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Everything you need to finally finish your doctorate
Based on decades of experience working with thousands of doctoral candidates at Dissertation Editor, Dr. Allen Roda and Dr. Lauren Saunders deliver a comprehensive yet accessible guide filled with practical advice, illuminating stories, and hard-earned wisdom that will empower you to complete your dissertation and earn your degree.
Breaking down the doctoral journey step-by-step, offering invaluable tips and resources along the way, PhDone is an essential tool for any doctoral candidate. Dr. Roda and Dr. Saunders demystify what a successful dissertation entails, detailing how to formulate your abstract, write your introduction, research your topic, and build a literature review. In PhDone, you’ll also learn how to:
- Choose and construct your methodology (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods)
- Develop research questions, conduct research, and obtain IRB approval
- Properly analyze results and formulate conclusions
- Master the process of revising, editing, and formatting
- Nail your defense and earn final approval
In addition to outlining the technical components of a dissertation, PhDone provides recommendations for maintaining a schedule, establishing a productive workspace, and cultivating a work-life balance—integral to a successful PhD journey. Dr. Roda and Dr. Saunders share anecdotes and guidance on the many hurdles doctoral candidates face beyond writing the dissertation itself, including how to navigate dissertation committees, the potentially challenging advisor-advisee relationship, and more.
Wherever you are in your doctoral journey, Dr. Roda and Dr. Saunders offer you the tools you need to conquer academia’s biggest challenge and get PhDone.
About the Author
As CEO of Dissertation Editor and co-founder of its UK counterpart Thesis Editor, Dr. Allen Roda has engaged with thousands of doctoral students in every field of higher education. He and his team of PhD editors and statisticians have established themselves as global leaders in higher education support services by working with over 3,500 graduates from more than 500 different universities.
Dr. Roda earned a BA in Anthropology, magna cum laude, from Wake Forest University, a Master’s in Anthropology from Columbia University, and a PhD in Ethnomusicology from NYU, where he was awarded Fulbright and AIIS research fellowships and was selected for the NYU Global Research Initiative in London. Afterward, he held the prestigious Jane and Morgan Whitney Curatorial Fellowship at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and was a professor at The New School and NYU. His publications have won several awards including the Frances Densmore and Klaus Wachsmann prizes from the American Musical Instrument Society and Society for Ethnomusicology. He currently lives in North Carolina, with his wife and two sons.
Dr. Lauren Saunders is the Vice President of Editing and Research for Dissertation Editor, where she previously served as an editor and managing editor. She earned a BA in Dance and a BFA in Creative Writing, summa cum laude, from Chapman University, an M.Phil. in Irish Literature from Trinity College, Dublin, awarded with distinction, and a PhD in Literary Studies from the University of Denver, where she received the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Divisional Dissertation Fellowship. In addition to a decade of experience in university writing centers, she designed and taught courses in the University of Denver writing program and English department. She lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter.
Kevin Anderson is the founder of Dissertation Editor and co-founder of its UK counterpart, Thesis Editor. He is also the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Kevin Anderson & Associates, a book-writing, ghostwriting, editorial services, and publishing navigation firm with offices in NYC, Nashville, LA, and London, where he works with numerous bestselling and award-winning authors, literary agents, major publishers, and a variety of public figures, professionals, and aspiring authors. He’s edited over 50+ national bestsellers and is a contributing author to Publishers Weekly’s Book Publishing Almanac 2022: A Master Class in the Art of Bringing Books to Readers.
Kevin grew up on a small farm in a remote area of Northern Alberta, Canada. He completed his BA in history and philosophy magna cum laude at the University of Lethbridge, and his Master’s degree at Harvard University in 2007, with a concentration in literary theory and criticism.
Kevin currently lives in the Boston area and spends his free time enjoying the outdoors, performing music, and traveling abroad with his wife and four children.
“PhDone is a friendly and thorough guide to living productively through the dissertation-writing process. Roda, Saunders, and Anderson have cracked the sometimes mysterious pathways from start to finish of choosing topics, advisors, committees and what one can reasonably expect. That writing a dissertation is ‘a job,’ as they advise, is surely the key to completing and living through one of the most significant achievements one can imagine.”
—Fred Myers, Silver Professor of Anthropology, New York University
“As one who has directed a writing center for years, I say with confidence that this book offers a great deal of essential advice. Presenting the whole graduate school experience as preparation for the project of the dissertation, PhDone will help many begin the process when they should, long before the writing itself is underway. Wise, savvy, and extensive—a very valuable resource.”
—Dr. Brian Glaser, associate professor and former writing center director, Chapman University
“PhDone offers clear, step-by-step advice for dissertation writers, with real-world anecdotes as well as details that are decidedly up to date, explaining what you need to know about academia now. The writing process isn't easy for anyone, but having a thoughtful guide like this can remove some of the mystery and stress.”
—Dr. Benjamin Tausig, associate professor of critical music studies, Stonybrook University
"This book is perfect for anyone considering grad school. It's laid out very practically and goes through all of the steps and stages of the process. Writing a dissertation is a daunting task, and this is the perfect book to help students know what to expect and how to navigate that process."
—Kristin Bledsoe, dean, School of Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies at Trevecca
"I wish I'd had this when I was working on my own dissertation! An invaluable guide to the ins and outs and do's and don'ts of finishing your PhD thesis and getting your degree. I'm definitely going to share it with my own students."
—Dr. Michael Beckerman, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music, New York University
“Writing a dissertation is daunting, even for the most accomplished students. PhDone includes excellent advice, and its many examples prove that no obstacle a student might confront is unique: from the difficulty of delineating a topic to political problems with a committee. PhDone is a charming and useful guide for anyone considering or working on a PhD.”
—Dr. Richard Ruppel, professor of English and peace studies, director, general education program, Chapman University
“Everyone who has ever worked on a doctoral degree knows the ups, downs, concerns, and anxieties of completing the dissertation. Roda, Saunders, and Anderson offer an illuminating and fundamentally helpful guide toward PhD completion. Most every grad student I've ever known could have used this!
—Dr. David Gilbert, assistant professor of history, Mars Hill College