How to Write a Thesis
Nowadays, a thesis is a type of a paper that proves the ability of a student to do a certain kind of work. More specifically, you need to make a new synthesis of knowledge that you have already learned and reflect the results in the thesis. In any case, you must prove that you can write a term paper to get a master’s degree from an English speaking university. Read the tips below to learn how to write a thesis in detail.
Steps for Writing a Thesis
1. Define a thesis.
If you want to know how to write a good thesis, first you need to find out what a thesis is. It’s an original piece of scholarly research, written under supervision of a faculty adviser. Students who choose to write a thesis instead of a bibliographical essay often do so because they are interested in further research and pursuing a scientific career.
2. Decide on the length of your thesis and, subsequently, the scale of your research.
The answer to this question depends on your subject and the amount of information you have on the topic, but typically a thesis should fit between 40 and 80 pages. That’s quite a range, right? If you have doubts about the amount of your paper, it’s better to contact your academic adviser.
However, you should remember that there are no limits and each case is regarded individually. There have been examples of thesis papers, and even dissertations ranging from 20 to 100 and even 200 pages. All in all, writing a good thesis is not how many pages you write, but how much effort you put into it.
3. Structure your thesis.
Writing a thesis requires much preparation, and a solid structure to follow is definitely one of these things. It is true that you may alter it the way you have found suitable for your paper (except the mandatory parts), which you will inevitably do, because every research is different. However, the point is that having a solid plan to follow helps you structure your thoughts and separate the terrifying lump of work into more manageable bits.
- Table of content
- Main body
- Scholarly chapters
- Appendixes (optional)
4. Structure the main body for more clarity and create your first draft.
The part you really need to focus on during thesis writing is the main body.
Chapter I: introduction.
Chapter II: review of related literature and theoretical focus.
Chapter III: clear identification of the object and subject of your study.
Chapter IV: method.
Chapter V and further: description of your research results and discussion.
Last chapter: conclusions.
Note: Though having a plan you can stick to helps a great deal, it doesn’t mean you need to write the next section only after you have finished the previous one. Create a content table in your text editor and add text parts as they come to you. You can switch the part just by clicking on a different chapter at the content list in your editor, and everything will still be in its place (relatively).
5. Start writing your paper.
We are advocates of the natural writing style. We believe that following the tides of your thoughts is the best way of how to write a thesis paper, though at first it seems counterintuitive. Remember that the more you manage to write, the more information you will have to build your thesis from. Though at first it may seem like you are working with scattered patches of information, once there are more of them, it will fall back into place.
If you feel that you can’t write anymore, make a pause, shift your mental focus and come back several days after. Take it from us, you will be impressed by the kind of clever and innovative things you were able to create, though at the moment of creation they seemed to be boring and completely uninspired.
Tips on How to Write a Thesis
1. Decide what your paper is about and for whom you are writing.
Before you start writing and gathering information, outline the whole paper. Make a collection of ideas you want to put into the paper and then sort it. Try to write a paper that you would have understood before you started researching the topic.
2. Write your paper as simply as possible.
If you planned your paper well, it should not be difficult to write it clearly. Do not pay attention to spelling, punctuation, or precise wording when writing the first draft. Just write down everything you have in mind. Then go back and review the organization and wording. Finally, once the paper is clearly presented, check the spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
3. Structure your paper orderly.
Divide a thesis paper into sections with section titles. Do not forget to tell the reader how you are organizing your paper. For instance, tell them, “this part will sum up previous results.” When you are explaining something, think about what the reader wants to know, and explain it understandably. You can improve your explanations by giving other people a chance to read your thesis paper and figuring out what they have understood.
4. Trace each idea to its source.
If you are writing about the World Trade Organization (WTO), you must use an actual report that the WTO published. You may use secondary sources in addition to the original sources, but not instead of the primary ones.
5. Use only reliable sources.
Any reputable source has a publisher who is responsible for the quality of their publications. Remember that Wikipedia is not a reliable source! You cannot know who wrote a Wikipedia entry, or whether the information is reliable.
6. Avoid plagiarism.
If you use other people’s words, ideas, pictures or charts without using quotation marks, you infringe on copyright law. When you write someone’s exact words, you must cite the place from which you took it.
Mistakes to Avoid
– Do not write about your personal experience in a thesis paper. You are supposed to be writing about your subject.
– Do not write a long introduction. Try to avoid wandering around for a few pages before reaching the main point.
– Do not write down all the information in an arbitrary order. Make sure that you create a clear image in the reader’s mind.
– Do not try to imitate most scientific papers you have read. They are not written practically.
– Do not forget that the textbooks and the course web pages are not the primary sources. They won’t help you to add something unique to your paper.
– Do not display pictures or charts from published sources, unless it is specifically important to make your point.
Think of a thesis paper as a type of a paper that you need to present to the readers. You need to explain to them that you have learned and understood the material.
How to Choose a Topic for Your Thesis
- Research the field you are going to write your thesis in. Make sure the topic you pick is up-to-date and has a lot of recent research and information.
- Brainstorm possible topic ideas. At first, write ten to fifteen, then narrow your list to three that you consider to be the best.
- Make sure each of these three topics has an abundant amount of research papers written by other students and scientists. Of course, you can pick a topic with little or no research on it, but this will make the whole writing process much more challenging.
- Choose one topic and show it to your academic adviser. If you are still in doubt, he or she will help you to make the topic more specific and oriented towards things you like for an effective and fulfilling research process.
Do you have a precious piece of advice on how to write a good thesis, or a desire to share your pain and struggling? Feel free to share it with the world in the comments below!