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Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD

Understanding and solving intractable resource governance problems.

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      • POLI 375A Global Environmental Politics (Term 1, Sep-Dec 2011)
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Authoring a PhD Thesis: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish a Doctoral Dissertation (my reading notes)

One of the books I love the most is “ Authoring a PhD Thesis: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish a Doctoral Dissertation ” by Dr. Patrick J. Dunleavy . Dr. Dunleavy is a professor of political science at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in London, England, and someone whose research I deeply respect and admire. Moreover, I have frequently read and referred my own students to his website, Write For Research , and I’ve used his advice myself. So writing my reading notes of “Authoring a PhD” seemed not only like an imperative but also like something I had to do soon.

While I didn’t take as many photographs from the book, I really enjoyed reading it as Dunleavy offers a really solid, step-by-step guide to how to write and complete a doctoral dissertation. I had read his book a while ago, after I completed my PhD and I recommended it to several of my students, but I hadn’t had the time to type my reading notes, which I did this time.

I love "Authoring a PhD" by @PJDunleavy – the first chapter helps the PhD student understand what’s expected of them and what authoring is. pic.twitter.com/kO8H0M55Zr

— Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega (@raulpacheco) May 13, 2018

As @PJDunleavy says, you need to envision the thesis as a whole because it is most fundamentally a contract – I’m a big fan of contracts pic.twitter.com/0hf4Q05OW4

— Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega (@raulpacheco) May 13, 2018

The third chapter on the macro-structure is fantastic because it allows the student to think about explanatory models, structure of the thesis, where the literature review comes, and different strategies to resolve the central question (a gap in the literature, a puzzle)

— Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega (@raulpacheco) May 13, 2018

I really enjoyed that Dunleavy offers 3 chapters on writing, particularly the attention points (data, charts, graphics). And while he only offers one chapter on finishing the dissertation, it’s so thorough and filled with good advice, I can appreciate the entire text as excellent

— Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega (@raulpacheco) May 13, 2018

Overall, I really loved re-reading Dunleavy’s book, and Bolker’s. I do think no single book offers everything PhD students need, so they’ll need a combination of these, for sure.

Chapter 9 on publishing post-PhD is an excellent primer for what to do once you’ve survived the viva (or thesis defence). If I taught a workshop on thesis writing for doctoral students, I would pair Dunleavy with Bolker and add @WmGermano From Dissertation to Book afterwards.

— Dr Raul Pacheco-Vega (@raulpacheco) May 13, 2018

Posted in academia .

Tagged with dissertation , PhD , reading notes , writing .

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By Raul Pacheco-Vega

May 16, 2018

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« Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis (my reading notes)
Resources to help non-native English speakers who are writing a PhD dissertation »


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About Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD

I am an Assistant Professor in the Public Administration Division of the Centre for Economic Research and Teaching, CIDE (Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas, CIDE, AC) based out of CIDE Region Centro in Aguascalientes, Mexico. My research is interdisciplinary by nature, although I consider myself more of a political scientist and geographer, as those […] more →

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