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Authoring a Ph.D.: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish a Doctoral Thesis or Dissertation
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Authoring a Ph.D.: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish a Doctoral Thesis or Dissertation

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  128 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Authoring a Ph.D. Thesis involves having creative ideas, working out how to organize them, writing up from plans, upgrading text, and finishing it speedily and to a good standard. It also involves being examined and getting work published. This book provides a huge range of ideas and suggestions to help Ph.D. candidates cope with both the intellectual issues involved and t ...more
Paperback, 265 pages
Published August 16th 2003 by Palgrave Macmillan (first published April 28th 2003)
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Elizabeth
Jul 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This is a very useful guide full of pragmatic (though not dogmatic) advice for the dissertation writer. I wish I had come across it (or at least its advice) earlier in my doctoral career, but this book still provides plenty of worthwhile guidance even for people who have already successfully filed and defended their dissertations. The author is more than sufficiently humble about the utility and generalizability of what he has to say, as well. There were times where I felt specific examples woul ...more
Matthew Shifflett
Feb 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
When I first got to grad school, we had to read six or seven of these types of books for one week's assignment. This is the best I found. This is a book to be dipped into periodically...because it describes the entire process, from choosing a topic to finishing and defending, only part of the book will apply to you at any given time. The author is a professor of economics at the University of London who has sat on committees for a number of students from a variety of disciplines. Far preferable ...more
Katie
Aug 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Pretty good for what it is, but nothing fantastic. This book will not particularly tell you how to write a dissertation, but it will give you a few pieces of solid advice and functions as a nice little pep talk.

It's enjoyably and breezily written, and I enjoyed the fact that Patrick Dunleavy quoted everyone from Michelangelo to Thomas Aquinas to Eddie Izzard to Emperor Palpatine.
Julien V
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
*sigh* Well, this dissertation is not going to write itself, is it?

This book has, beyond its patronizing tone, some good commonsensical ideas. However I have no common sense. And Dunleavy didn't stop me being a lazy-ass, either (not that I thought he could!)
Heather Browning
As someone about to begin researching/writing a PhD thesis, this book provided a useful start-point for thinking about overall structure and how to approach the project. I'll probably refer back later on in the writing and editing process. As a general guide for the social sciences and humanities, it obviously contained much that wasn't useful for my specific discipline, which is a limitation the author acknowledges. Additionally, much of the basic writing advice seemed unnecessary. Presumably s ...more
Audrey
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
I found this book hard going to be honest and not as helpful as I thought it would be. The book is difficult to dip in and out of and for that reason I found it difficult to get to what I wanted easily. It could have been structured in a more user friendly way. Not everyone wants to read this sort of book from A to B so that's why only 2 stars.
Tom
Feb 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good information, clearly set out and well researched. Dunleavy suggests using this book to dip in and out of rather than following it to the letter. I am thinking of doing a PhD at somepoint in my life and this has got plenty of good advice on how to avoid missteps and pitfalls from beginning to finish and beyond.
Nik
Jun 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: academia
It is a good read with lots of honest good ideas, but it reads like a pompous heavy load book. When it comes to learning about authoring a PhD, simple advice is always the best. This way is not a book I would read in a day, but I guess that is what academia is all about.
Evan
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Reads a lot like a thesis, which is probably appropriate but does mean it's overly detailed and very dense. Made up of very hefty chapters with few subheadings. Helpful advice in there, though.

3 Stars = liked it
Mark Hawker
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A useful book with lots of great hints and tips!
Joel
Oct 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-some
This is a really good book so far
Kevin Maples
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I've ever read on how to plan and structure your writing. Even if you are only writing a short paper for college level, this book is extremely helpful.
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