Endorsed by dozens of professors, deans, and dissertation advisors:
PhDone is a friendly and thorough guide to living productively through the dissertation-writing process. Roda, Saunders and Anderson have cracked the sometimes mysterious pathways from start to finish of choosing topics, advisors, committees and what one can reasonably expect. That writing a dissertation is “a job”, as they advise, is surely the key to completing and living through one of the most significant achievements one can imagine.
- Dr. Fred Myers, Silver Professor of Anthropology, New York University
Our bestselling book includes a proven formula for research and dissertation writing success, based on decades of experience with PhD students across a wide range of academic fields, including the social sciences, humanities, sciences, and business.
Demystify the Process
PhDone demystifies what a successful dissertation entails, from synthesizing literature and conducting research to mastering the editing process and acing your defense.
Includes both illustrative anecdotes and cautionary tales from real doctoral candidates—learn from the hard-earned wisdom of those who have succeeded (and failed) in the dissertation writing process.
Achieve Your Goals
Elevate your career and life with the degree you’ve been working toward, all while maintaining your work-life balance, relationships, sanity, and passion for your field of research.
Everything you need to finally finish your doctorate
Based on decades of experience working with thousands of doctoral candidates at Dissertation Editor, Dr. Allen Roda and Dr. Lauren Saunders deliver a comprehensive yet accessible guide filled with practical advice, illuminating stories, and hard-earned wisdom that will empower you to complete your dissertation and earn your degree.
In PhDone, you’ll also learn how to:
Choose and construct your methodology (qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods)
Develop research questions, conduct research, and obtain IRB approval
Properly analyze results and formulate conclusions
Maintain a schedule, establish a productive workspace, and cultivate work-life balance
Facilitate a functional advisor-advisee relationship, and navigate the dissertation committee
Master the process of revising, editing, and formatting
Nail your defense and earn final approval
Wherever you are in your doctoral journey, Dr. Roda and Dr. Saunders offer you the tools you need to conquer academia’s biggest challenge and get PhDone.
About the authors
Dr. Allen Roda
As CEO of Dissertation Editor and co-founder of its UK counterpart Thesis Editor, Dr. Allen Roda has engaged with thousands of doctoral students in every field of higher education. He and his team of PhD editors and statisticians have established themselves as global leaders in higher education support services by working with over 3,500 graduates from more than 500 different universities.
Dr. Roda earned a BA in Anthropology, magna cum laude, from Wake Forest University, a Master’s in Anthropology from Columbia University, and a PhD in Ethnomusicology from NYU, where he was awarded Fulbright and AIIS research fellowships and was selected for the NYU Global Research Initiative in London. Afterward, he held the prestigious Jane and Morgan Whitney Curatorial Fellowship at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and was a professor at The New School and NYU. His publications have won several awards including the Frances Densmore and Klaus Wachsmann prizes from the American Musical Instrument Society and Society for Ethnomusicology. He currently lives in North Carolina, with his wife and two sons.
Dr. Lauren Saunders
Dr. Lauren Saunders is the Vice President of Editing and Research for Dissertation Editor, where she previously served as an editor and managing editor. She earned a BA in Dance and a BFA in Creative Writing, summa cum laude, from Chapman University, an M.Phil. in Irish Literature from Trinity College, Dublin, awarded with distinction, and a PhD in Literary Studies from the University of Denver, where she received the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Divisional Dissertation Fellowship.
In addition to a decade of experience in university writing centers, she designed and taught courses in the University of Denver writing program and English department. She lives in Colorado with her husband and daughter.
Kevin Anderson is the founder of Dissertation Editor and co-founder of its UK counterpart, Thesis Editor. He is also the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Kevin Anderson & Associates, a book-writing, ghostwriting, editorial services, and publishing navigation firm with offices in NYC, Nashville, LA, and London, where he works with numerous bestselling and award-winning authors, literary agents, major publishers, and a variety of public figures, professionals, and aspiring authors. He’s edited over 50+ national bestsellers and is a contributing author to Publishers Weekly’s Book Publishing Almanac 2022: A Master Class in the Art of Bringing Books to Readers.
Kevin grew up on a small farm in a remote area of Northern Alberta, Canada. He completed his BA in history and philosophy magna cum laude at the University of Lethbridge, and his Master’s degree at Harvard University in 2007, with a concentration in literary theory and criticism.
Kevin currently lives in the Boston area and spends his free time enjoying the outdoors, performing music, and traveling abroad with his wife and four children.
Reviews of PhDone
As one who has directed a Writing Center for years, I say with confidence that this book offers a great deal of essential advice. Presenting the whole graduate school experience as preparation for the project of the dissertation, PhDone will help many begin the process when they should, long before the writing itself is underway. Wise, savvy and extensive—a very valuable resource."
- Dr. Brian Glaser, Associate Professor and former Writing Center Director, Chapman University
I wish I'd had this when I was working on my own dissertation! An invaluable guide to the ins and outs and do's and don'ts of finishing your PhD thesis and getting your degree. I'm definitely going to share it with my own students.
- Dr. Michael Beckerman, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Music, Collegiate Professor of Music, New York University
Writing a dissertation is daunting, even for the most accomplished students. PhDone includes excellent advice, and its many examples prove that no obstacle a student might confront is unique: from the difficulty of delineating a topic to political problems with a committee. PhDone is a charming and useful guide for anyone considering or working on a PhD.
- Dr. Richard Ruppel, Professor of English and Peace Studies, Director, General Education Program, Chapman University
Everyone who has ever worked on a doctoral degree knows the ups, downs, concerns, and anxieties of completing the dissertation. Roda, Saunders, and Anderson offer an illuminating and fundamentally helpful guide toward PhD completion. Most every grad student I've ever known could have used this!
- Dr. David Gilbert, Assistant Professor of History at Mars Hill College
This practical guide contextualizes the entire dissertation-writing process, from writing the proposal to organizing, editing, and even publishing the dissertation after graduation. By emphasizing approaches to writing based on one’s career goals—whether those are in or beyond academia—this book will help readers complete their dissertations promptly while honing lifelong skills for professional success in diverse fields. As a writing professor who has supported PhD students across the disciplines, I highly recommend this book for anyone starting or in the process of working on their dissertation.
This book is perfect for anyone considering grad school. It's laid out very practically and goes through all of the steps and stages of the process. Writing a dissertation is a daunting task, and this is the perfect book to help students know what to expect and how to navigate that process.
- Dr. Kristin Bledsoe, Dean, School of Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies at Trevecca
PhDone: A Professional Dissertation Editor's Guide to Writing Your Doctoral Thesis and Earning your PhD is an immensely helpful tool to help students navigate their pathway to a PhD. For anyone, these are stressful moments and having this book helps make sure submissions are well organized and error-free! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am proud to be using this book at Coastal Carolina University!
- Benjamin Sota, Associate Professor of Theatre, Coastal Carolina University
PhDone is a thorough but approachable introduction to what you need to expect from the process of completing a dissertation. As I tell my students, you need to minimize unexpected hurdles. This book can help.
- Dr. Darren Linville, Associate Professor of Communication, Clemson University
Dr. Roda has been supporting doctoral students on their journeys for many years, and I am delighted to see this wisdom now encapsulated in a book to be more widely accessible.
- Dr. Lindsay Stark, Associate Dean for Global Strategy and Programs, Washington University in St. Louis
Most books in this genre feel theoretical, offering an unachievable ideal for completing one’s thesis. But this excellent alternative from Roda, Saunders, and Anderson is practical, honest, and truly helpful. They’ve directly coached over 3,000 real people earn their PhDs and it shows on every page.
- Andrew P. Jones, Professor of the Practice, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School; Research Affiliate, MIT Sloan School of Management; Executive Director, Climate Interactive
This is a must-read for new PhD students or those who are nearing the dissertation stage of their journey. The practical guidance is invaluable, and the personal anecdotes bring life and reality into the seemingly daunting task. For students with little institutional support, this book could be a life saver; for those with ample support, it will reinforce university practices and guidelines. This up-to-date guide addresses things that other handbooks do not, like the work-life balance aspect that all graduate students need, especially in a time of constant distractions.
-Dr. Lynda Hall, Associate Professor, Department of English, Chapman University
PhDone is a book I wish was available when I was in the dissertation stage of my own academic life. It is informational, motivational, and insightful. PhDone will help doctoral students negotiate the dissertation, a most challenging part of the process. Plus, the prose is engaging, making the book enjoyable as well as useful. I have already recommended PhDone to a student in the dissertation proposal part of their program. I will definitely recommend it to my colleagues and doctoral students with whom I work.
- Dr. Jan Osborn, Associate Professor, Rhetoric & Composition Studies, Chapman University
PhDone is an invaluable resource for anyone navigating the challenging journey of writing and publishing a dissertation. With a no-nonsense approach, the authors provide comprehensive guidance, covering every crucial aspect of the process. From understanding what a dissertation entails to selecting a committee, crafting a writing strategy, collecting and analyzing data, and ultimately defending and publishing your dissertation, this book leaves no stone unturned. I certainly wish I had this on my shelf when I was in the thick of it! PhDone will undoubtedly become a staple reference for anyone pursuing their PhD. In a world where unfinished dissertations haunt countless graduate students, PhDone shines as the beacon of hope and guidance. It equips you with the tools and wisdom to proudly declare, "I am PhDone!"
- Dr. Tony Dumas, Associate Director of Delta College, SUNY Brockport
PhDone offers clear, step-by-step advice for dissertation writers, with real-world anecdotes as well as details that are decidedly up-to-date, explaining what you need to know about academia now. The writing process isn't easy for anyone, but having a thoughtful guide like this can remove some of the mystery and stress.
- Dr. Benjamin Tausig, Associate Professor of Critical Music Studies at Stonybrook University
This breezily written book helps demystify the "hidden curriculum" around completing a PhD dissertation. It will be especially helpful to social scientists, and PhD hopefuls in the humanities and other sciences will also find much of great use here.
- Dr. Anna Stirr, Associate Professor of Asian Studies, University of Hawaii
Navigating one’s way through a doctoral program is a journey fraught with bureaucratic hurdles, interpersonal relationship traps, self-doubt, and worse. Reaching the destination–a successfully defended dissertation–requires intelligence, political savvy, a certain degree of masochism and, above all, perseverance. PhDone will be of use to any student entering a doctoral program as the volume provides practical information regarding not just how to go about writing a dissertation, but also how to manage just about every conceivable obstacle one might encounter while advancing through the many stages of a doctoral program. I will certainly recommend it to my few remaining advisees as they write their dissertations.
- Dr. Stephen Slawek, Professor Emeritus of Ethnomusicology, The University of Texas at Austin
I highly recommend PhDone: A Professional Dissertation Editor's Guide to Writing Your Doctoral Thesis and Earning your PhD to anyone contemplating a PhD program or already in one but needing some extra help navigating the process.
- Dr. Anne-Marie Pederson, Professional Academic Editor, Former Writing Center Director, Chapman University
I wish I had access to a book like this while I was in grad school! PhDone offers essential advice for anyone making their way through graduate school and the dissertation-writing process. Assembled by a team of experienced editors, this volume contains invaluable insights on some of the most challenging aspects of dissertation completion, including dealing with challenging advisors, formulating a research question, identifying one’s own writing style, facing writing stalls, and balancing real life and relationships. Sections on methodology and dissertation organization will be especially relevant for those in the sciences and social sciences, however the book contains a rich collection of dissertation survival strategies, delivered in an easy-to-read and empathetic way, that will benefit graduate students in any field of study.
- Charlotte D'Evelyn, Assistant Professor, Skidmore College Music Department
This well-organized book captures every aspect of the dissertation process including advice related to work-life balance, the logistics of the dissertation process, and what to do when you’re finally done. It provides thoughtful insight from those who have been on this journey before in a way that can help you navigate this process yourself, regardless of what area of study you are in. The writing is approachable and graduate students would benefit from heeding their advice.
- Dr. Courtney Baker, Assistant Professor, Eastern Carolina University