A thesis also referred to as a dissertation is one of the most involving components of graduate education. It marks the ending of the many hours of research, and training in an academic course. It represents all the years that a student spends in the university before his graduation. Thesis writing is similar to the other types of academic writing, done in the whole graduate career. Most of the skills needed in thesis writing are applicable to other forms of academic writing. Finding out the purpose of the project, expressing the significance, and originality, establishing the right goals, and ensuring strong organization will be helpful in developing high quality thesis or dissertation. We provide a guide to writing a thesis, which is adapted from Wert’s and Lovitts (2009). The guide offers some examples from social sciences, and the guidelines that were used.
Identification of the thesis purpose
Finding out the purpose of a dissertation is a part of the general fulfillment of the degree. It prepares the student to learn and show the potential of conducting original, independent, and relevant research. A thesis shows that a student has the ability to:
It is vital to maintain some ongoing conversation with the advisors regarding your thesis goals and expectations. For instance, you could ask your advisor about the competency demonstrated in your field, and the most vital section in the thesis. You need to take some moments to visualize the whole process of thesis writing as some outside observer. Visualization of the thesis writing process will be helpful in determining the expectations for a successful essay.
Understanding the significance and originality
The original contribution provides a thesis a new perspective. Original contribution is defined as some idea that has not been seen, proved, found, or done. Such an idea is publishable since it adds to changes, knowledge, and the manner in which people think. It informs the policy, makes the field to move forward, while advancing the state of art.
To obtain this goal, it is important for you to develop original advances or insights. You can also borrow some contribution from different disciplines. This contribution should be applicable to your respective field. The obtained contributions will not necessarily cover the whole thesis, but at least some section of it. In your initial discussions with your supervisor, it is prudent for you to clarify everything that is expected in your thesis, in terms of originality. The samples of exemplary done thesis should also be collected to show how critically you can show the originality to the reader.
Significance of a thesis
The word significance refers to something useful, which would have some impact if published in a journal. A significant thesis provides a nontrivial breakthrough at the conceptual, empirical, policy or theoretical level. It is very important due to its impact. It makes all the people in the community to view things from a different perspective. It influences the research, conversation, and teaching. Such a thesis has some effect in the advancement of the field, society, and other disciplines.
Similar to originality, there are different levels of significance. To the highest level, significance involves the function with some long-term interest to the problem. It is the involved difficulty in having the problems solved. The resulting effect affects further developments in the given topic. The result also affects other disciplines, fields, and society.
You are expected to talk to your advisors regarding their expectations for the thesis significance. This includes whether you are expected to come up with huge contribution in the thesis, or expected to show that you have the ability to come up with huge contribution in the future work.
Excellence in a thesis
The quality of a thesis is variable. In planning and evaluation of the thesis, it is important to think about the right determinants for vital parts of the project. If you happen to give a “Yes” as an answer to most of these questions, then your thesis would be strong.
Significance and originality
Maintaining consistent quality thesis
In this section, the expectation would be crucial. It is vital to communicate with the advisors regarding their interpretation of the general form of the thesis and some minor sections of the thesis. A typical thesis is made up of an introduction, literature review, a theory part, method section, and a result part, analysis of data, a discussion part, and conclusion. It is prudent for you to discuss with your advisors the expectations for each single section and come out with a draft plan, tracking the sections.
Tips of achieving excellence