1. Choose the right topic:
Decide a topic in your stream that you found to be interesting. It can be anything like a technology, or a topic, a chapter in book or at times even an issue that you read in the newspaper. At times it can be an assignment which you want to work more in depth.
Some of the commonly chosen domains are Networking, Mobile computing, Data Mining, Network Security, data Mining, Image Processing, Robotics, Power systems, Electrical engineering, wireless communications and Grid computing. All these domains deal with their own concepts. There are numerous reference works available based on these domains.
2. Collect References:
All that you need to keep in mind is that the topic you choose must be reachable to the audience. Make sure there are literature works available to refer. It is advisable not to refer textbooks or periodicals or journals. The academic based literature adds value to your project. Indian Universities prefer IEEE/Science Direct/ACM publications as valid reference base. Colleges affiliated to Anna University accept IEEE as reference work. At times universities refuse conference papers as reference work when it comes to M.E students.
Students are expected to be exposed to practical works than just sticking to the literature work. So the universities expect the paper works to be an enhancement of the reference work and not just a theoretical improvisation of the base paper. For technologies like MatLab/NS2/VLSI/Embedded C/Java/J2EE/Dot Net candidates should choose a company which train and help in implementing the paper work.
3. Spend your valuable time wisely:
You need to be well prepared to manage your time and spend several hours in academic libraries to search for good reference works. Google is always there in reach but remember that not all the articles are under quality control and they might be too journalistic which cannot help you with academic writing.
4. Make a plan of the chapter:
One form of representing your work is like the below.
• Literature review
• Updating/applying new research
• Recent developments
• Case study/small survey
You need to read a lot around the chosen subject and make an initial plan and progress accordingly. Your initial plan will keep changing as you do more research works. So keep revising your plan chart. Do remember that it is just a tentative plan in this stage. You will be asked to provide your initial copy of the plan on the first substantive meeting.
You may not do all the reading before you actually start the writing. Read enough to just write the literature review and then start with a target of 500 to 1000 words per day and you will see a progress in your work.
5. Use Academic Projects to your advantage:
Most of the interviews are around your projects. It is so to check your practical skills. So your project gives you an opportunity to excel during the time of interview. Be honest with your academic project and make the best out of it.