How to Write a Thesis Paper for College
A college thesis (also known as a dissertation ) is the crowning achievement of a student’s hard work. For many, a thesis is the culmination of many years of study within a particular major or field, such as literature, history, or business.
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In a student’s final year, the thesis can be seen as the final component of one’s candidacy for a degree; in other words, it is the last opportunity a student has to show off what they’ve learned and internalized.
Generally speaking, a thesis should challenge an intellectual question in a persuasive manner, inciting thought-provoking discussion or argument in readers. College theses are mostly just extended academic essays , though it is important to include all of the elements that are expected in a well-developed college thesis.
Drafting a thesis statement
Most research for a college thesis begins with a question. Think about the topics and theories that you’ve studied over the course of your degree. Is there a question that hasn’t been answered adequately in your field? Is there a topic that’s sustained your intrigue and is worth exploring further?
As you keep this question in mind, read everything you can about the topic. Ask one of the college librarians for assistance—they will know exactly what you’re looking for and what materials will best support your research. In addition to searching for information online, perusing academic databases, journals, and books can be very helpful.
In this initial drafting phase, the more information you gather, the easier it will be to form your argument. Your thesis statement should answer this one simple question: what is your paper about? Being able to clearly articulate your argument or assertion in your thesis statement is key, as your readers will be able to quickly identify what you’re trying to prove.
Organizing an outline
With so many ideas and tidbits from your initial research floating around, creating an outline is essential for organization. Even if your professor hasn’t asked for one, outlines are still incredibly helpful tools for structuring your thesis—which will probably be the longest and most involved paper you’ve ever written.
All academic essays have an introduction and a conclusion . (Typically, your thesis statement will come at the end of your introduction.) The paragraphs in between will make up your supporting arguments, but it is important that your argument flows smoothly.
As you organize your outline, plan out the subject for each paragraph or subsection. You’ll want to make sure that each subject supports your thesis statement and furthers your argument. Know that your outline is merely a starting point; as you conduct research and start writing, the structure is apt to change.
>>READ MORE: 7 Helpful Essay Tips
Gathering supporting evidence and research
After defining the outline and thesis statement, you are ready to start the process of developing your supporting evidence. For your dissertation to be successful, you need to effectively argue your claims, and the best way to do so is by relying on hard facts.
Spend time rigorously researching your topic. Gathering between 15-20 primary and secondary sources is a good rule of thumb at this stage. As you research, you can link up supporting evidence with certain sections of your paper based on your outline. The more evidence you compile, the better equipped you will be to root your claims in fact-based logic—which will fortify your overall argument.
At this point, it’s finally time to start writing. Don’t think too deeply about finding the perfect words for every sentence; get the bulk of the argument down and worry about editing later. Being a perfectionist while writing will only impede your progress.
It’s important to remember that an effective thesis has a definable, arguable claim. Your sentences should be concise, authoritative, and specific. By focusing on structure and the way your points flow together, your thesis will gain persuasive strength.
While writing, keep in mind that a solid argument not only revolves around a strong thesis but also acknowledges opposing points of view. Anticipating the counterarguments will help you refine your thesis. After all, every argument has a counterargument. If yours doesn’t, your paper might be an opinion, but not a valid argument.
Formatting special sections like appendices
Once you’ve written, tweaked, and finished your thesis, you can turn your attention to the “special” sections of your paper, like its appendix or bibliography. Depending on the instructions you’ve received, your bibliography may need to follow a specific style and format, such as APA , MLA , or Chicago Style . Remember that each formatting style has specific guidelines for citing different types of sources, including books , PDFs , TV shows , and speeches . Use Grammarly’s free Citation Generator for more help in citing your sources.
After all the hard work you’ve done, you don’t want to lose points because your table of contents was ill-defined or you forgot to add page numbers. Getting a second pair of eyes to look over your formatting and using a writing assistant are two handy ways to double-check your paper before submitting it.
There is no greater feeling than turning in an assignment that you’ve spent months—if not years—working to complete. By following these useful steps, you can feel confident that your thesis paper presents an interesting and irrefutable argument that showcases all you’ve learned.
Thesis and Purpose Statements
Use the guidelines below to learn the differences between thesis and purpose statements
In the first stages of writing, thesis or purpose statements are usually rough or ill-formed and are useful primarily as planning tools.
A thesis statement or purpose statement will emerge as you think and write about a topic. The statement can be restricted or clarified and eventually worked into an introduction.
As you revise your paper, try to phrase your thesis or purpose statement in a precise way so that it matches the content and organization of your paper.
A thesis statement is a sentence that makes an assertion about a topic and predicts how the topic will be developed. It does not simply announce a topic: it says something about the topic.
Good: X has made a significant impact on the teenage population due to its . . . Bad: In this paper, I will discuss X.
A thesis statement makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of the paper. It summarizes the conclusions that the writer has reached about the topic.
A thesis statement is generally located near the end of the introduction. Sometimes in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or an entire paragraph.
A thesis statement is focused and specific enough to be proven within the boundaries of the paper. Key words (nouns and verbs) should be specific, accurate, and indicative of the range of research, thrust of the argument or analysis, and the organization of supporting information.
A purpose statement announces the purpose, scope, and direction of the paper. It tells the reader what to expect in a paper and what the specific focus will be.
Common beginnings include:
“This paper examines . . .,” “The aim of this paper is to . . .,” and “The purpose of this essay is to . . .”
A purpose statement makes a promise to the reader about the development of the argument but does not preview the particular conclusions that the writer has drawn.
A purpose statement usually appears toward the end of the introduction. The purpose statement may be expressed in several sentences or even an entire paragraph.
A purpose statement is specific enough to satisfy the requirements of the assignment. Purpose statements are common in research papers in some academic disciplines, while in other disciplines they are considered too blunt or direct. If you are unsure about using a purpose statement, ask your instructor.
This paper will examine the ecological destruction of the Sahel preceding the drought and the causes of this disintegration of the land. The focus will be on the economic, political, and social relationships which brought about the environmental problems in the Sahel.
Sample purpose and thesis statements
The following example combines a purpose statement and a thesis statement (bold).
The goal of this paper is to examine the effects of Chile’s agrarian reform on the lives of rural peasants. The nature of the topic dictates the use of both a chronological and a comparative analysis of peasant lives at various points during the reform period. . . The Chilean reform example provides evidence that land distribution is an essential component of both the improvement of peasant conditions and the development of a democratic society. More extensive and enduring reforms would likely have allowed Chile the opportunity to further expand these horizons.
For more tips about writing thesis statements, take a look at our new handout on Developing a Thesis Statement.
Writing Process and Structure
This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.
Getting Started with Your Paper
Interpreting Writing Assignments from Your Courses
Generating Ideas for Your Paper
Creating an Argument
Thesis vs. Purpose Statements
Developing a Thesis Statement
Architecture of Arguments
Working with Sources
Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources
Using Literary Quotations
Citing Sources in Your Paper
Drafting Your Paper
Developing Strategic Transitions
Revising Your Paper
Revising an Argumentative Paper
Revision Strategies for Longer Projects
Finishing Your Paper
Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist
How to Proofread your Paper
Collaborative and Group Writing
- Top Definitions
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- a part of a metrical foot that does not bear the ictus or stress.
- (less commonly) the part of a metrical foot that bears the ictus. Compare arsis (def. 2) .
OTHER WORDS FOR thesis
Origin of thesis, historical usage of thesis, words that may be confused with thesis, words nearby thesis, words related to thesis, how to use thesis in a sentence.
“The Saudis have been proving the thesis of the film — they do in fact have an army,” said Thor Halvorssen, founder and chief executive of the nonprofit Human Rights Foundation, which funded the movie.
It’s a hypo thesis that Bush pursued in her master’s thesis , and last year she began attending virtual Goth parties in a final round of field work before defending her doctoral thesis later this year.
While this partnership was planned prior to the coronavirus outbreak, co-founder Jordana Kier said the pandemic instantly proved out the expansion thesis .
They’ve had to defend that thesis for a very, very long time in front of a variety of different customers and different people.
Over the past decade, In-Q-Tel has been one of the most active investors in the commercial space sector, with a broad investment thesis that touches many aspects of the sector.
In “Back Home,” Gil also revisits the nostalgia for the South explored in his Johns Hopkins thesis , “Circle of Stone.”
At least father and son were in alignment on this central thesis : acting “gay”—bad; being thought of as gay—bad.
Her doctoral thesis , says Ramin Takloo at the University of Illinois, was simply outstanding.
Marshall McLuhan long ago argued the now accepted thesis that different mediums have different influences on thinking.
He wrote his Master's thesis on the underrepresentation of young people in Congress.
And indeed for most young men a college thesis is but an exercise for sharpening the wits, rarely dangerous in its later effects.
It will be for the reader to determine whether the main thesis of the book has gained or lost by the new evidence.
But the word thesis , when applied to Systems, does not mean the 'position' of single notes, but of groups of notes.
This conclusion, it need hardly be said, is in entire agreement with the main thesis of the preceding pages.
Sundry outlying Indians, with ammunition to waste, took belly and knee rests and strengthened the thesis to the contrary.
British Dictionary definitions for thesis
Word origin for thesis, cultural definitions for thesis.
The central idea in a piece of writing, sometimes contained in a topic sentence .
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New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) An NSUI leader debarred by the Delhi University over his alleged involvement in the screening of a controversial BBC documentary on 2002 Gujarat riots on Wednesday urged the Delhi High Court to permit him to submit his PhD thesis before the retirement of his supervisor on April 30. While senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the PhD scholar and NSUI national secretary Lokesh Chugh, apprehended that the varsity will later “appoint a supervisor of its own choice” if interim relief was not granted, counsel for the varsity M Rupal stated no prejudice would be caused and an interference by court will send a “wrong message”.
Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav was informed that the petitioner has completed all formalities and was bound to appear for viva, and that the university should assure that post the retirement of the present supervisor, one of the “advisors” who had worked with the petitioner on the thesis would replace him. Attorney General R Venkataramani, also representing the university, urged the court to defer hearing in the matter as he was appearing in a constitution bench hearing before the Supreme Court. Rupal said the petitioner’s thesis and the role of his supervisor was over and that if he succeeds in his case here, it would be processed as per procedure and there was no urgency in the matter. “A wrong message will go. They are alleging urgency without showing the rules. There is no impediment,” he contended.
“Even if the supervisor retires, it will not come in the way. The department continues,” added the lawyer.
After being informed that the petitioner’s thesis was “returned” by the authorities post submission on account of the debarment order, Justice Kaurav directed that the matter be listed for further consideration on Thursday.
The judge observed that no prejudice should be caused to the petitioner when the matter is pending before the court.
The petitioner had approached the high court earlier this month challenging the university’s decision to debar him for one year for his alleged involvement in the screening of the documentary – India: The Modi Question – related to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The documentary was screened earlier this year.
The Delhi University (DU) registrar had issued Chugh a memorandum in March under which he was not allowed to take part in “any university or college or departmental examination for one year”.
The varsity has opposed the plea against the debarment order, saying the petitioner indulged in gross indiscipline which tarnished the image of a premier educational institution. The university, in its reply filed to the petition, said it acted on the basis of a newspaper report on “banning the BBC documentary” and several persons, including the petitioner, assembled on the campus to screen the documentary in violation of Section 144 (issuance of prohibitory orders) of Code of Criminal Procedure imposed by police authorities.
The petitioner, has claimed in his plea, that he was not involved in the screening, and to his knowledge, there was no prohibition on the screening of the documentary.
But the DU has said that instead of concentrating on his research, the petitioner was “instrumental in inciting other students and indulging in petty politics”, which was detrimental to discipline and was causing disruption in academic functioning.
The reply said after watching the videos, a committee constituted after the incident “found that the mastermind of the agitation was the petitioner” and he was seen “actively being part of the unlawful assembly”.
The Centre had issued directions for blocking multiple YouTube videos and Twitter posts sharing links to the BBC documentary, which was described by the Ministry of External Affairs as a “propaganda piece” that lacked objectivity and reflected a colonial mindset.
In its reply, the Delhi University also stated that the debarment decision was legally valid and as per the law relating to disciplinary proceedings.
The university also opposed the petitioner’s claim of violation of natural justice and asserted that before the imposition of the punishment, he was issued a show-cause notice and was also granted a personal hearing by the disciplinary committee.
The recommendations of the committee were placed before the competent authority, that is, the vice chancellor, who passed the debarment order on March 10, informed the reply.
The petitioner, represented by lawyer Naman Joshi, has claimed in his plea he was not present at the site of the alleged screening and that the authorities had acted against him with a “premeditated mind”. PTI ADS SRY SRY
This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.
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IPiB Thesis Defense May 8, 2023: Thuong Ho
Ho, who is a member of the Merrins Lab , has focused his research on identifying the mechanism for insulin secretion in cells.
“Knowing more about insulin secretion is important,” explains Ho, “because there are serious medical conditions, including diabetes, that occur when insulin secretion is not properly regulated.”
His research aims to achieve a more nuanced understanding of how insulin secretion occurs within cells.
Ho says, “We’ve known for a while that the mechanism for insulin secretion is dependent on energy signaling involving ATP”—or adenosine triphosphate, a molecule which provides energy required for cells to carry out functions and processes. “The Merrins Lab had identified that the level of a certain enzyme — pyruvate kinase — has a surprising correlation with insulin secretion. We often associate the mitochondria with energy signaling because it produces so much ATP. Pyruvate kinase makes a smaller amount of ATP, but it has a stronger correlation with energy production when it comes to insulin secretion.”
Ho’s research been published in several print and online journals, including Cell Metabolism , Cell Reports , and eLife .
One of the keys to his success, Ho says, is the breadth of knowledge he’s been able to draw on through his mentors and committee members.
“My committee members have different areas of expertise, and they have helped me think about my research less narrowly,” he says. “I am a biochemist, but I’m asked questions by someone with a physiology background. Addressing those questions adds significance to the work.”
Just as important to the development of his research, he says, has been the community of peers that Ho has found in IPiB.
“Apart from the science, the friendships and collaborations have been the best part of grad school,” says Ho. “I’ve been lucky to have peers I can talk to about what’s going on with my work. We can share and push each other throughout this process.”
After graduating, Ho is looking forward to building on the experiences he’s had as a graduate student working with WiSolve Consulting Group . He will join the team at Boston Consulting Group in Seattle, where he will help advise businesses on management decisions.
To learn more about Ho’s research, attend his Ph.D. defense on Monday, May 8 at 2:00 p.m. CT in Room 175 of the DeLuca Biochemistry Laboratories Building.
Learn more about this event.
All academic essays have an introduction and a conclusion. (Typically, your thesis statement will come at the end of your introduction.) The paragraphs in between will make up your supporting arguments, but it is important that your argument flows smoothly. As you organize your outline, plan out the subject for each paragraph or subsection.
A thesis statement makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of the paper. It summarizes the conclusions that the writer has reached about the topic. A thesis statement is generally located near the end of the introduction. Sometimes in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or an entire ...
Thesis definition, a proposition stated or put forward for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections: He vigorously defended his thesis on the causes of war. See more.
In general, your thesis is expected to contribute new knowledge to your field of study. For a PhD, there is a more stringent requirement for an original research discovery to form the basis of your "new knowledge". Your Thesis is a major paper, maybe 50 pages, reviewed by a committee of your professors. Wow.
thesis: 1 n an unproved statement put forward as a premise in an argument Type of: assumption , premise , premiss a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion can be drawn n a treatise advancing a new point of view resulting from research; usually a requirement for an advanced academic degree Synonyms: dissertation Type ...
The Delaware Contemporary is pleased to host AQUIFIER, the 2023 University of Delaware Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition. Each year, this capstone exhibition leads MFA candidates through their professional transition after two or three years of experimenting and developing formal studio practices within the supportive space of the graduate school. EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Ezra Asohan, Kyle ...
New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI) An NSUI leader debarred by the Delhi University over his alleged involvement in the screening of a controversial BBC documentary on 2002 Gujarat riots on Wednesday urged the Delhi High Court to permit him to submit his PhD thesis before the retirement of his supervisor on April 30.
Senior Thesis Study will be taking place on April 30, 2023 at 9:00 AM (ET). Learn more about how you can attend this event or add it to your calendar. ... Quinnipiac is a private, coeducational university where students engage in an educational experience that’s both personal and challenging from faculty who care deeply about student outcomes ...
Thuong Ho, an IPiB graduate student, will be defending his Ph.D. research on May 8. Ho, who is a member of the Merrins Lab, has focused his research on identifying the mechanism for insulin secretion in cells. “Knowing more about insulin secretion is important,” explains Ho, “because there are serious medical conditions, including ...
MCB Thesis Seminar will be taking place on May 11, 2023 at 3:00 PM (ET). Learn more about how you can attend this event or add it to your calendar. ... Quinnipiac is a private, coeducational university where students engage in an educational experience that’s both personal and challenging from faculty who care deeply about student outcomes ...