This is the time of year when final year undergraduate and postgraduate students begin to feel stressed as over the next few weeks they will be putting the final touches to their research projects.
Students often feel overwhelmed by this research element; writing a literature review, choosing research designs, interpreting and analysing findings, carrying out data analysis and writing up results can often cause additional anxiety and stress to students.
For undergraduate students, their thesis is usually due in the next few weeks while postgraduate students will usually submit theirs in August. There are a number of things that students can do to try and eliminate additional stress and anxiety regarding their thesis. These include;
1. Staying in touch – It is important for students to stay in touch with their supervisor and to seek his or her opinion as they will have a greater understanding of your subject matter and the thesis process. Therefore students should organise regular meetings. In order to ensure that they get the most out of each meeting with their supervisor, it is important that they plan ahead and have an agenda.
2. Be responsible and Save! Save! Save! It is crucial that students keep numerous copies of their research in several places to include; flash drive or external hard drive, even email yourself copies too. It is surprising how many students do not do this and when or if they lose their research they have to start from scratch.
3. Be organised – Students should establish a routine and write! Students should perhaps consider treating writing their research project as a part time job and schedule specific hours each week to spend on it.
4. References – It is important that students use credible references and stay away from sites such as Wikipedia. Students should only use peer reviewed journals, books, etc.
Students also spend a great deal of time looking for references at the end of the process rather than collecting them as they go along. A free dedicated reference management software package Zotero may be of help to students (see www.zotero.org for more details).
5. Avoid plagiarism – This may cost you your degree or postgrad. Often students commit plagiarism without even realising that they are doing so as this can happen due to copying and pasting sections of an article without rephrasing.
When students are putting forward information that is not their own, it is critical that they reference the source and avoid writing the statement the same way as it is written in the source.
For further information contact Clodagh Higgins of Galway Careers Clinic, Salthill, Galway on 091-581234 or firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively visit www.galwaycareersclinic.com