What I did before starting my thesis:

While you may not write your thesis until the end of your academic program, the success of it largely depends on what you do beforehand, during your preparation stages.

The first choice you will need to make is whether to write the thesis or not. Of course this will require a great deal of considerations both academic and non-academic. You will have to put aside everything else in your life and work almost exclusively for a significant period of time on this task alone and not everyone is willing to do that. Many students find this a challenge, but one that is exciting. They want to opt to create the final project and receive their final degree.

Once you have made that conscious choice to write it, you need to perhaps consider what other courses you might want to add to your curriculum before you reach that point, so as to better prepare yourself. You might need to answer what methodological preparations you require, etc…

You also have to take the initiative to start creating a schedule.

First Step

The spring and summer before you final year in this particular realm of academic pursuit, you will want to consider what type of topic might suit you. It is perfectly acceptable to remain vague at this point in time.

Get Instructions

You want to speak with your department heads if possible and your adviser to see what they have to say about your current plans.

Know The Rules

Look over guides on writing the final document before you start, so that you can explore the entire writing process and what is required of you during it.

What You Should Do Next:

Then you have to begin having an open conversation with your adviser. This is the time to speak with them about the courses you might want to take in order to help you prepare for your goals. Ask for their insight into what courses can best prepare you, and what pieces you should read regarding the physical process of writing. They might be able to give you some great ideas, since they have all been there. Even if you are still lacking in an idea at present, it is good to begin the dialogue process because an idea might spark in the very near future as a result of a conversation you had with them or an email exchange which took place.

One of the most beneficial ways to learn is of course to visit some of the works previous students have completed. You can look over the published documents held in the school library or within your department so find those which are the best representation of the school you are attending. You can of course look online at the thesis repository your school library might have or ask for a recommendation.

During the fall of your second year you want to begin sketching out potential topics. Think over the courses you have taken to take to determine if there are any other you might need to take in order to improve your methodological processes, such as a quantitative methods course or a qualitative methods course. Your school will offer courses for each and once you decide which methodology you are going to use, you can turn to them for this information.

By the middle or end of your second year, you want to begin creating a list of people with whom you want to work and to look for research funding if it is applicable.

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