One of my favourite blogs, The Thesis Whisperer*, has just posted a great article about the problems of what they term a “Zombie Thesis”: a thesis that although it has all the parts, such as title pages, chapters, graphs and charts, somehow isn’t quite hanging together well enough to make it a good and interesting thesis.
How can you tell if you are writing such a thesis? The article lists tell-tale signs such as: the “paragraphs are not purposeful” and “the word ‘this’ appears a lot in the text“.
Fortunately the article gives plenty of advice on how to sort out these problems. In particular, they heartily recommend a book that we have in our Library:
The craft of research by Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb and Joseph M. Williams
They also mentioned another book, that I’d not come across before – so I’ve now ordered it for the Stirling Campus Library:
Williams, Joseph M. and Bizup, Joseph (2014) Style : lessons in clarity and grace, 11th ed.
Here’s my own bit of advice – taken from Max Brooks’, The Zombie Survival Guide:
“Remember; no matter how desperate the situation seems, time spent thinking clearly is never time wasted.”
*The Thesis Whisperer is a blog newspaper dedicated to the topic of doing a thesis.