The thesis is often considered to be an independent project, and much of the work will be done alone, especially the writing. However, there are many opportunities for collaboration, and your work on the project may benefit from working closely with faculty and colleagues. It is also possible that your adviser may have an expectation that you will work closely together even if this is not stated explicitly.
The process of researching and writing a thesis is difficult under the best of circumstances, but the task becomes even more difficult if much of it is done alone. Many professionals are far more productive whenever they have the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues. Many of the biggest challenges associated with large-project management, including motivation and procrastination, are exacerbated by the lack of collaboration. Although everyone procrastinates at least some of the time, some professionals complete little or no work without some collaboration, mentoring, support, and accountability.
It is important to ask yourself several key questions:
- Am I more productive while collaborating with faculty or colleagues?
- Do I have a tendency to procrastinate if there is no accountability?
- Do I feel more motivated if I am working with others?
- Are there ways to collaborate more frequently with others?
- Do I need help organizing and structuring the project?
- Are there clear expectations regarding my work?
- Have I encountered problems in my research that I have been unable to resolve?