Writing a thesis involves planning, doing research and then writing, basically it is a multi-tasking process. This article will help you understand about the thesis writing process:
Step 1: Choose a Topic and a Research Question to Create Thesis
By selecting the topic and research question you want to address at the initial stage itself will help you stay more focused on your research and will guide you in your writing. It is the first step before starting your thesis. You have to select a topic from your field of interest to which you are more inclined. Then narrow down the field to a particular area to find the research question for which you have to find a solution. You can get help from your instructor or guide to choose your research question and topic.
Step 2: Conduct Literature Review and Research
Choose a topic and your research question for your thesis by doing literature review. By doing literature review you can maintain originality and it allows you to show how important your research is. Basically literature review is the review of already existing sources based on your topic. With the help of literature review you can be able to find gaps, main controversies and debates, identify methods and theories related to the current knowledge of your topic.
While doing literature review you can find your information sources through libraries, search engines or databases. To make your search more simple use appropriate filters and keywords. For collecting required information from sources you have to completely analyze it after reading them and then synthesize the data. Don’t forget to cite the sources used for collecting data by following the particular citation style preferred by your discipline or institution.
For collecting more useful information you have to do primary and secondary research along with the literature review. Collecting data directly from the sources or participants who are related to the investigation directly is referred as primary search and using the information which is already gathered by others for their purpose, in your research is known as secondary research.
Step 3: Write an Outline and Draft your Thesis
An outline is basically a structure or plan for thesis which plays a major role in organizing your arguments and ideas also it can help you find the headings and sub-headings to be crafted in your paper. For writing a thesis you have to first create an outline, which is the next procedure going to be followed. You can use the following sections for creating an outline for your thesis:
- Title page: This tile page have details such as your thesis title, name of you and your institution, the degree program you are doing, name of your supervisor and also the thesis submission date.
- Abstract: An abstract basically contains 150 to 300 words. It holds information such as main purpose, methods, objectives, conclusion and result of the research you are conducting.
- Table of contents: This section contains index of headings and subheadings you used in your paper with its respective page number.
- List of Figures: It contains listing of all images used in paper along with its page number and caption.
- List of Tables: It contains listing of all tables used in paper along with its page number and caption.
- Introduction: It is the first section with a quick summary of your research topic and question; it has details such as background information and circumstances of your research. It tells the originality and significance of your work and also the main argument and hypothesis of your research. This section highlights the scope and objectives of your research.
- Literature Review: It’s the second section of your thesis. It is the process of reviewing the already existing literatures in your field to find the gaps, main controversies and debates, identify methods and theoretical framework related to the current knowledge of your topic.
- Methodology: This serves as the third main section of thesis. It is the part in which it tells about the techniques and methods you used for your research. It states how you have gathered, analyzed and organized all the required information for your research. This also explains the problems, ethical issues and limitations you faced during the process.
- Result: It is the next section in which it states about the findings and results of the research you conducted. It reports about the information you collected with the help of figures, tables or any visual aids. This tells about the main trends, patterns and relationships based on your analysis.
- Discussion: This is the next section in which it gives argument to explain about your research findings and results. It states about the implications and meaning of your research result and also the reliability and validity of your findings. It compares your results with others result and explain about the hypothesis you made and provide a solution for the research question you addressed.
- Conclusion: This section will conclude your research with summarizing the key concepts of your work. It once again discuss about the objectives, purpose, methods, techniques, conclusion and result of research. It sates the contribution you made for the field with your research and also provide a new path for the future research. It tells about the challenges and limitations to be faced in the field of your research.
- References: It serves as the last part of your thesis, which has all the citation of sources you used in the thesis by a particular citation style preferred by your discipline or institution.
- Appendices: This is an additional section usually optional, comes into consideration when you want to add some more materials to support your argument like code, datasets, transcripts or questionnaires.
By following the outline you made, you can craft your thesis. Write your thesis in a concise, coherent and clear manner. You have to use perfect tone, style and language to produce a clear knowledge to your audience. You should maintain a smooth transition between the sentences and paragraphs you use.
Step 4: Revise and Edit your Thesis
The next step you should follow after complete writing your thesis is to do revising and editing your paper. Revising is to check the organization and structure of paper and editing is to check spelling, grammar and punctuation of your paper; this will improve the clarity and quality of thesis. You have to look on every small error and correct it. Avoid using tools for editing purpose. Make sure to follow the formatting guidelines suggested by your discipline or institution.
For editing process you can seek help from your peers, supervisor or instructor, get their feedbacks and suggestions and incorporate them for doing it.
The thesis is a complete document with all your research result and findings based on the topic. Writing thesis is a very difficult but rewarding task if you have followed good strategies and practices, it requires all your skills and knowledge. It requires careful organization and planning to produce a convincing result. It will also help you develop your creativity, communication skills and critical thinking.
This article will help you to write a better thesis and provide you with some tips for doing it, stating from selecting a topic to doing literature review, finding research problem, methodology, collection of data, writing down all till referencing and citing of document.