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Posted Dec. 6, 2013

Postgrads - Thinking About Your Thesis?

For a postgraduate, the successful completion of a research project or a thesis is the highlight of the course undertaken, and which often leads to the acquisition of the doctorate degree or Ph.D. This is so since it involves an in-depth study of the topic taken up for dissertation, resulting in a thesis.

The thesis is the final compilation that reflects the knowledge gathered on the topic after systematic research and experimentation, and which is worthy of publication. A good thesis aims to add something new to the existing matter on the topic.

The approach for thesis preparation has to be carefully planned from the beginning, since it involves rigorous and critical examination of the topic undertaken. In this case, well-prepared is half done!

Pre-planning The foremost thing to be considered is the choice of topic. The student has to choose something that he/she is really passionate to find out more about. This ardour keeps the student motivated throughout, and brings in a sense of satisfaction of having contributed something positive to the existing resources through the thesis. A clear understanding of what exactly one is setting out to achieve through the thesis is essential. This requires a lot of reading to ensure a good grasp of the topic that is being researched.

A Well Planned Strategy Planning out a strategy is the next step in the preparation for thesis work. This requires breaking down the entire topic into sub-topics, and then determining the information and sources required for each section of the subject being studied. Also of equal importance is the time allotted for each part of the thesis. Some parts would require extensive research and approaching multiple sources of information or data.

Gathering Information One of the core requirements for research is gathering information. This requires extensive search and scanning through different resources such as public libraries and online research.

Creating a Log As work on the thesis progresses, massive amount of information is gathered. Unless one keeps a careful log of one’s findings, it will be quite cumbersome later to sift through the mountain loads of data and compile it into a meaningful presentation. It is vital to maintain a log where the information as well as the source is recorded. The latter helps a lot at the time of providing citations and bibliography details.

Choosing a Great Supervisor Most postgraduate students work under the guidance of a supervisor who is there like a backbone to assist throughout the project. However, choosing one can be quite daunting. Thesis is a long-term project involving two to three years of rigorous research. Hence, the supervisor - besides being an expert - should be comfortable to work with, and must also be quite trustworthy. The supervising staff should be someone who can provide timely assistance sincerely, and who is also readily available.
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