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Thesis and Dissertation Guide

Your guide to finishing!

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Graduate Theological Union Librarians
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2400 Ridge Road
Berkeley, CA 94709


Top Tips for Thesis and Dissertation writers:

1. Backup your work. Back it up everywhere, in the cloud, on a flash drive, in email, and do it often. 

2. Use a citation manager. Use free software to keep track of your sources, and save time not having to type and alphabetize them all! 

3. Buy your paper ahead of time. If you are buying paper off the shelf in Berkeley on the day of your printing, it generally runs about $45 a ream. Save some money and shop around early, paper can be ordered online for about $25 a ream. Keep in mind how many copies you will need to print- some students need 2 reams. Check your specific guidelines for paper that meets your requirements, but most students buy Permalife paper, or Southworth Thesis paper. 

4. Bring extra copies of your title page (on the correct paper) to your defense. If you pass without revisions, you can have your committee sign immediately! And bring a working pen. 

Managing your citations

If you are finished writing and just finding this guide- congratulations! 

If you are early in the research process and haven't organized your sources, we recommend using a citation manager. It will save you hundreds of hours in the process, and you can continue to use the software even when you are finished at the GTU. While there are many citation managers available (EndNote, RefWorks, Mendeley) we recommend Zotero. Zotero is free, works on both Windows and Macs, and because it's cloud based- it syncs between computers. 

Zotero can be downloaded from but we have recorded a tutorial of the installation process.