Writing a social sciences thesis might seem like an stiff task until you perceive it not as a months-long research but as a well-planned process consisting of several manageable steps. And the first one is creating a good research question.
The research question is vital because it will help you develop a good thesis statement, which is the backbone of your thesis. A research question will guide you in your further research. So how do you develop a successful research question?
- Choose an interesting topic.
Remember that you will have to read dozens of articles and books. If you get bored after a couple of articles, you will never prepare a good thesis. While considering the ideas for social sciences thesis, focus on the ones that intrigue you the most.
- Read about the topic before designing a research question.
Once you have figured out which topic you like, read about it. It's not a good idea to design a research question before you become familiar with the topic. However interesting it may be, you may find out that it's either too complicated or there is not much information, and so on. So it's better to make sure your topic will be interesting but also easy to write about. Only after that should you mull over the research question and ask for the advisor's approval.
The Difference between Policy Report and Academic Thesis
A thesis is, first of all, an academic paper. So you must use academic sources while writing it rather than providing your reflections about the future of the country, summarizing the stages of a policy implementation, and so on.
While a thesis might include a section on policy discussion, the recommendations come from the conclusions of the research. Beginning a thesis with policy recommendations and then organizing all paper around the policy is similar to putting the cart before the horse.
Write a Thesis Like Non-Procrastinator. Suggested MA Thesis Timeline
Thesis is not an essay. If you waste your time, you won't be able to write the night before presentation.
- Decide on a topic. (Oct-Nov)
- Read a few article on the topic and design a couple research questions you could possibly use.(Dec-Jan)
- Create a research question.(Jan-Feb)
This part is crucial so dedicate some time to it. Be sure to choose the research question which you cannot answer right away. Otherwise, the paper will lack novelty. Refine the research question with your supervisor.
- Read much about your topic.(Feb-Apr)
You should know your topic like the back of your hand. Read widely and from reliable sources.
- Draw a map of the current scholarly debates about your research question. (Feb-Apr)
Understanding what other scholars think about your question can help you build a more thorough and detailed research. Do the researchers address the critiques of each other? Whose work is the most appraised? About what do they disagree most fiercely? Having analyzed the existing debates, you will be later able to write a good literature review section for your thesis.
- Prepare an outline. (May-Jun)
- Now you can start writing your paper.(June-September)