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Monday, April 18, 2016

Writing My Master's Thesis

Since I know a lot of fellow international students (or soon-to-be-international-students) read this blog, I figured I would write a little update on my current studies, namely: writing my master's thesis.

writing a master's thesis


I am now in my fourth semester of my master's program, which runs from April 1 to September 30. During this semester, I am writing my master's thesis - a scientific work of approximately 80 pages that proves I can analyze a topic, conduct research, formulate an argument, and write a long-ass paper.

Knowing my fourth semester was getting nearer, I started to think about possible topics back in November. I had one class in my second semester that was particular interesting and inspiring for me. In fact, I used the methods I learned in that class to create a research project with two of my fellow students, which piqued the curiosity of my professor.

Since that relationship was already there, I went to that professor to ask about writing my thesis with him. He was immediately on board and suggested some ideas for developing a thesis topic in the same field as my research project.

It took about two months for me to finally settle on a concrete topic and develop my research questions. I wrote up my research proposal in the first week of the new semester and nervously sent it to my supervisor.




The very next day, I already received a reply from my professor: "Ihr Exposé gefällt mir sehr gut..." He really liked it! I was thrilled. To top it all off, he suggested that I ask a highly influential researcher (who basically created the field I am working in and I had cited multiple times in my proposal) to be my secondary supervisor.



Well, I sent him an email that very same day, and the next morning, I already had a reply: "Klar mache ich das! Dein Exposé sieht ja schon prima aus..." He said yes, and said that my proposal is great! Unfortunately, he is located at a different university in Germany, so I probably won't be able to meet him in person anytime soon, but he offered to send me comments and feedback by email.

So, now I am busy writing my master's thesis, knowing that I have two respected researchers supporting me - which is a great, but also nerve-wracking, feeling. The funny thing is that both of my supervisors have their PhDs in mathematics and/or physics. Meanwhile I am getting a Master of Arts in digital media and haven't taken a math course since senior year of high school...

Let me know if you have any tips for writing a thesis! Any help is appreciated :)

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