Five Tips for Writing a Good Master’s Thesis24 Oct, 2021
Revised on 5 Sep 2023
In research-based master’s degree programs, graduate students must conduct an in-depth research project and be ready to defend their work in front of a panel of faculty members. Writing a thesis is a long process that requires excellent time management and self-discipline. Graduate students work with a research advisor who guides and mentors them along the way.
A thesis is different from an undergraduate research project. In master’s degree programs, a thesis is an extensive scholarly paper that allows for demonstrating a graduate student’s expertise in his or her field of study. It also will define a student’s area of expertise and will be considered an official published piece of research. A copy of the student’s thesis is kept in the university’s library and can be found in certain research databases.
Many times, graduate students feel overwhelmed by this gigantic task, and it is not uncommon that some graduate students never finish writing their thesis. This article provides simple advice on how to successfully complete a thesis.
These valuable tips have been shared by Dr. Gaelle Picherit-Duthler, Acting Dean, Graduate Studies, Zayed University to help students excel in their program-based research projects.
Tip #1: Write Everyday
Graduate students need to train themselves to set aside time to write every day, either for thirty minutes or two hours, but it needs to be every day. The quality of writing varies but it can always be edited at a later date. Some days are better than others as one is more focused and can write more clearly. Some days are worse when one cannot concentrate, and it is difficult to write coherently. However, by writing every day, it is like a training program and writing becomes a habit. After a few weeks, writing becomes easier and less daunting for most graduate students.
Tip #2: Work Closely with Your Research Supervisor
When writing a master’s thesis, graduate students are not alone. The research supervisor has a vested interest in making sure that graduate students succeed in finishing their master’s degree programs by writing their thesis. By working closely together, the supervisor becomes like a mentor to graduate students, providing intellectual as well as moral support to graduate students. The supervisor accompanies the graduate students along the various steps of the thesis, from refining the research purpose to preparing for the oral defense.
Tip #3: Create a Support System: Work, Family and Friends
Writing a thesis is challenge for those who struggle with time management. Graduate students are asked to split their time between work, family, and their social circles. However, they need to stay focused on one task: writing. It is important that their friends, family, and colleagues understand the time commitment they are making to their studies and keep the demand for the student’s time to a minimum. On the contrary, they should take special care that students are not over burden by activities or extra work.
Tip #4: Find a Space to Write
Graduate students need to find a free writing space. It is almost impossible to write effectively in a noisy office or at home with family members. Students should consider renting a study space in the library. Many public or university libraries offer small rooms for faculty or students to use. This space is a quiet space and free of distractions where one can concentrate on thinking and writing without any interruptions.
Tip #5: Break Thesis in Manageable Parts with Deadlines
Breaking the task into manageable chunks with self-imposed deadlines works well for most and being organized is paramount. The thesis can appear as an impossible goal to reach. By breaking it down in smaller tasks, graduate students can create more reachable and manageable parts of a bigger piece of research. After each part, students can request feedback from their supervisors to make sure they are on the right track. As the thesis is generally organized by chapters, students can focus on each chapter as a separate writing module that can be assembled at the end to create the entire research project.
If you would like to know more about master’s thesis writing, please contact the Deanship of Graduate Studies, Zayed University at +971-2-599-3605 / firstname.lastname@example.org