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Resources for Dissertation Writers

"There are two kinds of dissertations, finished and unfinished." - Anonymous. In this guide we hope dissertation writers will find helpful resources and tips to get your dissertation done. Resources for dissertation supervisors and dissertation committee

Tips for Writing

Setting concrete daily goals for your writing project helps. Here are some examples of such goals*:

  • Write at least 200 words
  • Print the first draft I finished yesterday, read it, and revise it
  • Make a new list of project goals and write them on my whiteboard
  • Write the first three paragraphs of the general discussion
  • Add missing references and then reconcile the citations and references
  • Reread chapters 22 and 24 from Zinsser (201) to recharge my writing batteries
  • Finish the "Setting Goals" section that I started yesterday
  • Brainstorm and then make an outline for a new manuscript 

Source: Silvia, P. J. (2007). How to write a lot: A practical guide to productive academic writing. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.


Write or Die 2
"New Write or Die for iPad & iPhone"|
An application for Windows, Mac and Linux which aims to eliminate writer's block by providing consequences for procrastination.


Academic Phrasebank (from Univ. of Manchester) 
Phrases presented in this resource have been taken from authentic academic sources. Find a list of phrases to use for various language functions such as "being critical," "compare & contrast," "explaining causality", etc.  

Punctuation Made Simple 

The Elements of Style (by W. Strunk, Jr.) 

Guide to Grammar and Style (by Jack Lynch) 

Handbooks & Labs

Online Writing Lab (OWL) 
From Purdue Univ.
Provides very detailed what and how to do to format your paper in proper publishing styles. 

The Writer's Handbook 
From UW-Madison

Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students
From Penn State Univ.  


From FSU_FAMU College of Engineering 
Information on how to install LaTeX and how to get started

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