So here’s the situation: first week of grad school. You are all ready to be smart and do good things. You start the semester all organized and ready to take on the world. You get your first syllabus for your course and there it is… the dreaded and terrified research paper. But how will you survive this torturous task? Here is the comprehensive step-by-step survival guide for how to ace the paper.

1. Put the “pro” in procrastination.

Welcome to the club of self-proclaimed procrastinators, where our mission is to be determined at a later date and our philosophy is to put off those things that are not due today! We have cool jackets! Maybe you can have one… tomorrow?

2. Come up with a killer topic.

We all know the true secret to a successful research paper: a killer topic. Your topic needs to be interesting to you, but also boring enough for the professor to take you seriously. So unfortunately researching puppy breeds is not acceptable for your Educational Research essay.

3. Coffee.

The lifeblood of graduate school. Learn this early so you don’t regret it later. Don’t like coffee? Find another source of caffeine to become best friends with. It’ll save your life. Trust me.

4. Procrastinate more… it’s not due for a month.

Pat yourself on the back for coming this far. You already have a topic picked. You deserve some much needed Netflix and chill time. Besides, you have five million other assignments due before this paper is due. No big deal… you have time. Due tomorrow... do tomorrow... right?

5. More coffee.

I did mention that coffee is your lifeblood... right? Learn it. Live it. Accept it.

6. New topic?

Was your topic really that awesome? Maybe another one is better. Like the Queen Bee said, take a risk!

7. Type like your life actually depends on it.

Alright, we have a week left. Maybe it's time to get to work. You best be typing until you can’t type anymore. Research until your eyes hurt. That reference sheet? Prof says you need 10 sources, better do 15. 10 page minimum with no maximum? Same rule. Better do 15 to be safe. So get typing hun. You have a long way to go.

8. Edit the crap out of it. Literally.

Alright. You typed like your life depended on it. You hit the minimum. Maybe even exceeded the it. Now it’s time to re-read every single word of that paper five times over. No, I am not kidding. Five times. Do it.

9. Contemplate a coffee IV invention.

You will contemplate how to get your lifeblood into your body faster and more efficiently. No, a coffee IV is not a good idea. But it is an enticing idea.

10. Stop procrastinating and get to it.

Take a deep breath. You can do this with the loving support of your lifeblood. Get back to it.

11. Submit. Give yourself a hard earned Self-Five.

It is due date day. You have written it, perfected the cover page, probably spent five hours selecting the font, and constructed a flawless reference page in perfect APA format. Submit that thing and be done with it. Now for the best part: give yourself a Barney Stinson worthy self-five. You made it.