1st Edition

Writing Strategies for the Education Dissertation

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after December 29, 2020
ISBN 9780367627058
December 29, 2020 Forthcoming by Routledge
152 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

Writing Strategies for the Education Dissertation offers a unique take on doctoral writing. It uses composition and rhetoric strategies to identify key activities for generating thought to keep students writing. It de-mythologizes the view of writing as a mere skill and promotes the view of writing as thinking.

It uses writing to help students invent, think through, write, rethink, and rewrite as they develop and present their innovations. The book opens with this mindset and with the purposes of the task (adding to knowledge); it helps define a "researchable topic," and provides advice on invention ("brainstorming"). It then addresses each of the key sections of the dissertation, from Problem Statement, through Literature Review and Methods, to Findings and Conclusions, while underscoring the iterative nature of this writing. For each chapter, the book provides advice on invention, argument, and arrangement ("organization") — rhetorical elements that are seldom fully addressed in textbooks. Each chapter also looks at possible missteps, offers examples of student writing and revisions, and suggests alternatives, not rules. The text concludes with an inventive approach of its own, addressing style (clarity, economy, and coherence) as persuasion.

This book is suitable for all doctoral students of Education and others looking for tips and advice on the best dissertation writing.

Table of Contents

1. De-mythologizing the Process: Changing One’s Mindset  2. The Problem Statement: Writing Processes  3. Writing Strategies for the Literature Review  4. Writing the Methods Chapter, Getting Past Preliminary Orals, and Getting Started  5. Collecting and Analyzing Data, then Writing up Results and Findings  6. Writing up the Discussion: Conclusions and Recommendations  7. Revising the Dissertation as a Whole

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Diane Bennett Durkin has taught critical thinking and writing at U.C.L.A. for over thirty years, publishing textbooks that merge disciplines, and helping education doctoral students understand and use writing processes to generate, organize, and communicate their ideas.


"This exceedingly helpful book distills writing expert Diane Durkin's decades of experience into a warm and wise step-by-step guide through all phases of the dissertation process. You'll want this essential book on your desk from the first days of research to the refining of the conclusion of your study." -- Mike Rose, Professor, UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, USA

"This book offers what most others cannot – solid advice based on many years in the trenches, helping literally hundreds of students as they go through the often painful, yet usually rewarding, process of writing a dissertation. It is full of ideas that are both concrete and immediately usable. I wouldn't skip a single paragraph. And I will recommend it to all of my own students." -- Jim Stigler, Professor of Psychology, UCLA, USA