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Post Info TOPIC: Thesis woes


Mookish Deity Most High

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Date:
Thesis woes


I was going to put this the critiquing thread, but decided against it as it will just result in me hijacking that thread. 

So Mooks, I'm in my final year of my undergrad degree. I have to write a thesis. I HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE HOW TO WRITE A THESIS. I study biomedical science, and all through the course there was very little emphasis put on academic writing. Lab reports yes, but they're quite different and less formal. I've done a couple of essays, but the largest one I've ever done was 2,000 words and I managed to fuck it up because I hadn't a clue what I was doing. 

My thesis has to be 5,000 words, and I know that isn't much as far as that kind of work goes. I know come the end of it I'll be cursing the word count, wishing it was more. But for now I have no idea what to do, or where to start. I know a little bit- I know how to do my references and reference list, I know how to search for papers (kind of- I get the feeling I'm doing it a bit wrong or longwinded though). I feel so ill-equipped though, and the more I think about it, the more overwhelmed I get and the more I want to run away and cry.

My supervisor is USELESS, and I mean USELESS. I arranged to see him once last semester, and for the 10 minutes I was in his office he mumbled to the ground and I could hardly hear what he was saying (it's the same when he lectures by the way). I know I have to meet with him, but I'm extremely reluctant to because well... what's the point? I won't meet with him at least until I have a rough draft of what I'm going to actually write in my thesis. 

My title (which is not important really) is "Antigenic Variation in Protozoan Parasites." The work is due on the 5th of April. I wish to have it done at least the week before, so I can check it, double check it, triple check it, have it bound and ready to hand in and not be worrying about meeting the deadline 2 hours before the thing is due. So really I need to start working on the thesis tomorrow (the start of semester 2) so that I'm not under crushing amounts of pressure. 

Sorry, this has turned quite garbled and ranty. I'm just extremely anxious about this and need some help. x 



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Mookish Deity Most High

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Obviously I know a whole lot less than you about this, but I will of course proof-read for silly things like the phrasing of it and so on, when the time comes. Deep breaths, you can do this! x

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High Mookish Shaman

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I don't really know what 'Antigenic Variation in Protozoan Parasites' means lol, is it something you're supposed to research and then write about? When I do essays which I have to research I spend about 90% of my preparation time reading and 10% actually writing the thing. I go to the library, pick out a few promising sounding books or journal articles and read through them, making notes of anything useful and jotting down my thoughts in a different colour pen. I carry on doing this for however long it takes me to form a clear idea of what I want to write about (I'd probably do at least a week of just reading for an essay of that size). Then I made a rough plan (just some titles in a word document) and then write in whatever order I feel like, doing my references as I go along.
That's all pretty useless if it's not a research paper though, sorry if that's not that case.

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Mookish Deity Most High

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Orangensaft, neither do I! ;p

It is something I'm supposed to research and write about. I'm supposed to read a certain amount of papers and I can use books too if I like- so long as it's all peer reviewed and so on. What you're saying about a huge part of it being preparation and only a small part being writing is kinda reassuring. I realise now that I'm ill equipped because I haven't done much reading, so I guess the more I read the more prepared I will feel. All the info isn't just going to fall into my lap, as much as I would like it to haha. thanks for your advice x

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"You're a tough cookie, but all cookies are crumbly sometimes, that however, makes them no less of a cookie, and they're just as good as any other cookie." ~Indiana Jones

 

 

 



High Mookish Shaman

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Can you ask for another tutor to help you? I'm doing a dissertation for april which is 9,000 words and we had assigned tutors, however if you dont feel you fit or your tutor dosent know much about your subject you can ask for a transfer? worth a shot?

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Runic Mook of the North (mod)

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I'm currently writing the project description for my master's thesis, and we have loads of seminars in this kind of stuff. Plus I'm in the faculty of art, writing academic articles is possibly the main thing they teach us ;)

Start your research by browsing through stuff, to get an overview of what's out there. Don't get bogged down in reading too thoroughly at first, read the abstracts and flip through likely looking books. And of course, the reference list in them can lead you further.

Get endnote or some other reference program, so that you can send reference info straight to there when you find articles that looks useful. This saves you time by not having to take notes at this stage, it will be esay to find them again later when you need them and fix the reference list for when you start writing (It can be so frustrating to try to whip the literature list into submission when you fight against a deadline, it's consuming time you might not have. So get the reference program ASAP).


If you are not familiar with using the search engines at your faculty library, enrol in one of the courses they have in it. They really ought to have them. Might be an idea to go to one of those courses even if you have experience. I thought I knew everything (and mostly did), but I still picked up a few tricks useful enough to be worth going.


Check if your department, or at least faculty, have a page with links to useful online resources. (If they don't, you should pee in their yoghurt. We live in the 21st century, not 1982)

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Mookish Deity Most High

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(This is Chris relaying message for Becky...)

Big thanks to everyone who replied, you have helped lots and your suggestions are being put to good use :) Thanks again, and lots of love x x x

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"You're a tough cookie, but all cookies are crumbly sometimes, that however, makes them no less of a cookie, and they're just as good as any other cookie." ~Indiana Jones

 

 

 



Honoured Mook

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Got a gameplan together for you. Might be rubbish, but if it's useful, I will expect a pet to be named after me at a later date. wink 

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