The 20 Steps of Graduate Research...Told in Cartoons

We put together a handy guide to graduate research. In cartoons. Because we're all adults here and we can use cartoons as a narrative device if we want to.

If you’re considering graduate school in the near future, you’ve undoubtedly wondered what the research process will be like. Writing your graduate thesis can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute to your field, meet peers with similar interests, and challenge your mind. While the process is incredibly rewarding, however, it’s best to be prepared for the realities of the research process. So we’ve put together a handy guide so you know exactly what to expect. In cartoons. Because we're all adults here and we can use cartoons as a narrative device if we want to.

1. At the beginning, you may feel a bit lost. It seems like there’s a whole world of research etiquette that’s unfamiliar to you.Grad research etiquette 

2. Getting feedback on your writing can be a monumental task.

Grad research feedback

3. Your social life is suffering . . .

Grad research TGIF

4. . . . and your dating life has tanked.

Grad research Valentine's Day

5. You may begin to feel as though you’ve made a mistake.

Grad research hell

6. Your nights are suddenly spent at the library, where there are so many rules.

Grad research crying allowed

7. But over time, you’ll get the hang of graduate research. You can get organized by making a to do list.

Grad research to-do list

8. Even while juggling exams . . .

Grad research exam day

9. Missing funding opportunities . . .

Grad research grants

10. And minor setbacks . . .

Grad research impossible

11. You will develop good study habits and cultivate your ability to focus your mind.

Grad research procrastination

12. You’ll learn to control your stress in calming, productive ways.

Grad research anti-stress kit

13. Your drafts may require some slight revisions.

Grad research final

14. But it's important to take the feedback in stride.

Grad research feedback

15. Try not to work too late into the night.

Grad research sleep

16. And above all, never underestimate the importance of free food.

Grad research donuts

17. Sooner or later, you’ll finish your research.

Grad research light at the end of the tunnel

18. You’ll defend your thesis proudly.

Grad research defense

19. And in the end, it will all be worth it.

Grad research graduation

20. In the meantime, keep the faith.

Grad research prayer

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