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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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thesis evaluation guidelines

Evaluation criteria for the final thesis project

Your thesis is evaluated and graded based on set criteria. These criteria have been developed by the assessors and teaching staff at Arcada, taking into account the European Qualifications Framework for education.

The evaluation of the thesis is done by the assessor along with the supervisor. The assessor writes a statement that is a complete examination of the thesis. The statement is also signed by the supervisor. The supervisor has the right to request a thesis language revision.

With regard to practice in the subject and nature of the work, the degree thesis and master thesis are evaluated as excellent (5), very good (4), good (3), satisfactory (2) or sufficient (1). The grade is justified in the statement and determined by an overall assessment on the basis of the work, the maturity exam and presentation.

Theses at Arcada UAS need to correspond to the requirements set by the European Qualifications Framework External link (EQF); level 6 for bachelor's level and level 7 for master's. At the end of this website you can find links to PDF files with evaluation criteria for both bachelor's and master's theses as tables.

Degree thesis

The evaluation level of the bachelor's degree thesis is determined by the EQF level 6, which establishes requirements on

  • advanced knowledge involving a critical understanding of theories and principles
  • advanced skills, demonstrating expertise and innovation
  • ability to solve complex problems in a specialised professional field

Themes evaluated in bachelor's degree theses

According to Arcada's evaluation criteria for bachelor's degree theses, the following themes are evaluated, and every theme's subheading is graded on a scale of 0-5:

  • You can define the research problem and its motivation
  • You can formulate the aims that form the basis of your thesis
  • You can identify the foundation for development or research and describe previous research and literature
  • You can independently choose and formulate the appropriate method and process
  • You can perform the process independently and proficiently
  • You present your results in a structured manner
  • You contribute to solving complex problems within your profession and you can have a reflective discussion about your results and your thesis
  • You are able to communicate results and reflect on ethical issues
  • You are able to address ethical issues in academic research

Master thesis

The evaluation level of the degree thesis is determined by the EQF level 7, which establishes requirements on

  • highly specialised knowledge as the basis for original thinking and research
  • awareness of knowledge issues in a field and at the point of contact between the different disciplines
  • specialised problem-solving skills in research and innovation to develop new knowledge, new procedures or integrate knowledge from different fields

Themes evaluated in master's degree theses

According to Arcada's evaluation criteria for master's degree theses, the following themes are evaluated, and every theme's subheading is graded on a scale of 0-5:

  • You can delimit and define the research problem and justify it
  • You can formulate aims and objectives that create the basis for your thesis
  • You can identify the basis for the development or research and describe previous research and literature
  • You can independently justify an appropriate method and process.
  • You can provide a sufficient sample of data
  • You can carry out the process independently and skillfully.
  • You present your results in a structured way
  • You contribute to solving complex problems in your field and you engage in a reflective discussion of your results
  • You are able to communicate and reflect on your results
  • You can consider ethical issues in relation to your research

The following factors are evaluated:

  • Benefit for the target group and profession or occupation
  • Delimitation, object
  • Positioning and connection to earlier research
  • Understanding of the chosen theme (concept, theories)
  • Choice of method and application of method
  • Presentation and purposefulness of the work process
  • Information retrieval and processing
  • Presentation of results
  • Evaluation and critical review of results
  • Originality or innovativeness
  • Independency
  • Design, logical structure and necessary parts
  • Readability and flow
  • Source reference apparatus
  • Level of transparency and objectivity
  • Quality of language
  • Research ethical formalities
  • Ethical examination
  • Sustainable development

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Bachelor thesis evaluation framework

Master thesis evaluation framework

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  • Graduate Students
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  • General requirements
  • Preparation of a thesis
  • Initial Thesis Submission
  • Thesis examiners
  • Evaluation of written thesis
  • Thesis examination failures
  • Doctoral oral defence
  • Final Thesis Submission

Evaluation of a Written Thesis

Examiners are asked to evaluate the thesis according to the criteria in the respective thesis examiner report form for a Master's or Doctoral thesis. Examiners provide an overall judgment of 'passed' or ‘not passed’. For Master's students, this evaluation determines whether or not the thesis is ready for final submission, even if minor changes are recommended. For Doctoral candidates, this evaluation determines whether or not the candidate is ready to proceed to the oral defence.  

If the thesis meets the general criteria for the degree sought, as well as those listed on the examiner's report form (see: Master's Examiner report form ; Doctoral Examiner report form ), it should be evaluated as 'Passed', even if some changes are recommended.

If the overall judgement is 'Passed', examiners are asked to provide:

  • A report that includes any recommendations for  minor  revisions to the thesis (i.e., stylistic or editorial changes that can be completed in three weeks or less).
  • For doctoral theses, External Examiners who will not be at the oral defence must also provide a list of questions to be asked of the candidate at the oral defence. 

An evaluation of 'Not Passed' should be given if:

  • the need for a new study, experimentation, or significant additional research or reformulation.
  • the need to address major problems with the presentation of the work. Stylistic or editorial changes are not normally considered to be major revisions, but if the quality of the presentation is so poor that extensive rewriting is required, the thesis should not be passed.
  • At least one of the Criteria for the Evaluation of the Thesis (see Master's Examiner report form ; Doctoral Examiner report form ) is judged as unsatisfactory.

Examiners are asked to identify required changes clearly in their reports. The supervisor or another designated person will ensure that the student corrects the thesis and that it appropriately reflects the examiners' suggestions for revisions prior to re-submission of the thesis.

The candidate will normally revise and re-submit the thesis for re-assessment, usually by the same examiner. If/when review of the revised thesis is required, the Thesis Unit will contact the initial examiner to determine their availability. In rare cases, a revised thesis may be sent to a new examiner if the first examiner is not available to re-examine the thesis.  For more, p lease see  Thesis examination failures.  

If the revised thesis is again ‘not passed’, the student will be withdrawn from the University unless the decision is reversed through an appeal to the Hearing Committee (Bias, Error, or Misrepresentation ).

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License . Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, McGill University .

Department and University Information

Graduate and postdoctoral studies.

Transdisciplinary Life Science Course Division of Life Science, Graduate School of Life Science, Hokkaido University

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Evaluation Criteria for Master’s Thesis and Doctoral Dissertation

Evaluation criteria for master’s dissertations, division of life science, division of soft matter, graduate school of life science, hokkaido university, 1. fundamental requirements.

  • A master’s dissertation must have sufficient academic value and a high level of originality, demonstrating that a master’s candidate has the academic skills, abilities, and qualities as required in the diploma policy of the Graduate School Division, Hokkaido University, and the diploma policy of the Graduate School of Life Science.
  • In principle, a master’s dissertation must be written by a single author. It should not incorporate material from others’ dissertations or infringe on originalities and/or ideas presented in research publications.
  • A master’s dissertation must not infringe on others’ rights under the law, such as author’s rights, portrait rights, etc.
  • A master’s dissertation must be developed based on a comprehensive research conducted in accordance with the “Code of Conduct for Scientists at Hokkaido University.”

2. Structure of Dissertation

A master’s dissertation must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Provide an adequate title.
  • State research background and a research aim clearly.
  • Describe the research methodology utilized in accordance with the aim.
  • Show results with graphic charts.
  • Develop a thorough discussion based on research results.
  • Derive a result corresponding to an aim.
  • Cite references properly.
  • Structure chapters of the dissertation according to the items included in this section.

3. Contents

The following criteria shall be used to evaluate a master’s dissertation. In this regard, the evaluating committee is entrusted with valuing and adding items as needed.

  • A dissertation must have sufficient academic value based on international standards in major fields.
  • The content must be aligned with a selected theme, and the research methodology.
  • The research must be described background clearly and cited references properly.
  • Data must be collected and handled in accordance with an elective theme and corresponding research methodology.
  • The research process must be described in detail.
  • Data analyses associated with individual graphic charts must be described and interpreted precisely.
  • A dissertation must have a consecutive structure.
  • Contents must be presented logically and conclusions must be complete.

Evaluation Criteria for Doctoral Dissertations, Division of Life Science, Division of Soft Matter, Graduate School of Life Science, Hokkaido University

  • A doctoral dissertation must have sufficient academic value and a high level of originality, demonstrating that a doctoral candidate has the academic skills, abilities, and qualities as required in the diploma policy of the Graduate School Division, Hokkaido University, and the diploma policy of the Graduate School of Life Science.
  • In principle, a doctoral dissertation must be written by a single author. It should not incorporate material from others’ dissertations or infringe on originalities and/or ideas presented in research publications.
  • A doctoral dissertation must not infringe on others’ rights under the law, such as author’s rights, portrait rights, etc.
  • A doctoral dissertation must be developed based on a comprehensive research conducted in accordance with the “Code of Conduct for Scientists at Hokkaido University.”

A doctoral dissertation must fulfill the following requirements:

The following criteria shall be used to evaluate a doctoral dissertation. In this regard, the evaluating committee is entrusted with valuing and adding items as needed.

  • A dissertation must have sufficient academic value based on international standards in major fields. Academic value indicates discovery of unknown things, new analytical methods, theoretical structures and developments, and new academic interpretations or the creation of concepts, which contribute to academic research in current fields.
  • The content must be aligned with a selected theme, and the research methodology must be based on the theme in accordance with advanced research and a high level of originality.
  • A dissertation must have a consecutive structure; content must be presented logically; and conclusions must be complete.

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Master’s thesis

The thesis should be written in Japanese or English about the research that the master degree candidate conducted independently. The thesis will be evaluated based on the diploma policies of the graduate school, and the program and laboratory that the candidate belongs to and the following criteria.

  • A title clearly identifies the topic of the thesis.
  • A introduction (background, objective), methods, results, discussion, figures, tables and references are presented in a standard thesis style.
  • Relevant research is critically investigated and analyzed in the background and objective.
  • Methods are described in detail, so it is clear why they were selected for the research.
  • Data are shown accurately and clearly in the text using figures and tables.
  • Results are interpreted critically and discussed in reaching logical conclusions.
  • The thesis includes original and creative findings.
  • References are listed completely and accurately and with careful attention paid to research ethics, including plagiarism and proper citation.

Doctoral dissertation

The dissertation should be written in Japanese or English about the research conducted independently by the doctoral candidate. The dissertation will be evaluated based on the diploma policies of the graduate school, and the program and laboratory that the candidate belongs to and the following criteria.

  • A title clearly identifies the topic of the dissertation.
  • A introduction (background, objective), chapters including published papers on which the dissertation is based, general discussion, conclusion and references in a standard dissertation style.
  • Previous studies are critically investigated and analyzed to provide the background and objective of the dissertation.
  • The dissertation includes creative and original findings.
  • The research is academically valuable and has the potential for future advances that will contribute significantly to society.

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Rules for evaluating a Master's thesis

The  Academic Regulations  (in French only) set out the general framework for evaluating Master's or Doctoral theses and mandate the dean of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (FESP) to establish and publicize the rules, standards, and procedures.

Body responsible for evaluation

FESP is responsible for the evaluation process; the dean has the authority to make the final decision in the event of a dispute. In order to guarantee the evaluation committee is independent, neutral, and objective, FESP coordinates all steps in the evaluation process.

  • It officially appoints the Master's thesis examiners.
  • It ensures that you, your program director, and your evaluation committee receive all required information (neither you nor your research supervisor have any contact with the examiners during the evaluation process).
  • It transmits the approved version of the initial submission to the members of the committee.

FESP makes certain that the examiners have enough time to review the Master's thesis while also ensuring that you receive your evaluation in a timely manner for the pursuit of your studies or career goals.

Evaluation committee

An evaluation committee consists of ex-officio examiners (research supervisor and co-supervisor) and designated examiners selected on the basis of their expertise in the field to provide an outside perspective on your work. Master's thesis evaluation committees have a minimum of three members.

In cases where the research supervisor is also the program director, the vice dean of studies at the faculty in question assumes program director duties for the purposes of the Master's thesis.

If you have a co-supervisor, FESP recommends the appointment of a fourth examiner.

If there is a preliminary review, the reviewer is usually, but not necessarily, a member of the evaluation committee.

Examiner appointments are subject to the following conditions:

  • Potential candidates must hold a master’s degree in the relevant field (or a related field).
  • The potential candidate must have  no actual or potential conflict of interest  with you that could interfere with their evaluation.

The committee must include an examiner who is in a position to provide an outside perspective on yourMaster's thesis and has not participated or collaborated actively in your work (e.g., by having contributed to a paper included in the Master's thesis).

Approval for initial submission

The initial Master's thesis submission requires three additional approvals:

  • The program director must certify that your file is complete and valid so that you can obtain your diploma once the evaluation process is complete.
  • The supervisor has 4 weeks to approve the Master's thesis for submission or request corrections.
  • FESP must confirm that the format of the document meets presentation and publication standards.

Individual report

Each examiner evaluates the Master's thesis independently, without consulting or discussing with the other committee members.

Review times vary depending on the evaluation start date:

  • Regular semster: 4 weeks
  • Holiday season: 6 weeks (November 28 to December 24)
  • Summer perdio: 8 weeks (Mat 15 to August 15)

Please note: An additional two weeks is added for  Master's theses  exceeding 500 pages, regardless of the time of the year.

Each examiner writes an evaluation report and grades the Master's thesis as follows:

  • Final submission is recommended.  

Unacceptable

  • If the examiner feels that you have the necessary abilities, you are invited to submit a new version of the Master's thesis for a second initial submission and a second evaluation by the same committee.
  • The examiner recommends that the Master's thesis be rejected.

The examiner’s decision is considered final once their report is submitted to FESP. The report remains confidential until the committee’s decision is rendered and communicated to you.

Committee decision

Individual evaluations are compiled to determine whether the Master's thesis is accepted (invitation to proceed with final submission), returned to you for major revisions, or rejected.

Master's thesis is accepted

  • FESP transmits the committee’s decision, forwards the examiners’ evaluation reports, and invites you to proceed with the final submission.
  • You have 8 weeks to make final corrections to the document under the supervision of your supervisor.
  • The research supervisor approves your Master's thesis for final submission.
  • FESP issues final approval so that the master’s degree can be awarded.
  • Master's theses that receive a unanimous grade of “excellent” (or “excellent” from three examiners and “very good” from the other examiners), are entered on the FESP Honour List.

The Master's thesis   is unacceptable in its current state, but the committee will allow you to submit a new version.

  • The committee meets to determine requirements for the new version, which will undergo a second evaluation.
  • Each of the requirements must be agreed to by at least two examiners.
  • FESP informs you of the committee’s decision and forwards the examiners’ evaluation reports as well as the committee report, which gives a deadline, the list of corrections requested, and the name of the person responsible for supervising them.

If you don’t submit a new version of the Master's thesis by the committee’s deadline, a “fail” grade will be entered in your file.  

Master's thesis is rejected

  • The evaluation committee may meet, if one of the examiners so requests, before FESP informs you of your result.
  • FESP transmits the committee’s decision, forwards the examiners’ evaluation reports, and informs you that you have a right of appeal if you can show circumstances or make arguments that invalidate the evaluation process. The final decision of the committee cannot, in itself, be appealed (Academic Regulations 4.47).
  • If you don’t exercise your right to appeal within 10 days, a “fail” grade will be entered in your file. 

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