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.

About SAGE Publications

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1200 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, and Washington DC, our publishing programme includes more than 640 journals and over 800 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.
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