Web Resources To Help You On Your Path
Learner Associates is the first place to turn for help with grant proposals or dissertations. The author, Joe Levine, a professor at Michigan State University, has provided an invaluable service to graduate students, post-docs and faculty working in any field and at any career phase. His guide for writing doctoral dissertations is impressively comprehensive and chock full of pragmatic tips you won’t find elsewhere. His overview for writing funding proposals will be helpful for anyone writing grants – including those in nonacademic circles. These practical tips are written in clear, accessible language and include reviewed lists of other web sites and books to try.
The Chronicle of Higher Education is a journal that every academic would be wise to read, or at least skim, on a regular basis. My favorite columns are part of the career network sections that can be accessed without having a subscription. Every academic would be wise to read and chuckle over Ms. Mentor’s musings. If you are job hunting, the Career Talk column will be helpful.
Tomorrow’s Professor is a Listserv and web site created by Stanford Engineering Professor Richard Reis. He has also written a useful book by the same name (see my references) and writes regular articles for The Chronicle of Higher Education. The listserv is a twice-weekly email newsletter of articles about professional development for academics. It has been “published” for 5 years and reaches more than 17,000 academics at more than 500 institutions in over 100 countries. Wow. There is an organized archive of past listserv articles at the website. Subscribe today and find out what your Dean has been reading.
PhinisheD is the most popular support group for graduate students. It provides access to everything from chat rooms to peer-reviewed links to other sites. Because it is so comprehensive, you can spend hours wandering its pages. Some students confess that it can become an addictive form of procrastination. Take the risk of getting hooked and check it out.
How to Write a Thesis Statement describes the components of a powerful thesis topic, and shows how to create a summary of your main hypothesis in a sentence or two. Written by people at Indiana University, this succinct site is helpful not only for students trying to craft their dissertation topic, but for professors clarifying themes for research articles or grant proposals.
The Dissertation Proposal Workshop, put together by the Institute of International Studies at UC Berkeley, is actually a site about writing research and grant proposals – the examples are actual proposals for Fulbright Fellowships and to the National Science Foundation. Start with the site map to find the sections that will be most useful to you. Before leaving the site, be sure to read George Orwell’s humorous article examining the pitfalls of jargon, cliches and stilted language. His warnings are as relevant now as when he wrote the piece in 1945.
Academic Ladder is the site of dissertation and faculty coach Gina Hiatt, Ph.D.. Like me, Gina is a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with academics. She has created Academic Writing Groups, an on-line accountability and motivational program for both graduate students and faculty members. I highly recommend trying her monthly groups if you are not writing as efficiently as you wish.
The Procrastination Research Group is a fun site to read research and get tips for overcoming your tendency to procrastinate. The director of the project is Tim Pychyl, Ph.D. an associate professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa.