Dissertations: Writing Your Dissertation or Thesis at the UR

Musings:

 

Writing a Master's Thesis or Ph.D. Dissertation may well be one of the hardest tasks you ever engage in; you must find a new area and advance the research or practice in that area to a new level. It requires countless hours of work: in the humanities and social sciences, mostly reading and writing; in the sciences it may involve hours in the lab - and still a lot of reading and writing. In the end, though, you will know your area of the literature better than anyone: better than your advisor, your peers, even the "experts in the field," because you will have read much more widely, and much more thoroughly, than they have. You will have truly achieved something special. Remember that through the long dark hours!

 

Practicalities:

 

See The Preparation of Doctoral Theses: A Manual for Graduate Students, put out by the Graduate Dean's Office, for guidelines on writing and formating of University of Rochester theses.

 

For some general guidance on the task of writing at this level, here is a link to the list of all books in the Voyager catalog that have been assigned the subject Academic Writing.  Here is a more specific list to books on Academic Writing -- Handbooks, Manuals, Etc.

Here are some examples:

  • From concept to completion : a dissertation-writing guide for history students / by the AHA Graduate and Early Career Committee ; with essays by Leora Auslander ... [et al.]. 2009.
  • Writing a successful thesis or dissertation : tips and strategies for students in the social and behavioral sciences / Fred C. Lunenburg, Beverly J. Irby. 2008.
  • Your dissertation in education / Nicholas Walliman and Scott Buckler. 2008.
  • Writing for social scientists : how to start and finish your thesis, book, or article / Howard S. Becker ; with a chapter by Pamela Richards. 2007.
  • Academic writing : a handbook for international students / Stephen Bailey. 2006.

 

Research and the literature review:

 

Your best ally in this effort may prove to be your Subject Librarian. While your advisor will provide works and suggest authors he or she knows of, we urge you to take advantage of our expertise to help you in conducting a thorough review of any and all literature that may pertain to your topic. We know all the databases and the best ways to search them. If we find things we don't own, we will get them for you. We can also provide guidance on the various citation management tools available to you here at the UR, and how to use them.

 

Contact the Subject Librarian for your department for help with your literature search, to request purchases, and more.

 

 

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