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PhDs are often encouraged to transform their dissertations into books. Yet the audience, content, structure, writing, and voice of a dissertation (i.e., thesis) differ dramatically at times from a published book, even one that is based on the dissertation’s data and arguments. In writing your dissertation, you figured out something important and explained it in a way that your advisers would understand and validate. For your book, you need to tell the story differently, with fresh insight, clarity, and a new readership in mind. This workshop will help you do that.

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A dissertation book based on articles, i.e. a compilation thesis, has the same structure as the monograph, but the theoretical part, the so-called summarising chapter or framework, is much more condensed while the empirical part includes the peer reviewed articles which make the backbone of the thesis. The theoretical part could of course not be as extensive as the monograph depending on these articles, also being a part of the dissertation book, but depending on their comprehensiveness (having a common and main thread together), the theoretical part has to be further explained and amalgamated. In the research proposal the empirical part is planned to comprise a number of articles, but this number, and content as well, can also be changed depending on the conclusions made in the first articles. In both concepts, the PhD student does the theoretical part in parallel with the empirical one. For PhD students who pursue a compilation thesis, it is common and desirable to produce one article per year. It is also logical, but not necessary, that the next article goes hand in hand with the previous article, but it can be troublesome if a time consuming intervention is being implemented []. Each article is audited in manuscript research seminars at the home faculty or elsewhere before being submitted for publication to the peer reviewed journal selected. At the end of the study programme – often around 6 months prior to dissertation – it is common to start writing (or end up) the framework. As most results have at that time been presented in the articles, it is possible to summarise and create a comprehensive understanding and/or conclusion. During these natural stops it is quite possible to follow the PhD student's progress in the study programme.

From Dissertation to Book - University of Chicago Press

An excerpt from From Dissertation to Book by William Germano

“Rarely is there a book that one can call indispensable. William Germano's From Dissertation to Book is an indispensable book for any one contemplating 1. Gradutae School 2. Writing a Dissertation 3. Revising a Dissertation 4. Reading a "First Book" as an editor, member of a tenure and promotion committee, or as a dean or provost. Every economically selected word in this book will help all to understand professional authorship for today's academic world. Indeed, Germano's own clean, clear, pithy style is a model for his readers.”—Sander L. Gilman, Weidenfeld Professor of European Comparative Literature, St. Anne's College Oxford