How to Be a Good Graduate Student

Marie desJardins

March 1994


This paper attempts to raise some issues that are important for graduate students to be successful and to get as much out of the process as possible, and for advisors who wish to help their students be successful. The intent is not to provide prescriptive advice -- no formulas for finishing a thesis or twelve-step programs for becoming a better advisor are given -- but to raise awareness on both sides of the advisor-student relationship as to what the expectations are and should be for this relationship, what a graduate student should expect to accomplish, common problems, and where to go if the advisor is not forthcoming.

  1. Introduction
  2. Before You Start
  3. Doing Research
    1. The Daily Grind
    2. Staying Motivated
    3. Getting to the Thesis
      1. Finding an Advisor
      2. Finding a Thesis Topic
      3. Writing the Thesis
    4. Getting Feedback
    5. Getting Financial Support
  4. Advice for Advisors
    1. Interacting With Students
  5. Becoming Part of the Research Community
    1. Attending Conferences
    2. Publishing Papers
    3. Networking
  6. All Work and No Play...
  7. Issues for Women
  8. Conclusions
  9. Bibliography
Next to Introduction.