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Becker, Howard S. (with a chapter by Pamela

Richards). Writing for Social Scientists: How to
Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article. 1986.
Students in any discipline will find Becker’s advice
helpful. Sample chapter titles: “Persona and
Authority,” “Learning to Write as a Professional,”
“Getting It out the Door,” and “Terrorized by the
Bolker, Joan. Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen
Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and
Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis. 1998.
By a co-founder of the Harvard Writing Center, now
a clinical psychologist who specializes in helping
dissertators. In her words, “This book is a collection
of successful field-tested strategies for writing a
dissertation; it’s also a guide to conducting an
experiment, with you as your own subject, your work
habits as the data, and a writing method that fits you
well as the goal.”
Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph
M. Williams. The Craft of Research.
Thorough and sophisticated treatment of the
research process: moving from a topic to a research
problem, building a convincing argument, drafting,
and revising. Also includes a helpful chapter on
“Communicating Evidence Visually.”
DeBakey, Lois and Selma. “The Art of Persuasion:
Logic and Language in Proposal Writing,” Grants
Magazine, I (March, 1978), 43-59.
The focus is on writing; the content is useful,
detailed, and timely despite the early date of
*Krathwohl, David R. How to Prepare a Research
Proposal: Guidelines for Funding and Dissertations
in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. 3rd ed., 1988.
The emphasis is on grant proposals, with a section
on dissertation proposals; much of the material
applies to any proposal. Useful “Checklist for
Critiquing Proposals” (pp. 146-153) and “Writing
Tips” (pp. 183-185).
Locke, Lawrence F., Waneen Wyrick Spirdoso, and
Stephen J. Silverman. Proposals That Work: A
Guide for Planning Dissertations and Grant
Proposals. 4th ed., 2000.
A useful general guide for students writing
proposals. Annotated bibliography; annotated
samples of experimental, qualitative, quasi-
experimental, and grant proposals.
Meloy, Judith M. Writing the Qualitative
Dissertation: Understanding by Doing. 1994.
Based on a study of dissertations and on data
collected from faculty and students. Shares their
comments and offers questions to consider at
various stages of the process in brief chapters that
include “Selecting and Working with a Committee,”
“Preparing and Defending the Proposal,” and
“Connecting Focus, Literature, and Ownership.”
Przeworski, Adam, and Frank Salomon. “The Art of
Writing Proposals.” New York: Social Science
Research Council, 1995. 25 Feb.
Ries, Joanne B., and Carl G. Leukefeld. Applying for
Research Funding: Getting Started and Getting
Funded. 1995.
Three of the seven sections in this comprehensive
guide concern writing a proposal: “What and When
to Write: Rules of the Game,” “How to Write: Unique
Moves,” and “Checking for Infractions: Preparing for
the Audience.”
Rudestam, Kjell Erik, and Rae R. Newton.
Surviving Your Dissertation: A Comprehensive
Guide to Content and Process. 1992.
Treats the dissertation process from finding a topic
to the oral defense. Chapter on results gives detailed
information on presenting statistical information in
tables and graphs. Section on process, subtitled
“What You Need to Know to Make the Dissertation
Easier,” includes practical advice on managing time
and dealing with writing anxiety, including “Twelve
Tricks to Keep You Going When You Write.”

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Graduate School’s Master’s Thesis Guide
Graduate School’s Dissertation Guide
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