My last three posts included all the professors’ suggested reading, but before I had even finished putting the list together, another suggestion came in. This one is from new MALD graduate (and recent thesis survivor) Anne Dwojeski. Anne has put in two years of Admissions Committee service and is well-connected to all our work. Here’s the email she sent me last week.
I know you’d talked about putting suggested reading lists on the admissions blog. I’ve recently come across a book I wish I had read at the beginning of my Fletcher career — and wanted to let you know about it! It’s: The Craft of Research, by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams.
I picked it up at the suggestion of a friend when I was hitting a writer’s block with my thesis, and it has changed everything. It’s helping me enjoy the process more. The authors articulate strategies and approaches to research and writing that I think a lot of us have a sort of vague sense about, but which (in my experience and the experiences of a lot of my Fletcher friends) we might not implement as systematically as they suggest. For example, we know how to find sources to incorporate into a paper, but the authors offer strategies for how to sort through the overwhelming number of possible resources more systematically, efficiently and productively. (The strategies I was taught in my freshman writing class 13 years ago didn’t prepare me to weed through the seemingly unlimited online-database resources we can now access!)
It’s written so that college freshmen could use it, but it also has extremely useful suggestions for people (like myself) who’ve done a lot of research and writing — in college, in professional careers, and even in grad school. Ultimately, much of what they say we pick up over the course of our writing careers, but incoming students — especially those who have been out of school for awhile — might appreciate the book for saving them from that trial-and-error process, allowing them to delve into their research and writing more fully earlier on.
I have to stop myself from raving more…
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