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Thesis Research


Well-executed thesis research is the hallmark of an excellent thesis. Whereas a student with outstanding thesis research skills and mediocre writing skills may write a good thesis, a student who writes very well but who performs poor research will probably produce a poor thesis, because expert readers will be able to differentiate between rhetorical tricks and a viable, verifiable argument. Therefore, the student who is writing a strong thesis researches his or her topic creatively and exhaustively.

First, a thesis writer should identify a good idea to pursue. The goal for a thesis is to add something new and unique, even if only slightly so, to the field of study; therefore, the student should investigate a potential subject carefully in order to find any aspects thereof that could benefit from further examination. The open-minded student may discover, for example, that the current research has overlooked, underestimated, or misinterpreted some point of discussion on the subject. Then, he or she may formulate a hypothesized correction to that problem.

Second, after having completed a preliminary research process in order to identify a topic, the student should perform any and all necessary research in order to prove the idea that he or she has developed. Because no one has studied that idea in precisely the same way that the thesis proposes to study it, the student will have to piece evidence together and may have to perform primary research in order to build a case for the hypothesis. The student who is attempting to execute a hypothesis well in a thesis researches that topic carefully, paying attention to all questions that arise mentally in order to collect and evaluate all doubts about the hypothesis.

Third, students weave that thesis research into an argument of their own creation. They explain the hypothesis they have developed and then defend it using their thesis research, providing evidence for each point that they make. In that way, thesis research becomes a driving force in each part of the thesis writing, allowing it to become tenable in the face of expert analysts.


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