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How to Write a Thesis Proposal – 5 Main Factors

How to Write a Thesis Proposal – 5 Main Factors

When you’re in high school or college, you’ll be asked to write a thesis before graduating. This entire process can be nerve racking because there are many steps involved in writing the perfect thesis. For example, you have to find a popular topic, make sure it’s well-structured, and provide evidence along the way. It can be brutal, especially when you haven’t written a thesis before. If you can break down the entire process into little steps, then you’ll have an easier time putting everything together. Today I’ll be exploring 5 very important factors you should consider when you sit down to write the perfect thesis proposal.

1. Introduction

I’m hoping by now, you have a particular topic in mind, one which gets readers thinking and speaks to the current or future demands of people. The introduction should focus on the overall purpose of your thesis. It’s common to wait until the end to write out your introduction because you’ll have an easier time putting something insightful together. Once you’re done writing your thesis, you’ve laid out all the main points, added value, and finished writing your conclusion. Then you can go back and write your introduction knowing what to include. Either way, when writing your introduction think about including the following:

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  • Statement of goal(s)
  • Scope of your work
  • Any previous work you are building on (acknowledgments)

2. Problem Statement

This is a clear introduction to the problem which currently exists that is being addressed by your thesis. This provides an overview of the context of the research study and generates questions which the research tends to answer. It’s a focal point and consists of one sentence with accompanying paragraphs for elaboration. The person should be able to clearly understand the problem by reading the “statement.” In other words, it should be right to the point.

3. Importance of Background

Provide information on why this topic is important, then provide solid evidence to support your claim. For example, if I’m writing my paper on the growing concern of black-hat techniques in SEO, then I should support this statement by including background research that I’ve done. I’ll provide evidence on algorithm updates, what Google has said, and websites using black-hat strategies in SEO.

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The main objective when providing background information on your topic is to show there is value in your topic. It’s to explain why this topic is of concern, backed up with evidence.

4. The Purpose

Now that you have provided an introduction, written a problem statement, and given some background information, it’s time to showcase the purpose of your thesis. This can be in many forms so it’s important you know what you’re trying to prove. For example, is the purpose of your thesis to analyze something, evaluate results, understand, interpret or change a previous study? You can also approach this step by asking yourself – what are you trying to learn from your research project?

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Knowing your purpose will guide your research because you won’t get overwhelmed with all the facts, and just focus on those which help support your purpose.

5. Hypothesis

Clearly state the results you expect to see after your research is complete. You know your purpose and the background information so after completing your research, do you expect the results to change or remain the same? Here’s a quick definition of a hypothesis:

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“A proposed answer to a question or problem that can be verified or rejected through testing. A hypothesis statement is typically an educated guess as to the relationship between factors, and serves as the basis for an experiment to test whether the relationship holds true.” – apus.libanswers.com

Putting together your hypothesis is not hard especially if you are passionate about your research topic and know what you want to prove in the end. You can do a quick Google search to find additional information on how to formulate the perfect hypothesis for your thesis proposal.

Featured photo credit: greenwichedgroup.com via greenwichedgroup.com

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Rizvan Ullah

Online Blogger

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

15 Best Productivity Hacks for Procrastinators

Let me guess.

You should be doing something else rather than reading this article. But due to some unknown force of nature, you decided to procrastinate by reading an article about how to hack procrastination. You deserve a pat on the back.

Fortunately, procrastination is not a disease. It’s just a mindset that can be changed, however, here are some productivity tips you need to start getting work done:

First, you need to acknowledge that procrastinating is an unhealthy habit. Not only you’re prioritizing unimportant things, basically, nothing gets done. Still unsure if you’re a procrastinator? Check out this article: Types of Procrastination (And How To Fix Procrastination And Start Doing)

Second, your commitment to change is very important. You should be physically, emotionally, and mentally determined to change this habit. If not, then you’ll just succumb to the tempting lure of doing other things rather than your tasks or chores.

Here are sthe best productivity hacks to improve productivity and keep yourself from procrastinating at work:

1. Give (10+2)*5 a Try

Let’s start with a classic but very effective hack called (10+2)*5 created by Merlin Mann,[1] author of 43Folders.com. Don’t worry. This is not a complicated Mathematical formula you need to solve.

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The (10+2)*5 simply means 10 minutes work + 2 minutes break multiplied by 5, completing 1 hour. It is crucial to stick with the time limits and not skipping work and break schedules. The point of this is for you to create a jam-packed routine of work and break schedules. The result? You will eventually skip your break schedules.

2. Use Red and Blue More Often

Clean your desk and remove things that might distract you. According to a Science Daily study[2] about which colors improve brain performance, red was found out to increase attention to details while blue sparks creativity. Surrounding your workplace with these colors not only benefits your brain, it’s also pleasing to the eye.

3. Create a Break Agenda

List all the things you want to do on your break, be it surfing the web, checking your emails, snack time, taking selfies, Facebook/Twitter—everything.

Like the (10+2)*5 hack, squeeze these in between work time but the difference is you schedule these activities for ONLY 20 minutes. Eventually, you’ll take your break minutes wisely. You’re finishing tasks while sidetracking to doing the things you enjoy.

4. Set a Timetable for Your Tasks

Like any other habits, procrastinating is a tough wall to break. Replace this habit with another habit. When you’re assigned a task, set a timetable for each step. Let’s say you have a big research task. Here’s a sample timetable:

9:00 – 9:10 am – Set up all your tools, browser tabs, emails, coffee, etc..
9:10 – 10:00 am – Internet research
10:00 – 10:45 am – Look through existing files
10:45 – 11:00 am – Break time!
11:00 – 12:00 pm – Outline the research report

Deadlines are the best hack for getting things done. Setting a specific time to finish a task creates time pressure even if the deadline has passed.

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5. Take It Outside!

Do yourself a favor and don’t ruin the comfy vibe of your home. If you need to work on a stressful project, do it in a library or coffee shop. You’ll never finish it anyway. Your cozy sofa and toasty bed will just lure you into napping yourself to doom.

6. Become Productively Lazy

Instead of finding all sorts of ways to unproductively procrastinate, use your habit to look for shortcuts and new ways to finish your tasks. Staple multiple papers at a time or master the 3-second t-shirt folding technique. A strong drive combined with laziness sometimes bring out the productive and creative side you never knew you have!

7. Assign a ‘Task Deputy’

It could be your colleague, your supervisor, or your significant other, anyone who has the unforgiving guts to reprimand you when you procrastinate. You could go the extra mile by paying up unfinished tasks or times you open your Facebook or watch a funny cat video on YouTube. Let’s see how five bucks every time you procrastinate will change you.

8. Consider a Gadget-Free Desk

According to a study by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, average users check on their phones 150 times per day and having your phone just an elbow away just creates sizzle to this habit.[3]

Removing mobile devices and gadgets allows you to focus on your work without the constant interruption from notifications, calls, and text messages. It eliminates the very distracting ambiance and the urge to unlock your phone just because.

9. Prepping the Night

Before hitting the sack to oblivion, prepare everything you’ll need the next day. This will probably take you 15 minutes tops, saving you more time for coffee in the morning.

Spin class at am? Pack up your gym clothes, shoes, socks, etc. or better, create a checklist so you don’t miss anything. You can also prep your food into containers and just grab one before leaving.

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10. Do a 7-Minute Workout in the Morning

Exercising is proven to increase productivity and stimulate release of endorphin or “Happy Hormones”.

Take a jog outdoors and get warmed up for the day. Don’t feel like running outside? Hop on a treadmilli. It’s a great investment and there are a lot of ways you can use a treadmill like endurance running and metabolism training. On a budget? Here’s a 7 minute, no-equipment needed workout you can do at home:

11. Set-up Mini Tasks

If you’re given a big project, break it down into mini tasks. Create a checklist and start with the easy ones until you finish. Got an article to write? Just start with the title and the first sentence. Or perhaps you have a visual presentation to make?

Spend 15 minutes on your outline, take five minutes coffee break, then finish the first two slides. Accomplishing something, no matter how tiny, still gives you that sense of fulfillment.

12. Create an Inspirational Board or Reminder

I found these mini desk chalkboards from Etsy you can use to write motivating quotes.

Or you know what? Simply write “Do it now!” and stare at it for 10 seconds every time you feel like dropping by on Reddit.

13. Redecorate Your Room

Redecorating my room motivates me to maintain that ‘new’ look for some time until I get use to it and eventually stop. So I redecorate again and again, it became a monthly habit really. Here are some DIY ideas you can do to any room without spending much.

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14. Ready Your Nibbles

You know that trip to the pantry? It’s just seconds away but it took you several minutes just to get your fruit snacks in the fridge. Before starting a task, prepare your nibbles on your desk to avoid zoning out and losing yourself on the way to the pantry.

Bonus productivity hacks you can do at home:

15. Schedule Your Chores

Write down your chores in a weekly basis with matching day and time when you should be doing these.

For the artsy folks, you can create fun chore charts like these or simply stick the list somewhere visibly annoying e.g. mirrors, doors, TV. The trick is listing as many chores as you can for the week and including unfinished chores the following week. Who likes seeing a long list of chores first thing in the morning?

More Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

Reference

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