PhD Resources


Welcome to the Recommended PhD Resource Page.

This list represents some of the resources that I have found to be of great benefit during my PhD studies.

Preparing for a PhD Program

How to Get a PhD: By Phillips and Pugh

This book is a gem.  Preparing for a PhD, Ideas for Dissertation Topics

It provides a very thorough introduction to a dissertation only PhD program.  One of its greatest strengths is that it is written with the U.K. doctorate in mind.

On the flip side, it is written for a wide variety of PhD programs so making the conversion over to Biblical Studies (in my case) was a bit of a challenge.

Everything is there: from your motivations for getting a PhD program, expectations of your university and supervisor, choosing the right supervisor, school and topic and so much more.

It is so jam packed you will likely not get everything the first time around.  Indeed, I have read it twice, once on the flight home from my PhD orientation and then about six months later.  Each time was an eye-opening read.

You can read a full review of Pugh’s book here:

The Craft of Writing

Authoring a PhD by Dunleavy

This book is to writing what Pugh’s book above was to the PhD process.

The full title is: How to Plan, Draft, Write and Finish a Doctoral Dissertation and it is that and much more.

The task of writing a PhD is laid out from the planning stages, to the organization of chapters, researching, drafting, writing effectively, diagrams and charts as well as publishing your dissertation.

How to Write a Thesis by Murray

This is another great book, which is dedicated SOLELY to the craft of dissertation writing.

It guides you through the thought process of writing, from getting started to structuring the thesis and from revising your drafts to closure.

It’s biggest contribution to my output was the many exercises that are included at different stages of your dissertation, which prompt you to write.

Writing Your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day by Bolker

OK, I’ve yet to meet anyone who has actually completed a big book dissertation in only 15 minutes a day.

I include this book for the beautiful central idea that it poses. That is, it teaches you to begin writing down your PhD thoughts for 15 minutes per day way before you ever enter your PhD program and during the program as well.

This one little exercise has been gold for me because it gets you into the writing mode and generates a great deal of very useful content which you can use in your thesis.

It helped me to generate my dissertation topic and has served as a helpful reference to fill out many sections of different chapters.

The Literature Review by Machi and McEvoy

The literature review forms a vital part of any dissertation (not to mention the critical need that it fills in gaining an understanding of your topic and your wider discipline).

This book breaks the task down into six  manageable steps.

Other Important Resources

German for Reading Knowledge by Jannach

Recognized as the leading German reader, this book provides the vocabulary, grammar and reading exercises needed to read and translate German works of literature.

Since I had already taken German in college, I used Jannach’s book to brush up on German grammar and the reading exercises (which get progressively more difficult) to practice translating German works of theology.

SBL Handbook of Style

If you are going to write anything in the Biblical Studies field, this book is a must. It contains all of the conventions (primary source abbreviations, transliteration keys, plus general guidelines on writing theological works.)

You can download a digital copy if you are a member of the Society of Biblical Literature.  However, I prefer this hardback version.

Turabian’s A Manual For Writers

I have lost track of how many times I have reached for this resource.

Whether  it’s for bibliographic or footnote conventions, wanting to know whether I write [pages] 135-36 or 135-136 or how to abbreviate or capitalize certain terms, this book is indispensable.