Graduate On-Line Handbook and  Resources


Professional Organizations

Recommended Resources for Graduate Students

Submitted by Curtis Runnels

It may be helpful to know that many handbooks and manuals can be of service at each stage of a graduate and post-graduate career. Here is a short list of some manuals and handbooks that every professional should know about, and which my previous experience has shown to be useful. These books are re-issued periodically in new editions, and all are available on line. Amazon is a good place to find in-print editions, and I have found a useful site for finding used copies at rock-bottom prices. Most are also available in the Mugar Memorial Library.

These resources will be of use for anyone who wants to hone their research skills, to conceive of a research project, to update their writing skills, to overcome a conceptual hurdle, to publish their first journal article, to publish their dissertation as a book, or to improve their teaching skills. But they are only a beginning, and when confronted with a problem or a question about the basic nuts and bolts of doing research, writing papers, publishing, teaching, or advising a good place to begin is to go on line and see if there is a manual or handbook that covers the subject. It will save you time and help you move your career forward. Good luck.

For students at an early stage of their graduate career, the following books are of general utility.

Medawar, P. B., 1981, Advice to a Young Scientist.

Salzman, Philip Carl and Patricia C. Rice, 2004, Thinking Anthropologically: A Practical Guide for Students.

As you begin to write research papers and to think about your MA thesis or PhD dissertation, the following manuals are indispensible places to begin.

Booth, Wayne C., Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, 2008, The Craft of Research. Fourth edition.
Single, Peg Boyle, 2009, Demystifying Dissertation Writing: A Streamlined Process from Choice of Topic to Final Text.

Smith, Michael E., 2015, How can Archaeologists Make Better Arguments? The SAA Archaeological Record, September.

Once you get into the heart of your research and you are grappling with details and specific problems related to writing theses and dissertations, these two resources will be very important.

Cleveland, William S., 1985, The Elements of Graphing Data.

Tufte, Edward R., 1983, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information.

Writing is a craft that is never mastered. Learning is an ongoing process, and the following resources are helpful not only for general questions, but they are accurate guides to specific usage. Steadfastly ignore all advice to consult Strunk and White, The Elements of Style; it is eccentric, outmoded, and wrong.

Huddleston, Rodney, and Geoffrey K. Pullum, 2002, The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge University Press.

Chicago, University Press staff, 2010, The Chicago Manual of Style. 18th edition.

Having trouble getting started or are you bogged down? Try this one.

Adams, James L., 1986, Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas. Third edition.

If you have finished your thesis, or dissertation, or another manuscript, and you want to publish it, you will need to understand the protocol for revising it and getting it accepted by a peer-reviewed journal or a book publisher. Here is the best go-to resource, a veritable gold mine of information that should answer all your questions.

Luey, Beth, 2010, Handbook for Academic Authors. Fifth Edition.

Teaching requires more than just trial and error from experience. A particularly useful compendium of wisdom is found in the following book.

Gullette, Margaret Morganroth, ed., 1984, The Art and Craft of Teaching.

For additional tips and tricks on the effective production of geographic illustrations, consider consulting the following three sources:

Monmonier, Mark. 1996. How to Lie with Maps. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Dent, Borden. 1999. Cartography: Thematic Map Design. Dubuque: William C. Brown Publishers.

Brewer, Cynthia A. 2005. Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users. California: ESRI Press.