I was thinking about the process of writing the master thesis report. You know, it is not the funniest part of the project but it is still are mandatory to be done.
1. Start with the questions you would like to answer with your thesis. Either it is a well known problem or something new that you just come up with, try to criticize and find the questions that you will be able to answer with your thesis. Obviously, don’t ask questions that are impossible to answer, aka. is there a life in another galaxy?…
2. Write a preliminary conclusions and check whether the questions is answered in the conclusions.
3. Use the before defined questions as a start for the problem definition. After this it should not be a problem to define and properly describe set of limitations
4. Use you “stuck” time properly. As writing the final report is the greatest pain in the rare part of your body, try to fill the background and related work as soon as you read new papers.
5. Constantly through the whole project rewrite and rethink your abstract. Yes, write it before having anything done. This will help to stay more focused and go directly to the point during the process.
6. Plan you experimental part after related work, background and “kinda ok” system description is ready. Proper selection of experiments is the key to success. Look at the related paper evaluation parts. Be coherent with the comparison data for you project.
7. Talk to your supervisor… I wish I might have done it more often.
8. Use Mendeley or Zotero. It helps so much to keep all your references and notes to the papers in one place and even categorised by the directories. Apart from Zotero, Mendeley allows you as well add all the pdfs you have on the disk so you will always have an access to the full text that could be annotated and stored in Mendeley. So my personal choice is Mendeley.
9. The easiest way to have something innovative done is to either reimplement already existing and improve it or find out missing functionality in something and implement it. No matter what you are doing, the identification of the problem and how/why you decided to work on it should be considered to be included in your introduction.
10. Do all the preliminary presentation properly. Does not matter what you are selling, important is how you do it!
Honestly, I am not sure if I followed all this advices but what I definitely did and what helped me a lot is to procrastinate by writing a report 🙂 Wish you similar procrastination and good luck 😉