Master’s Paper

The key to writing a strong master's thesis is to develop an idea that one can sustain through months of rigorous examination, investigation, and exploration.

The generation of such an idea forms a great deal of one's work on a master's thesis. Sometimes students know from the beginning what their master's theses will discuss, because they intend to expand and solidify an idea from a previous project. Other students may develop their ideas in a linear way, determining straightforwardly what interests them in the discipline and what new things one can say about that topic.

However, students at times struggle to craft ideas that can produce strong master's theses; they suffer from a form of writer's block that comes at the very beginning of the project, before the actual writing is at all in sight. These students may benefit from some alternative strategies for idea generation. First, the student should attempt to remove any anxious stimulation, such as a looming deadline or feelings of inadequacy. The student must realize that the development of an idea takes time and that everyone has difficulty with it from time to time. Second, the student should brainstorm, not discarding any idea; often, the key to a good brainstorming session is to choose an absurd way of writing things down, such as writing backwards-facing letters in crayon. Third, once the student has compiled at least ten or twenty possibilities, he or she should choose two or three that look interesting and should perform a line of inquiry on each topic. Reading a few journal articles on each topic may help the student realize where a path of possible original thinking lies.

If one's idea breaks down midway through the master's thesis project, one need not abandon the project altogether. Perhaps the idea only needs tweaking, which is a normal part of the writing process. Perhaps it has proven itself to be invalid, which is a frightening but useful realization for the writer: the research requires the writer to pursue a different direction on the same subject, and this new direction may be altogether more worthwhile.

The problem with traditional education is that it is not efficient. It does not or cannot take into account the differences of the individual students because the costs to do so would be astronomical. To do education on an individualized basis requires one on one teacher to student ratios and does not make financial since in the traditional setting. To save time and money, teachers will often take their lesson plans from the previous year and add a new bell or whistle and use it over and over with the exact same results.