The Writing Center at UNC

A clear and concise guide to dissertation writing. You can read it in about ten minutes--while not an in-depth account of the challenges facing dissertation writers, it's a great place to start. Features a short but very good annotated bibliography. 

How to Write a Dissertation
This resource was written specifically with computer science students in mind. However, it has some excellent writing advice about logic and style that all dissertation writers could stand to read. It is a quick read and a good reminder that the dissertation writer's primary concern should be communicating clearly. 

Successful Writing Tips
This is the blog of Nancy Wichard, who runs a dissertation coaching business. It features good, common-sense advice throughout and has some extremely helpful posts with clear strategies for facing the challenges of dissertation writing (e.g. "3 Strategies to Thwart Writer’s Flight and Emotional Eating").

Complete Your Dissertation
This blog is on the website of Dr. Rachna Jain, another dissertation coach. Many of the blog posts are short, but they have useful advice about everything from maintaining momentum while writing to dealing with the negative emotions that often accompany dissertation writing. 

A good place to go for psychological support. This site features discussion boards about dissertation writing and transitioning beyond graduate school. It also has working boards where you can make accountability pacts with other dissertation writers. 



Allen, David. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity.  Allen's book is not a writing guide but rather a broad guide to organization. You may find it helpful if your primary research and writing challenges are organization and procrastination. 

Becker, H. S. Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article. As the title indicates, Becker's book is especially useful for those in the social sciences and adjacent humanities like History and Anthropology. However, it contains good advice about style and communication that any dissertation writer might find helpful. 

Belcher, Wendy Laura. Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks While not about dissertation writing, Belcher's book might be very helpful as you decide which chapters of your dissertation to revise and submit as journal articles. 

Bolker, Joan. Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral ThesisAn excellent and succinct guide. Highly recommended for dissertation writers who feel overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a book-length project.

Peg Boyle Single, Demystifying Dissertation Writing: A Streamlined Process from Topic to Final Text. 

Cone, John D. and Sharon L. Foster. Dissertations and Theses from Start to Finish: Psychology and Related Fields. Although written with psychology in mind, this comprehensive guide to dissertation writing is broadly applicable. A quick read with readily portable advice.

Cook, Claire Kehrwald. Line By Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing. Cook's volume is about thirty years old now, but still well worth consulting. As few advisers have time to help doctoral candidates with line editing it is crucial that you educate yourself on the matter. The sentence-level quality of your prose will matter on the job market. 

Drew, David E. and Paul Gray, What They Didn’t Teach You in Graduate School: 199 Helpful Hints for Success in Your Academic Career. Read this interview with the authors. 

Germano, William. From Dissertation to Book. 
Germano's book on turning your dissertation into a book is the standard text on the subject. You might find it helpful to read his advice before you've actually finished your dissertation so you can set yourself up for a smooth transition. 

Lovitts, Barbara E. and Ellen W. Wert. Developing Quality Dissertations in the Humanities: A Graduate Student's Guide to Achieving Excellence. Lovitts and Wert helpfully focus on what faculty expect from a successful dissertation. While many guides quite rightly concentrate on the importance of finishing, this guide is primarily concerned with how you can write a recognizably good doctoral thesis.