Many students perceive thesis writing as a lengthy, time-consuming and a tedious process. That's because it is a lengthy, time-consuming and a tedious process. However ,if you break up your thesis writing process in a series of smaller steps, each with a feasible deadline, the entire thesis writing journey becomes a well-structured process, where each stage is well planned out and thus seems accomplishable.
This article is going to cover the question of shaping your thesis, or, in other words - will offer a structure for a thesis paper. Before we start, it's worth mentioning that each thesis might and most likely will have its individual requirements, so we can only cover the more general requirements without going into smallest details of thesis writing. Due to the different requirements for thesis writing, we never cease to recommend all our readers to check with their respective schools and universities for specific thesis writing requirements. Most often schools will have a separate handbook containing all the requirements for thesis writing. Besides this handbook you will also need to find out the language and formatting style that your school wants you to follow - it could be APA, MLA, Harvard or any other existing language style. Experience shows that even the language and the formatting styles can be different from school to school, so it is really a must to check on this part of the thesis writing process too.
Thesis Writing: Structure
For most theses the list of contents part and chapter headings below are considered appropriate. The results and discussion parts of the paper are, as a rule combined in several chapters. As a side note, make a plan (in point form) of your ideas, which you want to include and mark which point should be included where. Such note taking will save your time and help organize your ideas in the thesis in a better way.
Thesis Writing: Copyright Waiver
This section permits your library to publish and reproduce your work. Your university will most likely provide you with forms containing guidelines for further publications - your thesis might get stored on microfilm for future.
Thesis Writing: Declaration
Again, the text of this section might vary from institution to institution, so it's best to contact your supervisor for it. The general message conveyed by this section will be: "I declare that this paper is original and that to my knowledge it has not been researched by any other individual or institution."
Thesis Writing: Title Page
The title page will inevitably differ from institution to institution, but mandatory elements will be: the name of the Institution, thesis title, author and date.
Thesis Writing: Abstract
An abstract is a synopsis of your thesis; ideally it should crown the thesis writing process and be able to get readers' attention. This section is the one that will get read and reproduced the most, so make sure it's understandable to all potential readers and at the same time conveys the general message.
Thesis Writing: Acknowledgments
It's reasonable to say thank you to all people who have helped you in the thesis writing process - from your academic advisors to people who have provided such essentials as food and housing. If there is anyone who has helped you with any part of your thesis, this fact should also be properly acknowledged.
Thesis Writing: Table of contents
All pages preceding the introduction should contain Roman numerals. Introduction is page one of your thesis, all subsequent pages should continue the numbering (up to appendices). Creating subheadings for each chapter is a helpful tool, since it will help you to ease up the process of locating the information you need.
Thesis Writing: Introduction
Your introduction should be echoed by your abstract, and at the same time it should present your research, and major problems, your approach to solving them, your general vision and outcomes of the research. It should be easy to read and understand - as this part is also the one that all other readers (including researchers) will read to find whether this particular thesis is relevant for them or not. So, make it as simple as you can without sacrificing the quality.
Thesis Writing: Literature Review
State the problem(s) and what is known about it (or them), enumerate the methods, which were used to solve it. It goes without saying that over the course of your writing new publications pertaining to your topic will emerge, so while writing your thesis, it's always best to keep a good record of what you have read before. A good practice is keeping a short summary of each paper that you have read and which is going to be used in your thesis. It will save your time because you will not have to go back to the original papers and have to read them over and over again.
Thesis Writing: Middle Chapters
The middle chapters are the core and the essence of your research. This section of the thesis will have several subsections, e.g. materials and methods, theory, results and discussion, final chapter, results and discussions page.
Methods and materials of your paper will vary significantly from thesis to thesis, - as a matter of fact, they may even not be included into theoretical theses. This part of your thesis is a description of what was done within the framework of your thesis writing process, and serves to help other researches reproduce the steps taken. They should be able to do it by simply reading the description, which have provided in this section.
Thesis writing is impossible without establishing theoretical framework of your research. Present all theoretical findings as well as the results of research in a logical manner. When describing your own theoretical work, the description should be rather detailed, however it should be balanced - lengthy descriptions should be better moved to the appendices. The order of presentation should facilitate clarify of expression and logical flow of concepts and ideas.
Results and discussion is very often stated in one chapter. The rationale behind this is that it helps the reader keep the results in view. If the results are presented in one chapter and the discussion is presented in the next chapter, it will be rather problematic for your reader to remember what was there at the beginning.
Thesis Writing: Concluding Chapters
This section presents your conclusions and suggestions for further work. Having completed your thesis, you have only partially researched the problem. What do the results of your research mean? How can this research be further improved? What interesting questions are left unexplored? What are the limitations for your work? In this part of your thesis writing, putting everything in bullet form might be helpful. The last pages of your paper should not be very long and will preferably be rather simple and understandable. In a way, this part is a twin-sister of your introduction, - and just like in case with an introduction, it should be concise, easy to follow and understand. Some scholars say that a good technique is giving your intro and conclusions to someone outside of your area of expertise.
Thesis Writing: References & Appendices
References and appendices are the concluding part of the thesis writing process. This part of the paper lists all papers which where used in the writing process and arranges them according to specific formatting rules - APA, MLA etc. There is no page limit for this part - use as many pages are you need, the main point is to get all papers listed. The same holds for appendices - they should be mentioned in the paper, and all of them should be listed at the end.
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