- By Jason Bacot
- Published 11/3/2010
There are a lot of things that are needed for a good thesis and not to the least of these, is preparation. No matter how many tips you might get for writing your dissertation, if you leave everything until the last minute, you will not be able to present your best work. Tip One: Write a Good Proposal If you write a good thesis proposal and work plan, you will find it a lot easier to get on and complete the work. When a thesis proposal is written properly it sets out all the main steps that you need to take in order to research and write your thesis. When you spend time putting your thesis proposal together, you will already have identified a lot of the resources that you will use for the sources of information for the thesis itself. Tip Two: Thesis Statements are not Written in Stone You may have a thesis statement when you begin your final year undergraduate studies but as the year progresses and you incorporate new information into your work. It may be the case that your thesis statement needs revising.
It’s not unusual for a thesis statement to change as the work progresses; it could just mean that the statement wasn’t fully thought out to begin with. It may take a while for you to come to terms with the fact that nothing is written in stone, but if you’re
going to be a good editor of your own work, you have to be ready to cut out anything that doesn’t read well. Tip Three: Have a Flexible Plan In academic circles it’s considered proper to plan your writing. When you have an outline or a plan of how your writing will be structured it’s much easier to get started. You may change the outline as you go along, and you may restructure during the editing process but having a plan to start with makes it a lot easier to get on with the writing. You don’t have to stick slavishly to any plan; it’s just a good way of getting started on the writing process. Don’t worry about spelling and grammar when you are writing a first draft, you can deal with the niceties later on when the main work is completed. Tip Four: Put Your Writing Away When you have written the first draft of your thesis, or any piece of writing for that matter, put it away for at least a day or two before you start to edit. When you let your writing rest this way, you come back to it with a fresh eye, which means you improve on the original draft.
You may find at this stage that you need to adjust your introduction and your conclusion to better reflect what you have said in the body of the work. You should take time over the redrafting process, remember that a thesis can play an important part towards the final grade of your degree and whether you receive honors or not.