Getting Started with Your Writing
Once you and your supervisor have agreed a final version of your plan, you are ready to start writing your thesis. This can seem like a massive step, and sometimes the size of the task can make it hard to know where to begin. In fact you can start anywhere - the important thing is that you do start. Remember that your first step is to write a sentence - not the whole thesis.
Where do I start?
Start anywhere. You do not have to write your thesis in order from start to finish. It may help to start with those sections that will be easiest to write or where you already have something in writing that you can adapt.
Remember to organise you work using files and folders so that you can put it into order later.
How do I know what to write?
When you were developing your thesis plan, you took your thesis structure and broke this down to give you a clearer idea of the contents for each individual section. This is your starting point for knowing what to write.
If you are still having problems, take each sub-section and break this down further - you might want to map out the main ideas that each sub-section will cover or even break them down to the level of what each paragraph will say.
Alternatively, you might prefer a looser approach - select a specific section and just start writing at any point within it. Afterwards you can go back and put your work in order and check that you have covered everything in your plan for that section.
Is there a template I can use?
We have a basic template that you can use for your thesis. Remember though that whether you use this template or not, you need to follow the University's rules on formatting theses.
Other Things to Consider
Finally, as you get started with your writing, you may want to think about some broader issues that might affect your progress - for example:
Files and Folders: Think about how you will store your work so that you can retrieve it easily; by the end of your final year, you will have a number of drafts and other notes, etc. and if you do not have an efficient system for filing these, you will find it makes your work much harder than it should be.
Back-Up Your Work: How will you keep your work safe? Make sure that you keep back-up copies of your work on a disk or portable device. If you should be unlucky and your PC or laptop is stolen or fails, you need to have a back-up copy so that you do not lose your work.
Work Space: Where will you be doing most of your writing? Choose a work space that makes writing as easy as possible and limits distractions - for more information on some of the work spaces available, click here.
Support Network: Getting through your thesis is a lot easier if you have the support of those around you. Think about who makes up your support network and keep them informed as to what you are doing and anything that they can do to help - such as leaving you free to work at certain times.
Thinking now about issues like those above will make getting started with your writing much easier. To help you maintain your motivation though, you also need to look forward and think about what you can do to manage your writing and manage your time.
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