Finnish translation thanks to Oskari Laine, Helsinki, Finland.
Getting Started When you are about to begin, writing a thesis seems a long, difficult task. That is because it is a long, difficult task. Fortunately, it will seem less daunting once you have a couple of chapters done.
Towards the end, you will even find yourself enjoying it — an enjoyment based on satisfaction in the achievement, pleasure in the improvement in your technical writing, and of course the approaching end.
Like many tasks, thesis writing usually seems worst before you begin, so let us look at how you should make a start. An outline First make up a thesis outline: There is a section on chapter order and thesis structure at the end of this text.
Once you have a list of chapters and, under each chapter heading, a reasonably complete list of things to be reported or explained, you have struck a great blow against writer's block. When you sit down to type, your aim is no longer a thesis — a daunting goal — but something simpler.
Your new aim is just to write a paragraph or section about one of your subheadings. It helps to start with an easy one: In an experimental thesis, the Materials and Methods chapter is often the easiest to write — just write down what you did; carefully, formally and in a logical order. How do you make an outline of a chapter?
For most of them, you might try the method that I use for writing papers, and which I learned from my thesis adviser Stjepan Marcelja: Assemble all the figures that you will use in it and put them in the order that you would use if you were going to explain to someone what they all meant.
You might as well rehearse explaining it to someone else — after all you will probably give several talks based on your thesis work. Once you have found the most logical order, note down the key words of your explanation.
These key words provide a skeleton for much of your chapter outline.
Once you have an outline, discuss it with your adviser. This step is important: Organisation It is encouraging and helpful to start a filing system. Open a word-processor file for each chapter and one for the references.
You can put notes in these files, as well as text. Or you may think of something interesting or relevant for that chapter.Information for authors.
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