restricted access What I've Learned about Revising a Dissertation

The structural changes in higher education and scholarly publishing have raised new questions about the usefulness of the dissertation as precursor to scholarly publication. This essay reconsiders the process of turning a dissertation into a book manuscript. Recent manuals about dissertation writing like From Dissertation to Book and Revising Your Dissertation are helpful but often provide overly broad conceptualizations about how to assess a dissertation and revise it into a book. Likewise, academics tend to describe the revision process in conceptual terms by focusing on too impressionistic ways of distinguishing the difference between a dissertation and a book. In addition, they spend surprisingly little time discussing the methods and techniques of writing and revision that authors actually use. Drawing from my own recent experience as an example, I offer practical advice as well as theoretical reflections on the research and writing process by which dissertations can become book manuscripts.