Thesis- working with a supervisor

For both graduate and undergraduate programs students need to work on a thesis so that they can graduate. Working on one can be both frustrating and exciting experience for most students. Here are some guidelines when working on your project.

Comprehending Your Research Interests

Before you hunt down a research supervisor it’s important to first narrow down your interests to 2 or 3 interrelated topics. These are your prospective thesis project.

When you are in your third year as an undergraduate is when you start on your project, which is an advantage because you can formalize your research interests then. It is common for students to reach halfway between their projects that they realize that they have no interests in them.

It is advisable for students to explore their interests early on, this especially true for graduate students. This will help out to put them in the right frame of mind when they start their projects and they would have already settled on an interest.

Getting A Suitable Research Supervisor

Once the student is clear on what topic that they would want their thesis will be on, the next step is to get a suitable research supervisor. You should find a supervisor who is knowledgeable on the topic that you are going to work on, they should also have written on the topic. When looking for a prospective mentor you should seek the advice of faculty members on who is suitably the best for the article that you want to work on. You need to have a mentor in sync with your work style in order to achieve perfect symbiosis. If you get someone who is different than you in terms of work styles, will end up with undesirable results. This will be a disadvantage to you and will complicate the whole process.

Goal Setting and Expectation Sharing

Once the student and the research supervisor have formally agreed to work together on the thesis, it is significant to discuss your goals and expectations during your first couple of meetings. Most students usually adapt to a passive role when dealing with a mentor, they need to take the project as a challenge and actively engage the supervisor. Doing a thesis project is a collaborative effort and both opinions of mentor and student must be heard.



Setting Up A Schedule


Setting up a workable appointment schedule usually depends on the working style of both the research supervisor and student. Students have to consider the work load of the research supervisor. The researcher shouldn’t make a weekly based meeting unless the students can manage with the demands of producing work every week. Before you start working on the thesis, consider intertwining both schedules of student ad researcher so that neither feels overburdened. Working on a project is not easy so do not commit to a weekly based meeting just so that you can impress the supervisor. A manageable schedule is meeting maybe twice a month, the student should show substantial developments in between the appointments. A good way of showing that you are doing the work is too send regular emails and questions. Thesis writing is extremely difficult but it can be made easier by getting the right research supervisor.


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