Ideas for your degree thesis

Are you around and do you get an idea? To avoid forgetting, always carry the Notebook of ideas with you because the flash of genius can hit you everywhere!

You will surely be successful …

You’re walking around and your attention is caught by something, a discussion, a sentence or a quote. Or do you find yourself thinking about your thesis in the most disparate moments and thousands of possible links spring up before your eyes but, inevitably, as soon as you get back to work they disappear into oblivion?

As far as you seem at the moment a fantastic idea, impossible to forget, trusting your memory by convincing you to write down this lucky intuition once you arrive at the university (or at home) is likely to be a huge mistake.

A possible solution could be to keep a “Notebook of ideas”, digital or paper is indifferent, the important thing is that you have always and in every place the possibility to mark you ideas, thoughts, ideas, notes and any kind of information that you find even if at that precise moment you were not looking for any of this.

It’s a good habit that comes in handy whenever it comes to your mind or you discover something that can be useful to what you’re working on. After all, when you are writing your thesis you are dedicating most of your time, your thoughts are often linked to your work and to your topic, so it is not unlikely that you will understand the classic flash of genius in the most unexpected places.

What are the main insights to note?

It is clear that it is not necessary to note at random everything that hangs over your head and the differentiation must be made mainly starting from what your thesis deals with and deciding what is more or less relevant is up to you only.

Visions, reflections, impressions or new research hypotheses: it shows on the notebook all the details that come to mind, even if at the moment they seem unclear and defined, this will allow you not to have a fragmented memory of what you had in mind while avoiding so to create confusion.

Titles or authors of documents that come to your eye: remember to mark any reference that at any future time allows you to go back without a margin of error to the origin of what you are quoting.

News and news: it is important to indicate precisely the places, people and situations that contribute to creating the news, this will allow you to find them in the future.

How do you write down ideas?

On which is the best way to write down what comes to your mind or what is suddenly catching your attention it is good to know that there are some small simple steps to follow:

to write down written documents, news, and specific facts it is good that you know that it is necessary to mark them exactly as they appear in the text, and where present, it is worth noting also the extensive bibliographic references

to annotate conversations or information that you have received through oral discussions you can summarize in a summary way what you have listened to, leaving room for imagination by creating free associations of ideas that come to mind.

Remember that a happy idea can come to your mind at any time, do not risk forgetting about it!

2 Copy-paste in your degree thesis: Risks and effects

Here you are. In front of the fearsome white page.

Temptation number 1: copy-paste

Problem that raises the number 1 temptation: plagiarism, copyright, little originality, … uncertain future

Solution to avoid the problem: limit the copy-paste work to the first draft, only to overcome the blank page anxiety. Then … provide to eliminate, personalize, integrate, … use a pinch of critical spirit. The only trick: differently indicate the copied parts and pinpoint the source from which they are drawn in a precise and methodical way. Rebuilding it afterwards is an impossible task and it can make you lose more time than writing your entire thesis. And remember that any copied part requires the quotation of the respective source from which you processed it. Where to develop a good dose of obsession and be very scrupulous.

Then copy only the parts that are needed for your topic. Focus on it at this stage.

The quotation or reproduction of passages or parts of the work and their communication to the public are free if made for the use of criticism or discussion, within the limits justified by such purposes and provided they do not constitute competition for the economic use of the work.

Always remember that quoting does not mean copying. To quote means to bring back short passages of a text that has been studied and understood, and to integrate these passages in a thoughtful and logical manner, finally putting in note each reference.

The quote is therefore an operation that requires a mental process. Your quote therefore serves to support your arguments. It is not your argument. Using the expensive old copy-paste method the risk of confusing citing with copying is very high and all this is not immune to various types of risks.

1. Copying you don’t learn. If you copy or if you commission your degree thesis to others (which is scandalous!) Sooner or later you will have to study it and try to understand what is written. The risk of a bad figure is very high

2. Plagiarism offense (and here the bad figure is without limit). Have the universities equipped themselves with modern anti-plagiarism software for degree theses and speakers? They are experts on their subject … so … they smell like a remote copy!

Also because the bibliography suggests them to you. Don’t get your rapporteur suspicious! And the internet doesn’t help in this. Just enter the dubious phrase and here are the sources of the ruthless copy-paste. It is absolutely not to be done!

Then use the copy-paste to appease initial anxieties but then put your own. Something much better will come out of it!

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