Many of you are thinking to do a thesis in the Master’s program. Some of you are a little bit confused or scared of the process. Well, conducting a thesis in the Master’s program is a part of your academic goal and your interest in something. But, it is a challenging task because you have to cross the steps very systematically. It becomes easier if you connect with someone to get his/her experiences. However, in today’s article, I will try to share my experiences with a complete guide to your master’s thesis.
What is a Master’s thesis?
Some of the students enter the journey without knowing the actual concept of a Master’s thesis, they deal with it as an assignment. But, it doesn’t work like that. I know few guys who didn’t award the Master’s degree due to the incompletion of the thesis. I also know few people who achieved Ph.D. admission showing their Master’s thesis. So, you don’t need to be disheartened to face the challenge. Let’s know what a Master’s thesis is!
A Master’s thesis is a piece of research that demonstrates your knowledge of a specific topic based on a systemic investigation. It illustrates valid data accumulation, analytical discussion, and theoretically substantial arguments in an academic field. Though it is the very beginning of a wide academic sphere, it can not be underestimated. You know, an excellent Master’s thesis can be published in academic journals. It’s my pleasure to let you know that my Master’s thesis has been accepted in a high-quality academic journal. My article on how to get published in an academic journal during undergraduate study will help you to explore more.
Why should or shouldn’t you do a thesis?
Before deciding to take part in a thesis or non-thesis group, you can consider the following points.
- Your career goal: A thesis demonstrates your career goal. Especially, if you are interested to do a Ph.D. or aim to equip your career in the academic sphere, you should do a thesis in the Master’s program.
- You have enough time: Conducting a thesis is a time-consuming event. Even you have a desire to do a thesis if you don’t have enough time to complete it, you should escape it. For example, if you have a plan to enter a job immediately, conducting a thesis will be stressful. So, when you have a confident desire with enough time, it will be a wise decision for you to do a thesis.
- Other circumstances: As you have already set your career goal, you have enough time and passion to do a thesis, you also have to consider some other circumstances. For example, you have to find a supervisor who suits your topic. It needs a previous network with faculties; if you don’t have an idea about the research interest of your faculties, your thesis journey will be less pleasant. So, before choosing a topic, get connected with your faculties, explore their research areas, and find someone who best adheres to your topic.
How to complete a thesis?
There is not any straightforward guideline to complete a thesis. It depends on the subject, university, supervisor, etc. However, based on my experiences, I can share these steps.
- Select your topic first: Selecting an appropriate topic is half of doing a thesis. When you have already decided to do a thesis, you have to invest a generous time to pick a topic. Choosing a topic is very important because it is the cornerstone of your future research path. To select a topic, you should keep three parameters in your mind: your research interest, the academic space of the topic, and the practicality of your situation. For example, you have taken a fancy topic, but there are not enough resources of lab facility at this time, it won’t work properly. Again, you have taken a topic that is fine but much of the works on this topic have already done by others, your work will not get much appreciation in the academic arena.
- Find a supervisor: It is another challenge that determines how your thesis journey will be. Before involving with a supervisor, you can consider three aspects: the research interest of your supervisor, his/her psychology and interpersonal skills, and your connection with him/her. First, it is obvious that you have to choose a supervisor who is relatable to your topic, otherwise, he/she can not guide you properly. Second, it will be helpful if your supervisor is a good communicator, empathetic, and honest to guide you to yield original work. You also have to make sure that you value his/her time, invest enough effort, and organize things accordingly. Finally, your connection with the supervisor is important, if you have previous experience with him/her on any other project, it will help you to pave the journey.
- Read, edit and write: The fundamental tasks of the thesis student are reading, writing, and editing. First, you have to cope up with a rigorous reading list. From thesis proposal to final paper writing, one thing you have to do consistently is the reading. The more you read, the more you improve in writing. Meanwhile the process, you should write even a little every day. After completing a section, you can review and edit it.
- Become your reviewer: Before showing the draft to your supervisor, try to become your own reviewer. Always scrutinize the argument by these questions- what, why, and how. After frequent revisions, you will realize that your paper has improved significantly.
Basic skills or techniques you should pursue
Some of the skills such as academic tone in writing, analytical ability, critical thinking, reference style will help you to write a standard thesis. The basic skills you must require are the following.
- Academic writing style: An academic writer has a standard writing style. For example, you should pick formal and academically suitable words, you have to follow the systematic narration of argument, reference style, literature review, etc. Don’t worry, after a certain literature review and search in Google, you will understand it. You get an idea about reference style, you can use some tools. For reference, I generally use Citefast. There are numerous free tools on the internet that help in referencing.
- Research method: Prior to getting into the thesis, you should learn detail of the research methodology such as qualitative and quantitative methodology, mixed methodology, etc. You also need to know data collection and data analysis techniques. You can take help of your supervisor or you can take assistant of any other sources such as online courses, books, training, etc.
A general thesis structure
The thesis structure varies subject to subject. It also depends on you and your supervisor’s choice. Generally, a thesis should have the following contents.
- Introduction: the introductory part discusses the short background, rationale, research question, hypothesis, etc. It is very important to get the reader’s attention. This part takes more corrections because you may write it initially but you have to readjust it with the research findings after completion of the analysis.
- Theoretical framework: theoretical framework demonstrates the alignment of the research with previously established analytics. You don’t the be totally inclined with any theory but you have to go across similar analytical schools of thought at least, to substantiate your point of view. Search on your topics, you will find related articles to frame the theories.
- Methodology: this part is the backbone of your thesis. You have to have a clear knowledge of research methodology. You have to understand what methodology best suits your topic, what should be the sample size, who should be the respondents, what should be the data collection techniques, and what should be the data analysis method. In this part, you should clearly write all the issues so that the reviewer can be sure that you are familiar with the research.
- Results: The result part in the final output of your endeavor. All the things you have done should be extracted in this part. You have to show your findings in a comprehensive format. This can be equipped with data, charts, equations, graphs, etc.
- Discussion: In the discussion part, you will illustrate your findings with a logical articulation. You will use primary or secondary sources of data. You have to particularly demonstrate your thesis, antithesis, and synthesis.
- Conclusion: The conclusion part is as important as the introductory part. In this part, you should suggest some recommendations, future research direction, and also admire the limitation of your research. In this part, you should substantiate the importance of your findings shortly.
I hope this article helps you to eliminate some confusion, the information provided by this article assists you in your Master’s thesis journey. If you have more questions, feel free to reach out via email or social media. Happy studying!