Obtaining a Ph.D.
This dissertation page includes Web Resources aimed at helping doctoral
students through the dissertation process, Online Articles
giving specific advice,
sample guidelines for Traditional and
Electronic Dissertations, places for Publishing the
Dissertation, a Bibliography of
articles about dissertations, and a link to Promising Practices on Dissertations;
see the Research and Publishing page for research
tools and style guides.
We rely on institutions' submissions to
keep our collect of Promising Practices updated: if your institution has
innovative dissertation practices but isn't represented here, they can be submitted
This monthly newsletter provides practical strategies for successfully
completing your doctoral dissertation, periodic interviews with scholars about
the tips they wish they'd known at the beginning of their own careers, and
for the Support of Graduate Students
ASGS provides services aimed at helping students complete their
dissertations; services include a thesis newsletter (Thesis News), a moderated
email list (Doc-Talk), a Professional Consultant Directory, Computer Templates
for Editorial Styles, and results of ASGS surveys on major thesis problems.
Claremont Graduate University Writing Center: Thesis and Dissertation
Offers advice for all phases of the dissertation, from "Choosing a
Topic" and "Writing the Proposal" to "Obtaining
Feedback" and "Revising," as well as "Additional
Resources." Some of the Writing Center's additional Links
are useful research tools as well.
The Dead Thesis Society
student-organized thesis support group that provides a listserv, online
resources, and on-site meetings in Canada.
This commercial site offers individualized dissertation coaching from a
university director of doctoral research.
Ph.D. Information (University of Queensland)
Offers suggestions for designing, researching, organizing, and writing the
dissertation, as well as links to other
A discussion and support site aimed at helping people finish their
Choosing a Research Topic
Richard Reis explains what factors to consider when staking out an area of
research in the sciences.
Maintains a collection of articles from The Chronicle of Higher Education dealing
with writing and completing the dissertation.
The One-Year Plan
Offers advice on completing the dissertation and finding a job (academic or otherwise)
in the space of a year.
Some Thoughts on Dissertation Proposal Writing
Chris Golde offers suggestions for drafting a proposal.
Summary Notes of Writing for Social Scientists
Presents an outline of Howard S. Becker's suggestions for writing. Taken from his book,
for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986).
Thesis Writing, Guru-Style
Andrea Lord offers a highly structured approach to finishing the dissertation on
About Your Thesis
article by Erika Simpson provides guidelines for finishing a thesis or
and Presenting Your Thesis or Dissertation
This article by S. Joseph Levine provides guidelines for thinking about a
thesis or dissertation, writing a proposal, completing the project, and
Five winners of the American Political Science Association reflect on what they
learned in the process of writing a dissertation and what advice they would pass
on to others.
This handout from the University of North Carolina Writing Center gives an
overview of the steps necessary for starting, drafting, and completing your
Traditional Dissertation Guidelines
Cornell: Doctoral Dissertation and Master's Thesis
Rackham (University of Michigan): Dissertation Handbook
University of Georgia: Guidelines for Theses and Dissertations
University of Alabama Dissertation Guidelines
University of Washington Guidelines
See thesis template at http://staff.washington.edu/fox/tex/thesis.shtml
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation (ETD) Guidelines
East Tennessee State University: ETD Manager
Virginia Tech Digital Library and Archives: ETD Guidelines
Washington State University: Digital Dissertations and Theses
West Virginia University: ETD Guidelines
ETD's from different fields
Music Performance (natural horn)
Networked Digital Library of Dissertations and Theses
University of Virginia Electronic Theses and Dissertations in the
Virginia Tech Digital Library and Archives
Publishing the Dissertation
This list is by no means exhaustive: many publishers and print-on-demand publishing services
can be found online. These are publishing services/houses that either specialize
in non-fiction and dissertations or are fairly well-known. We welcome
additions to this list at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Academic Dissertation Publishers
dissertations on demand for a fee and makes them available for sale through
Amazon.com and other distributors. A subsidiary of Universal Publishers.
Publishes dissertations on demand for a fee (beginning at $49) and makes the
dissertation available for sale through Amazon.com and other distributors.
A subsidiary of Universal Publishers.
An alphabetical listing, posted by The Chronicle of Higher Education, of publishers in the
UMI Dissertation Services
A product of Proquest, UMI publishes, archives, locates, and sells doctoral
Publishes dissertations on demand for a fee and makes them available for sale
through Amazon.com and other distributors. A subsidiary of Universal
A British-based company that publishes dissertations for a fee (roughly $700)
and makes the book available on demand in British, European, and most major
In partnership with Random House Ventures, Xlibris publishes print on demand and
distributes through major booksellers.
Acker, S. H., T.; Black, E. (1994). Thesis supervision in the social
sciences: managed or negotiated? Higher Education, 28, 483-498.
Blanton, J. (1983). Midwifing the dissertation. Teaching of
Psychology, 10(2), 74-77.
Brunell, J. S., & Judge, C. (1996). Research workshops advance
Harvard's "Community of Scholars". GSAS Bulletin, 26(2), 1, 8.
Damrosch, D. (1995). We Scholars: Changing the Culture of the
University. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Damrosch, D. (2000). Mentors and Tormentors in Doctoral Education. Chronicle
of Higher Education, B24.
[On-line]. Retrieved March, 2001,
from the World Wide Web: http://chronicle.com/free/v47/i12/12b02401.htm
Deem, R. (1998, July 15-16). Doctoral routes-Different paths to the
same destination? Paper presented at the Paper presented to the UK Council
for Graduate Education Summer Conference, University of Greenwich.
D'Onofrio, A. (1993). Dissertation supervision: A new path, an old guide
and reflections on William James. Continuing Higher Education Review, 57(3),
Duke, N. K. B., Sarah W. (1999). Education Should Consider Alternative
Formats for the Dissertation. Educational Researcher, 28(3), 31-36.
Goodchild, L. F. M., Margaret M. (1997). The American Doctorate and
Dissertation: Six Developmental Stages. New Directions for Higher Education,
Green, K. E. (1997). Psychosocial Factors Affecting Dissertation
Completion. New Directions for Higher Education, 99, 57-64.
Hines, S. (2001, December 6). Urban ecology: Collaborative program
prepares students for real world. University Week.
[On-line]. Retrieved December, 2001,
from the World Wide Web: http://depts.washington.edu/uweek/archives/2001.12.DEC_06/
Isaac, P. D., Quinlan, S. V., & Walker, M. M. (1992). Faculty
perceptions of the doctoral dissertation. Journal of Higher Education, 63(3),
Leatherman, C. (2000). A New Push for ABDs To Cross the Finish Line. Chronicle
of Higher Education, 46(29), A18-A20.
[On-line]. Retrieved March, 2001,
from the World Wide Web: http://chronicle.com/weekly/v46/i29/29a00101.htm
Lenz, K. S. (1997). Nontraditional-Aged Women and the Dissertation: A
Case Study Approach. New Directions for Higher Education, 99, 65-75.
Menand, L. (1996, September 22). How to make a Ph.D. matter. New York
Times Magazine, 78-81.
Nerad, M. (1997). The institution that cares: Berkeley's efforts to
support dissertation writing in the humanities and social sciences. New
Directions for Higher Education, 99, 75-90.
University of California at Berkeley. (1997). Communities of scholars:
Dissertation accelerators. The Graduate, 13(1), 1-3.
University of California at Berkeley. (2001). Material for
dissertation retreats at Berkeley/Stanford [On-line]. Retrieved July, 2001,
from the World Wide Web: http://ias.berkeley.edu/DissertationWKSP/
T. (1990). The Ph.D. squid. The American Scholar, 59(2), 177-195.
Promising Practices on Dissertations