This article offers a series of suggestions for a degree or postgraduate thesis. The purpose of the guide is to simply address the main challenges that lie in the development of a thesis. It is an instrument of consultation to facilitate the preparation of projects, theses, and dissertations.
For those who are pursuing a postgraduate course or completing their undergraduate studies, the presentation of a final research paper is the most important step.
Despite the many workshops and courses taught on methodologies, students seem to get lost in an abstract world of confusing concepts that deplete anyone.
Here we present a simple and effective model to design a clear and possible thesis project.
Choose a small theme, very limited in time, space and scope.
That the subject: we like, can be useful, that is well known by us, that we have easy availability of sources. It is advisable not to get into much discussed subjects because it forces us to investigate many authors and becomes very heavy then.
Regarding the originality of the subject, it is necessary to point out that some thematic ones, being too current, can generate problems to obtain bibliographical material. Whether authors or articles.
Write the ideas as they appear in our mind, without consideration of form or methodology. The important thing is to generate a volume of writing on which, then to be able to modify and improve.
Write more (it is easier to summarize than to generate more ideas).
Choice of topic
The topic of thesis is usually a first challenge that we all face. For that we must answer some questions such as: “What subjects interest me?”, “Why am I interested?”, “Is it useful for me to investigate about it?”, Etc. It is essential that the topic we like or interest (at least a little) as that will help us feel like moving forward faster.
Sometimes we have a topic in mind from the beginning of the race. Other times the theme appears related to some subject or theme that interested us along the way. It may also happen that at the end of the course we are not yet convinced of which subject to choose because we are interested in many things (or we are not interested in any).
So, if when we ask ourselves, “What subjects interest me?”, The answer is clear, let’s move forward with that theme.
Sometimes it happens that the career or postgraduate course we are studying does not like or convince us too much, but for some reason we want to finish them. Then it may help us to ask ourselves what we want to do next, i.e. what we would like to work on or what we would like to study, so the thesis can be an opportunity to reorient the course of our career. That is, to investigate something that meets the scope of the race but that connects us with other topics that have for us more interest or greater field of work.
As we said, one of the most important aspects is the choice of topic. Before choosing the topic, we can ask the following questions:
- Choose a well-known topic from which I will find a lot of information?
- Choose a topic “super original” of which there is nothing written?
- Choosing a known topic could be a help but sometimes it can become a burden if I am forced to read “everything” about what exists.
- On the other hand, choosing a little-known topic would give me a lot of freedom and originality but the scarcity of information can become an obstacle. What to do then?
- For example, you can think of a known topic, of which I know I will find information, but I can give you an original focus or focus on aspects of that topic to narrow down the field that I must embrace.
- For example, if the issue that occurred to me is to analyse the relations between two countries (which is too broad), I can focus on an aspect, such as technical cooperation, and limit it to a specific period. It would then read: “The relations between A and B in relation to technical cooperation between 2000 and 2009”.
- Another solution is to look for an original topic that has little bibliography, but offers basic information that I can interpret (e.g. studies, basic data , etc.) and give my own point of view. As will be seen later, in the methodology, these basic data will be our “primary source”.
- These and other alternatives are possible for each obstacle that appears when we make the thesis.