Writing a Master Thesis: Don’t Axe on your Own Leg

Writing a Master Thesis can be a real pain for many students. After doing all the hard works for two years, one’s graduation can be halted just for this thesis report. For many students, hearing the words ‘master thesis’ literary becomes a phobia. I know some students who completely gave up their hopes to graduate from the Poznan University of Economics because they could not finish the thesis report in time. Later on, couple of them moved to a different country and started the entire study again. I also know couple of people who paid someone to write their thesis up. But guess what, it really does not work. We all know what is the plagiarism, right?

So, here are three things you can do to finish your Master Thesis in time.

Poznan University of Economics
Photo Courtesy: Sorella and Fotoportal.Poznan.PL

# Find your interest #

Writing a thesis is a lengthy task. Thus, keeping the passion over three semesters is difficult. This is why you should choose a topic which really attracts you. You have to feel that there are plenty of stuffs you can write on this topic. If you close your eyes, you shall see the entire path for your thesis — from the beginning to the end.

Once you find your interest, talk to your supervisor. He/she will tell you the practical importance of your idea and guide you to achieve your goal. Keep it in mind that if your idea has already been written by someone else, you cannot write on it. Instead, your supervisor will guide you how to write on a different issue in the same area of your interest, if needed.

If you do not walk on your passionate path, you will end up with buying a thesis from someone. If you buy the thesis, you will do more work than your own work. And the fear of being caught will kill you until you defend it.

Photo Courtesy: Fotoportal.Poznan.PL

# Depth of your topic #

At the Poznan University of Economics, the recommended length of a Master Thesis is around 60 to 70 pages. Thus, while choosing a topic and outlining the thesis, be realistic. Ask yourself how much do I have to write on this particular topic in order to reach my goal. How many sub-objectives will I have to achieve to reach to my final objective. Discuss with your supervisor.

Here is a practical information. Some supervisors are really flexible, trust the students’ ability and give them the complete freedom. They do not outline the thesis for students. Instead, they want the students to come up with their own structure and suggest them to include more and more objectives if they find any gap or see the potential relevant objectives.

I know a guy who wanted to write on ‘the effect of Robotisation on the growth of world economy’. Yes, the World Economy! He wanted to compare the rate of industrial development between the Pre and Post Robotisation era. One of the many sub-objectives was to compare the industrial growth rates of countries which use Robots to manufacture the goods and which do not.

After hearing his idea, I became speechless. I asked myself, “was he talking about a doctoral or post-doctoral thesis?” I suggested him to change the topic or to choose a specific country to analyse but he did not listen. Well, the bottom line is if you do not understand the depth or the vastness of your master thesis, you will end up with changing the topic again and again. At least, I know, he did change the topic 4 times and finally, defended his thesis in 2016 instead of 2014.

The more you elaborate your topic the more your thesis become worthy. Ask your supervisor for the guidance because time matters.

Graduation Hall, Collegium Minus, Adam Mickiewicz University
Photo Courtesy: Radosław Maciejewski and Fotoportal.Poznan.PL

# Avoid procrastinating #

For many of us, this is the Mount Everest to climb. We keep delaying the things. You shall not do that.

At the Poznan University of Economics, the Master Thesis seminar is scheduled from the 2nd semester. Try to be specific about your research interest as soon as possible. Then start reading as many books and articles relevant to your chosen topic as possible. Before the summer vacation, structure your thesis and plan for the next tasks.

At the beginning of the following Winter Semester, start writing. If you write 500 words each day, you shall finish the thesis in a month (keeping two weeks in hand for the empirical research). I know, it is not possible! Write at least 500 words in a week instead. It is highly possible, isn’t it? If you do so, you will finish your thesis within the Winter Semester. Keep the entire following Summer Semester to edit your thesis report. You shall expect many changes after submitting the first draft. Finally, defend your thesis in July.

If you follow a structured schedule like this, you will finish your Master thesis in time. If not, you will end up like me.

According to my supervisor, I was the most advanced one in our seminar. Even though I was working on my favourite field of study, I was writing the report only when I was receiving the reminding mail, “how is your writing going on or expecting this chapter before ending the semester”, from my supervisor.

Again it is common to have the writer’s block. I had such situation too.

These procrastinations made me to lock myself up in the room for the entire summer vacation. Nevertheless, I finished the thesis because I knew exactly what I had to write. Finally, I defended it in October 2014.

To sum up, understand your own interest and capability and choose the research topic accordingly. Be realistic, narrow down your covering subjects to a doable or writeable size. Schedule the time and stick with it. Leave the last semester only for the editing tasks.

Good luck with your Master Thesis defence!

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