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Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day Paperback – 1 Aug 1998


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Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day + Writing Your Dissertation, 3rd Edition: The Bestselling Guide to Planning, Preparing and Presenting First-Class Work (The How to Series) + Writing a Dissertation For Dummies
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Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Owl Books,U.S. (1 Aug. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080504891X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805048919
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.5 x 20.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Editor of the best-selling "The Writers Home Companion," Joan Bolker, Ed.D., has taught writing at Harvard, Wellesley, Brandeis, and Bard colleges. She is currently a psychotherapist whose speciality is working with struggling writers. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 95 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
Bolker's book has been my bible for the past couple of years. It is essential in providing that "you're not alone" awareness that every graduate student needs, using simple language and a sense of humor to outline the commonest stumbling blocks on the way. Although there's no way one can really complete a dissertation in "15 minutes a day" (the author herself admits it's just a marketing trick to catch your attention), it is quite possible to start at 15 minutes a day, and build it up gradually. It is the best of the three or four books on the subject I purchased, and I keep going back to it. A perfect gift for someone writing a dissertation.
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79 of 82 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Oct. 2000
Format: Paperback
Before I brought this book I was stalled in PhD hell, but it was full of essential tips which has enabled me to write my thesis. Unlike many other books it is not patronising or judgemental and does not make any assumptions about how much (or how little) work you have already done. Just reading it made me feel better, to realise I was not the only one who was having trouble writing up, but also made me realise how much time I spend faffing ... like surfing the internet ....
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By J. McBeth on 18 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is great for giving you a push to get moving with your writing. It has helped me to feel more empowered about my work and enjoy the writing process more.
It is organized in such a way (frequent subheadings in chapters) that you can read a few pages, break, and come back to it without losing where you are. I spent about three weeks reading it slowly as I worked; it was my break-time read to prompt me onward.
The author knows all the symptoms and procrastinating that go on when writing a dissertation or papers, she even points out a few things we might now realize about our behaviour and gives suggestions on how to overcome these hurdles.
I plan to read it again after showing it to one of my officemates. What a great book! Definitely worth every penny, this one will become an old friend.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 2 Aug. 1998
Format: Paperback
In the last few weeks I have been spending more time reading about writing a dissertation than actually writing one. Bolker's book broke it down in simple steps and clearly articulated the fears and struggles we face as writers. I laughed several times as I saw myself in her observations and started writing as soon as I put the book down.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Mar. 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the only book I've found that helps you formulate and shape your ideas for your dissertation. It's about the thinking, writing and editing process, rather than about organising notes and library skills, and for that reason I've found this to be the best book around on writing a dissertation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By I. M. Piper on 5 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this book while in the middle of writing up a PhD in quantum physics. The book isn't specifically geared towards the sciences (little mention is made of preparation of figures, for example) but is a more general text on how best to pull your writing together.

I found it extremely helpful. I didn't feel judged by the author for how little I'd already written - something that was holding me back at the time. It made me realise the importance of drafting, and that a second draft could be wildly different to the first draft. "Write first" was one of the single most useful suggestions of the entire book and I now apply this to all the writing I do.

Some of the material wasn't relevant to me, or was a little outdated, but overall, it's well worth having. I've been recommending this book to all the other graduate students I know. I've been recommending this book to all the other graduate students I know.

I also began to use reading a short section of the book as a break or as procrastination - much more productive than surfing the internet!
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 May 2002
Format: Paperback
Although the 15 minutes a day idea is just a marketing tool, the book is very helpful. Although still not aimed at scientists, it's still helped give some sort of focus and guide to writing up-where to start and how to put it all together. Definitely worth the money!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By lilyia on 24 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
This is a good book to get you unstuck if you are totally blocked and not writing at all. It is about developing a writing habit and building momentum, first and foremost.

However, it is not as good at helping you making the transition from daily relaxed writing to a structured dissertation text.

You have to know when you have enough momentum to switch to a more structured approach. I sadly followed the process in this book for too long and ended up with 800 pages of dissertation diary entries, a huge waste of effort.

There are some little gems in there -- my favorite is parking on the downward slope -- but overall the process is not terribly efficient and should be used with caution, for its strenghts, while using other more structured techniques to counterbalance its potentially devastating weaknesses.

(In case you're wondering, yes I have finished my dissertation :-))))! )
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