Doctoral Resources

Although the Writing Center has many resources for all stages of the writing process available in the Resources tab above, here we have compiled a list of resources that are particularly useful to Doctoral Students.


Useful Websites

Style and Documentation

The APA Style Blog is the official companion to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition. It’s run by a group of experts who work with APA daily.

The Chicago Manual of Style Quick Guide is a freely available reference website with helpful instructions and examples of how to cite according to either the Notes/Bibliography or Author/Date citation styles.

The Modern Language Association Style Center offers numerous writing resources, from quick guides to sample papers.

Graduate and Professional Student Life

Academic Ladder offers free resources for graduate student writers, especially for the dissertation process. They also have a monthly Academic Writing Club available for a fee.

The Professor Is In provides straight-shooting guidance on succeeding in academia. Dr. Karen Kelsky offers great advice on academic writing and the academic job market.

Vitae is a social networking tool for academics, Chronicle Vitae offers many resources for succeeding in the academic world.

Writing Help

Excelsior OWL provides articles on the writing process, sources, argument, critical thinking, and plagiarism.

Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab) is helpful for APA assistance and looking up technical, grammar, or style rules.

Productivity Tools

Story Toolz has a word count meter to track your productivity and track your progress writing your dissertation!

Coffitivity plays background noise and/or music to help you focus while you work.

Mindmapping software can be a great tool to help kick start creativity and organize ideas. Check out this article on the Five Best Mind Mapping Tools to choose which one could work for you.

English Language Tools

Grammarly is an installed tool to help you catch simple grammar mistakes. While it’s helpful, beware of relying on it to make your English ‘perfect’. It doesn’t check for all possible errors, but it will catch common mistakes made in English.

DuoLingo is a popular app that allows you to practice English grammar and vocabulary at your level. It’s a great tool to fine tune your English skills.

Memrise is a fun and engaging app/website that helps you practice English skills and vocabulary. Use it 5-10 minutes daily to work on the smaller points of English you still need to improve.

Word Reference is hands-down the best bilingual online dictionary. Use this to more deeply understand the meaning of words and phrases. You can also ask native speakers questions about hard-to-understand terms using their forums.

Outside Articles

The Completion Agenda, Part 1
David D. Perlmutter, The Chronicle of Higher Education
Graduate students should remember that the dissertation is the beginning of their research, not the endpoint.

The Completion Agenda, Part 2: The Best Defense
David D. Perlmutter, The Chronicle of Higher Education
It probably won’t be harrowing, but you need to be prepared in case it is.

The Completion Agenda, Part 3: Revising Your Dissertation
David D. Perlmutter, The Chronicle of Higher Education
You’ve successfully defended, but you’re not done yet! “Globally and historically, I believe no doctoral committee in academic history has ever addressed the candidate, ‘Hail the new Mozart! It’s perfect and flawless. Don’t change a thing!'”

The No-Fail Secret to Writing a Dissertation
Theresa MacPhail, Chronicle Vitae
As a former journalist, assistant professor, and seasoned dissertation-writing-workshop coach at New York University, I can promise you there is only one fail-safe method, one secret, one guaranteed trick that you need in order to finish your dissertation: Write.

From Predator to Pet: Three Techniques for Taming Your Writing Project
Joli Jensen, Chronicle Vitae
The key to productive writing is steady engagement with a project you find rewarding. But academic writing projects don’t always feel rewarding—in fact, they often feel like predators lurking in the jungle, ready to attack. Who wants to engage with them?

Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators in the World  
Megan McArdle, The Atlantic
Like most writers, I am an inveterate procrastinator. In the course of writing this one article, I have checked my e-mail approximately 3,000 times, made and discarded multiple grocery lists, …