Check out a practical guide on how not to do a master’s thesis. If you want the guide below in pdf, click on the link below to download and send to the masters, doctoral students or even undergraduate students who are writing your research paper:
Doing a master’s thesis is not a simple task, but if you try hard enough you can, yes, turn it into something very complicated and, with some luck, impossible to accomplish. The general rule is: if something is difficult, complicate it.
Here are some simple steps you can take to transform your life and that of your counselor into a living hell.
Be dispersive: read as many things as possible that have nothing to do with the Work Plan;
The above item assumes that you have a work plan. If you have a defined work plan with your advisor, try modifying it several times, adding new themes and problems, expanding your bibliography.
Do this at least once per semester
Still on point 1 above, read everything that falls in your hand. But be careful, do not go doing in-depth readings as this can cost you a lot of time and create a focus for your work. Do this: read only the first few pages of each text (in the case of books, read the introduction and the first 5 pages of the third chapter, in the case of articles, read the first three pages);
When you find an interesting text or book – even if it has nothing to do with your search – go straight to the bibliographic references. Be exhaustive and search the internet for all the articles and books cited. Open a new directory and start downloading everything you find. When this directory reaches 100 new downloaded items, move to another text;
With item 4 above you will be able to put together a digital library of about 3,472 articles and 719 books;
Make reading plans “impossible” to complete. For example, with the digital library described in item 5 above, choose 15 articles and 4 book to read next weekend. When you arrive at the end of the third semester, redo your work plan (without talking to the counselor, of course) with new readings of items that have been posted in the last six months;
Do not forget to make plans for future projects. This is very important to get attention from your current job. Make scripts of future readings, spend many hours developing projects that you will never realize;
Make lists and more lists. An indispensable item in your lists is to make lists;
The internet is a great ally at these times to avoid the temptation to get to work. Navigate to where the virtual winds take you. Frequent bizarre news sites and porn sites. Only spend 60% of your time on this. But the most important thing is to keep a Facebook page updated every 15 minutes. Feed your page mainly as clever funny things (like plaques with Portuguese errors, parodies, videos found on bizarre news sites). It’s good to do this at dawn. This will make you sleep at 5am and wake up at 2pm. In general, the activities of the masters take place during the afternoon and you, after all, are receiving a scholarship and do not need to work;
If a friend invites you to go out, go to the beach or to a party, do not go and justify by saying that you are working on your masters degree. Stay home doing nothing. This will help increase your sense of guilt – an indispensable component of not doing what you should do;
When you start writing the essay, the best way to not start writing it is to put all or most of the books you have on the subject of research, including those you did not read, on the desk. This will give you the fair feeling that you are completely lost. This is excellent – if you do not really want to write the dissertation;
But if you have begun to write the dissertation anyway, tell yourself that you are an obsessive intellectual who is content only with a finished, definitive, perfect text. It would not be worth having come this far if you were not going to turn the whole area of knowledge. So it is very important to keep a secret about what you are actually writing. Avoid presenting the preliminary versions of what you are writing to colleagues, and especially to your advisor;
If you have reached step 12 above, the first chapter to write should be a thorough and exhaustive review of everything that has been written about the subject of your dissertation. Do not worry if you still have no idea what the central hypothesis of your job is or how far you should go with that job. That’s just a detail. Go on writing (using alcohol and hallucinogens can produce genius ideas for your writing; the only problem is that those ideas disappear with the effect of the section you took);
You have reached the last semester. I should have done the qualifying, but there is nothing decent written. Since this story has been so much fun, do not give up. Pay attention now. Everyone has an old aunt. Kill it (symbolically, of course). It contracts dengue (symbolically, of course), because everyone gets dengue. How to advise your advisor and ask for an extension of the deadline. When you get the extension, start all over again. Go back to item 1 and see if you did everything right.
I know that not doing a dissertation is something that requires a lot of effort, dedication and discipline. Complicating is an art. But I am sure that with these simple steps, you will not do your dissertation. Of course there are other strategies that can be used.