My friends and I are doing our graduation thesis so we can finish our engineering course here in Brazil. There are two main problems:

  1. My buddies are not in the same step than I am: Basically, they have not that much of interest that I have for the title. I'm doing all of the major research and work so we can continue to follow our semester with no problems. They can't even read some pages and also are not following the schedule I've set.

  2. I do have some more interests beside only "to graduate": I really want the thesis to be presented in a future congress, or to publish it in a scientific magazine. Since they do not have this goal, it is clear that they want only the document to finish the course.

Since we are huge friends, and there has been some conflicts already, I am afraid this could harm our friendship. Is there any way to align this situation?

  • 4
    Ah the joy of team projects. There's not really easy ways to deal with these kinds of problems in this context. In a workplace a manager has actual power over the individuals, in a team project you can't easily make any individual do anything without screwing over yourself. There's endless stories of people getting frustrated with this kind of thing if they get teammates who can't be bothered.
    – Murphy
    Aug 28, 2015 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


Other team members may have been put off by your ambition to make the project publishable, rather than merely sufficient for graduation. They only signed up for a graduation thesis project, not an academic paper.

To meet their needs and try to get them back on board, I suggest splitting your planning into two phases, with two different objectives:

  1. Graduation Thesis This should be a team project, but should only include work that is necessary for graduation. Do everything you can to limit the scope and difficulty, so that all members of the team can understand the project and contribute with a reasonable effort. You will then be in a strong position when asking the rest of the team to contribute.
  2. Publication This is your personal project, not shared by the rest of the team. You should expect to do all the additional work for it after completion of the graduation thesis sub-project. It may involve rewriting material to give a more sophisticated treatment, as well as more research than is necessary for graduation.

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