The Office of Graduate Education

Resources for Graduate Writers

Graduate Writing Services | Other Resources | Contact Us

Most of the books listed below can be found in Eugene McDermott Library.


  • Sword, Helen. Stylish Academic Writing. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012.
  • Williams, Joseph M., and Joseph Bizup. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. 12th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2017.

Style in the STEM Fields

Documenting Research Sources

Academic Genres

Journal Articles

  • Belcher, Wendy Laura. Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks: A Guide to Academic Publishing Success. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2009. (for graduate students in the Humanities and Social Sciences)
  • Benson, Philippa. What Editors Want: An Author’s Guide to Scientific Journal Publishing. Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2012.
  • Heard, Stephen. The Scientist's Guide to Writing: How to Write More Easily and Effectively Throughout Your Scientific Career. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016.

Literature Reviews

  • Feak, Christine B., and John M. Swales. Telling a Research Story: Writing a Literature Review. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2009.
  • Jesson, Jill K., Lydia Matheson, and Fiona M. Lacey. Doing Your Literature Review: Traditional and Systematic Techniques. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2011.
  • Oliver, Paul. Succeeding with Your Literature Review: A Handbook for Students. Maidenhead, UK: Open University Press, 2012.



  • Clark, Irene L. Writing the Successful Thesis and Dissertation: Entering the Conversation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2006. (Chapter 3 focuses on writing thesis and dissertation proposals.)
  • Locke, Lawrence F. Proposals That Work: A Guide for Planning Dissertations and Grant Proposals. 6th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2014.
  • The Penn State Graduate Writing Center’s Writing Conference, Thesis, and Dissertation Proposals

Theses and Dissertations

  • Becker, Howard. Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or Article. 2nd  ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
  • Bolker, Joan. Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day: A Guide to Starting, Revising, and Finishing Your Doctoral Thesis. New York: Henry Holt, 1998.
  • Clark, Irene L. Writing the Successful Thesis and Dissertation: Entering the Conversation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2006.
  • Zerubavel, Eviatar. The Clockwork Muse: A Practical Guide to Writing Theses, Dissertations, and Books. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999.

ESL Resources

Writing Guides for Graduate Students

  • Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. New York: Anchor Books, 1995.
  • Silvia, Paul J. How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing. Washington DC: American Psychological Association, 2007.
  • Sword, Helen. Air and Light and Time and Space: How Successful Academics Write. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017.

Other Campus Resources

Business Communication Center

The Center helps School of Management students improve their writing and speaking skills through individual consultations and workshops:

Counseling Center

Its Graduate Student Support Group is open to those preparing for qualifying exams or writing theses, journal articles, or dissertations:

Eugene McDermott Library

Reference and subject-specialist librarians will help with research and can be contacted by phone, online, or in-person:

International Center

The Center provides various opportunities for international students to practice and improve their conversational English: