Vol. 1 – Thesis writing tips from Former Students

To ease your lot, we have asked eight former students to share their wisdom regarding thesis writing. In this article, you will find four tips that are worth considering before starting the thesis. Make yourself comfortable to soak up working advice.

Alisa Pleska

It is not always easy to be a student. Juggling your student jobs, private life and studies might be overwhelming. Into the bargain, you should deal with piling tasks, projects, and exams, which are breathing down your neck. Indisputably, it is not a piece of cake for all passionate students out there!

Finally, being already on the home straight, you face IT – the boss of all bosses – the Final Thesis. Let us be honest, we will not lift the lid on anything, saying that you will encounter a whole slew of challenges. By turn, you can make it the hard way or wise way! Therefore, we have asked eight former students to give maybe not the most tell-all, but definitely advice worth remembering that will help you succeed in thesis writing. All ears out here is your thesis guide with some tips on how to write a thesis alone.

5 good tips on thesis writing from former university students

Excelerate Listen to Your Heart

Your brain might start to hum now the iconic song of Roxette, but this is about a deliberately chosen thesis topic. Give it a thought, cherry-pick the topic that you gravitate towards! From three to six months (and on some occasions even longer) you will be completely immersed in the picked thesis topic. Therefore, simplify your task from the beginning by choosing a subject of your interest. See good thesis topics examples from students.

Pick an interesting and contemporary topic – it’s easier to write about something you personally enjoy. Plus, it is easier to get extra data from the media when the topic is contemporary.

Former student

Another important point to consider while choosing the thesis topic is information and data availability. You need to have reliable sources to build your thesis on. Do not neglect the existing knowledge that was built gradually, as it will help to strengthen your arguments, and can be a springboard for producing an effective thesis.

Make sure you choose a thesis topic you are personally keen to write about. Determine if there are enough resources to write about your subject. This will take time and you might dump a lot of good ideas in the beginning but it is a lot better than being halfway into your project without any new good material.

Former student
Graphic by Fausto Bottini

Have a look at which data is available and wrap your thesis around it. The more interesting data you get, the better your thesis will be.

Former student

Excelerate Old Friends are Better than New

In other words, pair with people you have worked with before. Working in a team is jolly only until there is great teamwork! Choose a person who will be your comrade, not an adversary.

If you decided to work in groups, make sure you choose the right people and discuss all nuances/expectations before the actual project so there will be no misunderstanding between each other. Most resemble friendly and adequate before the actual work starts.

Former student

Communication is key. Especially before finding a thesis collaboration with a company. Thus, make sure to align your expectations with each other, to begin with. And do not be afraid of the elephant in the room. You might as well be honest from the very beginning – and your potential thesis partner will likewise.

Do not write a thesis with a person if you were not together in groups before. You might have the same thesis idea, but the strategy and methodology could be completely opposite.

Former student

The same advice applies to choosing a supervisor – your beacon in the darkness.

Choose your supervisor wisely! Use your semester projects to get to know professors and fitting support for your thesis.

Former student

Are you ready for more tips and tricks from former students on thesis writing?

Excelerate Wheels within Wheels

Let us delve deeper into the topic of being on the same page with your supervisor. The majority of the interviewed former students have mentioned this ticklish matter in one way or another. Proceeding with idioms, supervisors can give you the needed incentive and put your shoulder to the wheel or, on quite the contrary, unintentionally throw sand in the wheels, hampering the progress of your thesis writing. OUCH!

That is where communication can be a lifesaver – speak out, discuss, talk over, thrash the matter out prior to and through the thesis writing to come to a common denominator.

Find a compromise between your and a supervisor’s expectations! Setting up expectations, in the beginning, might be a key step for a frictionless thesis writing process.

Former student

Take heed that a supervisor is there to help and lead you, so use this possibility in full (but without any impudence) to boost your thesis writing.

Do not be shy, better to be this “annoying” person, who always asks questions to your university adviser.

Former student
Thesis Writing
Thesis writing. Photo by Fausto Bottini

Often, procrastination is not about laziness, it is about uncertainty – “what to write” and “how to write”? Write down key questions and assumptions you have and schedule meetings with your supervisor. Do it consistently. While it is your job to write a thesis, supervision helps you to get through the uncertainty and become confident in your work.

Former student

Excelerate All is Clock Work = All is Order

The most frequent advice to facilitate thesis writing is to establish a writing routine. Importantly, there is no one-size-fits-all method, so just pick what suits you best.

For me, it helped to meet others or to go to the library at specific times during the day.

Former student

Most probably, before starting your thesis, you have submitted several semester projects. It is high time to make use of the acquired writing experience! In hindsight, what would you do differently to make the writing process smoother?

Instead of pushing yourself to a whole-day writing mode, assign your own ‘writing hour’ – a recurrent 2-3 hour time slot every workday would bring more gain than pain.

Former student

Do not fob off the initial routine that is comfortable for you! The suggestions from ‘The Miracle Morning’ book bestseller might be efficient, but if you are an incorrigible night owl it might be easier to build the writing routine around the existing patterns. Whatever your routine choice will be, keep in mind that everything boils down to being consistent.

Hopefully, these tips and tricks from former students about thesis writing & thesis collaboration gave you a guideline. For puzzling out a surefire writing strategy, read the second part of Vol. 2 – Tips & tricks from Former Students about Thesis Writingstudent guide.”