Don't seek perfection. A good dissertation is a done dissertation.
The Thesis/Dissertation Defense
To scholarly publishers it seems that for generations, dissertations have been built on a surprisingly simple formula. Choose a topic, preferably one sufficiently narrow that no one else has elected precisely the same territory for exploration. Read everything written on the topic. Demonstrate, with less or greater subtlety, that you’ve actually done this reading via hundreds of endnotes, footnotes, and superscripts. Disagree with some aspect of received opinion about your topic. Document everything. Offer analyses that support your position. Although that may be the recipe for a dissertation, it isn’t the formula for a book.
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2. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BIBLIOGRAPHY
Reynolds, Michael M. GUIDE TO THESES AND DISSERTATIONS: An International Bibliography of Bibliographies. Rev. and enl. ed. Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1985. 263 pp.
Most up-to-date and comprehensive guide available. Arrangement is by broad subject category. Extensive subject, name and institution indexes are included and the work is meant to be comprehensive. It is especially useful for listings in journals and hard-to-find institutional lists. Helpful annotations are included. (Ref/Z/5053/Al/R49/1985)
Dissertations and master's theses, although often very pertinent to a research topic, are rarely included in the usual network of national and publishers' bibliographies and they are often difficult to locate for this reason. The fact that publishing practice for them has varied considerably from place to place, and over time, also contributes to bibliographic problems. For example, until about forty years ago, many universities in the United States required that doctoral students actually publish their work before granting the degree. Many university presses existed solely to accommodate this requirement. In many European universities, this practice continues in one form or another. European practice differs from American in several ways, especially in the use of the term 'theses' (which among Europeans can refer to both doctoral dissertations and master's theses). And customs vary from country to country.Bibliographies of dissertations can be divided into three categories:
1) those that are national in nature (the common American example is Dissertation Abstracts lnternational-see the NATIONAL BIBLIOGRAPHY section for a more detailed description),
2) those that have a subject focus, and
3) those that are specific to one institution. These can be located in Franklin usually under the name of the institution.
The following guide is useful for the first two categories. Dissertations and theses are also listed in other sources such as comprehensive subject indexes (e.g. Psychological Abstracts and national bibliographies.