on 9 October 2006
The chances are that, if you were anything like me, you were completely brain-dead after you finished your PhD. And, just when you thought the last hurdle had been leapt over, suddenly the RAE, that gloomy monster that haunts all university departments in the UK, steps out from the shadows and reveals its true horror...
This highly readable little book gives you the critical tools to look at your thesis objectively, and guage a.) whether there's a publishable book in it at all (or if you're better off settling for a clutch of journal articles instead) and b.) exactly what that book might be.
The message is a simple one: PhD theses tend to be over-cautious, overladen with scholarly paraphenalia (footnotes, references, literature reviews), whereas books have more complex arguments, a stronger sense of narrative and, for want of a better word, pizzaz.
I suspect this book would be less relevant to hard-core scientists but, for postdocs in the humanities or social sciences, I'd go as far as to say this book was essential reading... Oh, and if you read this BEFORE you've written your PhD, chances are you'll save yourself a lot of time afterwards!
on 1 February 2002
As someone who works privately with students and authors, helping them with theses, dissertations, and books, I highly recommend The Thesis and the Book. When clients ask me for a practical guidebook, I recommend that they buy this book and use it as a reference. It offers practical guidelines, enabling students and authors to get through the writing of a thesis, dissertation, or book as smoothly as possible.