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Suppose you have found descriptions of fifty systems or approaches that are relevant to your work. Also it is unlikely that there are fifty distinct methods: more likely there are a few "families" of methods.The trick of a good survey is to pick one, two or three representatives from each "family" and write a survey around these, introducing references to the other when there is some significant point to be made.Working from your analysis of previous work, you should be able to identify a problem area that you want to work on, why it is interesting and which of the known unsolved problems you are most likely to investigate. It is generally easier for students working on a topic with a strong software engineering component to specify their objectives and shorter-term goals to be achieved than for students working in a theoretical domain, since often the latter spend a lot of time exploring the domain before finding the particular unsolved problem they want to work on.
There are some extra points that are worth making: There is a recommended length for each report. There are several reasons why this limit should be adhered to: It is useful to begin each report with a brief summary of your topic to remind the selected members of your thesis group of what you are doing. It is certainly true that you cannot state precisely and in detail what you intend to be doing twenty-four months later.
However, it is reasonable to be able to give detail as to what you plan to do over the next three to six months and a less detailed plan of your subsequent work. If all your research is predictable, then it's not true research.
Consider your fallback strategies for if your hoped-for results turn out differently, or take longer than expected.
In general, the spring reports (4 and 6) should include skills development plans, while the autumn reports (3, 5, 7) should include reviews of your activities.
The typical TP includes several parts: The introduction should start by stating what it is that you hope to achieve in your work for the thesis: "The work by X, Y and Z on the topic of ABC has left unsolved the problem of how to PQR.
This thesis will attempt to solve the problem by ..." A TP is not a detective novel.If you work in an AI domain, then you would expect the group to understand what is expected of that domain; if you are a theoretical computer scientist, you should expect your thesis group to evaluate your work against what is to be expected of comparable students working in theoretical computer science.If you are unsure of what is expected of you, you should seek advice.Otherwise the reader has no idea what you are leading up to.The introduction is not the place for a tutorial on the topic: this can come in the next section, if necessary.You will want to review the previous work that is relevant to your topic.The most common mistake is to make this review a list of previous papers in-filled with a small amount of text to link the components.It is a very common mistake to ramble on and on at length about the topic area and other work, and then only near the end of the report explain what your objectives are and how you intend to achieve them.If you make your objectives clear at the beginning then the reader will be motivated and can assess the relevance and adequacy of the following discussion in the light of your goals.It follows that you should report on your progress and not worry excessively about whether you have results to present.It is clear that the contents of reports will change as the student progresses through their study.