"I don't need an extension!" That line will amaze your supervisor, delight your parents and make your banker happy!

Say it three times out loud now:

"I don't need an extension!"
"I don't need an extension!"
"I don't need an extension!"

And then get to work and finish your text. The following tips will help you.

1. Quickly find the topic of your thesis

Topics for a thesis cannot be found on the street. Many topics have already been worked on and simply copying is not an option. Usually you have to find your own topic. But how many times in your life have you formulated a book title? The search for your topic should only take a few hours to a few days. Good brainstorming and the topic trip by Aristolo will help you choose a topic in just 10 minutes in addition to determining 6 more useful things like the research question, outline and schedule. It also includes example topics and sample topics for literature thesis, empirical thesis or a practical thesis.

2. Set an appointment for consultation on the subject quickly

Consultations with your supervisor are necessary before registering a topic for the thesis. However, many supervisors want to see a proposed topic and a draft outline in advance. It is best to send your supervisor a short synopsis by email with the topic, the main question or research question, the most important outline points and the first sources.

3. Quickly find your research question for the thesis

The research question or guiding question must be precisely formulated at the beginning of the thesis. This means that the focus of the work is clear from the very beginning. The STORYLINE is also clear. The research question also provides precise orientation for the search for sources and for your personal contribution. If the research question is answered at the end, you are done.

4. Work with a suitable outline from the beginning and the extension will not be an issue for you

There is a preliminary outline at the beginning of a thesis. Usually, this is composed (or better put together) from the tables of contents of relevant sources. The outline must follow the research question and have a storyline. Most of the time the theory chapter is very detailed, but the chapter with your personal own contribution isn’t. The more progress you make, the clearer it becomes what you are actually doing in the thesis... Then you can begin to rearrange the outline if necessary. With a well formulated topic and a clear research question, it’s possible to make a stable outline right from the start. The sample outlines and example outlines in the topic trip of the Thesis-Guide are adapted to the topics and research questions. This can save you several weeks of work.

5. Find the right sources quickly and you will NOT need an extension

The search for sources depends on the search terms for the topic and research question. Slowly it becomes clear: the better the topic and the research question are formulated, the easier all subsequent steps are. Search terms also include synonyms and related words. Then you have to search in the right search catalogs. The search requires a fixed time frame of 2 to maximum 3 hours. During this time, about 20-30 sources should be located. This temporary search should be done 2 to 3 times for the first few days.

6. Obtain your sources without waiting too long

The procurement of the sources is also a task in itself. Unfortunately, even in the digital age it is still not possible to obtain most sources digitally. But placing a request in the library can help you gain access to digital catalogs, like the Springer catalog. Inter library loan is also an option. If you can’t find anything useful, you can also order a book via Amazon. However, it can be expensive...

7. Sort out useless sources right at the beginning and do not worry about an extension

Paradoxically, reading a lot does not necessarily help much with the thesis. An initial mistake is that you simply read about your topic and do not search for specific content in the sources. Again, the goal and the research question serve as important guides. You have to set yourself time limits when reading, otherwise you will get lost. Start with basic literature. This gives you a frame for your reading and prevents you from wasting precious time.

8. Write the theory chapter quickly, using the correct writing technique

The contents for the theory chapter of the thesis come from sources. However, the big issue here is that you can edit and rework and refine and reformulate this chapter again and again. And then you restart the checking… Tragically, the time spent writing the theory chapter is inversely proportional to the reviewer's attention to that chapter...

Thus, 60 to 70% of one's time is devoted to writing and embellishing the theory chapter even though the supervisor will only spend a maximum of 20-30% of his time reading these chapters. The contents in the chapters are already known... It is therefore recommended that you set a time limit here as well. Set a milestone, a fixed day by which the theory chapter in the draft must be completed. Do not loop the theory chapter until your own thesis is finished. That way you can also see what’s useful, what needs to be taken out and what is missing. By the way, the theory chapter unfolds best when accompanied by specific questions. Producing a flawless text isn’t magic either!

9. Collect your data for evaluation quickly using the right procedure

For an empirical thesis you need data, which must either be procured externally or generated by means of surveys or questionnaires. It’s best to set a timeline here. You must plan in such a way that there is still enough time for the evaluation. You have to check especially at the BEGINNING if you can actually obtain this data. Promises are not enough, you need security. Otherwise, the work takes much longer or you even have to start another topic. Empirical work is a challenge in itself and must be well-thought-out. Define the methodical procedure for an empirical thesis BEFORE you start with the help of our tips.

10. Make sure that the focus of your work is clear from the beginning

From time to time the requirements for the thesis are changed. This is a particular risk for an empirical thesis if the work is part of a research project. To avoid this, a detailed proposal should be written at the beginning according to our templates. The proposal then serves as binding for the supervisor.

11. It’s better to write only meaningful pages of text with the right technique

"Write a few pages first" is recommended to a well-meaning comrade-in-arms. This is comparable with “drinking courage": one writes to encourage oneself. You can sometimes do that for the first two days but if you write page after page without paying attention to the research question and the goal, you will end up having to discard these pages. It's better to study writing techniques first. Then, of course, it makes sense to have a stable and well-formulated outline. Writing is ultimately completed according to the outline. With our turbo writing technique, you can write five pages of text per day of useful text! Because this also includes writing preparation.

12. Plan your personal contribution right from the start

Your personal contribution determines the grade you receive on your thesis. Unfortunately, in the end, one often has little time for this personal contribution. One has researched the subject for far too long, read in sources, written the theory chapter and waited for consultations. Then you’re left with only a few days to write your own contribution. And be reminded: the topic and the research question are important.

This traffic jam at the end can be easily avoided if the research question, the procedure and the goal of the work are clearly defined from the beginning. A time frame MUST be established for the previous chapters. The question at the beginning is also useful: What is my own contribution?

Good luck writing your text!

Silvio and the Team Aristolo

PS: Check out the Thesis-ABC and the Thesis Guide for writing a bachelor or master thesis in 31 days.