Five Helpful Dissertation-Writing Guidebooks
January 28, 2016
Sometimes writing a dissertation feels like the loneliest job in the world. But there are plenty who have gone before and made it through the process. Some have even gone on to write books to help others get through their dissertation writing, editing, and formatting process.
There are many different ways that you might approach researching and writing a dissertation. These books all offer different approaches that can help with the dissertation-writing task, and make your life easier!
15 minutes a day sounds doable, right? I spend more time than that making breakfast! Bolker’s book suggests starting with that – a commitment to writing for 15 minutes each day. She goes on to offer plenty of practical advice, based on her long career coaching dissertation writers, that can help you find the strategies that make you most productive. She guides you through the entire dissertation writing process, from choosing a topic and advisor, to first drafts, to defense, and even publication.
Wait, I hear you say, I’m writing a dissertation, not a journal article. Hear me out! In many disciplines, particularly the social sciences, students are writing dissertations that are essentially anthologies of several of stand-alone scholarly articles. And even in other disciplines, it’s common for a dissertation chapter to be structured similarly to an article. Belcher’s book is a workbook that provides a detailed timeline for planning, drafting, and completing a scholarly article in about the time of a semester. It works equally well as a guidebook for writing a dissertation chapter. I’ve had this book recommended to me by more colleagues than any other writing handbook – Belcher’s method works!
Dissertation writing can sometimes seem deadly, so why not try a little whimsy to help with the dissertation writing, editing, and formatting process? Destination Dissertation suggests that you imagine the dissertation writing process as a though you are going on a trip. Writing your proposal? That’s like planning an itinerary! Doing your literature review? The equivalent of seeking advice from fellow travelers! It’s not all fun and games, though: this book breaks down the dissertation into a clear, useful, step-by-step process.
Another useful step-by-step guide, this book is primarily useful for those working in the social sciences. It starts by talking about dissertation writing as a genre, and guides readers through the process of designing a study, writing a proposal, completing research, and writing the dissertation. It also includes sections on dealing with institutional ethics review boards, which are particularly useful for those writing dissertations that involve human subject-based research.
You may think that thinking about publishing your dissertation as a book is jumping the gun, if you’re still in the midst of the process, but it’s never too early to start thinking about how to make your writing readable and accessible. Thinking about publication now, may save you time and effort down the road. Germano is an experienced editor, and offers insight on how best to approach adapting your dissertation for publication. And if the process seems too daunting, never fear: we also offer dissertation-to-book conversion services.
Books are great, but no replacement for a skilled dissertation advisor, dissertation consultant, or mentor. We can give you the dissertation help and coaching that you need. We also provide expert dissertation editing and dissertation formatting services to help you submit the best dissertation possible.