Bruce Stiftel
Florida State University

Notes for My Students

A. If you are considering working with me on a master's paper
B. If you want me to write a letter of reference in your behalf
C. Guidelines for my review of your draft written work
D. If we are writing together.
E. Career development resources.
G. Academic Dishonesty.

H. Files for URP5425.

A. If you are considering working with me on a master's paper:

Ideas for Masters' Paper or Thesis topics I am interested in advising:

In addition, there is a wonderful discussion of needed research related to collaborative planning prepared by the Collaborative Democracy Network here.  I'd be pleased to discuss projects suggested by this discussion.
If you are interested in discussing one of these, or similar topics please let me know.

In general I find that it takes about eight months of 1/4 time work to bring a master's paper to completion.  Given this, if you wish to graduate in April, I suggest we begin talking in September (or January for August; or May for December).  The key milestones I ask for (and suggested completion dates for April graduation) are:

For Master's Theses, I suggest rolling the schedule back about three weeks, so that the idea paper is completed by 10 September, prospectus by 10 December, first draft by 25 February, and so on.  This is because the finished thesis is due at the Graduate Studies office in early April.


B. If you want me to write a letter of reference in your behalf:

Please provide me with a current copy of your resume as well as a copy of your application materials to the program/job in question.  If there are program description materials (job ad?), it would be best if you give me a copy of these as well.  Ideally, I'd like to have this material two weeks in advance of the deadline, but 72 hours will do IF I am in town and either you are willing to pay the FedEx charges or the organization will accept electronic submissions.


C. Guidelines for my review of your draft written work:

Please give me clean, clear draft materials marked with your name and the date of the material.  For master's capstone project and dissertation work, it is best if the style follows FSU Graduate Studies office guidelines available online.

In general, expect that I will need 10 days to two weeks to review any detailed document.  FSU's standard practice requires four weeks for review of a full dissertation draft.  If you will need shorter turnaround, please schedule the review time with me at least a week in advance.  If the document in question is brief, say under five pages, I can certainly react faster, but I must ask for at least 72 hours on all review requests.  If I am out of town, obviously, that may not be enough time.

Please do not e-mail large documents (over 5 mB), or documents requiring specialized software to read, without alerting me appropriately in the cover message. 


D. If we are writing together, please follow these guidelines:

Please follow University of Chicago style.  This is the style used in JPER and JPL and is the style described in Kate Turabian's Manual for Writers (Univesity of Chicago Press). Note that this is not the American Psychological Assn style which has been adopted for coursework by the Dept of Urban and Regional Planning at FSU.  Use citation style rather than footnotes for simple references.

Please do not intersperse tables and figures with text in the document. Instead, place all graphics at the end of the document (numbered and titled).  If a graphic is complex, please save it as an image file separate from the main document: most publishers will require this.   I much prefer to work in Corel Word Perfect, rather than MS Word.


E. Career Development Resources.

Here are a few resources I've found to be useful for planning students...

1.  For masters students:

American Planning Association's Student Services include New Planner newsletter for planning students, and a student e-mail listserve.

PlaNet.  European association of urban planning students.

Planners Network has a student listserv, plus many resources for progressive planners, including a Student Disorientation Guide.

The FSU Urban and Regional Planning Listserve posting archives include many job notices and other helpful notices/discussions.

Florida Gubernatorial Fellowship program.

Planning Student Fellowship info from UCLA.

Randy Crane's blog on planning research.

Selected professional planning job links.


Resource for Urban Design Information (RUDI).

John Forester's Notes on Writing for Cornell's Urban Scholars Program. 2007.

2.  For doctoral students:

ACSP's Student Network site has links to student journals, fellowships and student awards.

Tomorrow's Professor listserve.  Richard Reis of the Stanford University Center for Innovations in Learning maintains this web site and e-mail list to assist young academics in all fields.  Reis also has a very good handbook, Tomorrows Professor, published by Wiley in 1997.

Preparing Future Faculty.  The Council of Graduate Schools maintains this extensive site of resources for doctoral students.  Don't overlook their listing of resources for the academic job search.

The Chicago Guide to Your Academic Career  by J.A. Goldsmith, J. Komlos, P.S. Gold. (University of Chicago Press, 2001) is an excellent source on a wide range of career issues (available at FAMU's Coleman Library).

ACSP's renowned Yellow Book, How (Not) To Get Ahead in Academia, translates general principles into urban planning specific strategies

Martin Krieger's web log.  Professor Krieger began this blog when he was planning PhD Program Director at the University of Southern California.  Its a gold mine of advice on school, professional work, and academic career success.

John Forester's
Learning the Craft of Academic Writing: Notes On Writing In and After Graduate School. 1999.

How to Complete and Survive a Doctoral Dissertation, by David Sternberg (St Martins, 1981) is written by a psychologist who counsels ABDs. It has many fine ideas for overcoming writers block.

Leaving the Ivory Tower by Barbara E. Lovitts (Rowman and Littlefield, 2001) is a sobering analysis of why doctoral students don't complete their degrees.  More to the point, it reveals many strategies for overcoming such pressures.

The Academic Job Search Handbook, by Heiberger, Mary Morris.; Vick, Julia Miller.
(Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996) is a fine work on looking for university work. (available as an e-book from FSU Libraries)

"An assistant professor's guide to the galaxy," by George Bekey, Univ of So. California, Dept. Computer Science.

PhD Bowling League.  This is an essential e-mail listserv of US doctoral students in planning. 

AESOP's Young Academics' Network.  European network of urban planning doctoral students and entry-level university scholars.

FSU Graduate School Fellowships Links.

RFF Gilbert White Post-doctoral fellowships.

Job Postings from ACSP.

RFF Joseph Fisher Dissertation Fellowships.

Academic Careers Online, a commercial jobs website.


As a student, how do I get the most out of a professional conference?

How should I prepare for a doctoral preliminary examination in Planning Theory?

How should I go about negotiating the terms of employment for faculty work?

If Paul Davidoff has e-mail, should I write? [Blog post by Ann Forsyth]

How do I prepare a presentation for a scholarly conference? [listserve post by Martin Krieger]


Indiana University materials on plagiarism (includes useful tutorial).
University of Toronto guidelines on plagiarism by M. Proctor.

Articles and Media Coverage:

28 March 07 Chronicle of Higher Education Indiana University Press withdraws music book.
9 June 06 Chronicle of Higher Education UNC-CH radiation oncologist.
2 June 06 Associated Press Wesley College president.
1 June 06 The Post Ohio University engineering thesis scandal.
15 May 2006 India Today Harvard undergraduate, and 28 Apr 06 CBS News (with video).
8 Nov 02 Chronicle of Higher Education Emory historian.

H. Files for URP5425:

This README file provides description of seven Excel files that contains data for use by the URP5425 class.  The seven files are:


The following five files have MLS data for the 99 months ending March 2006.  Sales prices and date of sale are provided in a separate data set MLS2006 SIX.xls.  All data sets have a variable MLS# which can be used as an identifier for merging data from the varous data sets into one larger file.


MLS 2006 TWO of FIVE





MLS input sheet