How to Keep your Doctorate on Track
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How to Keep your Doctorate on Track

Insights from Students’ and Supervisors’ Experiences

Edited by Keith Townsend, Mark N.K. Saunders, Rebecca Loudoun and Emily A. Morrison

The path of a doctoral student can feel challenging and isolating. This guide provides doctoral students with key ideas and support to kick-start a doctoral journey, inspire progress and complete their thesis or dissertation. Featuring observations from experienced supervisors, as well as the reflections of current and recent postgraduate researchers, this intimate and entertaining book offers vital insights into the critical moments in any doctoral experience.
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Chapter 17: Discovering statistics and developing a quantitative research design

Ursula Furnier


On seeing and hearing the word ‘statistics’, a lot of people immediately shut down. The author was one such person until she resolved to familiarise herself with this area of expertise; and years later, she is able to provide advice to PhD students on how to develop a quantitative research design. The chapter begins with her reflections on her statistical awakening, before outlining how she applied her knowledge to her research design, highlighting what she refers to as the ‘interrelated’ nature of its different aspects and what she considers to be her own key learning from the doctoral research process. She also summarises this learning as a series of quantitative research design lessons for students, to keep the doctorate on track.

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