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Kaya Offline
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Bachelor thesis is such a drag... - February 21st 2012, 06:33 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm currently trying to write my bachelor thesis, but it has been a drag for 2 months already. All I do is search the I-net for the info and get confused with it. Than I have pilled lots of hand-written notes and made a few drafts, but I need to make a final literature review in 2 days... I just can't pull myself together to do this job. Any practical advice is appreciated.

Thanks


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Re: Bachelor thesis is such a drag... - February 21st 2012, 06:50 PM

I could only imagine what you're going through. I experience this type of apathy when merely writing an essay, let alone a complete thesis. This is why I'm certain I should pursue a career in either Business or Law. A thesis isn't required for either of these two practical fields, go me.

Re: advice, I'm not sure what to tell you. When I feel apathetic about completing schoolwork (like right now; I have three exams next week and I should be making study notes and whatnot, but meh), I try to focus on the end goal. Why is it that you want/need to complete it? Is the final outcome appealing to you? If so, that should help with the motivation.

I also find that making a to-do list of every little aspect of the schoolwork that you have to complete. For example: 1) Print out notes 2) High-light notes 3) Take textbook notes 4) Read chapter 8 5) High-light chapter 8, etc. This may seem like it'll be a long list (believe me, I know), but when you start high-lighting tasks off your list, you'll feel more accomplished. I find that this helps me a tremendous amount, actually.

Hm, what else? Setting goals for yourself (which I guess is similar to the to-do list) also works for me. I plan out my weeks - identifying each task(s) that I wish to have completed by each day. I plan it out so that I complete all of my work within the required time. So, if I meet each goal every day, it means 1) I've been productive 2) I'm well on my way to completing the whole project on time. Does that make sense?

Alas, everyone is different. People find motivation in different ways. For some, merely listening to motivating music is enough to get them working. For others, it's much more difficult. Try different methods to see what works best for you.

Good luck, though.


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Re: Bachelor thesis is such a drag... - February 21st 2012, 07:03 PM

Hey, I remember having to do this and I hated it too. Here's the advice that my professor gave us (we were only using articles though)

Ignore the titles of the articles and number them instead then take a stack of paper (I used note cards for the sake of saving trees) and write facts from each article that support your thesis. Only focus on things that support your hypotheis and only put one fact/sentance per card. Sentences will probably make things easier later. Put the number of the article that the fact came from on the back of the card so you can make your citations later.

Next, group the cards based on what facts seem to go together, make sure to use the facts and not the numbers. You should limit yourself to 4-6 piles and each pile should end up relating to a general topic automatically. (This will help you organize by information and not each article)

Next, label the piles by the topic they seem to revolve around and organize them into the order you believe they should be placed in your paper. Once you've done that, organize the individual cards within each pile.

Once you're cards are all organized all you have to do is write each sentance into your paper and make sure to place the number from the card at the end of each sentance, then you can replace the numbers with the actual citations as your last step.

You can do this with your written notes as well as long as you know what notes came from which source.

I know it sounds like a lot of work especially to get done in 2 days, but once you start it really isn't that bad. Also, you probably won't end up using every article or source you have.

I hope this helped at least a little. I'm not even entirely sure it made sense. Good luck.


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Re: Bachelor thesis is such a drag... - February 22nd 2012, 01:50 AM

I haven't written a thesis although I've done some very lengthy research papers for courses up to 40 pages long with several pages of fMRI scans. Anytime I find an online paper, I read the abstract and if it seems relevant, I read parts of the discussion. Afterward, I open a separate MS Word document and type the relevant points from the article that would support my paper or be useful background information, then print each document and tape them to my bookshelf or spread them on the desk, floor, etc... . Basically it looks like a war-zone. On each paper I either hand write or type the areas where certain information would be useful and cite them in my drafts. Katie's method of making piles works very well, although I've often knocked the piles over and he to re-organize them so I wasn't too happy.

I've often found for each research paper I've written, there were always a few articles that were particularly useful in terms of their content or provided excellent references which proved extremely useful. If you're unable to find good articles, look over the papers you have and find the references they used when discussing particularly important information that's relevant for your thesis.

If your thesis is heavily science-related, I often found either excellent diagrams or well-summarized text in articles from Nature (or one of its many sub-journals) and Science. Depending on the topic, you may find journals that consistently give relevant understandable articles. For example, journals that I routinely scouted were the Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neurophysiology, European Journal of Neuroscience, etc... .


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Re: Bachelor thesis is such a drag... - February 22nd 2012, 06:22 PM

After I did mine by hand the first time, I had the same professor again and had to do another one on a different topic. If you don't want to do it by hand, you can do it electronically. When you find an article that you want to use save it on a personal thumb drive, or your personal computer so that everything ends up together. When you save the article, also copy and paste the citation information somewhere. When you save the article, it will automatically save under a certain name, leave the name as it is until you have all the articles you're going to need. Once you've found everything you're going to use, change the original names and save the articles with numbers then copy and paste things together into a seperate document with the numbers included, then organize the information like you would if it were written out.


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Re: Bachelor thesis is such a drag... - February 22nd 2012, 08:24 PM

I'd say just focus on the question you're trying to answer. Try to be clear on that and ignore all the extraneous details. As long as your paper appears to make sense, you don't need to worry so much about every single side issue that could potentially mess up your thesis. The fact of the matter is that you'll never be able to address all of the problems presented to you, so you just have to focus on the aspect of the problem you're interested in and bracket everything else. Otherwise, you'll get too bogged down in your research and not be able to progress.



   
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Re: Bachelor thesis is such a drag... - February 24th 2012, 04:19 PM

Thank you every one,

For giving a reply to my post. Today I have turned in my literature review and my academic advisor said that it was well done . The note card strategy was very helpful and it was a good idea to keep focus on the main points of the thesis. Of course, every time when I wanted to have an extra break I tried to remind myself that it has to be done, so I can graduate this year.

With all the best,

Kaya


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