Salam. One of my blog commenters asked me about juggling the time to write thesis while doing practical. It seems like an interesting topic. I will share few tips on how to handle with this issue. The problem is how to get things done when there’s so little time. The answer is good time management and learn the smart way to do it.
In this entry, I assume that your thesis research topic is already approved by your lecturer. Your lecturer asked you to do the research and start writing the thesis, while you are doing your internship. Here I will share with you 10 tips to work smart with thesis writing.
1. Allocate time for thesis writing in your daily routine
When you are having internship, you’ll have to work during the day. Here’s the common routine in a daily life (based on my experience).
6-7am – Wake up
7-9am – Going to the office & Breakfast
1-2pm – Lunch, rest and prayer
2-5pm – Continue work
5-7pm – Going back home
7-9pm – Rest, prayer & dinner
9-1am – Do your thesis!
From this routine, you only have 4 hours a day to do your thesis. Then, you should know what to do within these four hours. Continue reading the next point.
However, some company asked you to work till late at night. In this case, probably you only have your weekend to do it. 4hours x 5days = 20 hours. So during weekends, you have to spend at least 10 hours on every Saturday and Sunday for this purpose. Now we have the time, its time to do your research and write it down.
2. Set your goals
Its time to set goals, timeline and objectives you want to achieve. Here’s some example.
First month – in depth research
- online research through website, online newspaper and magazine
- get information on related person and organization
- set appoinment for interview
- compile your research in a proper way
- extend/ renew books that you borrowed at library
- borrow books at library
- doing survey & conduct interview
- doing observation
- if the interviewee is available during weekend, just set appointment with them If you have half day to work, you will have about 3pm onwards to do appointment
The point is, don’t waste time during the weekend for online research. Go out, do your job and have fun!
– write the report of your research findings. But make sure before you write, every sources is documented and cited properly.
– compile your research
The timeline is subject to your lecturers’ or advisors’ deadline. Make sure to mark your calendar/create reminder so that you can submit your draft on time.
3. Write word by word consistently
What me and my friend did was to leave our MS Word or any Word processor of your choice open every time you sit in front of your computer. This to ensure you will be motivated to write, at least one paragraph or one page a day. Whenever the idea popped up on your mind, just write it on. Don’t close the window otherwise you won’t feel the need to write.
4. Online Back up
You have your PC at home and laptop at hostel. But you cannot access the file because it is on your laptop at hostel. The best way is to save it online. Google Docs is one of the best way if you want to collaborate with your friend such as correcting grammar mistakes. But there will be some formatting issue such as margin, double spacing etc.
If you need some privacy or afraid your friend might sabotage your thesis, the best way is to have your Dropbox account. The file will be synchronize and save it online. If you going back home, you still can access your file. If you at library or coffee house, you still can work on it.
5. Create online survey
There are few methods in conducting online surveys. We have Youthsays for a simple survey for target groups of teenagers and youth.
The best practice for creating online survey is using Google Docs. Its very easy to create an online survey, and your data will be collected in a spreadshet (Excel). There are many advantages than using manual offline survey where you don’t have to waste time transfering the data into spreadsheets to create graph or pie chart. Watch the video to learn how to create online survey using Google Docs.
Now you have your survey, its easy to get people to participate in your survey. If you have more than 500 friends in Facebook, just invite them to participate through status update or personal message. You also can send email to all your friends in your Address Book but make sure to put them in BCC to protect their email privacy.
6. Need reference books but hate the library?
I know internet is a very useful tool to get information. However, in order to write a beautiful thesis with supporting references, published books is your number one priority. My tip is you need to search for the book online. They have it online right now especially in Google Books.
In my university, you also can search for the books using online. So, make sure the book is available, and try to spend your weekends to visit the library to borrow the books.
7.Wikipedia not a good source?
Wikipedia is not a good source. Please avoid stating the URL in your Reference section. The good thing that you can copy from Wikipedia is the source stated in the end of the page. Search for related books which you can Google or borrow from library later.
8. Can I Facebook? Twitter? Read blogs?
Set your time for these things. Its hard but it will come handy naturally. Its frustrating if you can keep in touch with your friend, right? But please avoid playing Flash games such as Farmville because it will take most of your time.
My style is the first hour to get into Facebook, Twitter updates and some quick reading on interesting blogs. Then use the three hours, to write your stuff. Take a break every one hour to have some snack or drinks.
9. But I’m tired at night. All I want is to sleep.
Sure you can. If you know how your body works, you should have sleep as early as 10pm. But make sure you wake up at 4am. 6 hours of sleeping is enough for an adult. Then you still can do your thesis in the morning. Its better because your mind and body has been refreshed and recharged. Try to work on it from 4am to 7am before going to work.
10. Avoid Plagiarism
This is the crucial issue in thesis writing. Never ever copy paste word by word from any source that you’ve taken without proper citation. You think you can cheat your lecturer but don’t underestimate the technology. The easiest way a lecturer can detect plagiarism is when you have a different writing style (or your English is not good) but the paragraph is written nicely.
My suggestion is for you to spend some time rephrase or use your own word. Avoid bombastic words and keep your sentence short.
These are just my suggestion on how you can manage your time to write a thesis while doing practical. The time is there, All you need is a motivation and determination to write them. It is up to your own creativity on how to get things done. All the best!