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How to Write Your Thesis

Katharina Bauer

❶Make sure that you use complete sentences Check your grammar: Specialist abstracting services exist to publicize the content of these beyond the institutions in which they are produced.

Steps for preparing the final thesis

Your final thesis lies ahead of you?
Prerequisites for the Final Thesis

At most universities, the committee is chosen by the student in conjunction with his or her primary adviser, usually after completion of the comprehensive examinations or prospectus meeting, and may consist of members of the comps committee.

The committee members are doctors in their field whether a PhD or other designation and have the task of reading the dissertation, making suggestions for changes and improvements, and sitting in on the defense.

Sometimes, at least one member of the committee must be a professor in a department that is different from that of the student. In the Latin American docta , the academic dissertation can be referred to as different stages inside the academic program that the student is seeking to achieve into a recognized Argentine University , in all the cases the students must develop original contribution in the chosen fields by means of several paper work and essays that comprehend the body of the thesis.

According to a committee resolution, the dissertation can be approved or rejected by an academic committee consisting of the thesis director, the thesis coordinator, and at least one evaluator from another recognized university in which the student is pursuing his or her academic program.

All the dissertation referees must already have achieved at least the academic degree that the candidate is trying to reach. At English-speaking Canadian universities , writings presented in fulfillment of undergraduate coursework requirements are normally called papers , term papers or essays.

A longer paper or essay presented for completion of a 4-year bachelor's degree is sometimes called a major paper. High-quality research papers presented as the empirical study of a "postgraduate" consecutive bachelor with Honours or Baccalaureatus Cum Honore degree are called thesis Honours Seminar Thesis. Major papers presented as the final project for a master's degree are normally called thesis ; and major papers presenting the student's research towards a doctoral degree are called theses or dissertations.

See also compilation thesis. Either work can be awarded a " mention d'honneur " excellence as a result of the decision by the examination committee, although these are rare. A typical undergraduate paper or essay might be forty pages. Master's theses are approximately one hundred pages. PhD theses are usually over two hundred pages. This may vary greatly by discipline, program, college, or university.

However, normally the required minimum study period is primarily depending on the complexity or quality of research requirements.

Theses Canada acquires and preserves a comprehensive collection of Canadian theses at Library and Archives Canada ' LAC through partnership with Canadian universities who participate in the program. At most university faculties in Croatia, a degree is obtained by defending a thesis after having passed all the classes specified in the degree programme.

Most students with bachelor's degrees continue onto master's programmes which end with a master's thesis called diplomski rad literally "diploma work" or "graduate work". The term dissertation is used for a doctoral degree paper doktorska disertacija. In the Czech Republic, higher education is completed by passing all classes remaining to the educational compendium for given degree and defending a thesis.

The minimum page length is generally and not formally pages or about , characters , but is usually several times longer except for technical theses and for "exact sciences" such as physics and maths.

The word dissertation in French is reserved for shorter 1,—2, words , more generic academic treatises. In Germany, an academic thesis is called Abschlussarbeit or, more specifically, the basic name of the degree complemented by -arbeit e. For bachelor's and master's degrees, the name can alternatively be complemented by -thesis instead e.

Length is often given in page count and depends upon departments, faculties, and fields of study. A bachelor's thesis is often 40—60 pages long, a diploma thesis and a master's thesis usually 60— The required submission for a doctorate is called a Dissertation or Doktorarbeit.

The submission for a Habilitation , which is an academic qualification, not an academic degree, is called Habilitationsschrift , not Habilitationsarbeit. PhD by publication is becoming increasingly common in many fields of study [ citation needed ]. A doctoral degree is often earned with multiple levels of a Latin honors remark for the thesis ranging from summa cum laude best to rite duly. A thesis can also be rejected with a Latin remark non-rite , non-sufficit or worst as sub omni canone.

Bachelor's and master's theses receive numerical grades from 1. In India the thesis defense is called a viva voce Latin for "by live voice" examination viva in short. Involved in the viva are two examiners and the candidate.

One examiner is an academic from the candidate's own university department but not one of the candidate's supervisors and the other is an external examiner from a different university. Engineering qualifications such as BTech, B. In all the cases, the dissertation can be extended for summer internship at certain research and development organizations or also as PhD synopsis.

In Indonesia, the term thesis is used specifically to refer to master's theses. The undergraduate thesis is called skripsi , while the doctoral dissertation is called disertasi. In general, those three terms are usually called as tugas akhir final assignment , which is mandatory for the completion of a degree.

Undergraduate students usually begin to write their final assignment in their third, fourth or fifth enrollment year, depends on the requirements of their respective disciplines and universities. In some universities, students are required to write a proposal skripsi or proposal tesis thesis proposal before they could write their final assignment. If the thesis proposal is considered to fulfill the qualification by the academic examiners, students then may proceed to write their final assignment.

In Italy there are normally three types of thesis. In order of complexity: Thesis requirements vary greatly between degrees and disciplines, ranging from as low as 3—4 ECTS credits to more than Thesis work is mandatory for the completion of a degree. Malaysian universities often follow the British model for dissertations and degrees.

However, a few universities follow the United States model for theses and dissertations. Branch campuses of British, Australian and Middle East universities in Malaysia use the respective models of the home campuses. In Pakistan, at undergraduate level the thesis is usually called final year project, as it is completed in the senior year of the degree, the name project usually implies that the work carried out is less extensive than a thesis and bears lesser credit hours too.

The undergraduate level project is presented through an elaborate written report and a presentation to the advisor, a board of faculty members and students. At graduate level however, i. A written report and a public thesis defense is mandatory, in the presence of a board of senior researchers, consisting of members from an outside organization or a university.

A PhD candidate is supposed to accomplish extensive research work to fulfill the dissertation requirements with international publications being a mandatory requirement. The defense of the research work is done publicly. However, in Philippine English , the term doctorate is typically replaced with doctoral as in the case of "doctoral dissertation" , though in official documentation the former is still used.

The Philippine system is influenced by American collegiate system, in that it requires a research project to be submitted before being allowed to write a thesis. This project is mostly given as a prerequisite writing course to the actual thesis and is accomplished in the term period before; supervision is provided by one professor assigned to a class.

This project is later to be presented in front of an academic panel, often the entire faculty of an academic department, with their recommendations contributing to the acceptance, revision, or rejection of the initial topic.

In addition, the presentation of the research project will help the candidate choose their primary thesis adviser. An undergraduate thesis is completed in the final year of the degree alongside existing seminar lecture or laboratory courses, and is often divided into two presentations: In most universities, a thesis is required for the bestowment of a degree to a candidate alongside a number of units earned throughout their academic period of stay, though for practice and skills-based degrees a practicum and a written report can be achieved instead.

The examination board often consists of 3 to 5 examiners, often professors in a university with a Masters or PhD degree depending on the university's examination rules. Required word length, complexity, and contribution to scholarship varies widely across universities in the country. The academic dissertation for a PhD is called a dysertacja or praca doktorska. The submission for the Habilitation is called praca habilitacyjna" or dysertacja habilitacyjna". Thus the term dysertacja is reserved for PhD and Habilitation degrees.

All the theses need to be "defended" by the author during a special examination for the given degree. Examinations for PhD and Habilitation degrees are public. The defense is done in a public presentation in which teachers, students, and the general public can participate.

For the PhD, a thesis tese is presented for defense in a public exam. The exam typically extends over 3 hours. The examination board typically involves 5 to 6 scholars including the advisor or other experts with a PhD degree generally at least half of them must be external to the university where the candidate defends the thesis, but it may depend on the University.

In Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Ukraine an academic dissertation or thesis is called what can be literally translated as a "master's degree work" thesis , whereas the word dissertation is reserved for doctoral theses Candidate of Sciences. To complete a master's degree, a student is required to write a thesis and to then defend the work publicly.

Length of this manuscript usually is given in page count and depends upon educational institution, its departments, faculties, and fields of study [ citation needed ]. At universities in Slovenia, an academic thesis called diploma thesis is a prerequisite for completing undergraduate studies. The thesis used to be 40—60 pages long, but has been reduced to 20—30 pages in new Bologna process programmes.

To complete Master's studies, a candidate must write magistrsko delo Master's thesis that is longer and more detailed than the undergraduate thesis. The required submission for the doctorate is called doktorska disertacija doctoral dissertation. In pre Bologna programmes students were able to skip the preparation and presentation of a Master's thesis and continue straightforward towards doctorate. In Sweden, there are different types of theses. After that there are two types of post graduate degrees, Licentiate dissertation and PhD dissertation.

A licentiate degree is approximately "half a PhD" in terms of size and scope of the thesis. Swedish PhD studies should in theory last for four years, including course work and thesis work, but as many PhD students also teach, the PhD often takes longer to complete.

Outside the academic community, the terms thesis and dissertation are interchangeable. A wide range of supervisory arrangements can be found in the British academy, from single supervisors more usual for undergraduate and Masters level work to supervisory teams of up to three supervisors.

In teams, there will often be a Director of Studies, usually someone with broader experience perhaps having passed some threshold of successful supervisions. The Director may be involved with regular supervision along with the other supervisors, or may have more of an oversight role, with the other supervisors taking on the more day-to-day responsibilities of supervision.

At most universities, dissertation is the term for the required submission for the doctorate, and thesis refers only to the master's degree requirement.

Thesis is also used to describe a cumulative project for a bachelor's degree and is more common at selective colleges and universities, or for those seeking admittance to graduate school or to obtain an honors academic designation.

These projects are called "senior projects" or "senior theses"; they are generally done in the senior year near graduation after having completed other courses, the independent study period, and the internship or student teaching period the completion of most of the requirements before the writing of the paper ensures adequate knowledge and aptitude for the challenge.

Unlike a dissertation or master's thesis, they are not as long and they do not require a novel contribution to knowledge or even a very narrow focus on a set subtopic. Like them, they can be lengthy and require months of work, they require supervision by at least one professor adviser, they must be focused on a certain area of knowledge, and they must use an appreciable amount of scholarly citations.

They may or may not be defended before a committee but usually are not; there is generally no preceding examination before the writing of the paper, except for at very few colleges. Because of the nature of the graduate thesis or dissertation having to be more narrow and more novel, the result of original research, these usually have a smaller proportion of the work that is cited from other sources, though the fact that they are lengthier may mean they still have total citations.

Specific undergraduate courses, especially writing-intensive courses or courses taken by upperclassmen, may also require one or more extensive written assignments referred to variously as theses, essays, or papers. Increasingly, high schools are requiring students to complete a senior project or senior thesis on a chosen topic during the final year as a prerequisite for graduation.

The extended essay component of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme , offered in a growing number of American high schools, is another example of this trend. Generally speaking, a dissertation is judged as to whether or not it makes an original and unique contribution to scholarship. Lesser projects a master's thesis, for example are judged by whether or not they demonstrate mastery of available scholarship in the presentation of an idea.

The required complexity or quality of research of a thesis may vary significantly among universities or programs. One of the requirements for certain advanced degrees is often an oral examination called a viva voce examination or just viva in the UK and certain other English-speaking countries.

This examination normally occurs after the dissertation is finished but before it is submitted to the university, and may comprise a presentation often public by the student and questions posed by an examining committee or jury.

In North America, an initial oral examination in the field of specialization may take place just before the student settles down to work on the dissertation. An additional oral exam may take place after the dissertation is completed and is known as a thesis or dissertation " defense ", which at some universities may be a mere formality and at others may result in the student being required to make significant revisions.

The result of the examination may be given immediately following deliberation by the examiners in which case the candidate may immediately be considered to have received his or her degree , or at a later date, in which case the examiners may prepare a defense report that is forwarded to a Board or Committee of Postgraduate Studies, which then officially recommends the candidate for the degree. At most North American institutions the latter two verdicts are extremely rare, for two reasons.

First, to obtain the status of doctoral candidates, graduate students typically write a qualifying examination or comprehensive examination, which often includes an oral defense. Students who pass the qualifying examination are deemed capable of completing scholarly work independently and are allowed to proceed with working on a dissertation.

Second, since the thesis supervisor and the other members of the advisory committee will normally have reviewed the thesis extensively before recommending the student proceed to the defense, such an outcome would be regarded as a major failure not only on the part of the candidate but also by the candidate's supervisor who should have recognized the substandard quality of the dissertation long before the defense was allowed to take place.

It is also fairly rare for a thesis to be accepted without any revisions; the most common outcome of a defense is for the examiners to specify minor revisions which the candidate typically completes in a few days or weeks. At universities on the British pattern it is not uncommon for theses at the viva stage to be subject to major revisions in which a substantial rewrite is required, sometimes followed by a new viva.

What question were you trying to answer? How did you do it? What did you learn? Why does it matter? Point out at least one significant implication. Table of Contents list all headings and subheadings with page numbers indent subheadings it will look something like this: How do you do this? Physical separation into different sections or paragraphs. Don't overlay interpretation on top of data in figures.

Careful use of phrases such as "We infer that ". Don't worry if "results" seem short. Easier for your reader to absorb, frequent shifts of mental mode not required. Ensures that your work will endure in spite of shifting paradigms. Discussion Start with a few sentences that summarize the most important results. The discussion section should be a brief essay in itself, answering the following questions and caveats: What are the major patterns in the observations?

Refer to spatial and temporal variations. What are the relationships, trends and generalizations among the results? What are the exceptions to these patterns or generalizations? What are the likely causes mechanisms underlying these patterns resulting predictions? Is there agreement or disagreement with previous work? Interpret results in terms of background laid out in the introduction - what is the relationship of the present results to the original question?

What is the implication of the present results for other unanswered questions in earth sciences, ecology, environmental policy, etc? There are usually several possible explanations for results.

Be careful to consider all of these rather than simply pushing your favorite one. If you can eliminate all but one, that is great, but often that is not possible with the data in hand. In that case you should give even treatment to the remaining possibilities, and try to indicate ways in which future work may lead to their discrimination.

A special case of the above. Avoid jumping a currently fashionable point of view unless your results really do strongly support them. What are the things we now know or understand that we didn't know or understand before the present work? Include the evidence or line of reasoning supporting each interpretation. What is the significance of the present results: This section should be rich in references to similar work and background needed to interpret results.

Is there material that does not contribute to one of the elements listed above? If so, this may be material that you will want to consider deleting or moving. Break up the section into logical segments by using subheads. Conclusions What is the strongest and most important statement that you can make from your observations?

If you met the reader at a meeting six months from now, what do you want them to remember about your paper? Refer back to problem posed, and describe the conclusions that you reached from carrying out this investigation, summarize new observations, new interpretations, and new insights that have resulted from the present work. Include the broader implications of your results. Do not repeat word for word the abstract, introduction or discussion. Recommendations Include when appropriate most of the time Remedial action to solve the problem.

Further research to fill in gaps in our understanding. Directions for future investigations on this or related topics. Simpson and Hays cite more than double-author references by the surname of the first author followed by et al. Pfirman, Simpson and Hays would be: Nature , , National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commonly asked questions about ozone. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, pp.

Child Review of ciliary structure and function. Biochemistry and Physiology of Protozoa , Vol. Hutner, editor , Academic Press, New York, Bonani A high altitude continental paleotemperature record derived from noble gases dissolved in groundwater from the San Juan Basin, New Mexico.

Tables where more than pages. Calculations where more than pages. You may include a key article as appendix. If you consulted a large number of references but did not cite all of them, you might want to include a list of additional resource material, etc. List of equipment used for an experiment or details of complicated procedures.

Figures and tables, including captions, should be embedded in the text and not in an appendix, unless they are more than pages and are not critical to your argument. Order of Writing Your thesis is not written in the same order as it is presented in.

The following gives you one idea how to proceed. Here is another approach. Write up a preliminary version of the background section first. This will serve as the basis for the introduction in your final paper. As you collect data, write up the methods section. It is much easier to do this right after you have collected the data.

Be sure to include a description of the research equipment and relevant calibration plots. When you have some data, start making plots and tables of the data.

These will help you to visualize the data and to see gaps in your data collection. If time permits, you should go back and fill in the gaps. You are finished when you have a set of plots that show a definite trend or lack of a trend. Be sure to make adequate statistical tests of your results. Once you have a complete set of plots and statistical tests, arrange the plots and tables in a logical order.

Write figure captions for the plots and tables. As much as possible, the captions should stand alone in explaining the plots and tables. Many scientists read only the abstract, figures, figure captions, tables, table captions, and conclusions of a paper. Be sure that your figures, tables and captions are well labeled and well documented. Once your plots and tables are complete, write the results section.

Writing this section requires extreme discipline. You must describe your results, but you must NOT interpret them. If good ideas occur to you at this time, save them at the bottom of the page for the discussion section. Be factual and orderly in this section, but try not to be too dry. Once you have written the results section, you can move on to the discussion section. This is usually fun to write, because now you can talk about your ideas about the data.

Many papers are cited in the literature because they have a good cartoon that subsequent authors would like to use or modify. In writing the discussion session, be sure to adequately discuss the work of other authors who collected data on the same or related scientific questions. Be sure to discuss how their work is relevant to your work. If there were flaws in their methodology, this is the place to discuss it. After you have discussed the data, you can write the conclusions section.

In this section, you take the ideas that were mentioned in the discussion section and try to come to some closure. If some hypothesis can be ruled out as a result of your work, say so. If more work is needed for a definitive answer, say that. The final section in the paper is a recommendation section.

This is really the end of the conclusion section in a scientific paper. Make recommendations for further research or policy actions in this section. If you can make predictions about what will be found if X is true, then do so. You will get credit from later researchers for this. After you have finished the recommendation section, look back at your original introduction. Your introduction should set the stage for the conclusions of the paper by laying out the ideas that you will test in the paper.

Now that you know where the paper is leading, you will probably need to rewrite the introduction. You must write your abstract last. All figures and tables should be numbered and cited consecutively in the text as figure 1, figure 2, table 1, table 2, etc. Include a caption for each figure and table, citing how it was constructed reference citations, data sources, etc. Include an index figure map showing and naming all locations discussed in paper.

You are encouraged to make your own figures, including cartoons, schematics or sketches that illustrate the processes that you discuss.

Examine your figures with these questions in mind: Is the figure self-explanatory? Are your axes labeled and are the units indicated? Show the uncertainty in your data with error bars. If the data are fit by a curve, indicate the goodness of fit.

Could chart junk be eliminated? Could non-data ink be eliminated? Could redundant data ink be eliminated? Could data density be increased by eliminating non-data bearing space?

Is this a sparse data set that could better be expressed as a table? Does the figure distort the data in any way? Are the data presented in context? Does the figure caption guide the reader's eye to the "take-home lesson" of the figure?

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A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings.

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Complete the final thesis statement The Bottom Line. As you move through the process of crafting a thesis, you'll need to remember four things.

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Final Thesis - Free download as Word Doc .doc /.docx), PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online for free. What Is the Difference Between a Thesis and a Dissertation? Generally in the US, a thesis is the final project for the masters degree and a dissertation leads to a doctoral degree. Those pursuing a masters degree must perform research on a specific subject that demonstrates their knowledge acquired through their program. Seeking a PhD is.

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Final thesis should be bound. Printed cleanly on white paper. Double-spaced using point font. 1-inch margins. Double-sided saves paper. Include page numbers. Resources. The Barnard Writing Room provides assistance on writing senior theses. Look at other theses on file in the Environmental Science department, they will give you an idea of. Final Thesis in Construction Engineering. Construction engineering students follow HAMK thesis instructions which are in Intra. The topic of the thesis should be relevant to the student´s professional studies and to the job the student may have after graduation.