By the time the candidate becomes a graduate student, he or she should know quite a bit about writing papers. The sheer size of the thesis project makes a difference, but the students will use the same research and writing skills in preparing a thesis that they have brought to their studies all along. The supervisor will help, but any student embarking on a thesis should also read up independently on how to research and write a thesis. The style guide appropriate to the student's discipline will include tips on research, the mechanics of writing, and citing sources properly.
The students will need to use their research, writing and oral presentation skills to complete their thesis. They will improve in all these areas with practice. If a candidate lacks confidence in any of the skills necessary for success, he or she should try to be realistic about his or her abilities. In that case, the candidate should speak to the thesis supervisor about courses that may be offered at the University to address what they perceive as shortcomings in the required abilities. Avail of the Academic Writing Help Centre’s (AWHC) resources about the mechanics of writing.
The purpose of a literature review is to demonstrate the student’s knowledge of, and ability to synthesize, major aspects of the scholarly literature of the field in which the student’s thesis is situated. The review also helps the reader to place the student’s work in its context. As a finished product, the literature review shows that the student is familiar with the literature pertinent to his topic; shows the importance of his decision to conduct research and write on the topic with the approach chosen; explores what has been written on the topic and by whom; and, explores what the literature tells, what it does not tell, and why both of these are important for his topic.
The scope of the literature review must be broader than the topic of the student’s thesis. It must cover the major scholarly contributions to the field of study in which the student’s thesis is situated.
Narrow down your topic
The students should discuss potential topics with the supervisor and colleagues, and think carefully about the feasibility of the topic in relation to the number and complexity of the experiments required, the lab equipment required, their knowledge of the different related fields, the extent of the reading required, and the accessibility of the books or items to be studied.
As already discussed, the students have to obtain all the necessary approvals for your thesis topic. In addition to ethics and other approvals, a student who plans to travel abroad to do research must investigate possible international travel restrictions. Depending on the country in which the research will be conducted, students should check with the Office of Risk Management before making plans to do research abroad.
Research:collect and analyze data
When researching the topic, or collecting and analyzing data, the student should read as widely as possible and take meticulous notes identifying each source. They should also sharpen their focus as they go, if necessary, and keep developing and refining their thesis outlines.