Thesis Survivor Stories

01 Mar, 2022
Cartoon image of happy graduates holding up degrees.

An updated book reveals the deeply personal struggles of PhD candidates – and their practical advice for those who follow in their footsteps.

Thesis Survivor Stories is a collection of writings from some of those who undertook their doctorates under the supervision of the books’ co-editors, Professor Marilyn Waring and Professor Kate Kearins.

“The stories in this book are, on occasion, quite personal, and quite poignant,” the co-editors say in its introduction.

“Sometimes cathartic, sometimes funny, sometimes sad and sometimes redolent of all that detail that seems to overwhelm, together they provide a collection that seeks to inspire others. ‘A thesis is possible,’ they say. It may not be easy. But it is possible.”

Thesis Survivor Stories shows the diversity of experience of 26 PhD and M.Phil graduates and the creative ways that social science is being undertaken in Aotearoa New Zealand.

This second edition retains 15 of the original essays from the first edition and has nine new ones, six of which are collective narratives.

The chapters are individuals’ thesis stories and compilations that provide advice to others contemplating, struggling with and surviving re-searching and writing a postgraduate thesis.

Together, they cover the journey of a thesis from framing a passion into a research question, learning how to write in academic style, through to the many drafts and the oral exam.

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

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