Sweet thesis or thesis stress?
My dear friend Eefje has her own company, called Sweet Thesis. With Sweet Thesis, she helps students with writing their thesis. From helping out with statistics to improving their writing style, you can get help from her! Today, she wrote something about the common misconceptions regarding writing a thesis and why they are wrong!
Graduating is seen as a super intense period in life. Often people speak about ‘thesis stress’. This is mainly because it’s framed like something super difficult. In this blog I’ll explain why this stress is unnecessary, by discussing the most common misinterpretations about writing a thesis. I hope to reduce your thesis stress by changing your mindset, so you can actually enjoy this last period of your student life!
“You have to write a thesis so university can stress you out one more time before you graduate”
First of all, let’s start with the main goal of writing a thesis. For almost every study, the thesis is the last part. It’s about doing your independent research to prove that you deserve your degree. Actually, the thesis is a way to test your knowledge about science which you gained in the previous years. If you succeed, you deserve the degree to be a scientist. Earlier you had to take exams to prove you deserve the degree. Now that’s a bit complicated in university, because everyone took different courses. So instead of seeing it as a super complicated closure of your studies, try to see it as a course in which everything you learned so far comes together.
“Writing a thesis requires a higher level than the courses I took before”
Secondly, the thesis is seen as super difficult. But it’s not (or should not be) that the level of your thesis is higher than the level of the previous courses. The intensity of the thesis period is mainly due by the fact that it requires a lot of responsibility and it’s way bigger than the courses you took before. So, your university does not ask you to suddenly be a full experienced scientist. You just prove that you understand science as it was taught in your studies.
“I have to develop new skills to write a thesis, because I’ve never done this before”
Next to that, students think that writing a thesis requires totally different skills that you developed so far. This is actually not the case, or should not be the case. The thesis doesn’t ask you to do things you’ve never done before. As mentioned above, it’s about combining everything you learned so far. So, for example, try to apply a statistic test you learned in the last year. And write about a topic which interested you earlier in your studies or you wrote about before.
“I have to write my thesis on my own and hope for the best”
Forth, students think they have to write the thesis on their own. Well, this is certainly not the case. Your supervisor’s job is to guide you through this last phase of your studies. In most cases, this supervisor is also the first assessor of your thesis. This means that you can ask feedback to find out what your supervisor (dis)likes in a thesis. Sometimes you’re even in a group with several students who have the same supervisor as you do. This means you can always ask help from fellow students! Lastly, there are a lot of companies which can provide you with feedback, help with statistics and check your writing style!
“The thesis is a lot of ECTS, so I can increase my average grade by working really hard on this thesis”
Students give themselves the pressure to get a super high grade on the thesis and see this as a way to improve their average grade. Personally, I do not think it works like that. In most cases, students get a grade which is about equal to their average grade on the courses they took before. As mentioned before, the thesis is a way to examine the knowledge you gained in your studies. Therefore, it’s not realistic to expect a way higher grade on your thesis. Related to this, it should be said that the feedback you get form your (external) supervisor, is intended to improve your thesis and not to make you graduate with honours. Therefore, your goal should be to have a grade which is as least equal to your average grade.
“I don’t know how to start, so I better wait until I know exactly what to write”
Lastly, students don’t really know what to do, so they don’t do it. This is a subtle form of procrastination. The fact is, you won’t know what to write until you start writing. As soon as you start writing, you can ask for feedback. And when you get feedback (from you supervisor, fellow students or a company), you know what to change for the better. Start writing, only in that way you can improve your thesis!
So, there is no reason to be afraid! You can do it! However, if you are still a little hesitant, you can always go to Sweet Thesis for help! How do you see your thesis? Let us know in the comments below!
Lots of love,
Eefje and LisaHome » All posts »