How to Turn Your Dissertation, Thesis, or Paper into a Publication (Part Three)

By Camille Gamboa, SAGE US PR & Conventions Assistant

Part 3: What to publish

 While it may feel like you are choosing between children, because your work is so expansive, it is probably best to choose only a portion or a chapter of your work to publish in a journal or adapt into a book. So how do you decide which part is best? Dr. Sarah-Louise Quinnell, an experienced social scientist and blogger for phd2published, offers some key questions to ask yourself which we’ve adapted with some insights of our own:

  1. What are the key original elements of my paper? If someone were to ask you what new research your work brings to the field, what would you tell them?
  2. What do I want this publication to achieve? Is your goal to build theory? Is it to empirically apply a theory to a real life-setting? Is it to expose something that you feel needs to be known by a wider audience? Once you decide what you want your publication to do, it will be easier to know which parts of your work you want to emphasize.
  3. What do I want my argument to be? Arnold Pan, experienced academic and blogger for Post Academic points out that it is possible that the argument for the work you want to publish be different than the overall argument of your paper or thesis. While a sub-section of your thesis or dissertation may make a good journal article, there may be stronger or more original arguments made throughout that you wish to focus on instead. Sarah Caro, author of How to Publish your PhD, states that when structuring a journal article, you should choose your most compelling argument to focus on and not digress into discussing other points that you have covered in your thesis. Those other points may be the beginnings of a different journal article for a different occasion.

Now that you’ve decided which parts of your paper are best for publishing, the real editing can begin. Stay tuned as next time we will provide some final tips for turning your paper into a publication.

For more tips from experienced professionals, visit the phd2published and Post Academic blogs or check out Caro’s How to Publish your PhD, published by SAGE. And check out our previous blog posts related to publishing your paper by clicking herehere and here.

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