Monday, April 23, 2012

Review: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day


Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day
Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day by Joan Bolker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Yes, the title is a bit misleading and the appendix on working with computers is terribly outdated, but this is a fantastic read for anyone doing scholarly writing, whether it's a thesis (like I'm attempting), a dissertation, or a piece for a conference and/or publication.

The basic rule is: Write every day, for at least 10-15 minutes (to start), and during that time, never stop writing, even for a moment. Bolker suggests that once you're comfortable with this, to start giving yourself small projects (today I will write on subject x), and gradually increase your writing time. What this gives you is a "Draft Zero," or really basic idea of what you're interested in, what you argument is, and where you should take the paper. After this, Bolker leads you through how to organize, polish, and rework what you have into first (the first time you have a cohesive paper of some sort), second, and third drafts, and so on.

I have high hopes that this writing technique (and the rest of her advice) will help move me forward; I've been stuck for too long in the same spot in my research.

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