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Destination Dissertation: A Traveler's Guide to a Done Dissertation

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Dissertations aren't walls to scale or battles to fight; they are destinations along the path to a professional career. Destination Dissertation is a handbook that helps students successfully develop and complete their dissertations. It uses travel as a metaphor framing the process as an exciting trip of 29 steps that can be completed in less than nine months. Designed for ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 25th 2007 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (first published January 1st 2007)
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Kessia Reyne
Dec 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: prsnl-intrst, school
This book is just awesome.
Maybe you want more details? :) Okay, well, this book is born out of the decades of experience of the two authors in guiding writers through their dissertations. Their premise is that writing a dissertation can be (and should be!) enjoyable and efficient. They break down every part of the process and coach the reader through common pitfalls and help clarify thinking, sharpen goals, and narrow focus down to what really matters. These authors see little reason why a go
Feb 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I didn't read every chapter, but the ones that were relevant to me were on point. The methods given here are flexible and generative, not prescriptive, and I will start implementing the lit review and data analysis process immediately. It's very close to the process I already use, but makes it concrete and organized instead of amorphous and vague. This is certainly unique among this genre of books. ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Alysa by: Kate
Shelves: writing
Definitely recommend this one for the dissertators (or soon to be dissertators) out there. Very useful, practical advice contained within.

In general, I felt this book was more suited for qualitative dissertations. My dissertation is largely quantitive, and I felt that I got the most out of the beginning and end of the book. (That could partly be because I am in the late stages of my dissertation.)

I did not appreciate the discussion of "incomplete scholar roles" in the final chapter. While most o
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I found myself googling to figure out how best to approach the process of writing a dissertation, I knew there had to be a better way. Luckily a faculty member in my program suggested this book and it has calmed my nerves so much. I love having a plan and this book provided me with a detailed 29 step plan to get an original and high quality dissertation finished within a reasonable timeframe. Now to write, write, write!
Mar 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
This book was helpful, even in giving me a retrospective account of ways I might have conceptualized already finished parts of my dissertation (and might go about doing so in the revising process). It is unique in that it focuses largely on the writing itself, rather than spending exhaustive time on peripheral things like work habits. The tone is readable and helpful, and while some of the sample essays may be more poorly-written than I would like, it is great they are included. In the end, I'd ...more
Mark Gring
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it
A helpful, practical guide to writing a thesis, dissertation, or large project. The text is a bit too focused on the quantitative and qualitative approach to writing, it lacks an overview of the more nuanced way of writing for rhetoric or rhetorical criticism, but still a helpful guide. Recommended for those writers who, like most of us, need someone to remind us to break down the consumption of the elephant into individual bites.
Lisa Pollytickle
Jan 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Simple, sensible, series of clear steps for getting that thesis written. The overall structure would work well for almost all PhDs. Strict enough that it won't let you off the hook, yet flexible enough to allow for differences in approach. I am back on track after a two year hiatus and finally know what needs to be done. That's invaluable. ...more
Feb 01, 2009 rated it it was ok
Contains some decent advice on getting the dissertation done, but this isn't the way to write a good dissertation, at least not in history. Dramatically underestimates the amount of time needed to do solid research. ...more
Jul 10, 2020 rated it liked it
If you're a student who struggles to discipline themselves with writing and thinking rigorously for hours, this may be useful. Otherwise, it was mostly common advice and a bit repetitive (e.g., having conceptual conversations with others to clearly vet out your ideas; writing, writing, writing...). There were tips about handling different forms of advisement and how to manage your dissertation committee which is always helpful. ...more
Kristin D.
This is a good jump start for those of us who are stalled in our doctoral journeys as well as an excellent launching point for those who come upon the book early in their doctoral journeys. Impossible for everything to apply to everyone and every type of research, but everyone will find useful tactics within its pages and it includes lots of examples. Highly recommend.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love the metaphor of a dissertation being a journey! I highly enjoyed the words of advice provided in this book and after reading several advice-based books pertaining to dissertations, it was this book that actually inspired me to quit stalling and start writing!
Karla Winick-Ford
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book - recommended for doc students on their marathon journey.
Dec 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you are a grad student no matter the discipline this is required reading, better than the professor is in.
Aashna Davis
Good dissertation guide
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I passed my dissertation defense so I guess it worked lol.
LaTonya Hobson
Jun 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book to help with dissertation writing.
Patty Rodda
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was great! I came across it late in my dissertation process so I didn't follow all of their steps exactly. But it entered my life at just the right time - I was feeling incredibly stuck with my dissertation and had no idea how to get moving again. By reading this book, thinking through the process they suggested, and following their steps, I was able to get back on track at that initial point and get myself going each time I got stuck after that. It was a life saver! ...more
Eun Woo
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book is helpful to think about the end goal in mind - submitting my dissertation - and to break down a long process of dissertation writing into 29 steps. Formulating Your Research Question was the most helpful section in the book.

Heather Meiers
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is hands-down the best advice book on graduate school and dissertation writing that I have found. A good friend originally recommended it to me. Very highly recommended if you're feeling lost in the process! ...more
Oct 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book is great overall. I'm perhaps not as scheduled by nature as it recommends but it helped me think through a concrete timeline and reconceptualize my roles and responsibilities outside of the dissertation itself (ie teaching). Also gives great tips on working with committees etc. ...more
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It's a great book. It saved my MBA thesis, as it served as a step by step guide to every step of the way.

It provides a good structure, great examples and logical structure. This book was my best friend when I was writing my dissertation. I couldn't have enough good words.
Jul 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book if you are writing a rhetorical or qualitative diss! Better yet, read it BEFORE you start your dissertation process. I wish I had. Even reading it while writing the second half of the dissertation, it is tremendously helpful and hopeful.
Feb 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Clear, engaging, and energizing. Does a good job of breaking down the steps of writing a dissertation into manageable goals that don't overwhelm, and giving pragmatic advice on managing the people involved in the process--including yourself. ...more
Feb 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I can't recommend this to anyone other than those writing a thesis or dissertation. Its a metaphor for travel. A great Resource ...more
Sarah O.
Aug 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
If the diss gets finished it is a 5-star winner!
May 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very readable, very helpful. Now if only I could come up with the guiding research question of my project...
Mills College Library
808.02 F751 2007
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Jul 30, 2014
Nick LaLone
rated it liked it
Mar 03, 2019
rated it it was ok
Nov 29, 2016
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