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How to Write a Thesis Paper


Often students can easily conduct their thesis research, because it is an extension of the academic work they've already been doing. However, sometimes students do not know how to write a thesis paper, because writing is a very different task from collecting research and drawing conclusions on it. A few simple guidelines may help students learn how to write thesis papers.

The student should begin by making a list of the major points that the thesis seeks to make. These points correspond roughly to chapters. Once the student has identified chapter divisions, he or she may proceed writing each chapter as a mostly distinct entity, which will limit the amount of information the student feels compelled to work with at any given time. (The student can edit the overall flow of the thesis in revising stages.)

Second, the student should collect the information necessary for each chapter and consider how to maneuver that information to support the driving idea of the chapter.

Third, once the student knows the basic outline of how that information will fit into the chapter's argument, the student may begin to write paragraph by paragraph. Each paragraph should carry a main idea that propels the chapter's argument forward.

The student who struggles with knowing how to write thesis paper may benefit from some alternate strategies. Sometimes performance anxiety makes it impossible for a student to write. This type of student may find it easier to scribble on napkins, to write on a legal pad in a bus station, or to do anything else that makes the writing seem less overwhelming.

Other students may not know how to write thesis papers, term papers, book reviews, or even simple sentences. Not everyone who has to write a thesis has had formal training in writing. This type of student may find it beneficial to speak his or her thoughts aloud into a recording device and then to transcribe that material; the student may then edit that transcription to form complete sentences, paragraphs, and chapters, or he or she may seek editing help.


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