In screenwriting, adaptations are common: Cruel Intentions is based on Dangerous Liasons, Vanity Fair and Legally Blonde are adaptations of books, and Walk the Line emerges from biographies of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. Election is just a really good movie. But I digress.

In academia, many first books are based on dissertations, but for whatever reasons, we don't call them adaptations.

Since I'm returning to my dissertation this summer to begin revamping, rewriting, and rethinking the sucker, I'm thinking a bit about filmic adaptation.

When one is writing an adaptation, the steps are pretty clear:

  • read original text
  • re-read original text
  • talk about original text with others
  • consider the strengths and weaknesses of original text
  • identify essential plot lines and themes
  • ask: will original text need to be updated for a modern audience?
  • imagine ways the story could work itself out on the screen
  • decide what to keep and what to cut; consider what might need to be added
  • choose a route for the adaptation
  • call Reese Witherspoon's agent

Anyway, welcome to my summer.


  1. Are you sure you didn't get lost and stumble into my summer?

  2. Terrif: a fellow screenwriter. :)

  3. Blogs are so informative where we get lots of information on any topic. Nice job keep it up!!

    Dissertation Methodology