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Writing a Doctoral (PhD) Dissertation

As I posted on Twitter in mid-May 2018, I’ve been reading a lot of books that focus on how to write a doctoral dissertation. I already have mine and I’ve already had doctoral students graduated, but I strongly believe that everybody can learn a new lesson on how to become a better PhD advisor.

I have students in all three stages (pre-proposal/coursework, post-proposal/fieldwork, and close to finishing) and thus I wanted to get a handle on the literature out there. This page is intended to store all the blog posts that summarize my reading notes for books on how to write a doctoral dissertation.

I will continue to store them in my Reading Notes of Books but I figured this page would make it easier for doctoral candidates to read them all in one place.

Bolker, Joan (1998) Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis. Owl Books.

Davis, Gordon; Parker, Clyde and Straub, Detmar W. (2012) “Writing the Doctoral Dissertation: A Systematic Approach” Barron’s Educational Series.

Dunleavy, Patrick J. (2003) “Authoring a PhD Thesis: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish a Doctoral Dissertation Palgrave Macmillan.

Farkas, Dora (2009) The Smart Way to your PhD: 200 Secrets from 100 Graduates“.Your PhD Consulting.

Luker, Kristin (2010) “Salsa Dancing into the Social Science: Research in an Era of Info-Glut“. Harvard University Press.

Single, Peggy Boyle (2009) “Demystifying Dissertation Writing: A Streamlined Process from Choice of Topic to Final Text” Stylus Publishing.

Sternberg, David (1981) “How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation.” St. Martin’s Press.


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