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Top 5 Thesis Tips by our Thesis Trainees

7 August 2017

1. Selecting the topic

Select a topic that truly interests you, since writing a Master’s Thesis will give you a unique opportunity to go deep into the subject matter of your choosing, and you will be working with it for several months. When selecting the topic, it might be useful to discuss different topics with your thesis supervisor or your colleagues at work since they have more experience and knowledge and will probably be able to suggest ideas based on their own work experience or research.

2. Collecting ideas

Write down all ideas and thoughts that come to your mind so that you will be able to remember them later.  Even if a certain thought might not feel important at first, it can turn out to be useful later during the writing process.

3. Do not be overly self-critical

Let ideas flow freely and write everything down – the work will be polished in the end, so do not worry about the quality of the ideas at this point. When you are beginning your research project, you should read about (and around) the selected topic or theme from textbooks and draft a table of contents for your thesis.  The table of contents will help you take into account the headings that you should research more later on, and they will also form the basis of your thesis.  

4. Discuss the topic with others

If you are feeling anxious about your research project, turn to your friends for peer support. When you are writing your thesis, it is advisable to discuss the topic with colleagues, friends, or your mentor. Conversations with people who are well acquainted with the subject matter will help you see the core of the research question and the points you should focus on. Moreover, conversations with people who do not know much about the topic will also help you, as they will make you see what parts of the topic you know particularly well and are able to explain clearly and also the parts that are not yet well-structured in your mind.

5. Go easy on yourself

If it feels difficult to present your own arguments, get to know literature that displays various different forms of legal argumentation and compare them to the arguments used in your own field of law. Read other students’ theses to gain perspective.

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