Dream of becoming a published author? Read this

Broadside

Yes, it’s great. It’s really exciting. It is.

But then there’s this:

Drug-addicted beauty writer Cat Marnell has landed a book deal with Simon & Schuster for her memoir, “How to Murder Your Life.” Marnell, who has been in and out of rehab for her addiction to prescription drugs, famously told us she’d rather “smoke angel dust with her friends” than hold down a full-time job after being fired from Jane Pratt’s Web site, xoJane.com. Now she has chronicled her sexual and narcotic adventures in a book, to include her life as a spoiled rich kid of a psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst and her drug-fueled rise through Condé Nast, xoJane.com and Vice magazine…The proposal details her numerous sexual conquests [and] four abortions.

Because, you know, get-up-wash-face-work-hard-sleep-repeat is so…..vanilla. Who cares?

And then there’s the inevitable email I got yesterday, giving me 25 days to buy back several thousand unsold…

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The Fun Side of Dissertation Writing

Dissertation writing is a complicated and challenging project that will require many students to seek dissertation help from an online dissertation writing provider. However, this service does not come cheap and there is a possibility of plagiarism detection if the writer commissioned did not cite his or her sources. Hence, most students still choose to do their own dissertation writing. If they do need dissertation help, they will just maximise the guidance of their dissertation supervisor.

 

For those who are brave enough to undertake dissertation writing on their own, there are simple activities that will help take the stress and monotony of dissertation writing away:

 

  • Try your hand at creative writing. If dissertation writing requires formal language and writing style, try an informal approach by making a poem about your dissertation topic, making creative chapter titles, or draw a metaphor of the dissertation topic or even the writing process itself. You may even think of dissertation jokes. This conditions your mind to still think about the dissertation, but without the psychological mindset of it being boring and tedious.

  • Document your dissertation writing process. Take a picture of the environment where you do your writing—be it your room, a café or a quiet hideaway with a good view of nature. Write about the setting and what you were feeling while coming up with dissertation ideas or thinking about possible dissertation topics in a dissertation journal. You can eventually compile your pictures and notes and so that when the project is finished, you can make a slide show. If you are the type who likes to listen to music while thinking and writing, you can accompany the presentation with songs that remind you of these times. This makes you remember your ideas better because it is accompanied by pleasant thoughts. It also adds more meaning to the sense of accomplishment that you will feel when you have completed the dissertation project.

  • Bring colour and design into the writing project. Make a scrapbook of special or memorable events related to the project, have your friends write inspiring messages to encourage you to finish the task. Write on this using pens of various colours, glitter, crayons, and even cut-outs from newspapers and magazines. This will provide you with a mindset that will make you look forward to tackle your project even if you do not find joy in the dissertation writing itself.

When you ask for dissertation help from your supervisor or a trusted friend or mentor, the chat that invariably comes along with it will also make it an activity to look forward to.  

The Dissertation As Teacher

The Dissertation As Teacher

A…provocative article was published today at the Chronicle of Higher Education, titled “The Dissertation Can No Longer Be Defended.”  The article is premised on a pretty flimsy claim: that “The dissertation is broken. Many scholars agree.  So now what?”

The author never actually makes it clear that “many scholars” agree with her premise.  She cites examples of a few innovative new dissertation formats in the digital humanities, and also cites examples of improved CUNY fellowship package that helps graduate students focus on research rather than TAing.  Those are two very different things.  Better fellowship packages help promote stronger traditional dissertations.  Innovative formats, particularly when they play an augmenting role, are no direct challenge to the dissertation.  (If a dissertation committee opposes your innovative proposal, they quite possibly have a point!)  And speaking as a still-pretty-new faculty member (I defended my dissertation in 2009), I’ve never once heard from a scholar who felt that the dissertation as a whole was “broken.”…

University of Glasgow Library

This afternoon I was talking to junior honours History students as part of their dissertation induction training.  The session was about finding primary and secondary sources for their dissertation research.

One of the electronic resources I highlighted was British Records on the Atlantic World.  This is a brand new resource which the Library subscribed to over the summer.  It brings together digitised collections of records relating to Britain’s relationship with Africa and America from 1700 to 1900.  The collections include:

  • Records relating to the slave trade held at Liverpool Record Office;
  • Records relating to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel;
  • Papers of the Bolton Whitman Fellowship (which had correspondence with Walt Whitman, the father of American poetry); and
  • Papers of the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies (the Darien Scheme).

British Records on the Atlantic World is only one of a number of primary…

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