Writing a Research Plan in Chinese

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Now that my bachelor’s thesis seems like a faded memory, it’s time to start my master’s thesis! I’ve finished my fist year of graduate school and all of my courses expect thesis writing that will begin next week. Of course I’m being optimistic and hope that I have passed all the courses I took!

Back in 2013 I wrote about writing a thesis in Chinese and then defending it in Chinese. For a master’s thesis the process is similar:

  1. Write a research plan (开题报告)
  2. Research plan is evaluated by your teachers (one or two that are supervising your thesis writing) [End of August]
  3. Make  changed if (when) necessary
  4. Present the research plan in front of three teachers who will ask questions and offer valuable feedback (开题报告会) [Mid-September]
  5. If necessary come up with a new topic (if the first one didn’t pass), or make changed to your research plan according to the advice
  6. Write a first draft of the thesis
  7. Send the first draft to your supervising teachers for feedback [Around Chinese New Year 2016]
  8. Write your thesis again according to the feedback, write the final draft
  9. Present and defend your thesis in front of three teachers, pass and get a grade or if unlucky (your supervising teacher didn’t warn you) you get back to the drawing board [Around May 2016]
  10. Make final corrections and print your thesis

Originally the deadline for the final draft is around the Chinese New Year next year, but because I happen to have a baby deadline coming in the beginning of November, I’m planning to get my first draft done before that as well.

Right now I’m in the process of reading research papers and theses around my topic, making notes and papering the theory section of my thesis. Before the end of the month I also need to make an outline for my thesis as well as a schedule how I’m going to finish my thesis in time. Basically I have to write the beginning of my thesis from Introduction to Research methods.

Luckily together with my supervisors I came up with a great topic for my thesis that I’m very excited about. I can use the knowledge I’ve gathered for my graduate courses, the experience from teaching my students and hopefully write something that will help me a lot in the future with my students.