I was afk when “Charles Tilly passed away”:http://www.ssrc.org/essays/tilly/ — a great man whose loss will be greatly felt. There is a great collection of “work, much of its open access”:http://www.ssrc.org/essays/tilly/resources of and about Tilly on the SSRC website. One of the best and most useful things is a “brief, excellent 6 slide powerpoint on how to choose a dissertation topic”:http://www.ssrc.org/essays/tilly/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/tilly-selecting-dissertation-topic.ppt. I highly recommend it for social scientists trying to narrow down their topic, or for people advising students who are trying to narrow down their topics. Simple and yet beautiful so if you have five minutes… check it out.