January 22nd 2021

We know your struggles – Part 3

How to write a thesis while working

In addition to her job as a lecturer in the Business Administration Online program, Christiane Aufschnaiter is working on her dissertation at the University of Innsbruck. Just like for our bachelor and master students in the last semester, the big challenges here are no longer balancing course dates with work commitments or taking exams. The focus shifts to the final thesis, which must be completed. 

Whether you are writing your bachelor's thesis, master's thesis or dissertation, everyone knows it: the deadline is still relatively far away and when you come home after a hard-working day, you will find many excuses why you will not start writing your thesis before tomorrow. Procrastination - the postponing of mostly unpleasant tasks - can become a real problem in the final phase of your studies. Christiane Aufschnaiter gives part-time students three tips on how to stick to their thesis despite numerous other obligations:

Tip 1: Set clear and realistic goals.

Often we set very vague goals that are difficult to check, like "Today I'm going to write again on my thesis." I have learned to set very specific goals for each day, no matter how big or small they are. For example, a goal might be to write one page of introduction or transcribe two interviews. The advantage is: when I have then achieved this goal, I can rest my conscience and put the work away.

Tip 2: Look for fellow writers.

Of course, you write your thesis on your own. But it can be very helpful if you have a fellow student with whom you regularly exchange ideas. It is not so much about the exchange of content, but rather about motivating each other or - if necessary - putting pressure on each other.

Tip 3: Just write on it for five minutes.

Sometimes we are also just afraid to start writing and that is why we keep postponing it. But that is not a solution either. There are many tips on how to overcome writer's block. In my opinion, the following method is very helpful: set a specific topic, set a timer for five minutes, for example, and then write on this topic for five minutes without interruption. The important thing is that you really write without pausing and do not think about wording and mistakes. The idea is to get your thoughts down on paper. You will be amazed that this often not only helps you to solve your writer's block but also to actually come up with very good, new ideas.