Female high school student making notes

Utilizing Your Waiting Time Effectively

Last week’s article in our series provided vital tips in ensuring that your questionnaire design is understandable, concise and has a high completion rate.  The questionnaire is a crucial aspect of your thesis preparation; it forms the basis of your data analysis and affords the opportunity to create a discussion that is meaningful, factual and can draw comparisons with other studies undertaken on your chosen topic.

Once your questionnaires have been distributed for completion, there will be some measure of waiting time before you begin to receive your finalized questionnaires. This time should be seen as the perfect opportunity to advance in the other aspects of your thesis. This guarantees that once all questionnaires are received, you are fully ready to undertake your data analysis. Our series example on construction delays will once again be the focal topic for this week’s article.

Usually at the commencement of your finalized thesis you are provided with the option of writing an acknowledgements page. This is a forum in which you can thank all those that aided you in your thesis undertaking. Individuals that can be included may range from your professor to family members as well as others who have provided their expertise. This short section is easy to complete and does not require any technical effort or questionnaire input; therefore this is one of the key sections that can be completed whilst you are awaiting responses.

One of the other aspects that you can focus on during this time is the outline of your thesis document. Envisioning the topics to be included in your table of contents helps to illustrate exactly how you intend to lay out the subject matters of your thesis. It also helps in ensuring that you are including all necessary topics and aids in the actual writing of your finalized thesis as you would have determined all relevant characteristics to be included. In this aspect, the table of contents can also be thought of as a checklist for your main headings and sub-topics.

Another major task that effort should be focused on during the waiting time period is that of continual research for your introduction and literature review sections. You should make use of resources such as your University’s library, journals, Google Scholar and relevant project reports to gather all necessary information. Remember to research other similar studies previously carried out. There have been numerous studies on construction delays undertaken in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore and even the USA that have been published and can be utilized and adapted to fit your thesis requirements.

Some useful journals that can be employed for your research include the International Journal of Project Management, the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management and the Journal of Construction Research. Other avenues that can be used for a project on construction delays include your local Public Sector Investment Reports; these give an idea of the governmental commitment to public projects and provide a means of time and cost comparison if those projects have been delayed.

Always be mindful that the time elapsing whilst responses are being awaited is a critical period in your thesis preparation process. As detailed above, there are several key ways in which your time can be positively used to enhance and fast track the preparation of your thesis. As we wind down our series of articles on Thesis Writing Tips for Engineering Students, we at Thesis Associates will continue to provide key tips to ensure that your thesis preparation process is one that is smooth and your finalized product garners high achievement!

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