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Tips for Writing a Thesis

June 22, 2018

 

 

Are you frustrated about writing a thesis already? First, all thesis are not the same, hence it may appear tricky to provide tips that can work for all students. However, what we have in this post are tips that can work for anyone writing a thesis regardless of the field of study.

 

Be in touch with your supervisor

 

Yes, you are supposed to build independent research abilities when writing a thesis but independent does not mean isolation. Repeatedly, there have been cases of students who do not meet with their supervisor until a week to the deadline for submission. Having such habit is risky. No doubt, some supervisors are busy and most of them can be unresponsive to email but this should not discourage you from pushing for a meeting. Keep sending the emails and visiting during office hours. On the other hand, there are supervisors who like to hold meetings with their students regularly. Students may often get tempted to get bored of meetings, we recommend that you take such meeting as an opportunity to share the progress on the work. Even when stuck and don't know what to do, a meeting with a supervisor can be all you need. In such meetings, ideas are birthed, thoughts are stimulated and direction can be gotten. The work of a supervisor is not for only reading but also to act as a mentor, guiding all through the process.

 

Make Daily Word Count – A target

 

Oftentimes what limit students from working on their thesis is the fear of the number of words they are expected to write. For most schools in the UK, the word count for a thesis is 15,000. It may sound like a joke but if writing in a familiar field, the thesis can be done in one month. This is how it works, divide the number of words expected by the number of days given to complete the thesis. This means if you have 3 months (approximately 90 days) to complete the thesis, divide 15,000 by 90 = 166 words daily.  In the case of a month, divide 15,000 by 30 = 500 words daily. Set a target to write at least 166 or 500 words daily and soon the 15,000 words count would be reached.  In the case of a quantitative research, if data needed has been gathered successfully, this principle can also apply. While doing this, keep in mind that the thesis would be graded based on quality and not quantity. Hence, ensure that the writing is meaningful.

 

Plan

 

Let’s make this straight, it is impossible to write 15,000 words in one day, so just to clarify the “overnight” rule i.e. stay awake all night and submit in the morning does not work in thesis writing, this has never and would never work. Prepare your mind ahead of time that assignment and thesis are not the same in terms of the number of efforts that is invested into each. Procrastination or working under pressure would not make thesis writing successful. To avoid this, students need to dedicate time to their thesis. 

 

Be Spontaneous

 

Move from the traditional era of waiting until there is a laptop or notebook before writing. The world has advanced and so has research advanced. The moment spent waiting for the bus can be used to type a few words on the phone. Sometimes those little thoughts typed on the phone can be a page or more. 

 

To be continued……

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