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89 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not start your Ph.D. project without it
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...
Published on 6 Mar 2001

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars use with caution
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...
Published on 24 Aug 2010 by lilyia


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89 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do not start your Ph.D. project without it, 6 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day (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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77 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent and invaluable, 12 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable and inspiring reference for dissertation writers, 18 Dec 2005
By 
J. McBeth - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day (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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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practical and Inspiring, 2 Aug 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day (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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59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable aid to getting started on the writing itself, 7 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day (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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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On of the best books on the subject, 17 May 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 5 Jan 2011
By 
I. M. Piper (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A motivational text, 11 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day (Paperback)
This is a good book for motivation. It will make you start writing and keep writing. Written very pedagogically, this book also comprises good advice for post-PhD decisions. It's a little dated in places (a whole chapter on how to use a word processor!) but it's really worth buying it AT THE BEGINNING of your write-up - no point in buying it if you're already late on your writing schedule.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars use with caution, 24 Aug 2010
This review is from: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day (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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44 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, 2 Aug 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day (Paperback)
Pulling together a credible dissertation is not an exact science and I understand the need for variance in approach.
Having read the feedback and despite the last posting being from May 2002, I had expected this book to be some kind of pearl of wisdom, which sadly in my opinion it was not.
Maybe I expected a more functional and / or modular description of the process but instead felt this was akin to many free web based resources, which talk alot about the concepts but don't quite get to the precise point.
I would accept that, this may indeed be a credible book for others who may enjoy the conceptualisation of dissertation structures but not for me.
I feel that I paid to read something, that I had listended to for free in the University refrectory and during various discussions with friends.
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Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day
Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day by Joan Bolker (Paperback - 1 Aug 1998)
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