Sunday, August 19, 2007

Long range planning

In education, you can do one of three things with your dissertation after finishing:
  1. Nothing. This is what most grads do, especially if they aren't aiming for jobs in research or academia.
  2. Turn it in to an article, or perhaps more than one article. Most students going into academia do this.
  3. Turn it into a book. This depends on your specialty; historians and sociologists of education are more likely to produce books than economists and political scientists.

I'm thinking of going down the book road, so I'm reading From Dissertation to Book. You could argue it's a little early to be worrying about that, but I think knowing the final destination makes the journey easier. If I'm hiking the Appalachian Trail, I want to know that Katahdin, Maine is the endpoint and that I have 2200 miles to go before I get there. It's much better than knowing I'll reach New Jersey at some point and then have decide what to do next. (Then again, I am almost freakish about planning.) Seeing the road ahead helps me break it down into little journeys.

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