A thesis is a tremendously big piece of writing, probably the largest written task you are going to encounter throughout your academic career. To many students, finishing one at all, let alone on time, seems daunting, and as a result, they procrastinate, use their time inefficiently and, as a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy, actually hand in their final drafts too late.
As you can see, with a thesis the issue is not just with writing it, but with writing it on time. So, if you’ve been asking yourself, “How do I write my thesis quickly?”, then you’ve come to the right place. Here we’ve gathered the best tips to save your time, prevent you from meandering and rewriting the same segments and help complete the paper without excessive work.
- Make sure you’ve understood the requirements: Depending on the formatting style, personal likes and dislikes of your supervisor and college guidelines the requirements for your thesis may be quite different. Don’t presume everything – study all the materials pertaining to this carefully, consult your supervisor, don’t be shy to ask and re-ask seemingly dumb questions if you have the slightest bit of doubt. Knowing with full certainty what and how you are supposed to do means you won’t have to frantically rewrite huge swaths of your thesis after you find out you’ve misunderstood some of the instructions.
- Put off writing introduction and conclusion till you finish everything else: Introduction and conclusion are heavily intertwined with each other and are dependent on the main part of your thesis. If you begin writing with the introduction, you are at risk of discovering new information in the process of writing the body of your thesis and having to rewrite it to reflect this. In addition to that, writing introduction and conclusion together will help you maintain connections between them and the rest of the paper, turning it into a cohesive whole.
- Deal with the unanswered questions: Your thesis may be huge, but it won’t answer all the questions pertaining to the topic. It is just impossible – as you cover more and more ground, you touch upon new points, and they bring with them new questions. Don’t ignore them. Even more importantly, don’t try to hide their presence. Either your supervisor will point them out and you will have to change parts of your thesis to address these issues or, worse yet, they will emerge during your viva. Instead, point them out directly and draw attention to them in conclusion. Say that some questions stand to be answered in further research – this will disarm any potential opposition.
- Be concise: More is not always better. A laconic paper using purely informative language will be shorter, but a thesis isn’t a competition for the highest word count, so it shouldn’t bother you. Use as few words as you can get away with, and your supervisor will be grateful to you. This has the added benefit of giving you breathing room in case you find you have to add a significant new portion you haven’t thought about before – you won’t have to cut nearly as much as somebody who padded heavily.
- Find somebody to be accountable to: And we don’t mean the supervisor, because no matter how good your relationships with them are, they are still rather formal. Find a friend who will understand your problems and will be willing to support you in what you do. Tell him about the milestones you have to reach, set deadlines and be accountable to him. This informal accountability does wonders for one’s discipline.
- Do research before you start writing: The best sort of thesis is one that already exists as a plan accompanied with extensive notes before you write the first line in your thesis proper. If you prepare such a plan that includes all the thesis parts, mentions which sources you have to mention in what parts of your paper and so on, all you have to do is write it all down in an organized manner. If, on the contrary, you start writing and do research as you go along, you will often find it necessary to make corrections.
We hope that these tips can help you deal with your thesis problem more successfully – start using them now and you will see the difference right away!