Authoring a PhD

The Authoring a PhD programme is based on Professor Patrick Dunleavy's former lecture series and his book Authoring a PhD: How to plan, draft, write and finish your doctoral thesis or dissertation (Palgrave Macmillan). The resources below have been gathered over several years and make a useful companion to the workshops.

Getting Started strand (first-year MPhil/PhD students)


Doing creative and original research

Class exercises and presentations

Presentation| (Patrick Dunleavy) (PowerPoint)

Presentation| (Edgar Whitley) (PowerPoint)

Checklist for being more creative| (Word)

Creativity puzzles| (Word)

Fantasy abstract exercise| (Word)

Whack pack cards exercise| (Word)

Creativity mind map handout| (Word)

PhD learning resources

PhD induction photo story| (PowerPoint)

LN988 Thesis writing workshop outline| (PDF)

LN988 Thesis writing workshop blurb| (Word)

MI doctoral provision| (PDF)

PhD stalls| (Word)

SA452.3 Researching and writing assessed essays and dissertations| (PDF)

Careers support for PhD students| (Word)

Communicating about your research

Presentation| (PowerPoint)

Writing an effective research summary or profile| (Word)

Websites for PhD students| (Word)

Feedback matrix| (Word)

Getting connected with your academic community

Presentation| (PowerPoint)

Managing your supervisor(s)

Presentation| (PowerPoint)

Expectations in supervision| (PDF)

Action points| (Word)

Code of Practice

The macro-structure of the thesis

Presentation| (PowerPoint)

Preparatory work| (Word)

Time management for your PhD

Pre-work diary| (Word)

Presentation| (PowerPoint)

Time management matrix| (Word)

Model PhD project| (PowerPoint)

Activity 1| (Word)

Activity 2| (Word)

Activity 3| (PowerPoint)

Activity 4| (Word)

Developing career choices

Presentation| (PowerPoint)


Middle Years strand (second- and third-year PhD students)



Writing papers and going to conferences

Presentation| (PowerPoint)

Oral presentation skills| (Word)

Developing as an academic writer

Presentation| (PowerPoint)

Sarah Salway's writing style tips| (Word)

Good beginnings and endings checklist| (Word)

Developing and managing a portfolio of projects and activities

Presentation| (PowerPoint)

Building towards your career

Presentation| (PowerPoint)


Middle Years/Endgame strands (PhD students in second year or beyond)



Presentation skills

Presentation| (PowerPoint)

Oral presentation skills| (Word)

Presenting with PowerPoint (PDF)

Feedback matrix| (Word)

Preparing and delivering impactful and effective presentations| (PowerPoint)

Publishing your thesis as journal articles

Presentation| (PowerPoint)

Publishing journal articles| (Simon Hix) (PowerPoint)

Sample article abstract| (Word)


Endgame strand (students within a year of completing their doctorate)



Preparing for and handling the viva

Presentation| (PowerPoint)

Top ten viva questions| (Word)

Viva advice from a recent LSE graduate| (PowerPoint)

Surviving your viva (Guardian article)

Polishing your professional profile

Presentation| (PowerPoint)

The thesis endgame: achieving a final draft and submitting speedily

Presentation| (PowerPoint)

Top ten questions about thesis title| (Word)

Top ten questions about thesis abstract| (Word)

Timeline to PhD submission| (Word)

Resources for students nearing submission of a PhD thesis| (Word)

Communicating your research beyond academia

Presentation| (PowerPoint)

Blog links