“Cutting Through The Academic Crap: An Informal Guide to Writing Your Dissertation”
Why did I feel the need to write this short, no nonsense guide for students? Read on.
There used to be a joke, which turned about to be the truth regarding an EU directive about cucumbers. It amounted to a terrifying number of words when compared to the American Bill of Rights. Scary when you consider that the first deals with a salad vegetable and the second the rights of a nation’s individuals.
My mother’s generation always believed in the value of long-winded pomposity over short, clear and to the point writing. These people still exist and a lot are in academia.
I wrote this short, clear guide because so many students - intelligent, articulate students - get either no clear instructions about what they need to write the dissertation or conflicting information.
The incredibly intelligent and talented son of a friend was working himself into a nervous breakdown over his dissertation. Had he been given guidance by his tutors? Yes, but they kept changing their minds. The saddest thing was that he knew exactly what he wanted to say, but nobody had told him in plain uncomplicated language how to say it. Worse, they hadn’t even hinted at how much knowledge of how to manipulate the word processing software he would need. We spent a weekend sorting his notes and, using my guidance, he wrote his dissertation. He came out of university with a first-class honours degree.
Cutting Through the Academic Crap covers not just how to put a dissertation together, but how to organise your notes, how to use your time effectively, how to manipulate Word and what to do if it all goes wrong. If this guide saves just one student from the hell my friend went through, I shall be delighted.
April Taylor. Cutting Through the Academic Crap.
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