Rewrite The Table Of Contents Before Turning Your Dissertation Into A Book Manuscript

 


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Throw out your table of contents from your dissertation and start over. You are going to write a new table of contents that reflects what will be in your book manuscript. Writing a new table of contents will make you think about what will go into your book.

REVIEW YOUR DISSERTATIONS TABLE OF CONTENTS
What needs to be taken out? A book editor is not interested in a review of the literature that is in your dissertation. Go through your dissertation’s table of contents. What makes sense? What does not make sense? Right now you are only interested in the titles of each chapter. Are there any chapter titles that will be viewed as puzzles when read by a book editor? Are there any titles that are not interesting?

POLISH EACH TITLE
Now is the time to think through your book manuscript. Are there any titles from your dissertation that you can keep? Make a note of them. Are there chapter titles from your dissertation that need rewritten? As you rewrite these titles be sure to let the gems inside the chapters shine. Are there any new chapter titles that will be added? Make these titles fresh and lively.

REWRITE TITLES AGAIN
Go over and over your chapter titles until they are perfect for your book manuscript. Revise these titles until they sing. Through your chapter titles in the table of contents present what you know in a lively manner. Maybe your dissertation had only 5 chapters. Your book manuscript can have 21 chapters. You are taking each part of your dissertation and dissecting it into parts that will guide a reader through an understanding of the contents of your book.

Spend the necessary time on your table of contents. It needs to make a good impression on a book editor. Make it flow from point to point. A good table of contents paints a lively picture of a good book.

Margaree King Mitchell is the co-owner of MKM Book Services, a book-consulting firm. Converting dissertations to book manuscripts is one of the services offered. Her website is http://www.mkmbookservices.com

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