How to write an IT Graduate Thesis
Most IT professionals know the value education plays in their own career growth, but some stop at the undergraduate level due to fear of the unknown. The most daunting question for most IT professionals considering a graduate education is: "Isn't writing a graduate level IT thesis impossible?".
Quite the contrary. In fact, writing a compelling graduate level IT thesis is not overly difficult if one sets the appropriate expectation levels going into it. This article will explain the purpose of a graduate level IT thesis, how to get started, what it should contain, and how to know when your are done. It will also briefly explain what your examiners will expect from it. Let's get started!
A graduate thesis is merely an original piece of writing detailing an argument, and your research supporting some conclusion. It must have the scholarly potential of being published, though none ever are. So how does one get there? Well, you must start early. Try to decide on your title, and create your title page. Start reading other theses in your area, and plan the structure of your argument and document accordingly. You can only correct, edit, tweak, and change something that already exists, so starting early is an absolute must.
The most common thesis organization will have an introduction, a problem you are trying to solve, what the previously published literature has discovered in regards to that problem, how you chose to solve the problem, what you actually did to solve it, and what you discovered from doing it. That, in a nutshell, is what any graduate level IT thesis should contain. Suddenly it all feels less daunting, doesn't it?
There are several things to keep in mind once you get started. Do not be afraid to change your mind. Your ideas will necessarily evolve and grow as you conduct research and experiments. This is natural, and a very good sign that you are learning more as you go along. Another interesting thing you may uncover as you read other IT graduate theses is things are often said three times: in the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. This style of writing is not favored by everyone, but thoroughness and multiple perspectives is often appreciated, especially in technical writing. Finally, keep in mind that reviewers are most likely busier than you. So they will look at your abstract to figure out what it is all about, the bibliography to determine if you cite the main papers, the plausibility of your conclusion, and lastly if it is truly original.
Finally, keep in mind the best way to finish is avoid getting needlessly stuck. Do not try to bury any glaring problems. Confront them, and move on however you can. As will anything worthwhile in life, it will require a significant investment of time and energy, but in having a graduate IT degree you will reap the rewards in expert knowledge of your field (and extra money from your boss) in the years to come.
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