How to Write a Thesis

If you’ve applied and been excepted to a higher level academic program, such as a Masters program, you’ll likely need to write this type of paper. Wondering how to write a thesis? You’re not alone! Like many types of papers, this assignment has its own format and guidelines. How to write a thesis varies greatly from how to write a narrative essay or even a report. Many students stress about how to write a thesis, but they don’t have to: understanding how to write a thesis is half the battle! Once you understand how to write a thesis, everything else will fall into a place. Let’s start by defining what a thesis is and isn’t.

Thesis Definition

According to New York University, this paper is an academic research assignment that is typically around 12,000 words or 50 pages in length. According to their common thesis definition, this type of paper should propose an original argument that is supported with both primary and secondary sources. While it is heavily researched-based, it should focus on the student’s original idea. The student researches sources relevant to his or her idea and shows how current research supports the argument presented in the paper. By this definition, the final paper should provide new and interesting documentation to a relevant topic within the field of interest the paper is focused on. While each college and university may alter their specific guidelines for a thesis definition, this is a solid basis. If you’re still wondering how to write a thesis, read on.

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Thesis Examples

The Graduate College at Illinois offers students wondering how to write a thesis some great thesis examples. These examples include bubble commentary on expectations and formatting guidelines to ensure that students have the best information available for success. These examples contain exemplars for sample title pages, abstracts, dedication pages, acknowledgment pages, and more! If your school doesn’t provide online examples, take a few minutes to search online; many schools provide excellent thesis examples which will help you gain a more detailed understanding on how to write a thesis.

Thesis Outline

Still confused about the ins and outs of how to write a thesis? Check out this outline regarding the specifics on thesis writing. Taking the time to complete a thesis outline can save you tons of time later during the research process. Sit down and logically outline what kind of research you need to support your idea. Once you find the research, take notes on a sentence outline and created a Works Cited page as you go; doing so while you research will save a great deal of time later in the process.

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Thesis Format

A thesis format can take many forms, and your faculty mentor should provide you with guidance regarding the college or university’s expectation regarding their thesis submission guidelines. However most papers of this type follow a general thesis format. Typically, your thesis format will be divided into several chapters.

  • Chapter 1: The Purpose and Importance of the Presented Idea
  • Chapter 2: Review of Current Research
  • Chapter 3: Selected Methodology
  • Chapter 4: Research Findings
  • Chapter 5: Discussion
  • Chapter 6: Conclusion

While the thesis format and terminology may vary by higher education institution, these are the general divisions to help you tackle how to write a thesis. Each section is approximately 10 pages give or take a few pages; some sections may be shorter or longer depending on the content. For example Chapter 1 may be five pages in length, but Chapter 2 may be 15 pages.

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Masters Thesis

Most Masters programs require a thesis as a graduation requirement. The Masters program will assign you a faculty mentor to help you navigate how to write a thesis. He or she will help you narrow your topic, recommend reliable sources, and review drafts of your Masters thesis. Remember: your faculty mentor is meant as a guide; he or she will not find research or help you interpret it any way. All of that is up to you. They may review your writing and provide constructive criticisms, but that’s it. A Masters thesis is typically assigned in the second year of the program, and students have a full year to work on and perfect it before submitting it and defending it. Part of a Masters thesis is not only creating the written document, but defending it before a panel of appropriate.

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Thesis Defense

Many students dread the thesis defense, but they shouldn’t. If you’ve diligently worked through all the stages of how to write a thesis, then your thesis defense should go smoothly. There are usually two kinds of a thesis defense. First, students present their thesis to a small panel of experts alone in a room. The panel for the thesis defense may range from three to eight (or more in some cases) people. The student presents their thesis, covering the main chapters and then the panel asks questions regarding research and conclusions made within the thesis. Second, students may be asked to present their thesis defense in front of a panel and an audience. Both the panel and audience may ask questions, or just the panel. To do well during a thesis defense, students need to know the information inside and out and confidently present it. The length of a thesis defense depends upon the amount of questions asked. However, typically the student’s presentation is approximately 30-45 minutes and the same time is allotted for questions and defense.

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Writing this academic paper will be a hard but rewarding experience. As a longer writing assignment, it’s imperative that you outline your approach and monitor your progress to ensure that you can complete the paper by the deadline date. Start early and don’t procrastinate. Use all the resources available to you: your faculty mentor, online examples, and perhaps even a professional writing service. Once you’ve completed your research, a professional writing service can identify and fix pesky grammar and formatting mistakes to ensure that your ideas and conclusions shine in the final draft of your thesis.

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