This is a collection of resources that I have gathered to help graduate students, in particular PhD students. Some of these are serious, some are slightly less serious (but probably more useful). If you find these interesting, you might also like my 'favourite articles' page - click the 'reading' button at the top to go there.

Writing Articles

Reverse psychology - How to get your article rejected.

How to have your abstract rejected.

Arguments not to use in your papers.

How to write a paper.

Writing Research Papers.

Article about the trend of immodesty in scientific writing. Very hilarious!

How to write a good research paper by Daniel Lemire.

Writing as programming - (this is one of my favourite ideas when I teach my 'Academic Writing' unit)!

Take care of your data for the long term - the peer review process may take a long time!

How to write a research grant proposal.

Writing Papers as a PhD student.

Article reviews

Guide to Peer Review

The Peer Review Sausage Grinder.

How not to review a paper (extremely interesting).

Responding to reviewers.

A cynical take on responding to reviewers...

Peer review, circa 1945. Painfully true.

On rejection 1

On rejection 2


How not to give a conference talk.

Presentation Bingo

Treemaps: these are like pie-charts, but much easier to view (especially for thin 'slices').


What is a PhD about? (explained with pictures, EXTREMELY helpful).
I strongly recommend this page to all PhD students and prospective students.

What makes a good scientist?

How to fail a PhD.

The importance of stupidity in scientific research

"Help to the Finish Line" - how to support PhDs.

200 most popular PhDComics - basically, read everything on this page.

Writing your thesis outline

Choosing your thesis title

Choosing an acronym

What should I be doing as a PhD student?

Books for graduate students

My advice is to get a copy of "How to get a PhD" and read it first, before looking at the other books here.

Book: "The Craft of Scientific Writing" by Michael Alley. Contains information on writing style in regard to scientific theses and papers, mostly at the word choice/sentence level. I've had a skim, looks pretty good, and one of my students really liked it.

Book: "How to get a PhD" by Estelle Phillips. This book is an excellent overview of the whole process of getting a PhD and working with a supervisor to produce your thesis. However, some parts of the book apply only to the UK PhD process.

Book: "Authoring a PhD Thesis" by Patrick Dunleavy. I haven't read this yet, but it has excellent reviews and may be in your university library.

Book: "Writing your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day" by Joan Bolker. I haven't read this yet, but it also has excellent reviews. It seems to be about the psychology of writing.

Book: "Writing your Journal Paper in Twelve Weeks" by Wendy Belcher.

Various other links

Why consider LaTEX?: LaTEX is probably the single best way to improve your chances of successfully completing a large document like a PhD thesis. It has a steep learning curve at first, but investing your time is well worth it over the long term.

BibTeX Generator - handy if you're confused by BibTeX.

DeTexify: Draw maths symbols by hand, it will turn them into LaTEX. This site 'punishes' you if you fail to write sufficiently quickly... This site helps to motivate you to write 750 words every day by keeping track of how many days in a row you achieve this goal.

Its or Its' ? PhD thesis-writing survival forum. Piled Higher and Deeper (Webcomic about doing a PhD).

The "Snake Fight" Portion of your Thesis Defense.

A program that randomly writes Computer Science research papers. One has been published...


The danger of not reporting the tests that didn't work (this applies to backtesting too).

The Wikipedia fallacy list and more readable guides to fallacies here, here and especially here.