How to write a Thesis Practical Tips for Students
Thesis paper is a form of final state certification of students completing their studies in universities. To get a passing grade, your paper has to be reviewed by the group of people, which consists of professors, scholars and even leading professionals related to the professional sphere of study.
What is a thesis?
So what is a thesis? Thesis is written scientific research on a topic related to a graduate’s specialty, in which he/she demonstrates the acquired amount of theoretical knowledge and practical skills to federal educational standards. This type of academic work in most cases is written by students studying humanities, social sciences or mastering creative professions for the purpose of systematizing their theoretical knowledge acquired at university and show the mastery of skills necessary for independent work.
A thesis can also be written by a tech student if research is on fundamental academic nature, for example, in the field of physics. Conversely, students of humanities can do a full-fledged project involving an innovative social survey algorithm or a progressive methodology for data collection and processing.
In this context, it is also worth mentioning what is thesis statement and how to write a thesis statement. It is briefly formulated key points and main thoughts of scholarly work. It is written based on the type listed below.
What are the main types of thesis statements?
Analytical Thesis Statement. An analytical statement aims at analyzing a given issue. When writing a thesis statement of this type, student has to define a topic and dissect some aspects of it. An analytical thesis statement outlines subject, which is going to be examined and demonstrates how it will be dissected.
Expository Thesis Statement. When wondering “how to start a thesis statement” of expository variety, student has to explain chosen topic to a reader. You are to decide on vital aspects of your topic and elaborate on those in your paper’s body. In this type of statement, you need to list topic’s aspects, which you are going to elaborate on according to the order in which they will be discussed.
Argumentative Thesis Statement. An argumentative statement poses a certain argument by taking a stand on a subject. In a body of your paper, you’ll need to defend your claim. An argumentative thesis statement poses your claim as well as how your work will support it.
Structure and steps to writing a thesis:
These are written under supervision of scientific curator – a professor of graduating department, who is assigned to student after choosing a topic. A curator can be selected from list provided by university or offered independently: the main thing is that it should correspond to your specialty and be amenable to the fullest possible disclosure within a framework of your study.
To make the process of writing this type of academic work easier, it is necessary to find a middle ground: a topic should not be jaded or too rare. Otherwise, it will be difficult to find any unlighted aspects and, on the contrary, select materials for development, analysis, argumentation, comparison.
The next stage is complex, and it involves determining goals, objectives, research methods, selecting and systematizing bibliography relevant to them and concurrently drawing up the plan for this type of academic work, which is preliminary outline of a structure and content of a future student scientific work.
A graduation qualification work (diploma project) contains the following structural elements in this specified sequence:
Table of Contents. A table of contents is made out in form of a list of structural elements (chapters, paragraphs, etc.), compiled in order in which they are given throughout the text. The content is indicated by a page number on which the beginning of a chapter, paragraph, etc. is placed. Introduction justifies problem’s urgency providing the basis for future analysis in science and practice. It also clarifies general purpose of the study, identifies the subject, object, goal, and research tasks formulates hypothesis, gives a description of research methods, summarizes the structure of a work as a whole.
Chapter 1. It is written on the basis of generalization and analysis of theoretical information gleaned from selected sources; Here, you need to reveal central concepts, the essence of phenomenon or process, different points of view on the object and subject of research.
Chapter 2. It is given for factual material and analysis of a problem; contains statistical references with quantitative and qualitative characteristics of phenomenon under consideration, an account of revealed tendencies and shortcomings in its state and development.
Chapter 3. It is dedicated to the development of a solution to a selected problem. It is written on a basis of data of chapter 2 with a scientific justification, for which the theoretical provisions of chapter 1 are drawn.
Size wise, all chapters should be approximately equal.
Conclusion. In conclusion, general conclusions on a thesis work (thesis project) in general are stated; proposals, recommendations on the use of results obtained in practice and science are formulated; problems that require further consideration are posed.
Bibliography. Bibliography is placed immediately after the main body of a work. Bibliography is written in accordance with requirements of your university.
Appendix. Appendix is listed to spare your main text from an unnecessary detail that is difficult to understand. Texts of questionnaires, tables, calculation formulas, reference data, diagrams, graphs, content-analysis of concepts, plans-abstracts of specific events, etc., are listed. Appendix is not included in the recommended page size of a thesis work (thesis project). Recommended size of a text part of a thesis is 50 – 90 pages.
The graphical part of a thesis contains design, technological drawings, made in accordance with requirements of standards, and posters (research results, calculation algorithms, tables, etc.). The total size of graphical part is 6 – 12 sheets of A1 format. The ratio of drawings and posters volume is set by your issuing department.
A thesis, in addition to the text part, can contain demonstration materials in form of drawings, posters, models, mock-ups, computer programs, etc. Specific requirements for demonstration materials of thesis work are determined by your issuing department.
The right thesis statement format
When dealing with thesis statement format, students are to use Microsoft Word, A4 page layout, and Times New Roman font in size 12 with a double spacing. Approximate number of characters per line including spaces is 60.
All pages of paper, except for the title page, should be numbered. Numeration starts from page on which table of contents is printed. Placing of page number may differ depending on formatting style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) your university supports.
The main body is divided into chapters (sections) and paragraphs. Chapters should have ordinal numbering, paragraphs within chapters and denote by Arabic numerals with a dot. Headings should be concise and correspond to the content. They are placed symmetrically to the text. If the header consists of two sentences, they are separated by a period. At the end of the title, the period is not used. Usually, no additional space between the heading and first line is required.
Each new chapter is to be started from blank page. The same rule applies to other basic structural parts of the work: introduction, conclusion, bibliography, appendix etc.
Phrases starting with a new line are printed with a paragraph indent from the beginning of the line.
Appendix should be numbered in Arabic numerals. In the upper right corner, you need to indicate: Appendix 1, and from the new line – an exact name of appendix.
Descriptions and calculations are accompanied by illustrations and tables. Drawings and tables are placed immediately after the reference to them in a text. All illustrations (photographs, photocopies, diagrams, sketches, graphics, maps, etc.) are called drawings. The number and content of illustrations should be consistent with the text and be sufficient to understand it. All illustrations should have names and consecutive numbering with Arabic numerals.
All formulas must be numbered with Arabic numerals. The values of symbols and numerical coefficients entering into a formula must be given directly under a formula. Above and below each of the formulas you must leave one free line. Formulas must be typed using the formula editor. Uppercase and lowercase letters, superscripts and subscripts in formulas should be clearly marked. The following sizes of signs for formulas are recommended: uppercase letters and numbers – 7-8 mm, lower 4 mm, exponents and indices at least 2 mm.