New book about surviving a thesis by those who know best

21 Sep, 2011
Professor Marilyn Waring and Professor Kate Kearins are launching their new book on Friday September 23.

A fresh and real experience of students’ journeys through their PhD or Masters thesis forms the basis of a new book by Professor Marilyn Waring and Professor Kate Kearins from AUT University.

All about the book

Thesis survivor stories: practical advice on getting through your PhD or Master thesis is being launched at Four Seasons Restaurant on September 23 with AUT Media.

The book takes readers through 20 students’ stories of the trials and tribulations of completing their theses as well as useful advice for students contemplating taking the next step in their tertiary education.

The sharing of PhD stories is something Waring incorporates in her supervising of thesis students, having monthly pot luck dinners for them to meet others in the same process.

“There is collegiality in sharing stories. There is nothing out there at all that students could read to find that kind of support in the monthly potluck meetings,” says Waring.

The stories

Kearins says the 20 contributor's stories are diverse, an important aspect of the book.

“If you dip in and out of it you are likely to find someone in this book like you. We deliberately sought out people from different universities and in different stages.”

This range includes one who came to PhD study after five years of university study and, before that, straight from high school, to one who completed his MPhil at the age of 84.

“We know it’s a lonely journey and some people think that no-one knows what they are going through. That’s not the case but the stories are not shared,” says Waring.

A background in academics

Waring and Kearins’ interest in thesis research and writing comes from their own experience as one-time PhD candidates and now as supervisors.

“What these students offer is the benefit of their experience. Much of the advice, we are certain, is advice many of these thesis writers wish they had heard on the way through.”


Both Waring and Kearins have received Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Supervision.

Vice-Chancellor Derek McCormack says it is fantastic to see this book co-authored by two AUT academics.

“I congratulate Professor Kearins and Professor Waring for their work in compiling a book that is able to be used by students and in fact, supervisors, to help guide them through the thesis writing experience.

“Undertaking post-graduate research is by no means an easy task and Thesis Survivor Stories has helped address this while also presenting a compelling and informative read.”