How much do you want your honours thesis?
Most bachelor degree courses are also honours courses as are some higher degrees also; should you graduate with the required grades then you will be able to tag “Hons” after your degree. But graduating with honours is not always as simple as it sounds and you will certainly have to work at it if you want to achieve it. This article will give you some simple tips and advice to follow to help you to gain your honours degree by writing an honor thesis that is going to be received positively. The first thing to consider is just how much do you really want your honours thesis to be perfect?
Ensure that you are studying a subject that you have a passion for before you start: if you do not have a passion and in depth interest in the subject then you are unlikely to be able to motivate yourself to do well.
Go to the lectures: while this may seem like redundant advice you would be surprised how many students actually fail to attend a proportion of their lectures.
Love the library: studying in the library is more likely to actually help you get in the right frame of mind for your studies rather than trying to read lying on your bed. You also need to ensure that your research is based on more than internet searches.
Make time: Facebook and other social networks are a major drain on your time, ensure that you set a regular timetable for your studies and stick to it.
Schedule breaks and look after your health: you need to stay fit and healthy so ensure that you make time for yourself as well as your studies.
Your Honours research
Any degree starts with research as you will need to ensure that you know everything that has been published and written around your specific area of research. Research is not something that you do the night before your work is due, nor is it something that can be done purely on the internet:
- Set aside a fixed time to do research and stick to it.
- Read around your subject area thoroughly
- Use the library not just the internet
- Use scholarly search engines not just Google or Bing
- Make careful notes of relevant information and record page numbers, authors and publication details for your referencing.
Writing your honours proposal
Any degree will start with a proposal and your proposal for your honours thesis is no different. A well written proposal will form a backbone for the writing of your honors dissertation or thesis and the better your planning is at this stage the easier you work will be later. Ensure that you fully consider the specific reasons for writing your honours proposal:
- Find a good question that you can answer and provide your thesis
- Show that your question is original and has significance within your subject area
- Show that you have a clear understanding of how you are going to do your research and prove your thesis
- Provide a clear methodology for your research
- Show that you have considered the amount of work required and that it is feasible
Writing your honours thesis
Writing an honours thesis is not a task that you are going to complete the night before your deadline. It needs to be very carefully written and able to reflect the effort that you have put into your research. The following are some helpful tips for writing your honours thesis:
- Start early: many students underestimate the amount of work that is required to write a thesis so the earlier you the start the better.
- Use your proposal as a starting point for your thesis: the bulk of your literature review and methodology has already been written for your proposal; build on this.
- You don’t have to work through your thesis in a linear fashion: you can write any section in any order that makes sense.
- Ensure that you fully understand your format and what each section requires: use a template in the correct format for your course and ensure that it is correct.
- Set a timetable for your writing and stick to it.
- Have clear goals for the completion of each section: your tutor will almost certainly have deadlines by which they will want to see certain sections completed.
- Don’t be afraid to rewrite or seek advice on your writing.
- Proofread and edit thoroughly, again don’t be afraid to ask for help from your peers and your tutor.
By planning every step of your honours thesis from research through to your writing you can ensure that you will pass your degree with flying colors.