Now that you’ve thought about what work your prelims reading list is doing for you it’s time to actually draft the list. Remember that the reading list is a collaborative work between you and your committee, the structure of which is dictated by your program requirements. Some programs archive the reading lists of past students. It is worth asking your departmental admin if this is a resource available to you as it will give you some concrete examples of the standards for a reading list in your program. As always, consulting with your program’s graduate student handbook and your committee is a great start to the process.
Above and beyond that, though, there are some best practices that should translate to almost everyone.
Hey There! I’m so happy you found this post! In the first year of abd2phd, I did a month long blog series on how to survive your prelims. Since then, I’ve updated this advice with what I’ve learned from clients and what I’ve learned about executive function. I created a series of worksheets to cover everything from your prelim timeline to assignments you could give your students if you have to teach during your prelims. I’ve put that all together in one place for your convenience. You can buy it here.