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Getting the Best of Your Dissertation: Practical Perspectives for Effective Research Paperback – August 17, 2015
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About the Author
Dave Harris has been working as an editor and academic writing coach since 2002, the year he finished his own Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. After reading a lot of dissertation books, none of which used the perspectives he found most helpful to his clients, he decided to write his own dissertation book. Dave can be found on the web at www.thoughtclearing.com.
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This book focuses not only on the structure of the dissertation, like many other books in this genre, but also on the process of planning, researching, writing, thinking, rethinking and rewriting, etc. It also contextualizes the task of writing within institutional and disciplinary background. Not only that – the book also includes considerations of the human factor, like working with people on your committee and in your institution. Perhaps, my favourite part is the fact that the book considers the philosophy of the entire research process, a sort of a larger “why” if you will.
The book offers a whole constellation of perspectives on the entire enterprise of dissertation writing and combines both immediately practical advice with theoretical considerations. For example, it simplifies the process by giving specific and practical strategies from time-management advice to organizational tips and setting limits to your work. At the same time, it is not afraid to point out the complexity of the entire process and tackles such issues as imperfections, incompleteness, and uncertainty.
The book offers a healthy perspective on the issues of maintaining mental health and wellness during the writing process. In particular, it does not shy away from addressing such invisible issues as emotional and physical health, overwhelm, anxiety, perfectionism, lack of confidence or of authenticity. Most importantly, the book leaves space for your own discovery gently guiding you through the challenging and exhausting process of dissertation writing and pointing out the best and the healthiest strategies that could help you on this journey.