Writing a thesis: Checklist for preparation

In order to keep an eye on all the important aspects and issues when preparing your study project, we have put together a checklist with preparatory questions. It can serve as a basis for your preparation and help to structure the preparation in a structured way.

Since they can not cover all requirements by nature, you can and should supplement our checklist with individually relevant points and aspects and use them as a template for your own checklist. You can download our checklist for the study project as a PDF.

Text editors and more: Choose your tools

Word, Open Office, Pages, Google Drive, Ulysses, Papyrus, Scrivener, LaTeX … the list of texting and writing programs is long. They are all more or less well-suited for scientific work. Many universities and colleges leave their students free to choose the software and only provide the final format – often a PDF file.

Tech-savvy students therefore tend to look at a variety of programs, try them out for days and weeks, and constantly search for an even better system. A praiseworthy approach, but with one major drawback: you do not get to write your thesis.

In scientific writing, therefore, a well-known saying absolutely applies:

“Never change a running system.” In other words, once you have found your tools and programs, you should stay true to them and not stand in the way of finding new opportunities yourself , When choosing suitable programs, the following questions may be useful:

  • What are the requirements of the university or university?
  • Which programs are you already familiar with?
  • On which operating system do you work?
  • Do you switch between different computers?
  • Do you always have an internet connection while you work?
  • Do you want or need to be able to work on a tablet?
  • How do you perform your backups?
  • For example, which programs do you use for literature management?
  • Which programs and / or systems do your proofreaders use?
  • Do you need or want to work on a teamwork as a student?

Write a thesis: Not without your team

No human being is an island “- this winged word also applies, perhaps even more particularly, to students who write their student work. Really good scientific work only comes about through external feedback, constructive criticism and dutiful proofreaders.

For one or the other, team work may sound like a scam at first glance. Because students have to assure in each student work that they have created this themselves and without the support of third parties. But our tip does not contradict this principle.

It’s not about letting parts of your thesis work written by others or even commissioning a ghostwriter. But a good team will continue their scientific study work, in which the members …

… give you feedback on the content and structure of your student work.

… alert you to logical mistakes in the argument.

… help you through motivational pitfalls.

… read the correction and discover the bug in good time.

… ask comprehension questions and force you to reflect on your work.

Above all, you should not underestimate the role of moral support and safety net in crises as a student. Even if student work is relatively small, it can cost nerves and energy and – depending on your other life situation – can be a burden. Then friends and colleagues can help enormously.

However, another aspect is even more important: If you already put your team together during your studies, you will be able to use a proven team later in your thesis. This greatly facilitates your work and helps to avoid stress.