More Resources for Graduate Students

University Library System Resources

The ULS librarians have created a LibGuide for Dissertation Camp with useful links. They also offer LibGuides on Endnote, Zotero, and Mendeley.

ULS offers a set of links on various citation styles (including MLA, APA, Chicago, and others). ULS also offers workshops in EndNote, Zotero, and Mendeley, software that can handle your citations for you.

General Writing and Grammar Support

OWL at Purdue offers advice for documents used in the academic job search, such as CVs and job letters (with sample). 

Discussion and Group Support 

The University Counseling Center offers group support for graduate students as well as one-on-one support and more.

Phinished is an online community that offers support, goal setting, and discussion.

Books on the Writing Process of Academics

These are books that we have found useful in thinking about our own writing process:

How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing by Paul A. Silvia

The Clockwork Muse: A Practical Guide to Writing Theses, Dissertations, and Books by Eviatar Zerubavel

Professors as Writers: A Self-Help Guide to Productive Writing by Robert Boice

Productivity Software and Websites

The Pomodoro Technique relies on using segments of timed writing (using a tomato-shaped kitchen timer, perhaps) to structure your time and advance your writing. To try this technique, all you need is a timer of some kind. Focus Time is a fun app that works with the Pomodoro Technique. Instead of using a kitchen timer, this app helps you to work for four twenty-five minute sessions (with a short break between each segment), followed by a longer break at the end. The app also presents you with statistics on your writing time.

Have you ever wished you could just turn off the Internet so that you can work without distraction for a while? Freedom allows you to do that. You specify the number of minutes that Freedom should block your access to the Internet (and email!). This low-cost software is available for Mac and Windows.

If you are a Mac user, Self Control can allow you to block your own access to any distracting aspects of the Internet while still allowing you to do online research.

Rescue Time will not only block sites, but it will also analyze your computer use and tell you how much time you spend, for example, writing and how much on surfing, Facebook, or email. By helping you better understand how you use your time, Rescue Time can help you make better choices.

Guided Meditation

The University Counseling Center offers some downloadable audio guided meditations. These are perfect for helping you to manage stress. Try one when you are preparing to write to help you get centered or take a break and do one to recharge. 

Versatile PhD

The University of Pittsburgh subscribes to The Versatile PhD, a site that helps graduate students who want to identify and prepare for possible non-academic careers. The key concept is versatility: the ability to apply skills and interests in a wide variety of fields. The site keeps students informed about academic employment realities, educated about non-academic career options, and supported towards a wide range of careers. 

Because Pitt is an institutional subscriber, you can register through a link to the site on My Pitt (just follow the Versatile PhD link in the right column); accessing the Versatile PhD site through the My Pitt link authenticates you as a member of the Pitt community and enables you to see premium content.