Thinking to Thesis: A guide to graduate success at all levels is intended for all students engaged in graduate/postgraduate studies – from those who are just starting out, to those writing their doctoral thesis. The book outlines the important issues and challenges facing graduate students. It covers every important aspect of graduate study from making good use of resources and time-management skills, to completing high-quality assignments and theses or dissertations. The authors’ message is simple: studying at the graduate level is highly rewarding and definitely manageable – but you have to make it that way by being proactive and thoughtful, and employing strategies that produce the desired results.
While those students preparing for graduate studies may want to read through the book systematically, others may prefer to use it as a guide book, looking up particular topics as required.
A step-by-step approach has been used for explanations. In addition, useful hints, tips and examples are provided throughout the book. There is also a troubleshooting chapter at the end of the book dealing with the most common problems graduate students encounter.
WHY BUY THIS BOOK?
- Thinking to thesis has been written specifically to provide effective advice to graduate students in New Zealand tertiary institutions in the 21st century.
- The authors are well-qualified, highly experienced teachers and writers who are currently working in the field of professional development for university students. Both are recognised experts in their field, who have proven and published the effectiveness of the strategies they teach.
To the reader
1 Being a graduate student
What it takes to succeed
Why pursue graduate studies?
Expectations at the graduate level
Flexible learning options
2 Essential skills
Time and self-management
Managing the necessary readings
Field, laboratory and studio work
3 Making the most of available resources
Support for specific student groups
Managing your physical and emotional well-being
Financial support and advice
4 Succeeding in graduate courses
Lectures and tutorials
Different kinds of coursework
The basics of writing
Writing expectations at the graduate level
Writing longer (and better) assignments
Teamwork and peer support
Doing well on tests and exams
5 Completing a high-quality thesis
Differences between a dissertation and a thesis
Characteristics of an excellent thesis
Managing yourself and your time
Constructing a thesis proposal
Writing progress reports
Deciding on a thesis topic
Managing the literature and reading load
Designing your research
Structuring your thesis
Passing the oral exam
Life after your thesis
Thesis or dissertation issues
Time and self-management
Emmanuel Manalo (PhD) is Director of the Student Learning Centre (SLC) at The University of Auckland. He is the author of more than 30 refereed journal articles and contributions to books on the topics of educational psychology, postgraduate education, and communication skills. He has held visiting positions at top international learning institutions, including Tokyo University, and is a member of the editorial board of the journal Psychologia. He is the current President of the Association of Tertiary Learning Advisors of Aotearoa/New Zealand (ATLAANZ).
Julie Trafford (MSc (Hons)) is a senior tutor at the Student Learning Centre at The University of Auckland and co-ordinates the business communication skills development programme. Julie also co-ordinates the SLC’s courses and support programme for summer school students. She is the author of numerous publications, and has presented papers on graduate student instruction and support at international conferences. She is currently working towards a PhD in the area of student learning.
Other books by the same authors:
The Business of Writing: Written Communication Skills for Business Students (with Glenis Wong-Toi), Pearson Education (2002)
Head Start: How to succeed in tertiary studies, Pearson Education (2003)