Published 22 Oct 2021

How To Stay Motivated When Writing Your Thesis Paper

Maintain your motivation throughout the challenging process of writing your thesis paper with these effective tips and strategies.
6 min read

a guy is taking notes

In order to make the grade and earn your degree, you are going to have to write at least one thesis paper in your educational career. Creating a thesis paper from start to finish can be an easy and even enjoyable task for those with exceptional writing, research, and analytical skills.

However, for those without the writing or research skills to rapidly-produce informational and authoritative content, starting – let alone finishing – a thesis paper can be challenging.

What Is a Thesis Paper?

A thesis paper is a piece of academic writing completed as a requirement for course credit or to earn an advanced degree. These papers are usually long in length, complex in structure, written from a unique perspective, and heavily research-based.

Why Is It Challenging to Stay Motivated to Write a Thesis Paper?

Staying motivated to write a thesis paper can be challenging because the process of writing a thesis is…well…a process.

This process is heavily reliant on research, which can be tedious and time-consuming. In addition, the format of a thesis paper is not always easy to identify or follow. Even writing from an authoritative perspective may take some getting used to. All in all, it can be a long and strenuous process that can be highly demotivating.

How Can I Stay Motivated When Writing a Thesis Paper?

There are a number of ways that you can successfully motivate yourself to write a thesis paper from start to finish.

Before getting started writing a thesis paper, it is a good idea to bounce thesis topics off of your teacher or professor for feedback.

This way, you can get guidance on which topics might be better suited for thesis writing than others. It will also keep you from getting frustrated should your subject not have a lot of relevant research information to support your thesis.

Once you have selected your thesis topic, be sure to follow these helpful tips for staying motivated while writing your thesis paper.

Make A Plan

It can’t be stressed enough that the secret to staying motivated when writing your thesis paper is to start by making a plan of attack. This plan should include:

Thesis Paper Outline

Writing out how you want to organize your thesis structurally will ensure that you don’t get off track with your writing. Your thesis outline should include ideas for:

  • Paragraph structure
  • Heading & Sub-heading titles
  • Thesis statement placement
  • Proof and evidence

With this outline, you’ll be able to stay motivated while writing your thesis paper because you’ll know where each part of the process is taking you.

Research & Writing Schedule

Once you have a solid outline that details your thesis structure, you should allow a certain amount of time to research and write each section.

How much time you give for each section depends on varying factors such as word count, due date, and depth of research needed. Try to plan on completing a certain amount of words or paragraphs per day so that you don’t get overwhelmed trying to complete the whole thing at once.

Thesis papers arent meant to be written in a day, and it’s important that you stretch out your research and writing to ensure that your paper has a sound structure with solid evidence to back up your thesis.

Pro Tip: Try to get your research out of the way first. This way, you can have a lot more time to write, and you won’t have to waste time going back and forth between research and writing to ensure all your information is correct.

Feedback Milestones

Creating milestones that are dependent on feedback can be a great way to stay motivated while writing your thesis paper.

Milestones that are dependent on feedback might include:

  • Turning in research questions
  • Turn in the first/final draft of the introduction
  • Turn in first/final draft of thesis statement
  • Turn in first/final draft of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc., page
  • Turn in the first/final draft of the conclusion

Setting these milestones is an excellent way you can get the confidence and assurance from peers and professors that your thesis paper is being written in the best way possible – helping to keep you motivated along the way.

By planning out the thesis process beforehand, you can give yourself a framework to reference when it feels like you are lost in the writing process.

Create A Writing Space

Making a plan is only one small part of staying motivated while writing a thesis paper. In order to actually get motivated to write your thesis paper, you’ll need a writing space that is conducive to focus and inspires you to keep writing.

Fortunately, there are several ways to make your writing space more motivating to help facilitate your thesis writing process.

Organize Your Writing Area

Having an organized writing space means that you’ll have all the necessary materials readily available for your research and writing. This way, you won’t lose motivation looking for missing information or supplies to write with.

Organizing your writing area should include:

  • Writing utensils
  • Note-taking materials (post-its, labels, etc.)
  • Research articles/books/materials
  • Outlines/notes
  • Paper & computer for writing

Organized writing areas are vital in maintaining the motivation to create a well-thought-out thesis paper that will get you the best grade possible.

Pro Tip: When organizing your writing space, consider color-coding materials. Color-coded materials make it easier for you to find what you need when you need it.

Keep Snacks On Hand

Part of any motivating writing space is snacks. Snacks and beverages give us the brain fuel needed to stay focused writing a thesis paper. So make sure that your writing area has snacks on hand to avoid losing your focus with constant trips to the kitchen or grocery store.

Pro Tip: If you drink coffee, make sure that your writing space has a coffee maker or a cup of hot water/coffee readily available for those killer caffeine highs.

Make It Comfortable

Working in an uncomfortable writing environment is one of the fastest ways to become demotivated while writing your thesis paper. Be sure that your writing space is comfortable enough to work for several hours in but not so comfortable that you lose focus of the task at hand.

There are many ways to make your writing more comfortable, including:

  • Adjusting desk or chair height
  • Chair support cushions
  • Adequate lighting
  • Setting room temperature to a comfortable level
  • Wearing comfortable clothing
  • Playing classical or instrumental music

Pro Tip: To maximize comfortability, be sure that you set up your writing space in an area that is free from social, audio, and visual distractions. This will help minimize the number of interruptions that happen while you’re working on your thesis paper.

Don’t Be Too Hard On Yourself

Remember that you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself while writing your research paper. At times, aspects of the writing or research may seem overwhelming, and negative demotivating thoughts may creep into your head. When this happens, consider doing the following to stay motivated:

Take A Break

Take a break if you find that the thesis process is getting too difficult and triggering unnecessary stress or anxiety. Stepping away from thesis paper writing at regular intervals is necessary for our brains to function at peak performance so that a student doesn’t lose motivation when writing. A break can include:

  • Walking outside for 10-20mins
  • Doing some yoga
  • Meditating
  • Power napping for no more than 20 mins
  • Engage in physical activity to increase blood flow to the brain

Pro Tip: Many studies recommend that students take frequent breaks to ensure that they don’t hurt themselves for writing for extended periods of time. Consider taking a break at least every 2 hours to ensure that you stay motivated to reach your thesis paper goals.

Ask For Help

Asking for help with the writing or research of your thesis paper is another excellent way to stay motivated. There are a number of benefits to asking for support, including:

  • Freeing up time that to do other things such as relaxing or completing other assignments
  • Getting fresh perspective and new ideas from someone who is an expert in the subject
  • Helping you avoid pitfalls and mistakes that could lower the grades on your thesis paper
  • Building your network and connections with people who can help you achieve your thesis paper goals

When asking for help, make sure to pick the right people. Avoid asking those who will be negative and demotivating because they cannot provide you with the support you need. Instead, consider asking a professor, teaching assistant, or staff member at your school who is positive and trustworthy.

Pro Tip: If writing your thesis paper is just too hard, consider hiring a professional writing service to complete the work for you. They can help with any part of the thesis process at an affordable rate.

The Takeaway

If you’re looking to stay motivated when writing a thesis paper, it is essential to find a space that inspires you to write, keep your work area organized and comfortable, and take breaks from the process every once in a while. By doing this, you will have a greater chance of staying on track and reaching your thesis paper goals.

Karen Palmer Karen Palmer
I am an only child (and not spoiled, really) who spent twelve years in Catholic schools and seven more off-and-on years in college, but my education largely took place at the Cahuenga Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. Decades later, not much has changed. I again live in L.A. and I still spend a lot of time at the library — if I had to choose between reading and eating, I’d be dead in a week.
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