Writing Tips

A Short, Dirty Thesis Writing Guide

Table of contents

    There are a lot of components that go into thesis writing. Coming up with a good term paper requires consideration on a lot of different components. Here’s a short, dirty thesis writing guide that will help you compose stronger pieces of writing.

    1. Pick a topic you understand. This is perhaps the most key aspect of writing a good thesis. If you have the option to choose your subject, don’t pick a subject that you don’t understand, or that you lack a strong opinion on. When choosing something to write about, make sure you understand all aspects of the issue, and that you can adequately express your own opinions.

    2. Research both sides. When making any case, especially if your thesis is argumentative in nature (consult the argumentative thesis statement for help), make sure you can explain both sides of the argument. Facts might indicate that one or another side is closer to the “truth,” but it is up to you to persuade the reader by offering the evidence in a way that is both understandable and well-rounded.

    3. Wide variety of sources. A wide variety of sources in your thesis will add credibility to your argument. Including a multitude of voices indicates that you’re capable of analyzing and comprehending an array of concepts, thereby making you appear more knowledgeable. Also, having many different sources of information makes it harder for people to discredit you: if they deem one of your sources irrelevant or faulty, you still have many other sources to which you can point.

    4. Organize. An outline is very important when writing any kind of academic paper. Outlines will help you keep track of all the different arguments in your thesis, which is crucial if it is particularly long or complex. Also, make sure to keep your notes and sources where you can find and cite them easily.

    5. Chunk up. When writing long papers, it’s often helpful to write out a rough estimate of how many words either piece of your paper will contain. This makes it easier for your brain to process, which increases speed and productivity. It is far easier to write six sections with 100 words each than it is to write two sections with 300 words each.

    6. Good title. While this thesis writing guide focuses primarily on the actual writing of a thesis and good writing habits, it is important to keep in mind that a good thesis includes a good thesis title.

    7. “Is” and “Are” are bad words. Not always, of course. There’s nothing wrong with using these words when you’re writing something short (for instance, this thesis writing guide). However, using them over and over again, to the exclusion of all else, hinders your ability to engage your reader.

    8. Avoid passive voice. The passive voice shirks responsibility. Resist the temptation to write “it is said,” because that phrase doesn’t give any kind of credibility to the speaker. A lack of credibility hurts your argument.

    9. Revise. Every thesis should be advised at least once. Have people read over your work to offer helpful comments and point out flaws or gaps in your logic. Revision goes beyond just editing: thoughtful people change their minds.

    Utilize the 9 steps in this thesis writing guide, and you will find that your papers will not only come out better, but come to you easier.

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