By John Shelby
Thesis writing starts with a long process of contemplation, filtering of studley ideas, reviewing and rejection of concepts until, finally, a focal topic is decided upon. You begin your graduate program with this topic in mind and spend the first part of your graduate program exploring this topic. You build a foundation of knowledge from which to pull unique ideas and explore your focus, ultimately deciding upon a question that interests you enough to spend the rest of your graduate career answering by writing a thesis.
Though you no longer have the structure of lectures and reading assignments to guide you, thesis writing about engagement rings New York is best accomplished by working within the limits of your own self imposed organizational rules. Incorporate the following guidelines into your development process, and your thesis writing will be half done before you even turn on the computer.
Should You Stay or Should You Go
Save your work vacation days of playing multiplayer games for the actual thesis writing as opposed to anytime during the development or research periods. Working may be just what you need to keep the ideas coming. This development and processing period is the first step in thesis writing. The four steps to thesis writing are as follows:
It’s time to take vacation days during the actual thesis writing period. You’ll need to spend as much time as possible by yourself and immersed in your research to get a sense of what the body of your thesis is and to write for as long as you can, uninterrupted.
Keep an Open Mind
When considering which angles to take about breast augmentation Houston and what details to focus on in thesis writing, the last thing you want to do is limit your options. Too quickly rejecting an idea may leave you with too little to choose from later on. Instead, jot down every idea you have and keep all your scraps in a file. Something that seems too distantly removed to be useful now may turn out to be the perfect example for your argument later in the thesis writing process.
Rough Draft Building
Even though ideas change and evolve during thesis writing, you want to be sure that you can document its evolution in case you need to back track. Every book, author, quote, video, article – anything and everything that contributes or spawns your ideas is a necessary piece of information. Hang onto it. If scraps of paper are too unwieldy, make a practice of typing up your notes from time to time.
Influence of the Department
The point of education is the guidance that is provided by your mentors, professors who are experts in the field that you are interested in. Graduate school has the double function of serving you as a guide and also preparing you to handle yourself out in the work force – where you won’t have someone to hold your hand through the process. It may seem like everyone in your department has an idea or opinion about how your thesis writing is coming along and what the eventual product should or should not be. Listen, but do not be swayed. You are the one who will have to write this thesis. Be sure that the focus is something that suits you and not someone else.
Your Thesis Writing and its Effect on your Future
It is true that future employers may be interested in the research you conduct during graduate school, looking to your thesis writing for a variety of tells on how you will function as an employee. Don’t, however, expect to be swept into the arms of a foundation or grant providing institution and splashed across the pages of every professional journal in your field based upon your thesis writing. First and foremost, your thesis is a means to a degree in which the research itself may be the most rewarding part of the process. The more you enjoy the actual thesis writing, the easier it will be to write.
Assess Your Options
Chances are you have a great many ideas that you would love to pursue in your thesis writing. Unfortunately, you can only work on one in medical malpractice lawyer New York graduate school. You may hit upon a fabulous idea and then realize that it would take seven years worth of research to complete properly or that this one question is so broad that it is actually a number of questions that need answering. If you only have two or three years to commit to the work, then this obviously isn’t the right time for this particular research.
You want to have a very specific answer to a specific question when you have finished your thesis writing. Be sure that your chosen thesis statement is amenable to that outcome.
To come up with a good estimate of how long a potential thesis writing project will take to complete, develop an outline for your top five to ten interests. Assign a time allotment to each section of the project. When you find a thesis topic that you can complete in a reasonable amount of time, post the outline in a conspicuous place to keep you on target.
Step 1 – Process Your Idea
Once you’ve chosen your topic and developed a timeline, do a few dry runs. Try a few outlines or do a small study to determine if this is actually the topic you want to study for the next year or more. Keep it simple. If it doesn’t work out the way you had hoped or the research just isn’t there, try again. If you’re still having problems, return to your stash of ideas and choose another one.
Step 1 continued – Develop the Proposal
When you are confident in your choice, create an outline or proposal that you can present to the department or your advisor. You will have plenty of material to draw from with your preliminary work, but if you find that you are still having trouble, try looking at other proposals. Often, your school’s library files these away or perhaps older students in your program wouldn’t mind sharing theirs with you. This gives you the opportunity to see a successful proposal so that you can develop yours to meet the same standards. Add an annotated bibliography to the end to show that you have resources to build on and that there is a body of work out there to form a solid foundation for your thesis writing.
A solid proposal will have the following:
A simple title composed of key words that most easily defines your research proposal with a sub-title if necessary
Write everything in the future tense since you have not yet completed the thesis writing. If you decide to use your proposal as the beginning of your thesis writing, you can simply convert the future tense to the past tense, correcting your proposed research that wasn’t done by stating your actual performed research.
Use questions to provide a framework, including the questions that you have asked yourself to arrive at your central thesis statement, your chosen thesis question, and the questions that you will serve your thesis writing. Make sure that each question is specific and simply stated and not two or three questions built into one. Begin with broad questions that relate the merit your research offers the community of researchers in your field and string the questions together in such a way that they clearly relate the continuity of your thought bridging your research to the general field.
Step 2 – Research, Research, Research
You and your thesis writing are lucky to be in the age of technology. Rather than lugging home tons of library books or spending hours outlining notes in pencil from the reference only library, you have at your fingertips copy machines and tape recorders. Find a section of a textbook that looks interesting? Copy it! What about those rare books in the special part of the library where you aren’t allowed to bring in anything but a pencil and paper? Read aloud (softly) into a micro-recorder and transcribe the tapes later. Better yet, if you have a few extra bucks, pay someone to transcribe them for you. Be sure that each photocopy and tape is clearly marked with the bibliographic information for easy re-accessibility should it be necessary.
Courtesy is never wasted. When using technology or resources and interviewing or studying research participants, enough cannot be said for respecting everyone else’s part in your thesis writing. Keep everyone who helps you up to date with your developments and understand if your changes don’t suit their schedules or comfort level. The further in advance you conduct your research studies, the better you will be able to handle unforeseen snags and developments with others involved in your project.
Don’t be afraid of attempting the unknown. Just because you have not performed a certain type of research before, does not mean that you will not be able to utilize it to perfectly illustrate your point. Diversify your approach. The more ways and times you answer your thesis question and arrive at the same conclusion, the stronger your thesis writing will be. Qualitative and quantitative studies work together to create a solid support for your thesis writing. Take care to fully develop for the reader what equipment you used, the development of questionnaires or interview questions, and the background of the people who participated in the study.
No detail of your thesis writing is too small to consider very carefully before making a decision. Everything from the place you conduct your research to what time of day the study takes place will impact the outcome. Consider how different choices will affect your research. Re-do the studies in different places at different times for comparison if you can. Or else clearly state what you believe the implications of your choices to be when discussing your research in the proposal and the thesis.
Sometimes your research is so current and relevant that a non profit agency or professional foundation shares the same interest in discovering the outcome of your thesis writing as you do. They may offer to finance your efforts or assist you by offering resources and facilities and assistants. This may or may not be a good idea. Would you maintain control of the project? Do they want you to do additional research that you had not originally intended? Are they biased toward the outcome? If for some reason they should decide to pull out at the last minute after you have carefully crafted your research and expenditures around their offer, how will you finish the project without them? Can you handle a delay? Do you want to have someone else watching every aspect of your research and possibly try to change some of your methods? Weigh the pros and cons of partnering and not partnering and go from there, choosing the one that is most advantageous to you and a successful project.
Preparing Yourself for the Presentation
If you have the advantage of choosing the board of advisees who will offer reactions to your thesis writing, you are very lucky. This is a serious matter. Consider your options very carefully. Making the wrong choice at this stage can set you back for months. Remember the following things when choosing the board and everything will go smoothly:
Once you have chosen all of the members of your advising board and have drawn up a solid proposal for your thesis writing, be sure to give everyone a copy of the proposal well in advance of the meeting. Giving everyone time to look everything over will also give them time to ask you questions when they come across you in the hall or in lectures. Having answers prepared for those questions will serve you well when it comes time to meet them.
Look at your meeting with the advising board as if it were a business meeting in which you were trying to sell your newest marketing strategy for their company. In a sense, that’s what you are doing. Your field of research is their company and your proposed thesis writing is the marketing strategy. Will your thesis help their careers or research interests in any way? Bring graphs or charts, something visual for them to look at while your present. Have individual folders prepared with an extra copy of your proposal and addendums that you will address in the meeting. Look your best and be on time. Be friendly but take it seriously enough to address the specifics of your intended research with back up information. Be prepared to move along if they express that they understand and don’t need explanations. Be open to comments instead of confrontational. Ask questions if necessary. And relax. If you’re not enjoying yourself by talking about your thesis writing, no one will enjoy listening to you talk about it.