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Starting on a Degree Thesis

31 Jan 2017Writing Tips

How to start the degree thesis? This is a common worry among students. The strategic method would be to first draft a broad outline. Begin by deciding the contents – every section and its sub-contents. Its best to write down each section and then a quick point-to-point description of the material meant to figure in each part.

The outline can be between three to five pages. Ensure that you review this outline carefully along with your thesis guide. Remove any material which is not related to your proposed thesis statement. If any material is lacking in relation to your thesis problem, then locate it and add immediately.

Remember, its sensible and time-saving to add or remove material as per requirement at the point-to-point outline stage of your degree thesis rather than when you have done the bulk of your thesis writing!

Time Taken to Write a Degree Thesis

How much time does writing a thesis take? That’s the next question students generally worry about. Even once the complete research is done – argument and evidence prepared, calculations tallied, references checked or models constructed – its advisable to allocate a complete term to write a good thesis. Note that preparing the final good thesis statement will also take a great amount of time.

Rather than the actual writing of the thesis, a large amount of time goes into thesis organization – arranging the argument and the evidence. Be prepared to find gaps when formally presenting your argument and the facts supporting it. Its plugging these holes in your argument, so that your thesis can withstand the strictest of scrutiny from experts, that takes time.

Your thesis supervisor plays a big role too. When the guide sees your first formal presentation of the argument, agreed upon informally earlier, be prepared to find some misunderstanding or shortcomings in relation to the informal agreement you had on the outline. Fixing these problems in your degree thesis will also take a considerable amount of time.

For those of you, whose mother tongue is not English, there might be communication issues too. You might find it difficult to express ideas clearly at first. If English is not your first language, then be prepared for numerous revisions and corrections in your thesis.

Warning : Thesis supervisors, as a rule, are not quick with the review or the return of the drafts. Especially if you are running out of time!

Time management is of primary concern when you start on your thesis. Follow these steps :
• Research well in advance.
• Prepare a broad outline and review it with the supervisor.
• Write the formal presentation with care in language and clarity of thought.
• Give enough time to formulate the argument for a good thesis statement.
• Check and double check whether the evidence in the thesis totally backs the statement.
• Leave enough time for several revisions and reviews.

Finally, to use a cliché, the early bird gets the worm! Start early, give yourself ample time to write, revise and rewrite your degree thesis. Defending it then won’t be painful at all!

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