From Dissertation to Book



From Dissertation to Book

William Germano 2005

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All new Phd’s hope that their dissertations can become books. But a dissertation is written for a committee and a book for the larger world. William Germano’s From Dissertation to Book is the essential guide for academic writers who want to revise a doctoral thesis for publication. The author of Getting It Published, Germano draws upon his extensive experience in academic publishing to provide writers with a state-of-the-art view of how to turn a dissertation into a manuscript that publishers will notice.

Acknowledging first that not all theses can become books, Germano shows how some dissertations might have a better life as one or more journal articles or as chapters in a newly conceived book. But even dissertations strong enough to be published as books first need to become book manuscripts, and at the heart of From Dissertation to Book is the idea that revising the dissertation is a fundamental process of adapting from one genre of writing to another.

Germano offers clear guidance on how to do just this. Writers will find advice on such topics as rethinking the table of contents, taming runaway footnotes, shaping chapter length, and confronting the limitations of jargon, alongside helpful timetables for light or heavy revision. With crisp directives, engaging examples, and a sympathetic eye for the foibles of academic writing, From Dissertation to Book reveals to recent PhD’s the process of careful and thoughtful revision–a truly invaluable skill as they grow into their new roles as professional writers.


“Every economically selected word in this book will help all to understand professional authorship for today’s academic world. ”

Sander L. Gilman, Weidenfeld Professor of European Comparative Literature, St. Anne’s College Oxford

“This book should be handed to the candidate at the conclusion of all doctoral defenses.”

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History, Columbia University

About the Author

William Germano is vice president and publishing director at Routledge. He has been editor in chief at Columbia University Press, where he also served as humanities editor.