A no-brainer is an activity that requires practically no mental effort. No-brainer are things you can do on the side like ironing next to the television (although here perhaps the television is the no-brainer...) or washing dishes during a conversation (both are also getting more and more out of fashion...)

No-brainer allow you to relax because you are doing something and are rewarded or feel rewarded by doing it. There are tons of no-brainer in the thesis or dissertation that can be cleverly inserted between thinking phases. Here is the list of Thesis No-brainer.

No-brainer 1. Work on the cover page of the thesis

Start right away with a particularly pleasant no-brainer, the cover sheet because you'll have to do that anyway. Why don't you check it off the list by doing it right at the beginning? Then you might feel like that stack of paper under the printed cover is already your final text… What a feeling! Seriously, nobody told you to keep  the cover page blank until you have finished the rest, one hour before printing. You're definitely bound to make a mistake at 6:45 am after a hard night's work, two hours before printing...

No-brainer 2. Create and fill out the annex of the thesis

Any content that is not publicly available is included in the annex. Stupidly enough, you don’t think about it until the end, just before printing. And then of course you don’t have a template for it. You simply collect the pieces and insert them into the file. Needless to say, that you will incur into problems and nearly have a nervous breakdown. You are in a trance-like state after many sleep-deprived days.

You need an index for the annex including:

  • Exact names of each table or image,
  • Clear references in the text to the number of the annex,
  • The heading annex must appear in the table of contents,
  • Probably some tables or documents that still need to be formatted.

What a nightmare!!!

Please, please, please use our thesis appendix template that includes pre-formatted pages, a ready-made index for annexes and automatic inclusion in the index of annex. It is compatible with the thesis writing template and you can download the appendix in minutes. But don't forget the references.

No-brainer 3. Enter abbreviations in the index of the thesis

It's also one of those little and simple things that’s easy to forget. No wonder, abbreviations are so short... Make a table with 2 columns. We recommend entering the abbreviations there regularly after each chapter is finished. Be aware of superfluous abbreviations like e.g. Omit such abbreviations by spelling out the words or writing them differently.

No-brainer 4. Create directories (ONLY USING a writing template)

There are tons of directories, for content, illustrations, tables, abbreviations, formulas, symbols, literature, internet sources, the appendix. If you don't keep this in mind FROM THE BEGINNING ON, your final work is at risk. The most important advice: Don't even try to create a directory!!! Use the writing template in the Thesis-ABC immediately. ALL directories are already created there.

No-brainer 5. Create and fill out the bibliography

Why do you have to wait to create the list of references at the end??? This is so  dangerous in the age of plagiarism hysteria... Create your list of references at the beginning and add all new references as soon as you use them. Check everything again at the end. Use Citavi or Mendeley.

No-brainer 6. Scan images

This is another no-brainer that nobody really needs. Why isn’t everything digital? You need to copy the picture then scan it so the clean picture is ready. Your children will have complete digital repositories... In the meantime, we need to scan... Keep scanning, whenever you need a break from hard thinking. Write a list and then find all the illustrations at once. Or better yet, have someone else do it for you.

No-brainer 7. Label the figures and tables in the thesis

Images and tables with specific content are included in the text, so they have to be labeled. This should also not be done 10 minutes before printing. You have to mention references, indicate the sources, fill in the lists for figures, tables and annexes. Here are templates for figures and tables.

No-brainer 8. Set appointments with survey participants

Make appointments for the survey ahead of time. This is better for everyone involved. You can even do so before the questionnaire is complete.

No-brainer 9. Insert authorship declaration at the end of the text

You have to add a so-called declaration of authorship at the end of the thesis. Of course, you wait until the last minute to look for it in the documents of the chair or examination office or both and you don't find it. So search for the explanation right at the beginning and immediately include it in the writing template. If you do not find a template, then we provide you with five variants for the explanation.

No-brainer 10. Insert sections in the thesis text

Be careful with section breaks. They're so unpredictable. Page numbers spin and start again at one or even Roman numerals then they disappear completely, the header does not contain the correct chapter heading, the first page of the new chapter shifts, the bibliography must be listed in Roman numerals. We know formatting sucks big time but our writing template can solve all of your problems. DO NOT wait to work on formatting until the end of the thesis. Reserve some time for it. If in doubt, search for a formatting professional on the Internet.

We hope you have enough time to work on the no-brainer because that’s a sign that the "rest of the thesis" is going well, i.e. the structuring, collecting, analysis and writing. Write your thesis faster and better - with the Thesis Guide by Aristolo.

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.

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