sources, namely, social media discussion analysis and email interviewing, alongside data collected from traditional face-to-face interviewing. The focuses is on practical and practice-based aspects for qualitative researchers who are seeking alternative research methods to collect rich data.

Social Media Data Collection

To support students who are proposing to use Facebook and other social media in their data collection, as is becoming increasingly prevalent, the following articles address best practices and ethical considerations: 

Franz, D., Marsh, H., Chen, J., & Teo, A. (2019).  Using Facebook for qualitative research:  A brief primer.  Journal of Medical Internet Research, 21(8).

Gelinas, L., Pierce, R., Winkler, D., Cohen, G., Fernandez Lynch, H. & Bierer, B. E., (2071).  Using social Media as a research recruitment tool: Ethical issues and recommendations.  Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(3), 3–14.

Ethical Issues Related to Qualitative Research

Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR): Internet Research Ethical Guidelines (2019).

(AoIR) has an ongoing commitment to ensuring that research on and about the Internet is conducted in an ethical and professional manner. The Ethics Working Committee, as composed of ethicists and researchers from various regions and countries, has produced a series of reports to assist researchers in making ethical decisions in their research.

Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and the Commonwealth (ASA) Ethical Guidelines for good research practice (2011).

Social researchers are faced increasingly with competing duties, obligations and conflicts of interest, with the need to make implicit or explicit choices between their own values and between the interests of different individuals and groups. Ethical and legal dilemmas occur at all stages of the research process, including selection of topic, area or population, source of funding, negotiating access, conducting fieldwork, analysis and interpretation of findings, publication of findings, and disposal of data. Researchers have a responsibility to anticipate problems and insofar as is possible to resolve them without harming either the research participants or the scholarly community.

The Belmont Report (1979). The National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research.

The Belmont Report was written by the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. The Commission, created as a result of the National Research Act of 1974, was charged with identifying the basic ethical principles that should underlie the conduct of biomedical and behavioral research involving humans and developing guidelines to assure that such research is conducted in accordance with those principles. Its primary purpose is to protect subjects and participants in clinical trials or research studies. This report consists of 3 principles: respect for persons, beneficence, and justice.

The Common Rule

The Common Rule is the baseline standard of ethics by which any government-funded research in the US is held; nearly all academic institutions hold their researchers to these statements of rights regardless of funding. 

Franzke, A., Bechmann, A., Zimmer, M., & Ess, C. (2020). Internet research: Ethical guidelines 3.0. Association of Internet Researchers

This document introduces Internet Research Ethics (IRE) 3.0. While driven by on-going changes and developments in the technological, legal, and ethical contexts that shape internet research, IRE 1.0 and 2.0 developed a basic ethical approach that continues as foundational for IRE 3.0. IRE 3.0 is illustrated by way of two elements – namely, attention to stages of research, and what has become a standard problem of informed consent. The paper also offers a general structure for ethical analysis, designed to help identify the ethically relevant issues and challenges.

Global Expansion (2020). COVID-19’s Impact on Qualitative Research in Education

This article explores the impact of COVID-19 on qualitative research in education at a time when researchers are being forced to learn or even create a new set of skills that can aid them in designing and implementing feasible research - usually online.

Informed Consent

Informed Consent in Online Research with Participants

For internet-based research, the Association of Internet Researchers has some useful resources free for download. The British Psychological Society offers Ethics Guidelines for Internet-mediated Research. The South East European Network for Professionalization of Media has produced Social Media Research: A Guide to Ethics.

Research Guidelines During and After the Pandemic

International Development Research Center (2020): Research ethics practices during COVID-19

The International Development Research Center (IDRC) requires that research involving humans be carried out in accordance with the highest ethical standards. Ethical conduct requirements are focused on safety, respect, and justice for research participants. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, these specific concerns will be amplified, while also considering the safety of researchers.

Jowett, A. (2020). Carrying out qualitative research under lockdown – Practical and ethical considerations

Bringing together a number of previous studies, the author outlines several techniques researchers can use to collect data without face-to-face contact with participants, with a focus on methodological advantages and disadvantages.  

Mitchell, R. (2021). How to overcome the challenges of doing research during Covid-19. Institute of Development Studies.

Currently, relatively little has been written about the methods, risks, challenges, and opportunities faced, and what has is almost entirely focused on the pandemic itself. With a focus on how to minimize exclusion and carry out ethical research, this blog brings together the key lessons from what has already been published together with new learning and insights.

World Health Organization Working Group on Ethics & COVID-19 (2020). Ethical standards for research during public health emergencies: Distilling existing guidance to support COVID-19 R&D

There is an ethical imperative to conduct research during public health emergencies, as some research questions can be adequately investigated only in emergency contexts. To ensure ethical research during the COVID-19 outbreak, this paper, developed by the WHO, summarizes the key universal ethical standards that should be adhered to by researchers, review bodies, funders, and publishers during a health emergency.

Interview with Paulus and Lester, authors of Doing Qualitative Research in a Digital World (2021).

COVID-19 has pushed us to think more deeply and critically about what it means to do qual research; not just in terms of using digital tools, but how to engage in digital spaces and online communities, and to think critically about the methodological and ethical implications of engaging with these tools and spaces.

Ravitch, S. (2020). The Best Laid Plans… Qualitative Research Design During COVID-19

The onset of the pandemic necessitates learning a set of new skills necessary to design and conduct credible research online. The ideas of emergent design and researcher and design responsiveness take on new meaning. The author makes a case for connecting traditional qualitative methods with participatory frameworks and critical and humanizing methodologies such as trauma-informed methodology and Chronic Illness Methodology.

Researcher Positionality and Reflexivity

Currand. M., & Randall, A. K. (2020). Positionality Statements

The goal of this document is to help scholars understand and conceptualize positionality statements, along with providing examples of positionality statements from empirical studies.

Finefter-Rosenbluh, I. (2017). Incorporating perspective taking in reflexivity: A method to enhance insider qualitative research processes. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 16, 1-11.

This article contributes to the literature by illuminating the importance and illustrating ways of incorporating perspective taking in the process of addressing reflexivity. The author dissects an insider-researcher’s attempt to resolve research uncertainties by considering the perspective of an outsider-researcher, who had conducted similar study at the same school. Through incorporating processes of perspective taking in reflexivity, the insider-researcher uncovered complexities and ethical quandaries that may have had an impact on her study.

Guillemin, M., & Gillam, L. (2004). Ethics, reflexivity, and “Ethically important moments” in research. Qualitative Inquiry. 10(2), 261-280.

This article examines the relationship between reflexivity and research ethics by focusing on what constitutes ethical research practice in qualitative research and how researchers can achieve ethical research practice. As a framework for thinking through these issues, the authors distinguish two different dimensions of ethics in research, which they term procedural ethics and “ethics in practice.” The relationship between these two dimensions, and the impact that each has on the actual conduct of research are examined. The article also draws on the notion of reflexivity as a helpful way of understanding both the nature of ethics in qualitative research and how ethical practice in research can be achieved.

Hampton, C.; Reeping, D.; & Ozkan, D. (2019). Positionality Statements in Engineering Education Research: A Look at the Hand that Guides the Methodological Tools

These researchers surveyed three journals in the field of engineering education, finding found 15 examples of positionality statements, which they categorized based upon their content in relation to their study’s context. Explicit positionality statements were sparse across the reviewed journals. These authors draw particular attention to the language used in the positionality statements to highlight differences in writing style and the relative space dedicated to discussing issues of positionality in the example publications.

Mortari, L. (2015). Reflectivity in research practice: An overview of different perspectives. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 14(5), 1-9.

The article is based on the assumption that researchers should be able to reflect in a deep way, not only on the practical acts of research but also on the experience which constructs the meaning about practice. Learning the practice of reflection is fundamental because it allows researchers to engage more meaningfully in their research. The author uses phenomenological theory to analyze in depth the kind of reflexivity that is necessary in qualitative research.

Phillips, L., Christensen-Stryno, M., & Frolunde, L. (2021). Thinking with autoethnography in collaborative research: A critical, reflexive approach to relational ethics. Qualitative Research, 1-16.

The authors propose a critical, reflexive approach to relational ethics in “collaborative, democratic and transformative” research, based on “thinking with” autoethnography. Underpinning the approach is the view that the buzzwords of “collaboration” and “co-creation/co-production” may signify equitable, symmetrical power relations and, as a result, romanticize collaborative research as straightforward processes of inclusion. The approach integrates critical, reflexive analysis of the play of power in the “with” in “research with, not on, people” and the “co” in “co-creating knowledge” into the ongoing collaborative research process. As a main method for critical, reflexive analysis, the approach uses ‘thinking with’ autoethnography. 

Qualitative Data Analysis

Byrne, D. (2017). Project planner: Data analysis and interpretation. SAGE Research Methods.                                                        

The author provides considerations for selecting a qualitative data analysis method. He offers an introduction to common techniques for content and thematic analysis as well as specific techniques for narrative research, phenomenology, and grounded theory.

Qualitative Research Methods and Applications

The following websites include comprehensive resources designed for qualitative researchers, serving as valuable starting points for to learn more about qualitative research methods and applications.

International Institute for Qualitative Methodology (2018)

The International Institute for Qualitative Methodology (IIQM) is an interdisciplinary institute based at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada, serving qualitative researchers around the world. IIQM was founded in 1998, with the primary goal of facilitating the development of qualitative research methods across a wide variety of academic disciplines. The website outlines a list of current conferences, workshops, webinars, and resources, as well as information about Member Scholar and distinguished/visiting scholar programs.

The Qualitative Report, Nova University

The Qualitative Report first started as a weekly page to better leverage resources and opportunities for qualitative researchers. The weekly community page now features select articles from the upcoming monthly journal publication, conference news, featured blogs, and other useful resources for new and experienced qualitative researchers.

Qualitative Research Consultants Association

QRCA is a not-for-profit association of consultants involved in the design and implementation of qualitative research applications. This global association of professionals is dedicated to promoting excellence in the field of qualitative research by pooling experience and expertise to create a base of shared knowledge. A list of events, resources, and links is available and regularly updated.

Sage Research Methods Map

Transcription Applications

Researchers may consider using AI software programs, such as and Trint. Otter (partnered with Zoom), is a platform that allows the user to transcribe audio recordings and has the ability to turn audio conversation to smart notes (, 2019). Trint is another software option that provides the user the ability to convert their recorded interviews into text. Trint also offers a search function, which gives the research ability to search their audio or video file (Trint, 2019). As new technologies become available researchers will have the ability to incorporate practices that aid in the speed and efficiency of the research interviewing process.

Qualitative research methods: a data collector’s field guide

Working with qualitative data

Types of data collection methods


Sample Interview Protocol

Recording and transcription


Qualitative data analysis

SAGE Research Methods Datasets

Often, the best way of learning a new technique is through doing. SAGE Research Methods Datasets provide that opportunity for researchers looking to master qualitative data analysis. Each title provides sample data that has been optimized for demonstrating a method, accompanied by a how-to guide that explains the method at hand and walks users through the analysis using the data provided.

  • Datasets Part 1 consists of 230+ datasets from across the social sciences, with new content added each year
  • Datasets Part 2 is an upgrade collection of 300 datasets that cover additional methods, including data management issues such as handling data with missing variables
  • Datasets can be downloaded in a range of file formats and cited
  • Datasets support a range of qualitative and quantitative analytical methods and stem from research in Business, Education, Health, Political Science, Psychology, and Sociology


NVivo 12 Pro allows new users access one hour of NVivo Transcription for free. 

Using NVivo for your literature review (

QSR/NVivo has an introductory video “Let's get started with NVivo 12 for Windows (note the Mac version is similar). The link can be found at ( After viewing the video, how do you see yourself using NVivo in the dissertation process?

Week 4 Assignment 2: Manual coding is also an acceptable practice in qualitative data analysis.  It is important to know that you can use a combination of manual coding and CAQDAS.  For example, NVivo offers a Webinar Accelerating your Literature Review with NVivo. To register go to (

Refer also to Jackson, K. & Bazeley, P. (2019). Qualitative data analysis with NVivo (3rd ed). Sage.

Content analysis

Literature Review

What is a literature review?

Form and construction of literature reviews in the humanities and social sciences

A guide to developing a literature review

Use of peer-reviewed literature

What is a scholarly journal article?

Distinguishing scholarly journals from non-scholarly periodicals

Critically analyzing information sources

Assessing sources for writing a scholarly literature review

Annotated bibliographies

Concept mapping


A mind map, often used to develop a literature review outline, is a visual thinking tool that has many advantages compared to traditional note taking and writing techniques. Mind mapping is a technique that can help you visualize your thoughts and communicate them to others, and encourages a free flow of ideas, which makes it the ideal format for brainstorming and creative problem solving. MindMeister is an online mind mapping tool that lets you capture, develop and share ideas visually.  The basic version is free of charge, and allows you to create up to three maps.

Theoretical/conceptual framework

Publishing Your Research

The publication process

Preparing Dissertations for ProQuest Publication

ProQuest is a comprehensive and renowned dissertation resource At its core is the seminal ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database (PQDT), a repository of 5 million works that the world’s universities contribute to each year, creating an ever-growing resource of emerging research. As the official repository of the Library of Congress, ProQuest provides researchers with search and reference link functionalities that enable international access to dissertations. ProQuest provides free instructional resources for students to use in a virtual learning environment, including modules that provide support tools for writing, community building, and PQDT Global use.