Student organize yourself: how to organize materials for a master's thesis – order at home is order in life

Good morning 🙂 Today is the second and last part student organization, i.e. a few words about the materials I used to write my thesis.

There are so many of them that the binder barely closes, and these are just the ones I used. It was not convenient to find myself in such a number of mixed-up photocopiers, and I managed to develop the best method of organizing them more or less in the middle of writing the paper.

1. Binder – Like notes, the best way to store them. I punched all the photocopies, I found that taking them out and putting them in each T-shirt would be too time consuming 🙂

2. Dividers – I divided my materials into 3 parts: case law, textbooks and books, which I used only in part, but related to most of my work and articles that they usually related to specific subsections of the work.

3. Colorful edges – this is how I marked parts of one author’s textbooks and with time I already knew that Dawidowicz is orange and Igrekowski is green 🙂 and it was easier for me to find items specific author. I always wrote the title and surname on the edges.

4. Description of materials – what to do. After reading the article, it is good to describe why and where you want to establish it or have it. Our memory is unreliable and we cannot count on the fact that at the end of writing the work we will remember what exactly was in the article referred to at the beginning of the first chapter 🙂 For me, the description usually consisted of marking a chapter, subsection and a one-sentence description for what it was needed. And also my deep thoughts on a given topic: „what a pile“;).

I arranged the materials in the order of chapters, which also made it easier for me to search 🙂

It is also good to have a notebook, in which you will write all the materials , including the date and place of publication. Such a list is always useful, not only when creating a bibliography, but, for example, when you want to make sure whether you already have a copy or not.

5. Computer – here it is also worth keeping order 🙂 Apart from a few copies of my work, I mainly stored the case law. At one point, I found it pointless to print and copy them all, so what I could have unprinted lay safely in catalogs. I started with catalogs for individual chapters, there was the current version of the work and a folder with jurisprudence divided for each subchapter. The judgments used I meant „+“ in front. Thanks to this, I never got lost, and during the rush of love for my work before giving it to me and checking the signature and date of each judgment, I thanked myself for such an organization:).

Save each version of the work several times. Mine was saved in 3 places on the disk, in Dropbox and on a USB flash drive. It is also worth making friends with the Ctrl + S shortcut, it saved lives more than once:).

I hope that my advice will help you survive this master’s time and develop your own method of organization that it will make writing your work easier. I’m already waiting for a defense, the work is framed, it’s at the supervisor’s, the review is received, nothing but to feed the circle of happy unemployed people :).

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