Writing the thesis can become an uphill job and help you in this important task; we present these 10 tips to facilitate its preparation. First, we must remember that a thesis is the final verification of the knowledge acquired during our studies. The purpose is to show the creativity, originality, and methodological training of the thesis student.
Given the above, we present the following tips to help you start writing the thesis.
1- Find out about the type of jobs accepted at your university or institute: this will allow you to analyze the kind of research that best suits your interests and possibilities. Keep in mind that the types of research are the following:
- Field research: a topic or problem is studied from collecting and analyzing direct data from reality. In these cases, it is necessary to use the statistical study; it is not required to be an expert in the field but to handle certain notions and criteria for this type of work.
- Documentary research is the study of a problem from the analysis of data and previously published theories in other works. In this type of research, the author uses the sources of consultations to postulate his ideas and conclusions.
- Feasible project: proposal of a model that could be the solution to a particular problem. These types of projects are used to develop recommendations for social or institutional impact.
- Particular projects: they are works of creation of solutions of cultural interest, examples: educational projects, software, technologies, projects of artistic and literary creation.
2- Evaluate your resources: What do I need to carry out my research? Where and how can I collect the data I need? How long will it take me to collect this data, and how long to analyze it? Do I need a collaborative team, or can I research by myself? What costs should I consider? All these questions will help you evaluate the resources you have and the ones you will need. It is of significant influence in choosing a research topic.
3- Choose a topic and delimit it: to choose the subject, you must first observe a research problem, that is, a situation that must be studied to describe it, explain it and, if necessary, give it a solution. A common mistake when choosing the topic is the lack of delimitation, the more specific the case, the better the limits and scope of the thesis will be established.
A poorly specified topic results in inconsistency or too much breadth in the research, which would indefinitely lengthen the completion of the thesis. If, as a topic, it is decided to study the effects of chemical fertilizers on plants and the consequences for human consumption, at first glance, it might seem an appropriate subject. However, the lack of specificity would cause the following problems: the number, type, and varieties of plants, also the kind of fertilizers. The investigation should cover all edible plants and all chemical fertilizers. The right thing, then, would be to establish the topic as follows: The effects of chemical fertilizer “X” on “X” plants and its consequences for humans.
4- Find a tutor and consult your topic with him: a tutor is the most suitable person to inform you about the validity or relevance of your subject; as an expert in the field, he can better guide your thesis. Sometimes a tutor can make us give up a sure line of research, and that is why it is essential, before starting, to check with an expert whether or not our object of study has value.
5- Start in bibliographic archiving: look for sources of consultation for your research and prepare to read large amounts of information. It is necessary to read a lot and, before writing the thesis, even read the material two or three times. The first reading will help you decide which sources are relevant. Do not discard any material without reading it well; you can find valuable data in the slightest thought of places.
6- Make a second reading of your sources: this reading must fully understand the theories or data that support your research. Make connections between your citations and your own opinions. Establish differences and opposing points of view; this will help you better defend your value judgments.
7- Underline and annotate your readings:
- Carry out an analysis of the pieces of information relevant to your work.
- Mark the text that you think you can cite.
- Keep a record of your references.
Thus, you will not have to go back several times to the same source, and you can easily remember what you have read.
8- Establish a schedule for each of the methodological steps of your research: It will help you keep track of the time you spend on each of the steps and processes of your work and a record of the objectives achieved.
9- Prepare a preliminary project: This is an essential requirement to proceed with the thesis in most cases. A good blueprint is an excellent guide; you will have half the way and your goals clear. Many of the preliminary draft points are also handled in the thesis but with a more in-depth treatment. If you already know the methodology, you will know the aspects and criteria you must develop.
10- Be original and creative: good research can lead you to propose valuable knowledge that can be used for future work. Do not copy the material of others; plagiarism is unethical and impairs the advancement of intellectual ability.