Browsing the archives for the Sarah Caro tag

Review of How to Publish Your PhD
Posted by James L. Smith

As a PhD student puzzled and disorientated by the seemingly impenetrable complexity of academic publishing, reading How to Publish your PhD by Sarah Caro was a balm for my anxieties. At present, I find myself occupying a point on the winding and erratic road to doctoral submission at which I am grateful (sometimes pathetically so) for advice, any advice, about demystifying academia. Having read several books on thesis writing early in my doctoral research, I had yet to discover a book that convincingly dealt with the practicalities of publishing a book from one’s thesis. In this ‘publish or perish’ world, it is really never to early to begin thinking about ‘the m word’. Monograph. Even reading the word itself gives me the willies.

This thin volume (a sprightly 136 pages) is packed with valuable material for the angst-ridden PhD student with no idea of where to start, or the confused early career academic staring down the barrel of their first monograph. Filled with sensible advice and divided into self-evidently useful chapters such as ‘Books or Articles?’ and ‘Revising your PhD’, Caro has created a text to be read, re-read and referred to when needed. Every chapter is summarised in point form, making quick checks exceedingly simple. As the current Publisher for Economics and Management journals at Wiley and obvious veteran of the publishing world, Caro is ideally suited to be the author of such a book.

The text provides the reader with a series of things that a would-be creator of an academic monograph can do to help themselves, with particular focus on small and yet oft-overlooked details. Attentiveness to these details, according to Caro, can mean the difference between a submission ending up in the ‘no’ pile or the ‘maybe’ pile (p. vi). To say that Caro has thought of everything in this book would naturally be an exaggeration, but it is definitely fair to say that the book contains all of the major aspects of importance to the author. Given that these points are based on years of experience, I am inclined to believe that they are significant. Continue Reading »

2 Comments Posted in Pitching & Publishing
Tagged , ,
Sarah Caro – REVISING YOUR PhD: Part 6 ‘More Revisions for a Monograph’
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Sarah Caro, author of How to Publish Your PhD has kindly offered us this six-part guide on revising a thesis for publication as a book. Over the coming weeks she’ll be explaining how to understand what type of book you can produce as well as discover ways of shaping it up into a more book-like body of material.

As final summary of how to revise your thesis into a publishable book:

  • Do be aware of the stylistic and structural differences between the different genres of academic writing.
  • Do identify those features which are original to your thesis and those which are common to the genre so that you can work to enhance the former and minimize the latter.
  • Do remember that a journal article needs to be focused, concise and is geared towards a highly specialized audience so you don’t need to spell everything out.
  • Do bear in mind that in a monograph theory, data and methods should be synthesized and integrated into the text rather than merely described. Continue Reading »

No Comments Posted in Pitching & Publishing, Writing
Tagged , , , ,
Sarah Caro – REVISING YOUR PhD: Part 5 ‘Some Additional Tips’
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Sarah Caro, author of How to Publish Your PhD has kindly offered us this six-part guide on revising a thesis for publication as a book. Over the coming weeks she’ll be explaining how to understand what type of book you can produce as well as discover ways of shaping it up into a more book-like body of material.

How you decide to restructure your thesis will depend in part on the subject matter and discipline within which you are working but there are some more general points regarding style that are relevant what­ever your topic and disciplinary background.

One of the most common problems is a too heavy reliance on the opinions of others – in other words too many direct quotes from other critics/theoreticians/scholars. While it is perfectly understand­able that you will wish to position your own work in relation to those who have gone before you and show how your own work builds upon theirs, excessive direct quotation can distract from and weaken your own argument and even be quite confusing out of context. It can also become quite tedious if you are constantly referencing the same people and may give the impression that you are less well read than is actually the case (not a desirable outcome!). To avoid this pitfall read through your manuscript looking for opportunities to reduce the amount of direct quotation. Paraphrase or summarize arguments instead of reproducing them verbatim and perhaps cut them out altogether if they are not strictly necessary. Do make sure, however, that you still scrupulously reference any idea that is not your own – the last thing you want is to make yourself vulnerable to accusations of plagiarism. Continue Reading »

No Comments Posted in Pitching & Publishing, Writing
Tagged , , , ,
Sarah Caro – REVISING YOUR PhD: Part 4 ‘More Revisions for a Monograph’
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Sarah Caro, author of How to Publish Your PhD has kindly offered us this six-part guide on revising a thesis for publication as a book. Over the coming weeks she’ll be explaining how to understand what type of book you can produce as well as discover ways of shaping it up into a more book-like body of material.

Returning to the example thesis from last week, let’s look at content. Here’s the thesis outline:

Chapter 1: Definitions, Empirical Puzzle and choice of case studies

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Chapter 3: Timing, size and composition of X

Chapter 4: Social and political factors affecting X in the Netherlands 1975-1990

Chapter 5: Social and political factors affecting X in Austria 1975-1990

Chapter 6: Some additional factors affecting X in the Netherlands and Austria

Chapter 7: The impact of X in the Netherlands and Austria: a com­parative perspective

Chapter 8: Consolidating X in the Netherlands and Austria References Appendix 1 a

Continue Reading »

No Comments Posted in Pitching & Publishing, Writing
Tagged , , , ,
Sarah Caro – REVISING YOUR PhD: Part 3 ‘Revisions for a Monograph’
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Sarah Caro, author of How to Publish Your PhD has kindly offered us this six-part guide on revising a thesis for publication as a book. Over the coming weeks she’ll be explaining how to understand what type of book you can produce as well as discover ways of shaping it up into a more book-like body of material.

Transforming your thesis into a format suitable for publication as an academic monograph may or may not involve much cutting down of length. In fact it may require the inclusion of some additional material or expansion of existing sections (as we shall see below). What is cer­tain, however, is that unless you are exceptionally gifted, lucky, or have been guided by a supervisor who has early-on spotted the publication potential of your work, it will need substantial reworking and restruc­turing if it is to escape its roots and become a convincing monograph.

As discussed before the average monograph does not follow the thesis-methods-results-analysis paradigm unless it has started life as a PhD and it is usually screamingly obvious when this is the case and the author has not revised it. Recently I received a pro­posal with the following table of contents (some details have been changed to avoid the person and project being identified): Continue Reading »

1 Comment Posted in Pitching & Publishing, Writing
Tagged , , , ,
Sarah Caro – REVISING YOUR PhD: Part 2 ‘The Style and Genre of your Thesis’
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Sarah Caro, author of How to Publish Your PhD has kindly offered us this six-part guide on revising a thesis for publication as a book. Over the coming weeks she’ll be explaining how to understand what type of book you can produce as well as discover ways of shaping it up into a more book-like body of material.

Using the rough guidelines I offered last week, you can now begin to analyze your own thesis and try to identify those features that are unique to your thesis and those features which are common to the genre. You might even find it is easiest to do this by taking a piece of paper and dividing it into three columns. I will tell you what the third column is for in a minute but for the tine being you could put ‘unique feature’ at the top of one column and ‘feature of the genre’ at the top of the next. Feature of the genre should be easiest to start with and might include:

 

Continue Reading »

No Comments Posted in Pitching & Publishing, Writing
Tagged , , , ,
Sarah Caro – REVISING YOUR PhD: Part 1 ‘Publication Types’
Posted by Charlotte Frost

Sarah Caro, author of How to Publish Your PhD has kindly offered us this six-part guide on revising a thesis for publication as a book. Over the coming weeks she’ll be explaining how to understand what type of book you can produce as well as discover ways of shaping it up into a more book-like body of material.

A PhD performs a specific function, very different from that of a book or a journal. As a result it is structured differently and the tone and approach are not those you would use in a journal or a book. This six-part series provides some general advice on revising your thesis and high¬lights some common problems and issues that will need to be addressed whether you opt for articles or a book. It includes a practical example of how one might set about restructuring one’s thesis into a book and some basic guidelines on content and style.

Unless you are a student of literature the chances are that in your aca¬demic career to date you have spent little time thinking about genre or style. You will hopefully have made an effort to write clearly and will have learnt how to lay out references and notes but you may have never consciously considered the genre or format of what you are writing. In fact academic writing like any other form of writing geared to a specific audience is a distinctive genre in its own right and comes with a clear set of expectations on the part of both reader and writer. All academic disciplines conform to the basic strictures of the genre of academic writing, though there may well be significant dif¬ferences in style which can obscure these similarities. Continue Reading »

No Comments Posted in Pitching & Publishing, Writing
Tagged , , , ,