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SMART writing of your report or thesis using the SLIM method

Write your thesis with 7 tips

Tip 7: Write SMART using the SLIM method

Just a short recap. SMART stands for Specific + Measurable + Acceptable + Realistic + Time-based

Writing and formulating SMART, you have undoubtedly already come across it, for example SMART formulating your goals for your project. Basically a good concept although there is some controversy how well it can be applied to formulate goals. Research and development are often more uncertain than in other projects.

But what can you learn from the SMART approach for your thesis? For the planning of your writing process you can use it well of course. The content to be written, for example chapters, can be well planned using the SMART approach.

But what about articulating the content in your thesis, the real writing? That works slightly differently. The slim method’s acronym SLIM works better for that. If you keep that acronym in mind during the writing process, it gives you continuous guidance on how and what to write, whether you’re writing a title or a paragraph.

  • Structure
    How does the content message you want to give your reader fit into the overall structure. The reader already knows enough to be able to post the message you want to write now. With every word you write, be aware of how that content fits into the total structure of your thesis.
  • Level
    At what level do you write now? A chapter title is a higher level than a paragraph. In a chapter title, therefore, there is also more the main message, while paragraphs express the substantive details and substantiation.
  • Intent
    What is the message to the reader?
  • Message
    What is the content you give to your reader. This seems like an open door, but a title like ‘introduction’ does not give me as a reader a clue as to what content you are going to tell me. That title could suit any subject.

After some practice, this acronym quickly gives you a grip during your writing process. Especially if you also reflect on the content structure of your thesis after the first round of writing. What is your content (message) message (intent) to the reader at each level (level) and does this convince the reader of your main message in a structured way (structure)?

Learn more: take a free trial lesson from the online ‘structured writing’ course or register for the full course.

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