Becoming an Author

  • Patrick Dunleavy
Part of the Palgrave Study Skills book series (MASTSK)


The authoring process involves all the component parts of producing a finished piece of text, that is: envisaging what to write, planning it in outline, drafting passages, writing the whole thing, revising and rewriting it, and finishing it in an appropriate form, together with publishing all or parts of your text. At every stage a complex mix of intellectual and logistical issues can crop up. As de Botton suggests of problems in general, often there are genuine (permanent) dilemmas surrounded by more resolvable delaying or distracting factors. Neither the fundamental problems nor their penumbra of aggravations may be straightforward to resolve, but we can often make progress on the latter by making the issues involved more explicit. My aim here is to shed light on common authoring problems and to point out solutions which others have found helpful and that may also work for you.


Doctoral Education Accessible Piece Social Science Discipline Main Adviser Dissertation Committee 
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  1. 1.
    Alain de Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy (London: Penguin, 2000), pp. 58–9.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    C. Wright Mills, The Sociological Imagination (New York: Oxford University Press, 1959), p. 243.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Michael Oakeshott, from his inaugural lecture at LSE, ‘Political Education’, p. 15, quoted in W. J. M. Mackenzie, Explorations in Government (London: Macmillan, now Palgrave Macmillan, 1975), p. 24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ernest Dimnet, The Art of Thinking (London: Cape, 1929), p. 151.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Patrick Dunleavy 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Dunleavy
    • 1
  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK

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