the experience of doctoral researching/writing – five good books

Patter is on a week’s leave. She may or may not be reading thoroughly, but she has taken along some books to dip in and out of.

In the interests of sharing the dipping in and out, here are five books about the doctoral experience. These offer extended narratives and analysis written by doctoral researchers and the occasional supervisor. Not surprisingly perhaps, there seem to be more of these books in the field of education, but there are writings from other disciplines too.

These are books that I think are interesting reads – they are good to browse and may offer some new perspectives on everyday doctoral writing/researching life. They should, in my view, be in every university library as they are useful for both doctoral researchers (It’s not just me) and supervisors (Oh may be I ought to).

Anyon, Jean. (2009). Theory and educational research. Towards critical social explanation. New York: Routledge.
Doctoral researchers write about why and how they have used social theory. This area is often one that I get asked questions about, and here are several answers.

Casanave, Christine Pearson, & Li, Xiaoming (Eds.). (2008). Learning the literacy practices of graduate school. Insider’s reflections on academic enculturation. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Experiences of supervisors and doctoral researchers dealing with the language and cultural questions integral to ‘international’ education.

Ely, Margaret, Vinz, Ruth, Downing, Maryann, & Anzul, Margaret (Eds.). (1997). On writing qualitative research. Living by words. London: Falmer.
A journey style text which follows a group of supervisor and doctoral researchers who meet regularly throughout candidature to discuss writing.

Garman, Noreen and Piantanida, Maria ( Eds) (2006) The authority to imagine. The struggle toward representation in dissertation writing. New York: Peter Lang.
Another long term study group but this one focused more generally on qualitative research and the text work/identity work questions involved.

Weis, Lois, & Fine, Michelle. (2000). Speed bumps. A student-friendly guide to qualitative research. New York: Teachers College Press.
Two supervisors and their doctoral researchers consider methodological and methods questions that arose for them, drawing out general principles.

Do you have more good dipping in and out of doctoral experience books to add to this list?

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About pat thomson

Pat Thomson is Professor of Education in the School of Education, The University of Nottingham, UK
This entry was posted in doctoral education, doctoral experience, doctoral research and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to the experience of doctoral researching/writing – five good books

  1. rglw says:

    Reading about writing and professionalization could not be more key to a smooth transition through the various phases of graduate life into the academy (if that’s where you’re headed). My program did not encourage it, expecting us to discover many things on our own. Thanks for this post!

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