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How to finish my thesis
How I did it: This was my undergraduate thesis. I started the research in my junior year, and kept it up for three semesters. I wrote it up, made some sweet graphs, and published it this January.
Lessons & tips:
- KEEP AN INFORMATIVE LAB NOTEBOOK if you're in the sciences, that is. It sucks looking back and not knowing what you were doing. Try to be consistent! This goes for filenames too. It doesn't have to be organized so much as it HAS to be clear
- Make your introduction really clear, and use most of your references in this section.
- The methods section should be understandable by someone unfamiliar with the project.
- Throw the nitty-gritty details in the appendices.
- Wait to write the abstract and title. Write a basic introduction. Make the figures, tables, and graphs first. Then write the body, revise the introduction with more emphasis on your findings, then write the abstract and title.
- Give it to people who will actually read it and edit it not just for grammar, but content. Give it to another science student to see if they follow what is happening-- they next group of students in the research group are your main audience, make sure they know what's going on.
- Do it for yourself. My copy ended up in the library. No one is going to read it, except other kids from the research group, but I'm proud of my contribution to science, no matter how small :)
Resources: Staples binds things nicely.