Tips for Making Your Master’s Thesis Stand Out

Tips for Making Your Master’s Thesis Stand Out

Judy Sander

Your master’s thesis might be one of the most important documents you’ll ever write. And the pressure to make sure it stands out can be intense. Most students who write a thesis have to prepare, research, read, and write for many months before they ever present it. And the chance of it being rejected is a real possibility. But you can use a few simple tips to make your paper the best it can be.

Spend time on your thesis statement

A lot more rides on your thesis statement than you probably realize. It’s the opening statement that sort of paves the road for your entire idea. It gives the paper direction and tells the reader what to expect. This statement doesn’t necessarily tell the reader how to think. It may, in fact, cause controversy or provoke debate. And that’s sometimes the best way to add interest to your topic.

If you have trouble with this, turn to someone for help and guidance. A current or former English professor might be willing to be a sounding board for your ideas. Or your campus writing center might have tutors available to walk you through the process. The point is not to rush through it but to make sure this statement is thoughtfully constructed based on the desired direction.

Select the right topic

But make sure the topic you choose is something you are deeply interested in. You will be immersed in the topic you select for at least several months. So it’s important that you don’t mind learning more about it. You also have to be practical. Picking a topic that others are interested in as well. You want to make an original contribution to your field without boring the thesis committee to tears.

Value the presentation

It’s not enough to write an outstanding paper if the presentation lacks quality. Study the specifics required for turning it in and go above and beyond their expectations. For example, turn your thesis in on quality paper and present it in personalized presentation folders for each member of the committee. And if you need help with speeches or visual aids, don’t hesitate to enlist the help of people who have been in your shoes.

Hire an editor

Nothing will destroy your point faster than misspelled words and poor grammar. If grammar is not your strength, you should hire someone with such skills to proofread it for mistakes. Or if your school has a writing center, you can ask for help there. But if neither of these are good options for you, you can also hire someone for a reasonable price at sites online. Just be sure to check their recommendations and quality scores.

Pay attention to guidelines

Where a lot of students blow it in their first round with their thesis is failing to follow the rules. Every school has its own strict criteria. For example, they usually have font and spacing criteria. They might specify a font and size, or they may limit you to a particular font family. They also usually have a preference as to how references are cited. Usually, this preference is restricted to Associated Press format, but they sometimes have specific additions.

The important thing is to adhere to each and every guideline. Make a checklist you can go over at the end to make sure you didn’t miss anything.