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How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps
Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement in no time.
Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas
The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your paper. Think about what you want to say and write down any ideas that come to mind. This will help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to create your thesis statement.
Step 2: Research Your Topic
Once you have some ideas, it’s time to do some research on your topic. Look for sources that support your ideas and provide evidence for the points you want to make. This will help you refine your argument and make it more convincing.
Step 3: Formulate Your Argument
Now that you have done some research, it’s time to formulate your argument. Take the points you want to make and put them into one or two sentences that clearly state what your paper is about. This will be the basis of your thesis statement.
Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement
Once you have formulated your argument, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Make sure that it is clear, concise, and specific. It should also be arguable so that readers can disagree with it if they choose.
Step 5: Test Your Thesis Statement
The last step is to test your thesis statement. Does it accurately reflect the points you want to make? Is it clear and concise? Does it make an arguable point? If not, go back and refine it until it meets all of these criteria.
Creating an effective thesis statement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these five easy steps, you can create a strong thesis statement in no time at all.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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This Dissertation Planner is a step-by-step guide to help you write a dissertation from starting to think about your question through to final submission. At each stage you will find useful tips and support. You can return to the planner by bookmarking the URL.
- Last Updated: Nov 3, 2023 2:54 PM
- URL: https://library.soton.ac.uk/sash/dissertation-planner
Free PDF dissertation planner including:
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Dissertation & thesis template.
If you’re preparing to write your dissertation, thesis or research project, our free dissertation template is the perfect starting point. In the template, we cover every section step by step, with clear, straightforward explanations and examples .
What’s Included In The Dissertation Template
Our free dissertation and thesis template covers all the essential elements required for a first-class piece of research . The template’s structure is based on the tried and trusted best-practice format for formal academic research projects such as dissertations and theses. The template structure reflects the overall research process, ensuring your dissertation or thesis will have a smooth, logical flow from chapter to chapter.
The dissertation template covers the following core sections:
- The title page/cover page
- Abstract (sometimes also called the executive summary)
- Table of contents
- List of figures /list of tables
- Chapter 1: Introduction (also available: in-depth introduction template )
- Chapter 2: Literature review (also available: in-depth LR template )
- Chapter 3: Methodology (also available: in-depth methodology template )
- Chapter 4: Research findings /results (also available: results template )
- Chapter 5: Discussion /analysis of findings (also available: discussion template )
- Chapter 6: Conclusion (also available: in-depth conclusion template )
- Reference list
Each section is explained in plain, straightforward language , followed by an overview of the key elements that you need to cover within each section. We’ve also included practical examples to help you understand exactly what’s required in each section.
The cleanly-formatted Word document is fully editable , so you can use it as-is for your dissertation or thesis, copy over the contents to a fresh document, or convert it to LaTeX.
Need a helping hand?
Frequently Asked Questions
What format is the dissertation template (Word Doc, PDF, PPT, etc.)?
The template is provided in a fully editable MS Word document. You’re welcome to convert it to whatever format works best for you, such as LaTeX or PDF.
What types of dissertations/theses can this template be used for?
The template follows the standard best-practice structure for formal academic research projects such as dissertations or theses, so it is suitable for the vast majority of degrees, particularly those within the sciences.
Some universities may have some additional requirements, but these are typically minor, with the core structure remaining the same. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to double-check your university’s requirements before you finalise your structure.
Is this template for an undergrad, Masters or PhD-level thesis?
This template can be used for a dissertation, thesis or research project at any level of study. It may be slight overkill for an undergraduate-level study, but it certainly won’t be missing anything.
How long should my dissertation/thesis be?
This depends entirely on your university’s specific requirements, so it’s best to check with them. As a general ballpark, Masters-level projects are usually 15,000 – 20,000 words in length, while Doctoral-level projects are often in excess of 60,000 words.
Can I share this dissertation template with my friends/colleagues?
Yes, you’re welcome to share this template. If you want to post about it on your blog or social media, all we ask is that you reference this page as your source.
Can Grad Coach help me with my dissertation/thesis?
Within the template, you’ll find plain-language explanations of each section, which should give you a fair amount of guidance. However, you’re also welcome to consider our dissertation and thesis coaching services .
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This information and format is essential for personal practice and preparation for academic work
I Want to freely download thesis template
am righting on a topic the impact of culture on organizational performance. case study university of sierra Leone please help me how to go about it.
Am writing on a topic titled: The impact of communication on organisational performance. No case study selected yet. Pls how do I go about this. I need help. Am studying programme and project management. Need this topic refined if possible to suit a manufacturing, construction or Agricultural project if possible. Thanks.
Am writing on a topic titled : Effect of social media on students academic performance.
Am writing on a topic titled: The impact of e-procurement on the performance of an organisation. Kindly,I need help developing a concept note
Please I am writing on Developing a Sustainable Chocolate Industry in Ghana and I need help on the Methodology as the Research is an Analytical Research
Good work! I learned from this article how to organize my thesis.
I need help with my research question and methodology.
Hello I am trying to write a thesis/ dissertation for a master’s degree on the topic : Biblical counseling v psychology counseling and Christianity .
This is so difficult for me because , I am trying to do this after years of not being in school . It would be great to get professional help, thank you in advance.
This template, plus the templates of each section, has been invaluable for me to take my Master’s dissertation draft to a higher level. Thank you so much for such a detailed description that is logical and explains the whys as well as the whats. 🙂
Hello I need help am writing a dissertation on the topic: the prevelance of needle stick injury among health workers in ahospital
I read about your GRAD COACH. It would be great to get professional help; thank you in advance.
Thanks l’ve read with great interest. Thank you so much for your professional advice.
hi im writing on feminist public sphere kindly guide
how can i get access to editing mode?
File -> Make A Copy
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Dissertations & Theses
Explore tools and support to help you complete your dissertation or thesis.
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What is a dissertation or thesis?
A dissertation is an extended piece of academic writing on a question or problem related to particular subject. Usually done at the end of an undergraduate or master’s degree, this type of research project can take several months to complete.
A thesis is usually completed as part of a PhD. While similar in nature to a dissertation, a thesis is a longer project that tackles a question or problem in-depth and will take a number of years to write and research.
Whether you’re beginning a dissertation, or embarking on your PhD thesis, you’ll find it can be a different challenge to other assignments you’ve completed. These projects require you to bring together all the skills that you will have developed in your studies including: finding and evaluating literature, critical analysis, developing an argument, academic writing and referencing.
Your dissertation or thesis might also include things that you have not done before, for example developing a research question, analysing data or writing an abstract.
Process of writing a dissertation or thesis
Dissertations and theses are long and complicated projects. The processes you need to go through are likely to be iterative, non-linear and dynamic. However, it can be helpful to start by breaking the project down into the different stages, and approach each section of the planning, researching and writing process in turn. You then need to bring the stages together into a single piece of research.
A dissertation or thesis is an excellent opportunity for you to immerse yourself in your subject and a topic that you are passionate about. On the other hand, if you’re allocated a project, you’ll need to make the research your own and learn to understand why it’s worthwhile.
Your project proposal allows you to explore these initial research ideas, identify your aims, think around the context of your potential research and get ahead of any pitfalls by thinking about the feasibility and limitations involved.
Thinking about what you want to achieve with your research at this stage, will help inform how you approach your project.
Research Proposal Planning Tool
The nature of the research you do will likely depend on your subject area and research question. This may involve conducting interviews, gathering statistics, carrying out experiments or exploring texts and documents.
Most dissertations and theses will, however, involve a literature review as part of the research process.
What is a literature review?
A literature review sets the scene for your work. It places your research in context, and shows how it relates to and builds upon the work of others. It’s also your chance to tell people why your work matters, why it’s relevant, and how it contributes original research to your field.
In your literature review, you’ll discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the information you’ve found, and describe why you think it’s important. You might also want to discuss gaps in the literature that your own research will attempt to fill.
Literature Searching and Reading
Compiling a literature review involves rigorous literature searching, critical reading of information and combining ideas and research from different sources. You’ll need to develop an effective search strategy to ensure you find all the key information relevant to your topic.
New research is published every day, and your work is likely to take you down paths you hadn’t thought about initially so you’ll need to frequently return to and adapt your search, and then update your literature review as you go. As part of your search strategy, it's important that you consider how you'll keep your research up to date, and how you'll manage all the information you'll find.
There are different types of literature review too, so check with your supervisor to make sure you know what is expected. If you’ve been asked to take a systematic approach, our systematic review guide can help you understand the systematic process.
Search strategy planning tool
Build your search strategy with our Search Planner tool. **Online planner**
Discover tips and advice for starting your search, selecting information types and using advanced search techniques.
Systematic Review guide
Find out about the systematic process and types of systematic review.
Mapping the literature
Downloadable resource to help you get an overview of your literature review reading. **PDF Download**
Three domains of critical reading study guide
A downloadable resource to guide your literature review reading. **PDF download**
An audio-visual guide to in-depth critical reading, for literature reviews. **Guide with audio**
Discover ways to critically evaluate the information you find.
Explore methods for effectively managing your documents and references.
Discover simple ways to keep up to date with information in your field.
Structuring a literature review
Explore different methods on how to structure your literature review.
As this will be one of the longest academic documents you'll create, it can be helpful to start thinking about the overall shape of your dissertation early on, considering how many chapters there will be and how they'll relate to each other. This will be a provisional guide at first but having an idea of the structure can give you a way forward, help you to stay focused, and help manage your word count.
Learn how to prepare, write and structure a science report.
Where to go for support
You will be given a supervisor for your dissertation or thesis by your academic school or institute. Your supervisor is there to give you advice and guidance about all aspects of your research project.
There is also support and advice available to you at each stage of your project from the services below:
For advice on planning your search strategy, finding and evaluating information, and managing your references.
Academic Skills Team
For help with managing your project, academic writing strategies, critiquing and reviewing literature, and developing a clear authorial voice.
Support for undergraduates and postgraduates with SPSS and data analysis.
Recommended books and e-books
For further reading related to dissertations and projects, browse our specially curated list of resources.
PhD Student Notion Template and PhD Dissertation Planner
This Notion template is perfect for Ph.D. students needing a dashboard for organizing and tracking their Ph.D. and dissertation work!
With the PhD Notion Template, you can streamline your academic process, stay focused, and make progress towards your goals. Start using the planner today and make your PhD journey more organized and efficient!
Preview the Ph.D. Student Notion Template
What is included?
The PhD Student Notion template includes:
- Productivity and time-blocking schedule
- Ph.D. at a glance organizer
- Task tracker
- Literature review template
- Coursework tracker
Overview of Your Research Journey
- Keep track of your research progress and milestones
- Stay organized with sections for literature review, methodology, data collection, analysis, and more
- Create and manage your to-do lists and tasks
- Set deadlines and reminders to stay on track
- Prioritize tasks and track their completion status
Organize Coursework and Classes
- Never miss a deadline
- Track and schedule require courses
- Manage teaching assistantship duties
How do I get my Notion Template?
After your purchase, you will receive a PDF eBook that provides you lifetime access to the template and a guide on how to use the template.
- Download PDF
- Click the link to the template
- Duplicate the template to your Notion account
- Get started!
What Do I Need to Use this Template?
- Device with access to Notion (Desktop computer, Laptop, Smartphone, Tablet)
- A Notion account (Works with free personal plan)
- Basic understanding of the Notion interface
Important Things to Note:
- This template only works with the Notion App or the Notion Website.
- This template is a digital download. No physical items will be sent after purchase.
- All materials are for personal use only and cannot be distributed, sold, reproduced, or used in any form without the written permission of She Sciences.
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