Turning Your Thesis Into A Book

Turning Your Thesis Into A Book-74
Sometimes that structure may be a burden, or even an obstacle, for the writer. A dissertation is written under the watchful eyes of a director and an advisory committee.In this course, I’ll show you how to turn your MA or Ph D thesis into a popular book.

Sometimes that structure may be a burden, or even an obstacle, for the writer.

The dissertation is always looking over its shoulder.

If you’re writing in literary studies, for example, your dissertation may be looking backward to be sure it’s safe from Foucault, Freud, Butler, and Bhabha, not that any of these worthies are threatening either you or your thesis in any way.

Choose a topic, preferably one sufficiently narrow that no one else has elected precisely the same territory for exploration. Demonstrate, with less or greater subtlety, that you’ve actually done this reading via hundreds of endnotes, footnotes, and superscripts. Although that may be the recipe for a dissertation, it isn’t the formula for a book.

Disagree with some aspect of received opinion about your topic. This isn’t to say that dissertations aren’t valuable works of scholarship.

When a dissertation crosses my desk, I usually want to grab it by its metaphorical lapels and give it a good shake. The recalcitrant garden-variety dissertation—lips sealed, secrets intact—will find a readership among two hundred library collections at best.

Most won’t make it even that far, but linger at the ready in electronic format waiting for some brave soul to call for a download or a photocopy.I’ve used these exact steps to start a publishing company while still a Ph D student that has generated over six figures of income.I believe there is much more we can do with our research than simply producing the thesis itself. But whether one’s doctoral advisors form a well-knit team or a dysfunctional family, they form a support group, one handed to the writer by the university. Having the wrong committee can make writing slower and more difficult than it need be.Each year graduate students complete interesting, provocative, even groundbreaking dissertations.Their advisors are encouraging fresh subjects, as well as fresh approaches.The more you do this, the more difficult it becomes to see where your own work ends and the ideas of the Masters begin, so thoroughly has your writing absorbed a way of expressing itself.Then there are the scholars who sit on your dissertation committee.All this looking over the shoulder may be good for self-protection, but it gets between you and the book you would like to be writing.Many factors militate against a dissertation becoming a book.

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