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Thesis Writing


A thesis progresses through six stages before reaching completion: idea, research, organization of the argument, writing, editing, and formatting. Each stage relies heavily upon the preceding stage; therefore, thesis writing will be manageable in proportion to the amount of energy and thought the student puts into organization.

The student who wishes to write a thesis with minimal difficulty writes a detailed outline. This outline includes all the major points the student wants to make, corresponding to chapters in the finished thesis, as well as all the minor points, corresponding to subheadings or paragraphs. Then the student lists the evidence that supports each major and minor point, including citations of the research sources that he or she intends to use within each point. The student will benefit greatly from following this outline, because he or she will progress steadily through the thesis writing without having to stop repeatedly to ascertain the direction of the argument.

In theses writing assumes a secondary position to the idea; the writing serves only to advance the idea. Therefore, thesis writing that evades the subject, mentions irrelevant matters, or functions exclusively for aesthetics is wasteful. Students should remain professional in their theses, writing only that which is directly meaningful to the topic under discussion. Students who wish to write strong theses will craft each sentence to convey the most condensed, powerful meaning possible. In most disciplines, students will not use passive voice, which wastes words and dilutes meaning, and students will communicate their opinions convincingly without using first- or second-person pronouns. Students will avoid ambiguous phrases and the use of any unfamiliar word. Following these simple grammar and style rules vastly improves one’s thesis writing.

Thesis writing should be clear, concise, and effective. The student should use every available page to convince the reader that the argument is valid. Above all, the student should not inject fluff into the thesis merely to meet the length requirement or to finish quickly.


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