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abhainn

Thesis Prep Advice

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So I know at least a few people on here have written a thesis, and Im writing my honours thesis next year and I have no idea what Im doing. Im also doing it on top of a full course load, so Im trying to get a bunch done over the summer. Whats some stuff that you recommend while writing a thesis? Some things you wish you did? Any advice in general is appreciated because I have no idea what Im doing :P Advice on how you avoided procrastinating is also super appreciated because I am terrible for that :P Thanks!

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okay so my thesis was probably a lot different to what you're doing - i had to do a whole huge urban design project (the topic was transformation of drava riverfront) and the area i was working on is about 400 ha in size, 8 km long :o

 

but before i actually started working on the design i had to do a research paper (which came out at cca 150 pages). what i've found most helpful was when i asked my mentor for some guidance as to how the paper (and the project) should be structured, she gave me some general pointers and from that the first thing i did was make a plan - it was basically a list of all things i wanted to include in my paper. then i made chapters in which i put things that closely related to each other. after that i started working on my research and slowly filling out the chapters i planned out. i'm not sure if this is helpful, but i hope it is :) the same principle i then used on my project - but instead of chapters i had different scales to my project and different things i wanted to do at each scale (i went from doing a 400 ha project, then designing smaller segments of the whole and finally i designed a building which was the smallest scale).

 

during my thesis semester i had no classes so i had nothing else to do. each week i would get together with my mentor and we would go over my progress and that was what mostly kept me on track and prevented procrastination :hide:

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(I'm UK-based so I've only had experience in the British education system, not American, so I'll be broad!)

 

pretty obvious but often overlooked - choose a topic you find genuinely interesting! I'm currently applying for PhD study, and was torn between two topics - a study on Western cinema, which would be more 'commercial' and an easier topic for a University to select, or a niche study on Walt Disney. I went with the more challenging study on Disney because it's where my true passion lies, and it makes studying so much more easier. If you genuinely enjoy and are interested in the subject, it's honestly not as much work! you'll be spending a lot of time on this project - make sure you won't get bored of it easily!

 

use a gantt chart! it requires work and effort to set up but it provides you a timeline and guide on your progress (and can also be used as part of your project research/development/evaluation). I created mine online at smartsheet .

 

this may be easier for me because my subject field is film, but try and fit your study into your hobbies. reading a book before bed? read non-fiction, historical, essay books. want to watch a movie? relate it in with your project, be it a documentary or youtube series. travelling/commuting? check out to see if there are any podcasts avaliable in your field (I use and love castbox).

 

all base advice but I hope it helps in some way! good luck and stay positive!

Edited by prongsie

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