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Tips on How to Write a Good Thesis Paper

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❶Use numbers where appropriate. What are the likely causes mechanisms underlying these patterns resulting predictions?

Step Two: Title Page

How to Write a Thesis Statement
Step One: The Structure
How to Cite

Don't worry if "results" seem short. Easier for your reader to absorb, frequent shifts of mental mode not required. Ensures that your work will endure in spite of shifting paradigms. Discussion Start with a few sentences that summarize the most important results.

The discussion section should be a brief essay in itself, answering the following questions and caveats: What are the major patterns in the observations? Refer to spatial and temporal variations.

What are the relationships, trends and generalizations among the results? What are the exceptions to these patterns or generalizations? What are the likely causes mechanisms underlying these patterns resulting predictions? Is there agreement or disagreement with previous work? Interpret results in terms of background laid out in the introduction - what is the relationship of the present results to the original question? What is the implication of the present results for other unanswered questions in earth sciences, ecology, environmental policy, etc?

There are usually several possible explanations for results. Be careful to consider all of these rather than simply pushing your favorite one. If you can eliminate all but one, that is great, but often that is not possible with the data in hand.

In that case you should give even treatment to the remaining possibilities, and try to indicate ways in which future work may lead to their discrimination.

A special case of the above. Avoid jumping a currently fashionable point of view unless your results really do strongly support them. What are the things we now know or understand that we didn't know or understand before the present work?

Include the evidence or line of reasoning supporting each interpretation. What is the significance of the present results: This section should be rich in references to similar work and background needed to interpret results.

Is there material that does not contribute to one of the elements listed above? If so, this may be material that you will want to consider deleting or moving. Break up the section into logical segments by using subheads.

Conclusions What is the strongest and most important statement that you can make from your observations? If you met the reader at a meeting six months from now, what do you want them to remember about your paper? Refer back to problem posed, and describe the conclusions that you reached from carrying out this investigation, summarize new observations, new interpretations, and new insights that have resulted from the present work.

Include the broader implications of your results. Do not repeat word for word the abstract, introduction or discussion. Recommendations Include when appropriate most of the time Remedial action to solve the problem.

Further research to fill in gaps in our understanding. Directions for future investigations on this or related topics.

Simpson and Hays cite more than double-author references by the surname of the first author followed by et al. Pfirman, Simpson and Hays would be: Nature , , National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commonly asked questions about ozone. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, pp. Child Review of ciliary structure and function. Biochemistry and Physiology of Protozoa , Vol. Hutner, editor , Academic Press, New York, Bonani A high altitude continental paleotemperature record derived from noble gases dissolved in groundwater from the San Juan Basin, New Mexico.

Tables where more than pages. Calculations where more than pages. You may include a key article as appendix. If you consulted a large number of references but did not cite all of them, you might want to include a list of additional resource material, etc. List of equipment used for an experiment or details of complicated procedures. Figures and tables, including captions, should be embedded in the text and not in an appendix, unless they are more than pages and are not critical to your argument.

Order of Writing Your thesis is not written in the same order as it is presented in. The following gives you one idea how to proceed. Here is another approach. Write up a preliminary version of the background section first. This will serve as the basis for the introduction in your final paper. As you collect data, write up the methods section. It is much easier to do this right after you have collected the data. Be sure to include a description of the research equipment and relevant calibration plots.

When you have some data, start making plots and tables of the data. These will help you to visualize the data and to see gaps in your data collection. If time permits, you should go back and fill in the gaps. You are finished when you have a set of plots that show a definite trend or lack of a trend.

Be sure to make adequate statistical tests of your results. Once you have a complete set of plots and statistical tests, arrange the plots and tables in a logical order. Write figure captions for the plots and tables. As much as possible, the captions should stand alone in explaining the plots and tables. Many scientists read only the abstract, figures, figure captions, tables, table captions, and conclusions of a paper. Be sure that your figures, tables and captions are well labeled and well documented.

Once your plots and tables are complete, write the results section. Writing this section requires extreme discipline. You must describe your results, but you must NOT interpret them. If good ideas occur to you at this time, save them at the bottom of the page for the discussion section. Be factual and orderly in this section, but try not to be too dry. Once you have written the results section, you can move on to the discussion section. This is usually fun to write, because now you can talk about your ideas about the data.

Many papers are cited in the literature because they have a good cartoon that subsequent authors would like to use or modify. In writing the discussion session, be sure to adequately discuss the work of other authors who collected data on the same or related scientific questions. Be sure to discuss how their work is relevant to your work.

If there were flaws in their methodology, this is the place to discuss it. After you have discussed the data, you can write the conclusions section. This fragment not only announces your subject, but it focuses on one segment of the population: Furthermore, it raises a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree, because while most people might agree that children consume more sugar than they used to, not everyone would agree on what should be done or who should do it.

Take a position on the topic. After reflecting on the topic a little while longer, you decide that what you really want to say about this topic is that something should be done to reduce the amount of sugar these children consume.

More attention should be paid to the food and beverage choices available to elementary school children. This statement asserts your position, but the terms more attention and food and beverage choices are vague. You decide to explain what you mean about food and beverage choices , so you write:.

Experts estimate that half of elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion.

Make an assertion based on clearly stated support. You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this:. Because half of all American elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives. Your thesis changed to reflect your new insights. Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject.

For example, if you are writing a paper for a class on fitness, you might be asked to choose a popular weight-loss product to evaluate. Here are two thesis statements:. This is a weak thesis statement. First, it fails to take a stand. Second, the phrase negative and positive aspects is vague. Because Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it poses a potential danger to customers.

Your thesis should indicate the point of the discussion. If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements:.

This is a weak thesis because it merely states an observation. While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family.

The idea is to convince the reader that you have made a strong, logical and persuasive argument that is well supported with facts and examples from reputable sources. Reread your paper and revise as appropriate. Revision is one of the most important parts of writing a thesis paper in college. According to the Dartmouth Writing Program, "real revision is more than making a few changes here and there.

Real revision requires that you open yourself up to the possibility that parts of your paper - and even your entire paper - might need to be re-thought, and re-written. Ashley Lorelle has been writing professionally since She is currently the editor of the literary journal "Figment. How to Make an Introduction in a Research Paper. How to Start an Argumentative Paper.

How to Justify an Evaluation Paper. How to Write a College Thesis Paper. Accessed 14 September Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name.

Warnings Don't hand in your paper until you have proofread it several times. Nothing is more frustrating for a professor than when a thesis paper is turned in with silly typos and grammatical errors that should have been caught easily by proofreading.

Read your paper several times before you print it out and hand it in Do not rely on "spell check" to catch spelling and grammar errors for you. Writing the Academic Paper.


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Perhaps the thesis and dissertation, more than any other type of proposal or paper, are two papers that require a strict structure. Before starting to write a thesis paper every candidate should learn the main parts that every thesis should include.

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Once you have a working thesis, write it down. There is nothing as frustrating as hitting on a great idea for a thesis, then forgetting it when you lose concentration. And by writing down your thesis you will be forced to think of it clearly, logically, and concisely.

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Thesis length Write for brevity rather than length. The goal is the shortest possible paper that contains all information necessary to describe the work and support the interpretation. Avoid unnecessary repetition and irrelevant tangents. Whether you’re writing an argumentative paper, an informative essay, or a compare/contrast statement, you need a thesis. Without a thesis, your argument falls flat and your information is unfocused.

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As you write the essay, you will probably begin to characterize these differences more precisely, and your working thesis may start to seem too vague. Maybe you decide that both sides fought for moral reasons, and that they just focused on different moral issues. Thesis paper writing is a very responsible and time-consuming commitment; many students spend minimum one year at best, and sometimes even a couple of years, to get their research accepted by the committee and get their degree.