Home Page > Theses > Getting Started


Be sure to allow sufficient time to revise and polish your work. Most people underestimate the amount of time it will take to write a major piece of work and make matters worse by putting off writing to the last possible minute. This combination of wishful thinking and procrastination is particularly dangerous when writing a relatively long document on a long-term project.

The single most important thing about getting started is to actually start writing. Write the first draft FAST! Do NOT worry about grammar, spelling, or "perfect" phrasing. Just write it as fast as you can. Once you have that first version, you can go back and improve, correct, re-arrange, etc. Too many of us spend too much time trying to perfect each sentence before moving on. It is almost always more productive to get something written and then iteratively improve it.

Another productive approach is to write sections of the first draft as your work progresses. By making writing an integral part of your thesis project -- instead of a separate, final step -- you can significantly reduce the sense of drudgery and frustration which often accompanies after-the-fact writing. By drafting in stages, you can also help ensure the success of your project because putting concepts into words clarifies your thinking, brings potential problems into focus, and identifies wrong turns.

Authors: Steve Whitmore & Mike Sjoerdsma                         Website Design: Claret Ramos & Jeff Priest                         Photos: Simon Fraser University                         Last Updated: February 11, 2016