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How to Write a Thesis Statement

How to Write a Thesis Statement

❶Perhaps the thesis and dissertation, more than any other type of proposal or paper, are two papers that require a strict structure.

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In your Master's thesis, you must answer the thesis question with conviction and clarity in the written presentation submitted to complete a Master's degree. Make sure that your question and the answers provided will provide original content to the body of research in existence. A judicious question will also keep research focused, organized, and interesting. Once you've formulated your topic and direction of inquiry, try formulating different questions around your intended research.

This forces you to think flexibly about your topic and visualize how small changes in wording can change the trajectory of your research. In order to answer the central question of your Master's thesis, you'll need to conduct the research necessary. Read the texts, conduct the experiments, do what you have to do to answer your thesis question.

This will allow you to see if your project is worth moving forward with, or if there are some inherent problems that you may need to work out. It will also help you gather the information you'll need to move forward to the next steps. Choose your committee members. Usually a thesis committee is made up of three professors: It is important to choose committee members with whom you get along, who have enough time in their schedules to dedicate to your project, and whose area of expertise is relevant to the work you propose to do.

They can help guide you and provide input into your project, so the earlier you can get their commitment, the better. Nothing is more frustrating than your thesis progress being held up by a professor who has too many obligations to make time to meet with you. Part 1 Quiz How might you brainstorm a topic if you're stuck? Pick something that will be easy to research.

Read through old papers and look for something that interests you. Complete a literature review. Review the literature and research currently available that is relevant to your Master's thesis.

It is important that your thesis idea be original and relevant. In order to ensure this is the case, you need to be aware of the context of your research, what other people have said on the subject, and what the general opinion of your topic is. Take notes on the background information about your topic and on the people involved in the available material. Choose your primary sources. For example, a novel written by Ernest Hemingway or a scientific journal article in which new results are documented for the first time would both be considered primary sources.

Choose your secondary sources. Secondary sources are sources that are written about primary sources. For example, a book written about Ernest Hemingway's novel or a scientific journal article examining the findings of someone else's experiment would both be considered secondary sources. Depending upon your field, you might front-load most of your research into an early chapter of the thesis, or you might include sources throughout the entirety of the document.

You need to keep track of your citations as you write, rather than trying to add them after you are finished writing. Use the in-text citation format appropriate to your discipline. Create a coordinating works cited or reference entry for each source you cite in the text of your document or in a footnote. Consider using a citation management software such as EndNote, Mendeley, or Zotero. These will enable you to insert and move citations within your word processor program and will automatically populate a works cited or reference page for you.

Part 2 Quiz What's the best way to manage your Master's thesis citations? Choose an in-text citation format that's appropriate for your discipline. Create a works cited or reference entry as soon as you cite the document. Use a citation management software to do it for you. All of the above. An English Master's Thesis has different requirements and employs different formats than a Master's Thesis in Chemistry. There are two types of Master's theses [5]: This type of thesis involves completing a project that is exploratory, analytical, or creative in some way.

Usually, students in the humanities will complete this kind of thesis. This type of thesis involves conducting experiments, measuring data, and recording results. Students in the sciences usually complete this kind of thesis. Nail down your thesis idea. Prepare a clear statement of the central thesis question that you intend to answer with your research. Being able to state your thesis explicitly and clearly is important. If you struggle with stating the question, you might need to rethink your project altogether.

The outline will be beneficial to you to "see where you're going" as you move forward in your project, but also to give your committee members an idea of what you want to accomplish and how you plan to do so.

Know what to include. You should check with your university for the exact requirements, which are often strict and institutionally specific. However, most Master's theses should include the following: Part 3 Quiz True or False: You should show your outline to your committee members.

One approach that works for many people is to use a reverse calendar, where you plan your writing schedule from the due date and work backward. Write a little every day. Writing a page thesis can be a daunting task, but if you write 1, words every day over the course of 2 months, for example, then you will be able to meet that deadline with ease. Your exact timeframe will differ, but you should try to give yourself as much time as possible to write, and no less than a month.

Try not to get frustrated and put off your work because then it will pile up and become unmanageable. Try the Pomodoro Technique. This breaks your work into manageable chunks and can cut down on the feeling of being overwhelmed that often accompanies a large, long-term project.

It is important, especially when working on a large-scale project, to give your brain a break every now and then. You'll catch mistakes you didn't see before and come up with new answers you couldn't think of before. Find a writing time that works for you. Some people work best in the morning, while others are able to focus more effectively at night. If you are unsure of when you are most productive, try different approaches and see what seems to work the best for you. You may find that your thesis proposal is a useful jumping off point for writing your introduction.

You may want to revisit and revise your introduction at several points throughout your writing process, perhaps even each time you finish a large section or chapter. Incorporate the review of literature. If you were required to write a review of literature prior to beginning your thesis, good news: Again, you may need to reshape and revise the work, and you will likely also find occasion to add to the review as you move forward with your work.

The remainder of the thesis varies greatly by field. A science-based thesis will involve few secondary sources as the remainder of your work will involve describing and presenting the results of a study.

A literary thesis, on the other hand, will likely continue to cite secondary scholarship as it builds an analysis or reading of a particular text or texts. Write a powerful conclusion. Your conclusion should detail the importance of this Master's thesis to the subject community and may suggest the direction that future researchers might follow to continue with relevant information on the subject. Be sure to include relevant charts, graphs, and figure as appropriate. You may also need to add appendices at the end of your work that are germane to your work but tangential to the central question of your Master's thesis.

Be sure that all aspects of your work are formatted in accordance with the guidelines of your institutional and discipline expectations. Fortunately, there are some basic rules you can follow to ensure your thesis statement is effective and interesting. To write an effective thesis statement, choose a statement that answers a general question about your topic.

Check that your thesis is arguable, not factual, and make sure you can back it up your with evidence. For example, your thesis statement could be something like "Computers allow fourth graders an early advantage in technological and scientific education. Start with a question -- then make the answer your thesis. Regardless of how complicated the subject is, almost any thesis can be constructed by answering a question. Tailor your thesis to the type of paper you're writing. Not all essays persuade, and not all essays teach.

The goals of your paper will help you find the best thesis. Breaks down something to better examine and understand it. Teaches or illuminates a point. Makes a claim, or backs up an opinion, to change other peoples' minds. Take a specific stance to make your thesis more powerful. You should address a single issue in great detail so that your points can be fully supported in the body of the paper. Make the argument you've never seen before. The best theses find a novel, exciting way to approach the topic.

They're fresh and dynamic, which makes your essay fresh and dynamic. Ensure your thesis is provable. Do not come up with your thesis and then look it up later. The thesis is the end point of your research, not the beginning.

You need to use a thesis you can actually back up with evidence. Ultimately, the only way for his poems to have faith is to temporarily lose it. The scope of "every human interaction" is just too big "Paul Harding's novel Tinkers is ultimately a cry for help from a clearly depressed author.

State your thesis statement correctly. Someone should be able to argue an alternate position , or conversely, support your claims. Get the sound right. You want your thesis statement to be identifiable as a thesis statement.

You do this by taking a very particular tone and using specific kinds of phrasing and words. Use words like "because" and language which is firm and definitive. Example thesis statements with good statement language include: Know where to place a thesis statement. Because of the role thesis statements play, they appear at the beginning of the paper, usually at the end of the first paragraph [5] or somewhere in the introduction.

Although most people look for the thesis at the end of the first paragraph, its location can depend on a number of factors such as how lengthy of an introduction you need before you can introduce your thesis or the length of your paper. Limit a thesis statement to one or two sentences in length. Pick a topic that interests you. This must be the first step in writing your paper and your thesis statement because all direction of the paper will depend on what topic you are writing about.

Unfortunately, you must ignore this step if the topic is decided for you. The goal of this step is to find a particular narrow subject in your topic which you can make an argument about.

For example, take the topic of computers. There are many aspects of computers that can be expanded on such as hardware, software, and programming. However, vague topics like these do not make good theses. But something more narrow, such as the effects of Steve Jobs on the modern computer industry, allows for a much clearer focus. Know the type, purpose, and audience of the paper. These are usually assigned by the instructor, but even if you get to choose them, you must understand that these will affect your thesis statement considerably.

In our thesis writing guide we will provide a little bit more detail in terms of the guidelines and techniques for handling some sections that usually cause more trouble than others. When writing a thesis paper do not forget that average length should reach about 40 pages. The title is such an easy part and yet one that leads to so many mistakes made by students. We believe that it is caused by some differences between a usual academic paper's title and thesis title.

To make sure you develop the best possible title, just make sure you give these items: Follow the requirements of formatting that your institution provides. In terms of the title itself, try to be creative without being too showy. Your title should be descriptive but also intriguing enough to show your committee that your topic is interesting rather than boring.

The abstract is a section of the thesis about words in length that highlights some very important questions of the study. The abstract should be written in a way that would provide a person that is looking at your writing for the first time with a general idea of the purpose and conclusions of your work. In order to write a good abstract, answer these questions: In order to write a successful thesis, pay attention to the sections we present here, since they are the most challenging for students.

Methodology is the part that also can cause trouble even if you think that you know how to do it.


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This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft. Introduction. Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying.

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Tip: In order to write a successful thesis statement: Avoid burying a great thesis statement in the middle of a paragraph or late in the paper. Be as clear and as specific as possible; avoid vague words.

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Whether you’re writing an argumentative, informative, or a comparative paper, we have some tips for you on how to write a strong thesis statement. Tips on How to Write a Good Thesis Paper. An academic thesis is a paper written by students who are pretty close to earning an academic degree. It is the name typically given to the major document candidates compose to earn a Master’s degree or an MBA, but it can also be used to describe a PhD dissertation or even a culminating study a .

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If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements: My family is an extended family. This is a weak thesis because it merely states an observation. Remember that the thesis statement is a kind of "mapping tool" that helps you organize your ideas, and it helps your reader follow your argument. In this body paragraph, after the Assertion, include any evidence–a quotation, statistic, data–that supports this first point.