- By Daniel Millions
- Published 08/18/2008
Many college and graduate students write a thesis each year. A thesis is an important part of your collegiate experience. This is often looked at as a mark of distinction when applying for a job or graduate school. There are many benefits to writing a thesis. However, not every student is actually ready to start the process of creating their thesis when they would like to. Being properly prepared is critical and will give you many tools for success. Here are some self-evaluation questions, and tips for thesis writing that will help you. Is your thesis statement strong enough to support writing now? Not every thesis statement is strong enough to support a longer paper. Many students are used to writing shorter papers, typically shorter than twenty to ten pages. A college thesis is often twenty five to fifty pages and a graduate thesis typically begins at one hundred pages. It is critical that your thesis statement have enough substance to support your writing. Without this very beginning, your project will not be successful. Have you done all of your research? This in some ways is a trick question because many students find that during the thesis writing process, they continue with their research. The process of writing the thesis stimulates the creative thinking and investigating the research you have already done may create even more questions you want to discover. A strong thesis uses every possible resource, from books, magazines, journal articles, newspapers, internet sources and even personal interviews with sources.
Is your writing organized and planned? Most students who write a thesis try to organize the majority of their writing for a successful thesis. Th
ey may create a bare-bones outline, something to follow and start to fill in. While you may decide not to follow your outline to the letter, having an outline to follow is a great beginning and gives you something to work with. It helps keep you organized and gives your research and writing a real flow. What has been the feedback on your thesis process? Many students must check in with a thesis adviser during their thesis process. Each student has their own strengths and challenges. Perhaps your strength is research but your weakness is the outline. Alternatively, your weakness is procrastination but your strength is a passion for doing the project. Take notes on everything your thesis adviser says and keep their comments well in mind as you do your project. These comments give you valuable information from someone with great experience advising on many thesis projects they have truly been in the trenches so to speak. Listening to their comments can save you time, worry, stress and give you confidence in your own abilities. Do you understand the formatting you must follow for your thesis project? This is actually more important than some students think it is. Some thesis projects are done in APA style and others are done using the Chicago Manual of Style. Whatever style method your school and/or department prefers, it is critical that you follow it to the letter. Your ignoring this style method could cost you a letter grade or could cause the department to reject your project initially, asking you to reformat your project. Pay attention to formatting.
Just about every student with an interest in doing a thesis is able to tackle this ambitious project. Students can learn a lot by writing or creating a thesis project. This is a time to study something that truly interests you, and take it to the next level.