- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Stylus Publishing; 9.1.2009 edition (September 28, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1579223133
- ISBN-13: 978-1579223137
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 50 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Demystifying Dissertation Writing: A Streamlined Process from Choice of Topic to Final Text 9.1.2009 Edition
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"Demystifying Dissertation Writing by Peg Boyle Single is a wonderful tool for assisting students through the rocky road of dissertation writing. By using a thorough and relatable writing style, having advisors and students as an audience, addressing the human topics of dissertation writing, providing visual process markers and tools, and believing in student/literature engagement, Single has written an amazing book for both advisors and students alike. I would recommend this book to anyone who works with any graduate students who are considering continuing their studies and those who are already in a doctoral program." (NACADA Journal (National Academic Advising Association))
"Any college-level library needs Demystifying Dissertation Writing, a powerful reference on dissertation writing. Humor and a converstational style may be unexpected side benefits here but they drive an informative and readable text on how to start, sustain and finish a dissertation." (Midwest Book Review)
“I was so impressed with this book that I offered to write the foreword for it.” (Rick Reis, editor of the Tomorrow's Professor eNewsletter)
"Whether you’re inching towards a dissertation topic, choosing an adviser or already coping with the last stage of doctoral work, this book will be a life-saver. Demystifying Dissertation Writing is for anyone who wants to increase their writing productivity and especially for those who experience anxiety, blocking, impatience, perfectionism, or procrastination when they write. Through easy-to-follow steps, Single helps you rise above all these barriers and become a fluent writer. She has managed to package into this book her expertise as a writing seminar organizer and a writing coach and it is just what academe needs." (JoAnn Moody, Faculty Development and Diversity Specialist,
"Dr. Single has written the definitive text on how to start, sustain, and finish a dissertation. Her book describes what she calls her 'Single System for Academic Writing.' Her system is directed toward dissertation writers in the humanities and social sciences. The text is at once practical, accessible, and, in her aptly chosen descriptor, 'streamlined.' Starting with choosing a topic and advisor, Dr. Single adeptly takes the reader through the necessary dissertation tasks of preparatory reading and note-taking, crafting clear focus statements and outlines, creating regular writing routines and overcoming writer’s block, and finally revising. I now have the quintessential writing text that I can recommend to all my doctoral students, regardless of the research genre they will be using." (Robert J. Nash, Professor & 2003 University Scholar in the Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Vermont & author of
"I highly recommend this book to all directors of doctoral programs. Demystifying Dissertation Writing provides a blueprint for facilitating a dissertation writing seminar. Our students and their advisers rave about Peg’s seminar and her book." (Susan Hasazi, Stafford Distinguished Professor of Education Leadership & Special Education and Director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies, University of Vermont)
As someone who directs programs to help graduate students become effective teachers on top of productive researchers, I am delighted to be able to bring Single’s book and system to these students’ attention―and to recommend it as well to faculty directing dissertations. In a compact, practical, and engaging way, Single shares ideas that should make the writing ‘load’ of academic life that much easier for all of us. (Michele Marincovich, Director of the Center for Teaching and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Stanford University, and past Executive Director of the POD Network.)
“Written with humor in a friendly, conversational style, this book makes explicit the too often implicit aspects of successfully researching and writing a dissertation. Readers will feel that they have a guide-at-their-side (and a stern task master in the form of Peg Boyle Single in their conscience) as they learn about and acquire the habits of fluent writing–reading interactively, taking citeable notes, outlining, and writing and revising their dissertations.” (Barbara E. Lovitts, author of Making the Implicit Explicit and Leaving the Ivory Tower)
About the Author
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 and 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.
Richard M. Reis is the Executive Director of the Alliance for Innovative Manufacturing (AIM) at Stanford and Co-Exeuctive Director of the Stanford Research Communication Program. A Lecturer in the Stanford Mechanical Engineering department, he teaches an introductory seminar for all incoming Electrical Engineering graduate students. He is also editor of the Tomorrow's Professor eNewsletter.
Top customer reviews
Like Bolker's book, this book is geared toward people whose dissertation comes primarily from their own musings (humanities). Some parts of it may be not applicable (or worse, useless) for those of us who engage in the natural sciences or the social sciences, and collect real-world data.
But I agree with Single that it is better to write while you are conducting the research, rather than conduct the research and then start writing. Do both together, and they'll both benefit.
Too much emphasis here, in my opinion, on group activities. If you plan, focus, and write something every day, you can make progress without having to listen to other people whining. If you need to bounce ideas off someone else - well, that's what your adviser and committee members are there for.
The writer has chosen the book title quite appropriately: she succeeds in demystifying the process of dissertation writing by suggesting practical incremental steps to having the job done, in a balanced and productive way: how to overcome the mental and every-day obstacles, while writing your dissertation or thesis.
Dr. Single skipped the whole question of how to prepare the dissertation proposal, which was quite unexpected, as no dissertation is done without a proposal. By the content and the focus of this book, one could make the assumption that perhaps in her own vocation as a graduate research advisor, the author has seen far more people stumbling during the dissertation writing process, and leaving this work unfinished, than those who were at the proposal stage.
Nevertheless, Dr. Single offers ample practical guidance on selecting the dissertation topic, on how to work with an advisor and dissertation committee members. She urges graduate students to be acquainted with the expectations of their dissertation committee, and warns the readers about the crucial importance of a good match between these experts and the chosen dissertation topic and method of research.
In several chapters, the author gives very detailed ideas on how to organize one's outline and how to transform it into a long outline which, in its essence, is the backbone of the whole dissertation. This is followed by number of tactics on how to organize the full literature review chapter by creating a citable bibliography, taking good notes, annotating, etc. In this manner, the book is exceptionally helpful in advancing one's writing fluency and efficiency skills, regardless their field of interest.
By employing anecdotal and almost conversation type language, Dr. Single suggests various strategies to overcome the multi-headed (five-headed, according to chapter 9) monster called "writer's block". As dissertations are usually hundreds of pages long each, the very thought of that could be overwhelming to many. In this book, by demystifying the process, the author gives numerous practical strategies and small steps how to transform such a demanding in its volume written work not only into a finished one, but the reader find it as a breath of fresh air that satisfaction and enjoyment can be part of the process. Even if it is not the most comprehensive source on the subject, this book is certainly worth buying and using alongside others - for its practical wisdom and helpful ideas on how to make the process of writing dissertation manageable and even enjoyable.