Four good guides for the academic writer
Over the years I have read a number of very good guides on academic writing and publishing. Although we are now writing our own guidebook on the subject, I would still like to introduce my own favorites. Writing a doctoral dissertation is a long process that can be read by more than one guide. Here are four of my absolute favorites.
1) Joan Bolker: Writing your dissertation in fifteen minutes a day
Joan Bolker’s book is a classic of its kind. It has influenced my own writing and also my teaching very much. Although the book is no longer brand new, it is still useful for many dissertation authors.
The book has several important insights. For example, I had learned the technique of free writing well before reading this book. Still, with Bolker, I realized that free writing can indeed be used to write text and even scientific text.
Bolker’s book was also the one I got for the first time in my life to write a regular diary. In addition, I learned very important advice from Bolker: Write first!
2) Estelle M. Phillips & Derek S. Pugh: How to get a PhD
Of the books presented here, this is the least actual writing guide, as it deals with making the dissertation much wider. The topics to be addressed are, for example, the choice of research topic and cooperation with the supervisor.
At least in the British university world, this book has a solid position. In my own dissertation process, this book influenced quite a lot at some point. For example, I was able to better understand the different theoretical points of my dissertation.
At least partly because of the effect of this book, I also ended up doing my dissertation with a method that I will eventually use, that is to say, by conversational analysis. My central thought was that I could integrate my research into a strong research tradition. So I can do my dissertation in the so-called normal science paradigm, rather than trying to invent all the parts of the wheel myself again.
So with this book I realized that it is not worth trying to put all the thoughts out of the world into the doctoral thesis or that it is not worth trying to change the world. The World’s changing, I then tried other forums just like a doctoral dissertation, which is quite enough for your kind contribution as is.
3) Paul J. Silvia: How to write a lot
One of the internationally respected Finnish researchers in my field described this book in an online discussion book. It goes to that department too.
Outside, Silvia’s book is not frameless at all, as it is a very thin and quick guide. Still, you should not let lightness fool you, because the contents of the book are full of things.
The central idea of the book is that the writing should be reserved for its own time and that writing should be regular. The book also clearly describes how to support a support group for writing. In addition, the book deals with a theme that is not very often dealt with, ie how to deal with the referee’s statements from the article.
The book is primarily written for psychologists, and sometimes it has some sort of psychologist insider stuff. However, they do not hurt and you should look at the book, regardless of the field of research. The sarcastic humor of the book and the little jokes make it a really fun reading.
4) Wendy Laura Belcher: Writing your journal article in 12 weeks
According to its name, this book primarily deals with writing an article. However, this should not be confused: the book is a real treasure trove, and it contains a huge amount of material relevant to any academic writer.
This book is currently the most important single guide for me as a writer and writing teacher. It is actually so good that I have as many as two copies despite the hard price: the printed version of the shelf and the Kindle version all the time with the iPad if there is a need to turn to it.
The book contains invaluable instructions for, for example, refining your own argument and writing abstract. In addition, it deals with new and fresh ways of writing such guides, writing problems. Belcher has also taught writing in Africa, for example, so he is praiseworthy for writers whose mother tongue is not English or who work outside the Anglo-American world.
The word of warning: At least on my own, the title of the book for twelve weeks is not really realized. It doesn’t eat the value of the book in my eyes, but don’t imagine too much!
So here are my four favorites. I warmly recommend them to others.
However, I would love to hear which books or guides have been useful to you. Where did you get help with writing or the dissertation process?
In other words, what do you think it would be appropriate to deal with in the Academic Writing Guide or the Doctoral Dissertation Guide? Tell me in the comments!