Thesis Writing - Survival Guide

Writing a thesis at the graduate level is difficult. It requires determination, courage, stamina, and caffeine. Having just experienced the rigors of graduate school thesis writing, here is the survival guide as I know it.

Survival Rules

  1. Coffee is your friend and its own food group
  2. Write, even if it is about ninjas
  3. Start a fitness program (This is not optional)
  4. Find your college librarian and hound them
  5. Content first. Pages count themselves so you don't have to.
  6. Under no circumstances eat without looking. It does not matter how into your thesis you are, you do not want to swallow a post-it note.


  • Coffee cup
  • Laptop
  • Snacks
  • Notebooks - preferably Moleskines.
  • Post-its
  • Pens
  • Tablet computer
  • Messenger bag
  • Nerf gun

The dress code for the graduate student is up for debate, but here I will present what I consider appropriate grad school survival clothes.


  • Cargo pants/shorts - Good for carring snacks, headphones, books, or any other items found on your quest for the perfect thesis.
  • Hoodie - The most comfortable item ever and valuable in parkour type activities such as: running to the cafeteria, picking up books from the library, and chasing down the ice cream truck.
  • Good sneakers - Don't want to give away your approach when looking for your adviser. Flip flops make way too much noise.

What are your necessities for graduate school writing?