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MIT Thesis


Students write MIT theses as the largest, most in-depth tasks of the degrees they are pursuing, whether undergraduate or graduate. Because MIT is a school that focuses on science and mathematics, students will probably write their MIT theses as an explanation of a separate project or as a proof for a theory they have been formulating; therefore, while the text of an MIT thesis is important, the foundational project is generally more important.

The student who is writing an MIT thesis, then, should plan to spend a larger amount of time researching and conducting experiments than writing the text of the thesis. He or she should stop at nothing to verify the results of any primary research and should attempt to locate all secondary research that may aid the project or support the working hypothesis. Such an attempt to find and use all secondary research may require the student to go to some extraordinary lengths, such as personally contacting experts in the field to ask them questions.

Because the fields of mathematics and science often depend heavily on abstract thought, the student who is writing an MIT thesis should be sure to inform his or her major professor of the thesis's progress, lest the abstract thought contain a flaw that destroys the validity of the entire hypothesis. However, the student should not be afraid to be bold and to defend his or her ideas even when the professor doubts them; the goal of a thesis is to think through and adequately defend an idea that no one has previously considered in quite the same way.

Once the student has completed the research portion of the MIT thesis, he or she should then explain the thesis's idea and its supporting evidence in written form. The thesis should carefully follow the style manual that the department uses, adhering to strict standards of technical writing and using illustrations, charts, and diagrams as necessary to manage the data effectively.


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