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Book Review: How Do We Know Ourselves?

Book Review: Writing for Social Scientists

Subtitled “How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article,” this book is literally a road map to writing about the social sciences. It has been decades since I read it, so this “review” is really an appreciation of a formative publication.

I was reminded of the book while browsing the publication catalog at the University of Chicago Press. Finding it there, still in print, triggered many memories. It’s not an exaggeration to say that reading this book had a profound influence on my career and life.

My undergraduate mentor, L. Kay Gillespie, recommended this book to me and without it, my academic career might have been quite different.

It was because of this book, and Becker’s association with the UofC, that I visited their legendary sociology department when I was looking for a graduate school. (I didn’t attend there, I couldn’t afford it, and I was not smart enough to earn a sufficient scholarship, but what a great day I had visiting with professors and soaking in the gothic atmosphere.)

If you are, or know, a student of the social sciences — or someone who just wants to improve your reading, research, and writing skills — I highly recommend this publication. You can get a copy from the Amazon.


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