Make the Most of Your Independent Work Advising Relationship

The path to success is unique for each discipline and for each student, but you should keep the following best practices in mind as you approach the independent work of your junior and senior years:

  • Involve your adviser in the research and drafting process of your work so that you can take full advantage of the support and resources available at Princeton and within your department.

  • Establish a schedule with your adviser for submitting drafts of your work and evaluating your progress: agree on specific dates, meeting times, and deadlines.

  • Take responsibility for communicating with your adviser concerning your progress. This demonstrates a mature approach to the independent work you produce, which will ultimately bear your name.

  • Follow up on suggestions from your adviser in terms of books or articles you should read, revisions, and possible avenues of exploration.

  • Communicate your concerns if you feel overwhelmed or stuck in your research or writing. Your adviser is familiar with the academic support services available to assist you in the process of successfully completing your independent work, but your adviser can only connect you with these resources if you share your concerns.

  • Contact your departmental representative or residential college dean if you are experiencing challenges with your independent work or in working with your adviser.