Writing a thesis is not an easy task. It’s not a matter of a day, nor of a week. To begin with, as one of our professors said, you have to be passionate about the topic of your research. Choosing a research topic may be hard, since there are so many ideas floating around, each of them worth exploring. However, the best topic would be the one that matters the most to you. This is usually the one that you confront on a daily basis in your school or a classroom. Since I am a language coordinator, the interesting issue to explore for me was to understand what teachers go through when they teach content in the second language, what are their challenges and what are their inspirations.
Once you chose a topic, narrow it down. It is easier to focus on certain aspects of the matter that you want to explore. Or you will be struggling with oceans of information, not knowing where to start and where to head. In my case, I narrowed my topic to “Teachers’ experiences in teaching History and Geography in the second language of instruction”. Then, I was able to concentrate only on these two subjects. They are taught in Kazakh as the second language of instruction. Also, I only look for teachers’ experiences as area of my research interest.
Then, my advice would be to read, read and read. Print and read. Read a lot on your topic. Learn how to use our university library system. Find papers and dissertations that are connected with your topic. If you struggle with it, ask your librarian to assist you in finding the necessary literature. It is very important. Really! Google for literature overviews on your topic. And then, read them all. That’s the single most effective way to be competent in your research topic. While you read, make notes, extract main ideas, collect them into one large document organizer. This is the most time-consuming part of your thesis. Therefore, it should be your first strategy when you start writing your thesis.
Once you did what was suggested previously, the rest is not that frightening. All you need is to put everything you collected (in your memory and your notes) into a readable and approvable research template. The remaining work related to field work and data gathering should not be very hard if you did your homework.