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Dissertations & DMin Projects: Step #2: Research

A comprehensive, step-by-step guide to researching, writing, and digitally submitting PhD dissertations at Claremont School of Theology.

Doctoral Research Instruction and Tips

CST offers several courses devoted to instruction in doctoral research and writing:

  • TIS 4014: Seminar in Practical Theology
  • TIS 4060: Doctor of Ministry Practical Research Project (required course for all incoming D.Min. students)
  • TIS 4080: Resources and Documentation for Doctoral Students (required first year course for all incoming Ph.D. students)

Please find below some links to recommended academic research standards, techniques and tips:

Archive Webpages to Avoid Link Rot!

Link rot (citing webpages that change or disappear) is a major problem in academic research and writing today. The main way to avoid link rot is to archive a webpage and use a permalink to that archived content. In order for your CST dissertation to be accepted by the Thesis Secretary, it must not have any link rot. In other words, all webpage links must be permalinks to archived webpages.

It is vital to start using this process during the research phase and continue using it throughout the writing stage. You don't want to find any surprise link rot just before you submit your dissertation! This archiving and permalink process is free and requires only a few extra steps to ensure that your webpage citations remain accurate and reliable as they age. Below are step-by-step instructions on how to archive webpages and obtain permalinks.

  1. Visit https://archive.org/web/ and locate the "Save Page Now" section in the bottom right of the page. 
  2. In the space provided, paste in the URL of the website you wish to archive. 
  3. Once the "Page saved as" dialog box appears, you should copy and paste the new URL into your footnote. This will be the "URL" you use anytime you make reference to this source.

Please note: If you are accessing electronic books or articles from one of our institutional access databases, then these steps are not necessary. All of our institutional access databases already have permanent links.

Academic Research and Writing Handbooks