Dave Cullen, author of Columbine

Columbine Student Guide

This is the Student Guide. It gathers all sorts of resources to jump-start your paper, presentation or class project on Columbine.

Many of the links will take you to pages on my various sites, where you will find the specified information.

Choosing A Topic

Extensive topics list Organized by categories. Great for papers, group projects or class presentations. We also included this list in the Instructor Guide, which is where you'll find it, but we designed it specifically for you. (It came based on your requests. Thanks for that.)

Analytic or Creative Approaches

Analytical or research papers This page from the Instructor Guide offers more than a dozen options, from 2-page compare/contrast or cause/effect papers, to a full research paper.

Creative papers on Columbine This unit was designed for creative writing classes, as well as students in any class who want to tackle the subject more creatively.


Research Tool: Columbine Online A massive research site with ten years of the actual evidence I compiled to write the book. It's organized to help you find what you need easily, including: photos of the killers, their journals, their videos, satellite photos and diagrams of the attack (by police, and by Eric), crime scene photos (except the suicide photos--I'm not posting those), the bombs and guns, the killers' parents, teen depression, resources for victims and a primer on PTSD, etc.

Bibliography, by subject For a complete bibiliography, see the back of the book. It includes approximately 250 entries. We pared that in half here, with links for most (where available).

TV/Radio interviews with Dave You will find answers to many of your questions here, including the author's perspective on events in the book, researching it, the writing process and how it affected him emotionally.

Text interviews with Dave Same as previous, but written interviews/Q&As.

On major topics

Paper/project on Teen Depression — UPDATED, DEC. 2010. Teen depression is the great unlearned lesson of Columbine. (You can quote me on that.) It is much different from ordinary sadness, and can make for an excellent paper, or better yet, a presentation involving your whole class.

Six percent of your classmates suffer badly enough to be classified as clinically depressed. Most go undiagnosed, despite easy triage. If you make a class presentation, there will be undiagnosed people in that room you can affect. The Instructor Guide's Teen Depression unit offers:

Paper/project on PTSD Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of the most fascinating subjects addressed in the book. It was only identified in the past few decades. Dr. Frank Ochberg is a worldwide expert, who was part of the team that identified the condition and created the diagnosis. He played a significant role guiding the recovery process at Columbine. He was also a major source for this book. The Instructor Guide's PTSD unit offers:

Paper/project on Survivors and/or Overcoming Adversity Half the book recounts the stories of the survivors. Some of them made amazing and heroic recoveries. Pick one of survivors and write a paper on how he or she overcame what seemed impossible. Or didn't. Or contrast two victims who reacted differently, and got different results. The Instructor Guide's Overcoming Adversity unit offers a dozen detailed questions, addressing the topic from different angles. Any one of them could form the basis of a paper, or combine them.



Author biography

Book summary

Reviews / awards

Videos for students Dave created short videos for students. Topics include structure and characters in Columbine.

Next reads Books you might want to choose next, if you liked this one.

More Scan through the menu bar on the three sites listed under HOME to find more.

Special Resource: Skype your class with Dave

Are you reading Columbine? If ten of your classmates read it, I will do a skype session with your class (up to two schools per month).

To apply: 1) line up at least ten students, 2) talk to a teacher, libarian or counselor, then 3) click here for details.

Optional: Suggest your teacher or prof consult the Columbine Teacher's Guide to use the book in class.


Columbine won several major awards, including the Edgar. It was also a finalist for the American Libary Association's Alex Award, which recognizes books "written for adults that have special appeal to young adults."

Columbine Intro Video

Help spread the word. Share the video with your friends and link or embed to your FB/blog/Twitter.