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Guidelines on how to write the perfect thesis


The word perfect is interesting when describing a thesis. Anybody correcting a thesis will naturally take a subjective point of view. To describe the thesis is being perfect is a big call. And what one person marking a thesis calls a perfect thesis, another person may think is just good, very good or excellent. But it is always good to aim high. It is always good to aim for perfection. So here are some suggestions, some guidelines in helping you create what we hope will be the perfect thesis.

Your supervisor is everything

Now the research and writing of the thesis is down to you. It's a solo adventure. You are doing it on your own. But that is not the whole truth. Your supervisor is a vitally important cog in your thesis machine. You must spend appropriate and sufficient time in consultation with your supervisor. This can be with a face-to-face meeting or it can be through other forms of communication. But contact is vital.

The key to getting the most out of your time with your supervisor is down to your preparation. Going to a meeting with your supervisor with a vague idea or two is not making the most of your time. Go with definite proposals. Go with written information which you can show to your supervisor. It could be a plan for your thesis with headings and subheadings and bullet points under each of these. Give your supervisor something concrete to discuss. And remember that your supervisor is someone who has been there and done that. Not only have they themselves created a thesis, they have worked with many other students who are doing just that. Make the most of your supervisor.

Get constant feedback

This again comes back to your supervisor but not necessarily only your supervisor. The writing of your thesis will be spread out over an extended period of time. As you produce more of your thesis, gets constant feedback. Show what you have written to a fellow student, even a family member who will give you honest criticism. Listen to what others say. You don't have to take the advice you receive but certainly when it comes from somebody like your supervisor, you would definitely consider that advice.

Avoid plagiarism

It goes without saying that you would never consciously include material in your thesis which would be subject to a claim of plagiarism. But what you do need to avoid is using other people's words to make a point. By all means use other people's words to support the argument in your thesis and always correctly cite all references. Writing the perfect thesis is the perfect challenge.

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