Your thesis represents one of the pinnacles of your academic achievement, so you have to give it the time and the attention it deserves. The following are some universal guidelines about thesis writing which we hope will help you in carrying out this challenging task successfully.
Choosing the right topic is critical; in the first stage, you can choose a broad area for your thesis, for example, The Role of Women in the French Resistance in the Second World War, which you will narrow down later. Ask yourself which topic belonging to your subject interests you the most; you will be working on your thesis for an extended period, so your interest and enthusiasm should not run out during that period.
Make sure to find an appropriate supervisor who will guide you in your topic. Your thesis will not work out if you choose a topic which is of great interest to you, but there is no one in your university who has sufficient knowledge in that particular area to act as your supervisor.
Likewise, you have to make sure that the appropriate resources are available so that you can research your topic adequately. It will not be at all useful if you choose a topic, however interesting to you, on which very little information is available.
Literature Review: You have to next begin your background research to find out all that has been already written by other researchers on the topic. This will help you to identify a gap in the available literature which your thesis can fill up; after all, the whole point about thesis writing is that you have to make an original contribution to your chosen field of knowledge.
Narrow down your topic and formulate the research questions. After you have conducted the Literature Review, you will be able to narrow down your topic and you can now decide on the main question that your thesis will answer, as well as the sub questions. You may find that ‘Discrimination faced by Women in the French Resistance as reflected in the Tasks allotted to them’ is a relatively unexamined area and you can now focus on this more specific area.
Conducting the actual research is the most time consuming and important part about thesis writing, for now you will formulate a thesis statement and answer your research questions.
You have to follow the guidelines set down by your university department when you are writing your thesis, and you have to be familiar with these before you start writing the first draft. These may be important like the required length of your final thesis, its structure, what elements it should contain, the referencing, formatting and presentation style of the thesis, etc. Check with your supervisor and find out the correct thesis writing guidelines.
Writing the first draft will be the next and the most nerve racking stage when you have completed your research and will be writing up the results.
Thesis structure: Although the structure for thesis writing may vary depending on your level of study, field of study, etc, there is a common thesis structure consisting of
The Title page, Contents page, The Abstract, Declaration of Originality, Acknowledgements, Introduction, Literature Review, the Thesis chapters, Conclusion, Bibliography and Appendices
which may need to be adjusted according to your needs and departmental guidelines.
Professional editing: The last important thing about thesis writing once it is complete is to have it professionally edited. After the enormous effort you have put into it, it is critical that the result of your labors is well written, polished and presented in the correct way.
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