Anka Mulder


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The final struggle: how to write a good thesis?

Last Friday, I was at a book presentation organised by Study Association Curius, where I received the first copy of ‘Graduation Challenge Accepted’, written by TU Delft lecturer Alexander de Haan and Elianne de Regt, one of his students.

The graduation research project, or thesis, is a big step for many students. Many find it difficult to decide on a subject and have trouble getting started. Losing time over this may lead to a delay of their programme (and more expenses). With ‘Graduation Challenge Accepted’ the authors want to help students with their thesis and upcoming graduation. According to Alexander en Elianne, the best way to do that is to take charge of their own thesis. Of course, the course director defines the terms of a programme and the professor decides if the quality of the work is sufficient, but within those boundaries, students have much more freedom than they think.

The book consists of seven chapters, corresponding with the seven phases of a graduation project, and is brim-full of ideas and practical tips on how to get and stay in charge of your project. ‘Project management’ of the graduation project, so to speak. Students may wonder whether their supervisors will appreciate it if they take the lead. I think they do. The authors have included some interviews with lecturers in the book. Reading about their experiences with students graduating might be an eye-opener for some students.

I think that the approach described by De Haan and De Regt is ideally suited to many students at TU Delft and also to the sort of graduates that companies are eager to hire – independent engineers who can manage their own project.

What I especially like about this book is that it was written by a lecturer, Alexander, and a student, Elianne, and set up in cooperation with the Study Association of the faculty, Curius. Curius will organise courses for students on how to manage their thesis, based on the method of ‘Graduation Challenge Accepted’. This type of cooperation between lecturer and students –shaping education together- is interesting and I believe it will become more common in the future.





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