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Guidance

An overview of all the different ways the Master Thesis Lab can help you.

When you are going to write a master's thesis, you will need to find a supervisor. She or he will be responsible for guiding you through the process of writing your thesis, by helping you with aspects such as choosing a subject, formulating research questions, and analysing the data. Of course, supervisors only guide you, which means they will help you, but not do the actual writing for you.

When you speak to your fellow students you will soon find out that no two supervisors work alike. Good communication is critical! Make sure that you know what is expected of you and what you can expect of your thesis supervisor.

The Thesis Lab assistant (also known as 'Scriptieatelier medewerker', or SAM in Dutch) can give you advice on, for example, finding literature and structuring the thesis. The SAM can refer you to a statistical advisor, or point you to a book or website where you can find the answer to your question.

Keep in mind that you yourself – together with your thesis supervisor – have the final responsibility for the thesis. Always discuss important decisions and changes with your supervisor. Also, note that the SAM will not read your thesis through or advise you on questions regarding the content.

Things the SAM can do for you

  • Give advice on how to structure the time spent on your thesis;
  • Give advice on general lay-out;
  • Help to think about the consequences of your choices;
  • Help you with practical SPSS of R problems;
  • Make an appointment with the statistical advisors (e.g. for more advanced SPSS or other statistical problems);
  • Make an appointment with the staff members of the Master Thesis Lab who are specialized in qualitative research;
  • Give you information on where to find information about various aspects of writing your thesis. 

Things the SAM cannot do for you

  • Read (parts of your) Master Thesis;
  • Give advice concerning the specific and specialist content of your thesis;
  • Provide critical comments on the content of your thesis;
  • Act as a substitute for your thesis supervisor (also not when your supervisor is not available during a longer period);
  • Take responsibility for your choices with respect to any part of your thesis. 

Consultants

The Master Thesis Lab offers statistics-advice by the following specialised consultants:

  • Dr. Elise Dusseldorp
  • Eline Meijer MSc
  • Dr. Frits Meijerink
  • Dr. Ralph Rippe

Procedure

  • If you have a simple statistical question, ask the Master Thesis Lab assistent (SAM).
  • If you have a complicated statistical question, make an appointment (by email) with a statistics consultant (see schedule below).
  • NOTE: advice is not given by phone or via e-mail. 

Things the statistics consultants cannot do for you

  • Decide which statistical technique is best for you and take responsibility in this respect. (The statistics consultants will give advice but it is up to you and your supervisor to make a decision.)
  • Teach you in detail how a statistical technique works. (The statistics consultants will point you to the appropriate literature and will answer questions about the technique.)
  • Do the statistical analyses for you and contribute to writing about the technique and its results in your thesis. (The statistics consultants will show how techniques work and how to get SPSS output for the techniques.)
  • Take a look at the page of the Master Thesis Lab on finding the right literature;
  • If you have a simple question, ask the Master Thesis Lab assistent (SAM);
  • If you have a more complicated question, you can ask the SAM to make an appointment for you with the Information Specialist of the Libary;

NOTE: literature advice is not given by phone or via e-mail! 

Time-schedule library consultations

Tuesday

15:30-17:15

 

  • Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology
  • Education and Child Studies
  • Psychology

Thursday

15:00-17:15

 

  • Political Science

If you need advice on qualitative research, there are staff members specialized in qualitative research at the Master Thesis Lab who can help you with your project.

  • First take a look at the page of the Master Thesis Lab on qualitative research;
  • If you have a simple question, ask the Master Thesis Lab assistant (SAM);
  • If you have a more complicated question, e.g., on specific software for qualitative research, ask the SAM present in the Master Thesis Lab to make an appointment for you with the staff member of the Master Thesis Lab, who is specialized in qualitative research;
  • NOTE: advice is not given by phone nor by e-mail. 

Writing a thesis can be stimulating and enjoyable, but not all the time, and not for everyone. It can be hard work and you may run into a few obstacles along the way. In some cases students may not be able to overcome these obstacles on their own and could use some help. Psychological counselors offer support to students in case of study related or personal problems.

If you feel you could use some help from one of the University psychological counselors you can make an appointment. Check these websites for more information:

When you are writing your thesis it is possible that at some point you encounter problems and get stuck. This is a normal phenomenon, and can happen to anyone. Writing a thesis is a challenging process requiring a lot of effort.

If you encounter any problems you may find it helpful to follow the next steps:

  1. Talk with the SAM. Sometimes it is enough to talk about your problems and brainstorm about possible solutions. The SAM can give you advice or knows who can help you;
  2. On our bookshelves you can find a manual that provide information on how to prevent or overcome problems associated with writing a thesis. This manual is in Dutch only;
  3. The student psychologists’ website offers suggestions in Dutch that may help you;
  4. You can make an appointment with one of the student psychologists. For international students there is an international counselling service, where you can talk with a student psychologist in English. The counselling service also provides courses for international students, on topics like time management.
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