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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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Answered By: Kathryn Ray Last Updated: Sep 01, 2023 Views: 7431
The database Dissertations and Theses Global (ProQuest) is the best place to begin searching for theses and dissertations. Approximately half the listings include full text. Dissertations can also be found in a search of the AU Library Catalog .
For dissertations and theses written by AU students and not found in Dissertations and Theses Global, consult the database Dissertations and Theses (American University-authored) .
The AU Digital Research Archive (AUDRA) also has electronic versions of some AU dissertations and theses.
EBSCO Open Dissertations is a free database with records for more than 800,000 electronic theses and dissertations in institutional repositories around the world. Open Dissertations includes the content from American Doctoral Dissertations, plus additional metadata from a number of colleges and universities.
Another free source is Open Access Theses and Dissertations .
Some dissertations and theses can be purchased directly from ProQuest.com at ProQuest Dissertation Copy Options .
If you encounter any issues while trying to use the ProQuest site, please refer to their ProQuest Dissertations FAQ .
If you would like further assistance, please Ask-A-Librarian .
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Thesis & Dissertation Database Examples
Published on September 9, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on July 18, 2023.
During the process of writing your thesis or dissertation , it can be helpful to read those submitted by other students.
Luckily, many universities have databases where you can find out who has written about your dissertation topic previously and how they approached it. While some databases are only accessible via your university library, more and more universities are making these databases public.
Table of contents
General databases, university databases, other interesting articles.
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- ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
- Open Access Theses and Dissertations
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How to find resources by format
Why use a dissertation or a thesis.
A dissertation is the final large research paper, based on original research, for many disciplines to be able to complete a PhD degree. The thesis is the same idea but for a masters degree.
They are often considered scholarly sources since they are closely supervised by a committee, are directed at an academic audience, are extensively researched, follow research methodology, and are cited in other scholarly work. Often the research is newer or answering questions that are more recent, and can help push scholarship in new directions.
Search for dissertations and theses
Locating dissertations and theses.
The Proquest Dissertations and Theses Global database includes doctoral dissertations and selected masters theses from major universities worldwide.
- Searchable by subject, author, advisor, title, school, date, etc.
- More information about full text access and requesting through Interlibrary Loan
NDLTD – Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations provides free online access to a over a million theses and dissertations from all over the world.
WorldCat Dissertations and Theses searches library catalogs from across the U.S. and worldwide.
Locating University of Minnesota Dissertations and Theses
Use Libraries search and search by title or author and add the word "thesis" in the search box. Write down the library and call number and find it on the shelf. They can be checked out.
Check the University Digital Conservancy for online access to dissertations and theses from 2007 to present as well as historic, scanned theses from 1887-1923.
Other Sources for Dissertations and Theses
- Center for Research Libraries
- DART-Europe E-Thesis Portal
- Theses Canada
- Ethos (Great Britain)
- Australasian Digital Theses in Trove
- DiVA (Sweden)
- E-Thesis at the University of Helsinki
- DissOnline (Germany)
- List of libraries worldwide - to search for a thesis when you know the institution and cannot find in the larger collections
University of Minnesota Dissertations and Theses FAQs
What dissertations and theses are available.
With minor exceptions, all doctoral dissertations and all "Plan A" master's theses accepted by the University of Minnesota are available in the University Libraries system. In some cases (see below) only a non-circulating copy in University Archives exists, but for doctoral dissertations from 1940 to date, and for master's theses from 1925 to date, a circulating copy should almost always be available.
"Plan B" papers, accepted in the place of a thesis in many master's degree programs, are not received by the University Libraries and are generally not available. (The only real exceptions are a number of old library school Plan B papers on publishing history, which have been separately cataloged.) In a few cases individual departments may have maintained files of such papers.
In what libraries are U of M dissertations and theses located?
Circulating copies of doctoral dissertations:.
- Use Libraries Search to look for the author or title of the work desired to determine location and call number of a specific dissertation. Circulating copies of U of M doctoral dissertations can be in one of several locations in the library system, depending upon the date and the department for which the dissertation was done. The following are the general rules:
- Dissertations prior to 1940 Circulating copies of U of M dissertations prior to 1940 do not exist (with rare exceptions): for these, only the archival copy (see below) is available. Also, most dissertations prior to 1940 are not cataloged in MNCAT and can only be identified by the departmental listings described below.
- Dissertations from 1940-1979 Circulating copies of U of M dissertations from 1940 to 1979 will in most cases be held within the Elmer L. Andersen Library, with three major classes of exceptions: dissertations accepted by biological, medical, and related departments are housed in the Health Science Library; science/engineering dissertations from 1970 to date will be located in the Science and Engineering Library (in Walter); and dissertations accepted by agricultural and related departments are available at the Magrath Library or one of the other libraries on the St. Paul campus (the Magrath Library maintains records of locations for such dissertations).
- Dissertations from 1980-date Circulating copies of U of M dissertations from 1980 to date at present may be located either in Wilson Library (see below) or in storage; consult Libraries Search for location of specific items. Again, exceptions noted above apply here also; dissertations in their respective departments will instead be in Health Science Library or in one of the St. Paul campus libraries.
Circulating copies of master's theses:
- Theses prior to 1925 Circulating copies of U of M master's theses prior to 1925 do not exist (with rare exceptions); for these, only the archival copy (see below) is available.
- Theses from 1925-1996 Circulating copies of U of M master's theses from 1925 to 1996 may be held in storage; consult Libraries search in specific instances. Once again, there are exceptions and theses in their respective departments will be housed in the Health Science Library or in one of the St. Paul campus libraries.
- Theses from 1997-date Circulating copies of U of M master's theses from 1997 to date will be located in Wilson Library (see below), except for the same exceptions for Health Science and St. Paul theses. There is also an exception to the exception: MHA (Masters in Health Administration) theses through 1998 are in the Health Science Library, but those from 1999 on are in Wilson Library.
Archival copies (non-circulating)
Archival (non-circulating) copies of virtually all U of M doctoral dissertations from 1888-1952, and of U of M master's theses from all years up to the present, are maintained by University Archives (located in the Elmer L. Andersen Library). These copies must be consulted on the premises, and it is highly recommended for the present that users make an appointment in advance to ensure that the desired works can be retrieved for them from storage. For dissertations accepted prior to 1940 and for master's theses accepted prior to 1925, University Archives is generally the only option (e.g., there usually will be no circulating copy). Archival copies of U of M doctoral dissertations from 1953 to the present are maintained by Bell and Howell Corporation (formerly University Microfilms Inc.), which produces print or filmed copies from our originals upon request. (There are a very few post-1952 U of M dissertations not available from Bell and Howell; these include such things as music manuscripts and works with color illustrations or extremely large pages that will not photocopy well; in these few cases, our archival copy is retained in University Archives.)
Where is a specific dissertation of thesis located?
To locate a specific dissertation or thesis it is necessary to have its call number. Use Libraries Search for the author or title of the item, just as you would for any other book. Depending on date of acceptance and cataloging, a typical call number for such materials should look something like one of the following:
Dissertations: Plan"A" Theses MnU-D or 378.7M66 MnU-M or 378.7M66 78-342 ODR7617 83-67 OL6156 Libraries Search will also tell the library location (MLAC, Health Science Library, Magrath or another St. Paul campus library, Science and Engineering, Business Reference, Wilson Annex or Wilson Library). Those doctoral dissertations still in Wilson Library (which in all cases should be 1980 or later and will have "MnU-D" numbers) are located in the central section of the third floor. Those master's theses in Wilson (which in all cases will be 1997 or later and will have "MnU-M" numbers) are also located in the central section of the third floor. Both dissertations and theses circulate and can be checked out, like any other books, at the Wilson Circulation desk on the first floor.
How can dissertations and theses accepted by a specific department be located?
Wilson Library contains a series of bound and loose-leaf notebooks, arranged by department and within each department by date, listing dissertations and theses. Information given for each entry includes name of author, title, and date (but not call number, which must be looked up individually). These notebooks are no longer current, but they do cover listings by department from the nineteenth century up to approximately 1992. Many pre-1940 U of M dissertations and pre-1925 U of M master's theses are not cataloged (and exist only as archival copies). Such dissertations can be identified only with these volumes. The books and notebooks are shelved in the general collection under these call numbers: Wilson Ref LD3337 .A5 and Wilson Ref quarto LD3337 .U9x. Major departments of individual degree candidates are also listed under their names in the GRADUATE SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT programs of the U of M, available in University Archives and (for recent years) also in Wilson stacks (LD3361 .U55x).
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EBSCO Open Dissertations
EBSCO Open Dissertations makes electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) more accessible to researchers worldwide. The free portal is designed to benefit universities and their students and make ETDs more discoverable.
Increasing Discovery & Usage of ETD Research
EBSCO Open Dissertations is a collaboration between EBSCO and BiblioLabs to increase traffic and discoverability of ETD research. You can join the movement and add your theses and dissertations to the database, making them freely available to researchers everywhere while increasing traffic to your institutional repository.
EBSCO Open Dissertations extends the work started in 2014, when EBSCO and the H.W. Wilson Foundation created American Doctoral Dissertations which contained indexing from the H.W. Wilson print publication, Doctoral Dissertations Accepted by American Universities, 1933-1955. In 2015, the H.W. Wilson Foundation agreed to support the expansion of the scope of the American Doctoral Dissertations database to include records for dissertations and theses from 1955 to the present.
How Does EBSCO Open Dissertations Work?
Your ETD metadata is harvested via OAI and integrated into EBSCO’s platform, where pointers send traffic to your IR.
EBSCO integrates this data into their current subscriber environments and makes the data available on the open web via opendissertations.org .
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Theses and dissertation: Finding a UK thesis
- Finding a Sussex thesis
- Finding a UK thesis
- Finding an international thesis
- Help and Support
The Electronic Theses Online System
The Electronic Theses Online System is a service from the British Library that provides online access to the full-text of UK doctoral theses. It contains over 380,000+ records of doctoral theses from UK Higher Education Institutions. Many of these have already been digitised and are available for immediate download.
Can I request UK theses from other universities from the Library?
You no longer request theses from other universities through Sussex University's Interlibrary Requests service - you can access them directly via EThOS.
Do I need to register?
You do not need to register to search the 380,000+ records in the EThOS database, but you will need to register if you would like to download a thesis.
Are immediate downloads available?
If the thesis in which you are interested has already been digitised, you will be able to download it immediately without charge. If the thesis you need has not yet been digitised, there will be a short delay whilst digitisation takes place. You will then be notified by EThOS when the thesis is ready to be downloaded. Once the thesis has been digitised it is then available for immediate download by any other user.
Are all theses digitised?
Some theses cannot be digitised for copyright reasons. If this is the case with the thesis you need, please inform the Interlibrary Requests team who will investigate whether a hard copy can be borrowed directly from the relevant university.
Does this service cost me anything?
On rare occasions you may be asked by EThOS to pay for the digitisation of a thesis. This is because, although the majority of institutions participating in EThOS have agreed to pay for the digitisation of their own theses on request, some institutions have not.
In such cases, the Library will pay the cost of digitisation provided that funding is available. Please contact the Research Support team on Tel: 01273 877941 (int 7941) or Email: library.res[email protected] with the full details of your request.
image copyright: The British Library
- Browse SRO theses Browse theses added to Sussex Research Online
- EThOS A service from the British Library that provides online access to the fulltext of UK doctoral theses. The EThOS database contains over 300,000+ records of doctoral theses from UK Higher Education Institutions.
- Copyright guide A practical guide on copyright issues in your thesis.
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- Last Updated: Feb 9, 2022 1:24 PM
- URL: https://guides.lib.sussex.ac.uk/theses