There are many books filled with dissertation advice out there and, sadly, much of it is subpar. I wasn't looking for comfort, nor did I need a "lifesaver" moment. I needed a straightforward line of attack to get moving as I draft my formal proposal. `Theses and Dissertations: A guide to Planning, Research, and Writing (2000), by R. Murray Thomas and Dale L. Brubaker, fulfilled the search through a no-nonsense nuts-and-bolts process to succinct writing. In my case, I needed specific examples for the proposal stage: tone, expression, and communication issues. This was the only text out a series of rejected titles that finally provided the information I was seeking. Again, this is not a "Dr. Feel Good" read, so don't expect any hand-holding. I would put it more in the "here's-what-you-need-to-do-to-get-it-done" category.