Writing a thesis or a dissertation is a nerve-consuming and demanding process for every student. Add to this a language barrier, cultural differences and living in a foreign country, and it may even seem like something unrealistic. But put your worries aside for now.
It is not as hard as it may seem at the first sight, the main thing you have to do – is to start writing as early as you can. If you make sure to lay yourself out, you will complete an appropriate piece of writing. Here are some tips for you:
Thesis writing is a labor-intensive project and, most likely, you will be given a sufficient deadline for its compilation. Though it will be very alluring for you to postpone this process till the better times, never succumb to this temptation. The longer you wait – the harder it is to start actually doing something. And your thesis writing will become paralyzing as a result.
If you have any worries that prevent you from starting your writing, better consult your advisor right away. You will be pleased to know that a great part of all your insecurities about the topic will dissipate once you finally start your research. So, do not waste your time and start working!
Every thesis has a general structure that is needed to be followed. It is usually provided by your supervisor. This is a list of basic sections that are needed to be included in your work. A good idea is to compose an outline of things you would like to be covered in each chapter of your thesis and to work on everything step by step.
The Writing Process
Considering the fact that thesis is probably the hardest and longest writing you have ever completed in your life and that you have to write it in a foreign language, it will surely be difficult for you to do everything consequently. You do not have to start your thesis writing from an abstract. Work on the parts that seem the easiest for you first, and then move to the harder ones.
Imagine that your thesis is a big river and every section is a smaller one feeding into it. Each separate chapter should have its point, but they all should contribute to the main flow. And do not forget about the words count. It will be better to add something in the end than cut down the information you have spent hours to write.
Never Give Up
You have to fight the urge to walk away from working when it becomes boring to you. Self-organization is extremely important during the thesis writing process. So, if you find yourself dreading a particular section of your work because it will require some mind-numbing rigor, better face these chapters’ head on and never walk away until you make some progress. You will feel very content and proud of yourself after you finally complete them.
Being an international student, your English level will almost certainly not be up to the task. Make sure you have a sufficient time left to edit your paper carefully. It will be great if your thesis is checked by at least two different people. You may ask one of your native speaking friends to read it and improve your language or you may find a professional editor to do this job. Just remember that this step in essential for you and should not be neglected.
Editing, Proofreading and Formatting
Even the most brilliant thesis can be destroyed and thrown to trash if it contains grammar or lexical mistakes, or maybe you accidentally omitted commas and points, it is not the required length or simply because it was not written according to the formatting standards your teacher should have told in a class at least three times. Such a tiny thing for a dedicated writer who takes care only about the message in his or her writing but a huge problem for those who read it later.
Therefore, avoid these troubles and find out all formatting requirements to make your paper at the same level as the other ones.
State what issue should be depicted in your thesis and do not go far away from this path. A specific characteristic of a thesis is that it is not an essay and you cannot describe minor things like the weather outside or your feelings about an issue. It is very condensed, precise and explicit while still a debate with yourself in a written form on a specially chosen topic of a good quality.
A good thesis is always being supported by some convincing arguments or methods of how you have got the conclusion you have now. Main points about the convincing methods:
- An analysis of your investigation described detailed and well refined;
- All important information on your experiment, all data, calculations and tables should be inserted. People trust figures and facts more than just words;
- Discussion. More like a monologue on what you have been observing before the experiment and what happened after having implemented new knowledge or facts. Also, state the significance of the outcome and how it can influence us;
- Conclusion. Summarize all the main messages of all observations into one structuralized and well-formed content of what was before, what has been done and what impact it has.
Acknowledgments, References, Appendices
In the section of acknowledgments, you need to mention all notable people who have been in assistance for you during the writing process, from advisors to technical support and money help. It is highly appreciated to know people you are working with and those who were involved in the creation of your thesis statement.
This section is officially called as “references” but we like to call it “author’s property rights”. It may be quite useless and pointless section for you but it is one of the most important things professors pay attention to. As it is not an essay you definitely cite and refer to some other scientists to be sure your thesis does not confront a general statement but is based on the previous research works. Ask your professor on the formatting of this section or just type it in a search to put it right.
The appendices are simply additional papers with all your calculation, data, lists, tables that would be redundant in the main body and distract from the text but are extremely important for understanding the whole thesis statement.
So, you have been armed with some core tips on writing a thesis paper, do not waste your time and be sure to complete it perfectly!