Guidelines For Converting A Thesis Or Dissertation Into An Academic Book Or Monograph -- By: Dan T. Lioy

Journal: Conspectus
Volume: CONSPECTUS 15:1 (Mar 2013)
Article: Guidelines For Converting A Thesis Or Dissertation Into An Academic Book Or Monograph
Author: Dan T. Lioy

Guidelines For Converting A Thesis Or Dissertation Into An Academic Book Or Monograph

Dan T. Lioy1

1. Introduction

Biblical studies and theology students in masters and doctoral programmes often spend countless hours and several years toiling away in isolation to research and write acceptable theses or dissertations. (In this essay, the preceding two terms are used interchangeably.) It is only natural for them to consider how they might share the fruits of their labour to a wider academic readership. After all, the investigative undertaking is a social enterprise in which students become members of a scholarly community.

Academic books and monographs are the established ways to disseminate the results of one’s research. This remains the case, even though other popular venues have arisen over the past two decades (e.g. e-journals, blogs, and so forth, made available over the Internet and accessed using a variety of mobile devices, including tablets and smartphones). Junior scholars need to recognise that the process of converting their graduate or postgraduate research into publishable form is neither easy nor straightforward. Expressed differently, it is not simply a matter of delivering the manuscript (perhaps completed a few years back) to a publisher, who then designs an appropriate cover before sending off the unaltered volume to the printers. Instead, the task is often labour-intensive, time consuming (on average, one to three years), mentally exhausting, and filled with uncertainty.

To set the stage for the guidelines appearing in the latter portion of this essay, the next section considers the distinctive nature of biblical and theological research. This is followed by a discussion of the complexities involved in revising one’s research findings. Then, the deliberation shifts to the benefits arising from the effort to rework one’s thesis or dissertation. Next, a comprehensive, though succinct, cluster of recommended steps is put forward for converting the capstone graduate or postgraduate project into an academic book or monograph. After that are observations about selecting a publisher and preparing the book proposal. The concluding section offers some final thoughts about the arduous process detailed in this essay. There is also a brief list of recommended resources for further reading on this subject.

2. The Distinctive Nature Of Biblical And Theological Research2

Biblical and theological research is the systematic process of gathering and analysing th...

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