Demystifying Dissertation Writing

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-10-31
  • Publisher: Stylus Pub Llc
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Research shows that five strategies correlate with the successful completion of a dissertation: Establishing a consistent writing routine Working with a support group Consulting your advisor Understanding your committee's expectations Setting a realistic and timely schedule Building on these insights, this book is for anyone who needs help in preparing for, organizing, planning, scheduling, and writing the longest sustained writing project they have encountered, particularly if he or she is not receiving sufficient guidance about the process, but also for anyone looking to boost his or her writing productivity. The author uncovers much tacit knowledge, provides advice on working with dissertation advisors and committee members, presents proven techniques for the prewriting and writing stages of the dissertation, sets out a system for keeping on schedule, and advocates enlisting peer support. As Peg Boyle Single states, 'my goal is quite simple and straightforward: for you to experience greater efficiency and enjoyment while writing. If you experience anxiety, blocking, impatience, perfectionism or procrastination when you write, then this system is for you. I want you to be able to complete your writing so that you can move on with the rest of your life.' Few scholars, let alone graduate students, have been taught habits of writing fluency and productivity. The writing skills imparted by this book will not only help the reader through the dissertation writing process, but will serve her or him in whatever career she or he embarks on, given the paramount importance of written communication, especially in the academy. This book presents a system of straightforward and proven techniques that are used by productive writers, and applies them to the dissertation process. In particular, it promotes the concept of writing networks ' whether writing partners or groups ' to ensure that writing does not become an isolated and tortured process, while not hiding the need for persistence and sustained effort. This book is intended for graduate students and their advisers in the social sciences, the humanities, and professional fields. It can further serve as a textbook for either informal writing groups led by students or for formal writing seminars offered by departments or graduate colleges. The techniques described will help new faculty advice their students more effectively and even achieve greater fluency in their own writing.

Author Biography

Peg Boyle Single Is an academic writing coach who works with doctoral students and faculty members, and a consultant who offers workshops on writing and mentoring programs, She has been conducting writing seminars and providing writing coaching for over 15 years, prior to becoming an independent consultant, she was director of the Faculty Mentoring Program and a Research Associate Professor at the University of Vermont

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Forewordp. xvii
The Single System for Academic Writingp. 1
Developing Habits of Fluent Writingp. 4
Using Demystifying Dissertation Writing as a Guide for Writing Groups and Seminarsp. 5
Data on Ph.D. Completion Ratesp. 6
The Single System and Prewritingp. 13
Keeping Perspective on Your Dissertation Projectp. 19
Choosing a Topic and an Adviserp. 23
A Set of Constraintsp. 23
Choosing a Dissertation Topic and an Adviserp. 24
Additional Constraints to Considerp. 31
Entering the Conversation: Subject Matterp. 34
Examples of Dissertation Topicsp. 38
Entering the Conversation: Theories and Methodsp. 40
Managing Your Adviser and Your Dissertation Committee Membersp. 42
Group Exercises for Choosing a Topic and an Adviserp. 47
Interactive Reading and Note Takingp. 55
Scholarly Reading Is the Foundation of Your Dissertationp. 56
Reading is A Privilegep. 58
Collect Notes, Not Articles or Booksp. 58
Interactive Reading in Practicep. 63
Using A Bibliographic Program to Record Interactive Notesp. 67
Rules For Recording Quotationsp. 71
Plagiarism And Copyright Infringementp. 74
Group Exercises for Interactive Reading and Note Takingp. 76
Citeable Notesp. 79
Recording Citeable Notes and Building Your Literature Reviewp. 81
Group Exercises for Creating Citeable Notes and Identifying Categoriesp. 84
Focusing On Focus Statementsp. 87
Useful Focus Statements Are Clear, Concise, And Compellingp. 87
Elements Of a Useful Focus Statementp. 89
Providing Useful Feedbackp. 92
Group Exercises That Focus on Focus Statementsp. 93
Transforming A Focus Statement into A One-Page Outlinep. 95
The Role and Elements of The One-Page Outlinep. 97
Formats For the Dissertationp. 99
Group Exercises That Transform Focus Statements into One-Page Outlinesp. 101
Using The Table of Contents Feature as An Efficiency Toolp. 107
Long Outline with Referencesp. 111
Multiple Purposes of The Long Outlinep. 113
Transforming A One-Page Outline Into A Long Outlinep. 116
Inserting Citeable Notes into Your Long Outlinep. 120
Planning And Organizing Your Scholarship and Researchp. 121
Getting A Format Check by Your Graduate Collegep. 123
A Group Exercise for Sharing and Reviewing Long Outlines with Referencesp. 123
Developing A Regular Writing Routinep. 127
A Regular Writing Routinep. 128
The Importance of A Designated Writing Spacep. 133
Developing A Writing Networkp. 137
What A Regular Writing Routine Looks Like In Practicep. 138
Group Exercises for Establishing A Regular Writing Routinep. 146
Overcoming Writer's Blockp. 149
Perfectionismp. 150
Procrastinationp. 152
Impatiencep. 157
Depression And Dysphoriap. 159
Group Exercises For Overcoming Writer's Blockp. 162
The Role Of Revisionp. 165
Revision At the Organizational Levelp. 166
Revision At the Content Levelp. 170
Group Exercises For Revisionp. 176
Epilogue And Enjoying the Journeyp. 179
Elements of Humanities Researchp. 181
Elements of Social Science Researchp. 187
Bibliographyp. 193
Indexp. 197
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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