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How to write your nursing dissertation

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Title: How to write your nursing dissertation

Edited by: Alan Glasper and Colin Rees

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013,

Reviewer: Rebecca Bailey-McHale, specialist community public health nurse student, Isle of Man

What was it like?

This book offers the reader some insight into the turbulent dissertation journey. It gives a blow by blow account of how to decide on the research question, methodology and getting you to the point of actually handing something legible in. The book presents the dissertation process as a story offering scenario’s in each chapter using Sue and Sam, two nurses about to start their dissertation. Sue is completing a 10,000 word dissertation for an honours degree and Sam is commencing a dissertation for an MSc programme. Sam also has dyslexia, adding to her learning needs.


What were the highlights? 

There are eight sections to the book with 31 chapters in text. Section one describes the start of the dissertation process, breaking it down to the most simplistic point of what is a dissertation? What are the features of a dissertation and essential considerations for completing a dissertation? Section one also deconstructs what is evidence based practice and clinical effectiveness and what is actually means in real terms. Section two addresses how to source and access the evidence you will need for your dissertation. This section includes how to refine your research question and devising your search strategy. This section describes the usefulness of the Cochrane database and other websites and how to get the best from your library. The world of academic referencing is demystified in section two with chapter eight offering the details and differences between two major references systems. Chapter nine gives practical examples of how to use the PICO and SPICE models to help formulate the research question. In part three, the development of practical dissertation skills are discussed for example time management and organisation. Sections four and five are key sections breaking down both qualitative and quantitative research in a concise and informative manner. These sections also discuss critical appraisal, how to do it and by what means discussing tools such as CASP. The other parts address change management, leadership and how to take your dissertation further through dissemination. The whole book is accessible and refreshingly informative without being confusing. This could be the dissertation students’ new best friend.

Strengths & weaknesses:

The use of the scenarios through each chapter and section and the bonus chapters and resources available through the books online content are useful. It has a concise and informative glossary and the index is easy t navigate. I can’t find any limitations. This book could be a saviour when you are on the study rollercoaster. 

Who should read it?

Nursing and healthcare undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as pre-registration students and anybody else who are undertaking a dissertation or research module, should read this book

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Anonymous

    This boo is brilliant - get it !!

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