I'm a sixth-year PhD student in Economics at the University of Connecticut. I like Adam Smith, game theory, political economy, industrial organization, social networks, agent-based modeling, experimental economics, and getting caught in the rain. I'm here to meet a nice panel data set who knows how to have a good time.
- Ubuntu: Linux for the desktop.
- Firefox: a free, open-source, extensible web browser.
- Zotero: a free, easy-to-use Firefox extension to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources.
- LaTeX: A free, open-source document preparation system. (MS Windows users: try proTeXt.)
- R: free, open-source software for statistical computing and graphics.
- OpenOffice: a free, open source office productivity suite
- Google Drive: a free, cloud-based productivity suite
- The Elements of Style: On a per page basis, you'll get more out of reading this book than any other book about writing. Not all the advice is correct, but, taken as a whole, it should inspire you to write vigorously and concisely. (Strunk's original version is also available.)
- Garner's Modern American Usage: If you're already familiar with Elements of Style, you can think of Garner as Strunk and White on steroids. If you're familiar with classic usage guides like Fowler's Modern English Usage, you can think of Garner as the contemporary American version of Fowler (minus the snarky comments). At $25 for an almost-1000 page encyclopedia, it's a bargain. (I find the dead tree version easier to use, but I also own the Kindle version.) For an entertaining review of the book by a great American writer, see David Foster Wallace's "Tense Present" (a version of which also appears in his anthology Consider the Lobster).
- A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate Turabian or Student's Guide to Writing College Papers by Turabian et al.: Both are about writing research papers and both address the details of citations in Turabian's variation of Chicago style (the style most popular in Economics). The latter book is aimed at beginners. (See this page for a short summary of the Chicago style.)
- Writing With Sources: A Guide for Students by Gordon Harvey is a slim book with an excellent discussion of the why as well as the how of using sources in your research paper. Currently available as an ebook from Google or Amazon for less than $5.
- Eats, Shoots & Leaves: A bit ranty, and addressed to a UK audience, but interesting and useful all the same.
- The Oxford English Dictionary: At $995, writers don't so much buy this 20-volume dictionary as fantasize about buying it. But UConn users can access the full text online for free. (If you're off-campus, you'll need to use the VPN.) A popular alternative is Merriam-Webster. But I say, why eat a Fillet-O-Fish when you can eat sushi for the same price?
- Economics Research
- Google: "One [search engine] to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them."
- IDEAS: the largest bibliographic database dedicated to Economics and available freely on the Internet.
- JSTOR: neither free nor open, but still useful
- SSRN: Social Science Research Network.
- AEA: American Economic Association.
- arXiv: Not an economics research archive. Primarily of interest for finance, statistics, and "econophysics".
- Blogs & Podcasts