6 Ways to Save or Start Your Senior Thesis

Researching for your senior thesis can be overwhelming. You are so familiar with your topic that you feel unable to find the right place to start. It may have taken you months to research a topic and now you are able write and discuss it for hours. However, a thesis that reads as a disjointed, rambling monologue seniorthesistopic.com will not engage a reader and help her to understand your topic. If you allow the ideas to float around your head without organizing and culling information, it will lead to more work. This is especially true for those with tight deadlines.

Others find it difficult to get started with writing. You may find it difficult to get started due to anxiety, stress, or knowledge paralysis. It is difficult to get ideas out of your head and make them into a cohesive, linear argument.

Both of these cases are very important. A thesis that isn’t completed or poorly written could delay graduation as well as prolong tuition payments. Use these tools to help you get ahead (or reduce) stress in your thesis-writing process.
Goal #1: Finish a draft

Your first goal should be to put words on paper. It’s not easy. There is an endless number of distractions. A thesis that isn’t complete can result in a poor grade. Here are three tips that will help you submit a thesis to which you are proud.

  1. Find Your Focus

There are many reasons why people lose focus. There is help available. When you are writing, it can be difficult to stop checking your social media. You may lose track of the time for hours. An app such as Cold Turkey Writer, FocusMe or FocusMe can block social media and help you stay on track. A tool like the Forest app can help you visualize your progress, and your distractions, while you write. There are free versions of Forest and Cold Turkey, with the option to buy the premium version at a modest one-time cost. FocusMe, on the other hand, has subscriptions for monthly, annual and lifelong, depending on how many projects you have.

  1. Follow Your Tasks

Your thesis can only be completed if you have project management. Use simple apps such as Outliner. You might also use more sophisticated project management apps such as Trello, or something in-between like ToDoIst. It is possible to have a more complex program or an even more detailed outline, but it might not be as effective. Some people get so involved in listing all the steps that it blocks their progress. Others make such a big deal of tracking their work that it overwhelms the project. Think about how you work best, and then choose the tracking method that suits your needs.

  1. Accountability for All Action

You can use accountability apps to penalize yourself for failing to achieve your goals. Although graduating early or having your GPA reduced for a low-quality or incomplete thesis should be sufficient motivation, it may not be enough to discourage procrastination. StickK or BeeMinder can help you set goals. It integrates with ToDoIst as well as a few other apps.

An alternative to working online with a group of accountability, such as HabitShare, is to form an in-person group. Here are some suggestions for creating a group.
Goal #2: Do it Well

You can now feel confident in your ability to finish your thesis. Now, you need to make it better. Strong thesises are built through the ability to manage your research, organize your information, and streamline your presentation. Here are three methods to improve the quality of your final product.

  1. Research Repository

Although it can be hard to keep track your research and your thinking, it’s essential to create an accurate bibliography. Web clipping and organizing tools are great for creating your electronic research folder. You can organize your thoughts by topic or combine them. You can also share research with your academic mentor/research advisor or your friend who calls you out when it isn’t working.

You can manage your research with tools like Mendley or Evernote. Mendley is designed specifically for academic research projects. Zotero will detect online research and help to capture it. These tools will allow you to track, organize, cite, and share your research. Mendley and Evernote have premium and free versions that offer additional storage. Zotero is completely free. OneNote can be included with Microsoft Office subscriptions.

After you are done writing, make sure to use an online plagiarism checking tool like Academic Help.

  1. Overhaul Your Organization

As you gain more insight and experience, your thinking will change. Your entire structure may need to be redesigned to deliver your message better and persuade the audience. The actual task of organizing and reorganizing text can be complicated. To re-arrange sections, you can drag-and-drop in the navigation pane if you have used Microsoft Word’s builtin styles. Gingko or Scrivener can help you see your themes and organize your work more effectively. These apps are outlining and organizing tools that help you visualize your work so it’s easier to see how they relate to one another. Scrivener offers additional literary-focused features such as mind mapping that will enhance your fiction projects. Gingko offers both a limited, free version and a pay what you want monthly upgrade. Scrivener costs less than $50 per license.

  1. Reduce clutter

Writing about something you are passionate about doesn’t require you to think about unnecessary words. If your reviewers aren’t as knowledgeable about the topic, however, cluttered language can distract and detract from your main point. WordRake editing software helps you to identify unnecessary words and unwieldy sentences to reduce the length of your document. It also delivers the same message so that readers can understand your thesis.
My Senior Thesis Experiment

WordRake can strengthen theses, because I used it to write mine. WordRake was available to me during my internship, so I had it when I wrote my thesis. After I finished my first draft, WordRake was run on various sections of the thesis. WordRake provided valuable suggestions for improvements in my work. Here are the areas where I felt it most useful.
The Abstract Section

Abstracts must be limited in words, which can make it difficult to adhere to given the length and complexity a thesis. WordRake helped me trim my abstract by removing a few redundant phrases. WordRake also made some mistakes. I later realized that the software misunderstood what I meant. These edits were rejected by WordRake so I decided to rewrite the sentences in a way that the software accepted. I’m not sure if software can understand me. But a human reader could.
The Methods Section

The methods section in a thesis is prone to transitions. A few transitions may help your writing flow, but too many can cause readers to feel like you’re holding them hostage. This is not a feeling that you want to give intelligent people who decide your thesis’s acceptance. WordRake was a great help in identifying transitions. It also helped me to make my explanations more clear and concise.
The Discussion

It’s easy for us to put more of our opinions in the discussion section. We use phrases such as “it is obvious” and “clearly” because we spend so much time studying the data and researching that our findings are clear and obvious to us. However, our readers don’t want us telling them something is obvious. Instead, they want us showing it to them. Plus, it can be awkward if something you believe is obvious is not to one of your reviewers. WordRake cuts the phrases “it is obvious that,” and “clearly” to make it easier for readers to see what we are saying, instead of showing them.

It may have taken you months or even years to write your thesis. You want your final product to reflect your hard work. Write your thesis, research well and revise it thoroughly. WordRake will catch any changes that may be too close to your subject. It helped me to earn a 3.9 for my thesis and it can help you to write a strong thesis.

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