Inside’s Guide to Writing an Undergraduate Thesis Paper

If it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done. ~Unknown

BI students are exceptional for being punctual in completing their academic requirements. Needless to say, this guide is for the very few procrastinators out there (you know who you are) who have yet to start working on their Bachelor’s thesis. The helpful folks over at the BI Library have been gracious enough to share with us some valuable tips (in addition to ours) on how to go about writing an outstanding thesis paper.

Tip #1: Stock up on your caffeinated drink of choice
Since speed is illegal in Norway, you’re going to have to settle for some good ol’ energy drink or coffee to help you get by those long nights as you channel your inner Hemingway.

Tip #2: Decompress
Sleep deprivation induces stress; and stress, as we all know, can inhibit your creative juices from flowing. Do yourself a favor and check out our Beginner’s Guide to Meditation. You will thank us later.

Tip #3: Work closely with your thesis adviser
Ask questions and, more importantly, be teachable. Your adviser is there to help you, so make the most out of it.

Tip #4: Set realistic goals and expectations
Select a case that you think is right up your alley and is achievable within a limited time frame. If you think a particular topic takes too much time and energy, explore another one. Remember, time is not on your side.

Tip #5: Don’t hesitate to write about a past course work 
“Work smart, not harder” is a phrase we often hear. Tweaking and modifying a past research paper might be an efficient approach especially if you’re pressed for time. Writing about a topic that you’re already familiar with could only work to your advantage.

Tip #6: Be concise
Avoid using ambiguous language. Try to get your message across in as few words as possible without sacrificing accuracy and quality.

Tip #7: Take good notes
Write down quotations, passages, and other helpful information that could support your main points as you’re reading relevant literature. Be sure to include proper citations.

Tip #8: Manage your time wisely
At the end of the day, you’re evaluated on what you actually produce. Amassing a trove of excellent research material is worth a bag of peanuts if you’re unable to put together a tenable and cogent research paper. Don’t get exceedingly hung up on gathering too much information and waiting until the very last minute only to assemble a half-assed paper.

Tip #9: Ask a trusted friend to proofread your work
You will have countless of sleepless nights (and countless of mistakes as well), so you will surely benefit from a fresh perspective and another pair of eyes to scan for those embarrassing errors.

Tip #10: Save time when noting references, use Zotero
Using an application for keeping order of all your references helps you save a lot of time when finishing the reference list. Zotero (google it) is free and has an integrated feature that let’s you automatically get a reference write-out following the APA guidlines.

Tip #11: Talk to the employees at the library
They are always willing to help you out with finding useful literature and referencing. Occasionally they also have events specifically for this. Check out their Facebook-page for more info. 

So there you have it: time to buckle down and get some work done. Hopefully you learned a thing or two on how to navigate the minefield that is writing a thesis paper.

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