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Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article (my reading notes)

This book, Howard Becker’s “Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article” is an excellent volume and should be read, though as I warned in my thread, must be read primarily by those who are Becker’s peers: doctoral students’ advisers. Because of the memoir style that Becker uses (a la Stephen King’s On Writing), those who will be best positioned to understand where he is coming from are those who have conducted the same activities as he has: supervising doctoral students. I do not believe this book is targeted for those who are still undertaking their doctorate.

#AcWri on the plane

Becker’s Writing for Social Scientists is a memoir-style book (a la Stephen King’s “On Writing”, or John McPhee’s Draft No. 4), but the way Becker delivers his insights is entirely for DOCTORAL STUDENTS’ ADVISORS. He shares how HE supervised/s students, and issues they face/d. Becker’s book is NOT written for doctoral students, in my opinion. And therefore the title is misleading (”How to Start and Finish your Thesis, Book or Article”). In my view, students need to read “The Clockwork Muse” by Erubavel, or “Authoring a PhD” by Dunleavy, or Bolker’s “Writing your Dissertation in 15 Minutes“.

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