Blog: The 18 stages of writing an honors thesis

By Ada Zhang
Lariat blogger

The only thing that stands between me and graduating is my Honors thesis.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Technically, yes, I could very well graduate without it—I would just have to give up on the “with honors” part of my degree, which I have, up to this point, worked very hard to attain. All those extra hours spent writing Honors papers? Yeah, it would all go to waste. (Not to mention all those extra dollars I spent on coffee to keep me up at night.)

It’s not that I’m not invested in my thesis. I’m writing about two of my favorite things: women and food. (Food & Feminism, hello?) It’s just that I’m burnt out and tired and this is the home stretch.

And I am a notorious procrastinator, though I prefer the term, “incubator,” because what I’m really doing is letting my ideas incubate until they’ve fully transformed from shady concepts in my head to compelling arguments on paper. At least this is what I tell myself.

Here are some thoughts I have when I sit down to write my thesis:

1. I’m ready to do this! I’ve got three solid hours, a Beyonce playlist and an entire pot of coffee. Today is the day! Carpe diem! YOLO! Twerk! Swagga on fleek! Caaafffffeiinnne weeeee!!!!!
2. Why does everything I write sound like a Nickelback lyric?
3. How long have I been sitting here… An hour already?!
4. Still at 300 words. Cool.
5. Am I drinking decaf or what?
6. Time for a snack break.
7. Time for a dance break.
8. Time for a social media break.
9. Time for a nap.
10. I’m going to do homework for other classes to give myself the illusion that I’ve been super productive.
11. All done…Back to thesising I guess…
13. HAHA my citations aren’t MLA or CIA or Chicago or anything remotely correct.
14. So what if I don’t graduate with Honors? It won’t be the end of the world…
16. It’s time for bed and I’ve written barely a page. This is sad.
17. My thesis adviser might hate me.
18. There’s always tomorrow? Carpe tomorrow?

But I remain hopeful! My final thesis is due in about six weeks. (Eek!) The pressure is really on now, which means I’m freaking out, which means I’m incubating at a much quicker pace.

To all you other thesis-writing students out there — good luck!