Writing the Successful Thesis and Dissertation: Entering the Conversation

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Irene L. Clark

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A complete, step-by-step, practical overview of the process of writing successful theses and dissertations

Every year thousands of graduate students face the dauntingsometimes terrifying challenge of writing a thesis or dissertation. But most of them have received little or no instruction on doing it well. This book shows them how in ways no other book does. It combines the practical guidance and theoretical understanding students need to complete their theses or dissertations with maximum insight and minimum stress. Drawing on her extensive research and experience advising hundreds of graduate students, Dr. Irene Clark presents a solid overview of the writing process. Clark shows how to apply innovative theories of process and genre and understand the writing process for what it is: your entrance into a conversation with the scholarly community that will determine your success or failure. This book offers useful strategies for each phase of the process, from choosing advisors and identifying topics through writing, revision, and review. Coverage includes

Getting started: overcoming procrastination and writers block

Understanding the genre of the thesis or dissertation

Speaking the language of the academy

Writing compelling proposals

Developing and revising drafts

Constructing effective literature reviews

Working with tables, graphs, and other visual materials

Working with advisors and dissertation committees

Avoiding inadvertent plagiarism

Experience based, theoretically grounded, jargon free, and practical, Writing the Successful Thesis and Dissertation will help you become a more effective writerand a more meaningful contributor to the scholarly conversation.

Preface xi

Introduction: Writing a Thesis or Dissertation: An Overview of the Process xix

Chapter 1: Getting Started 1

Chapter 2: So What? Discovering Possibilities 17

Chapter 3: The Proposal as an Argument: A Genre Approach to the Proposal 33

Chapter 4: Mapping Texts: The Reading/Writing Connection 63

Chapter 5: Writing and Revising 83

Chapter 6: Writing the Literature Review 103

Chapter 7: Using Visual Materials 125

Chapter 8: The Advisor and Thesis/Dissertation Committee 139

Chapter 9: Working with Grammar and Style 155

Chapter 10: Practical Considerations 175

Index: 193


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