The Introduction section of your thesis is where you paint the big picture and connect your work into the bigger questions and issues out there. The literature section is where you position your work see above , and the discussion section is where you take your results and connect them back to the big issues you described in the Introduction. Let's use the puzzle metaphor again. The literature section is describing the most important pieces of the puzzle and the ones surrounding the missing piece. Your RQ is framing the missing piece, your ME is describing how you will fill that hole, and your RE is the final missing piece.
Then your discussion section at the end of the thesis is stepping back and looking at the big picture of the puzzle now with your little piece in it. Let's take everything I mentioned above and turn it into the first pages of your thesis and the first version of your thesis format. Open your text editor. Write the following section headers:.
Next, take each section, and underneath the header, write in bullet points things you will write about under that section. Introduction 1. For each sub-section, write bullet points that describe what should be discussed under the sub-header. Now you have a skeleton of a thesis that will help you address the writing piecemeal. You can choose small parts here and there to work on, and you will have a good structure to keep the parts together to form the whole thesis.
Every now and then revise the whole super structure to make it balanced and to support your work. For example, many students decide that a the research question is a sub-section under the Introduction e. Research Question. Some writers feel more comfortable having the literature part also as a sub-section of the Introduction. Don't forget to check with your professor whether they agree with the structure you have.
For example, some professors require a Conclusions section in the thesis, and some disciplines of research typically separate the analysis of results from the actual Results section. Why is this research important? Is there a bigger phenomenon that this research of yours is part of?
Why people in your profession should care about this thesis?
What has been done related to this mainly in academic publications? What do the authors say about the topic? How does your research question relate to these previous studies? How do you apply them or add to them? Based on what they say, what do you say? You save weeks of work once you find an expert. Based on what other people have studied before, what is the question that no one has really answered yet?
What is the main question, and what are perhaps the two or three sub-questions that you need to answer to be able to answer the main question?
How to Write a Literature Review | A Step-by-Step Guide
Look twice what you write in your RQ, because you will have to answer these questions :. How do you find an answer to the research question? How do you gather data? From where do you gather data? How do you analyze the data? Out of all the methods in the world, why did you choose this one? What is good about it and what is not? What were the alternative methods, and what were their pros and cons?
What is the answer to the research question?
- Structuring a thesis.
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What are the answers to the sub-questions? Keep this simple and clear. How could someone criticize your results? Are they internally valid the data was gathered and analyzed correctly? Are the results externally valid can they be generalized and how? Based on the results, what can you say about the bigger picture you described in your introduction? How could someone apply your results for further research? Or perhaps apply in a non-research context e. Take each section at a time and one question at a time and answer them in bullet points.
Suddenly you have several pages of your thesis ready. Then turn the bullet points into actual text that is easy to read remember to keep your audience in mind. And that is how you climb the thesis mountain one step at a time. Let me know if you found this blog post useful and if you have suggestions or other comments. I hope these tips and points help you get your thesis done and over with, so that you to focus on perhaps the more important things in life :. Futu Connect is our semi-regular roundup of all things Futurice. Be in the know about career-changing events, industry-leading content, non-profit passion projects, and an ever-changing job board.
Futurice Group. Group Companies. Columbia Road. Here's what I have learned as an instructor: Four common pitfalls in writing a thesis 1.
Writing for no one. Great, now you have an idea what pitfalls to avoid.
Defining thesis topics for undergraduate students
But how to write a great thesis? A clear main question is important because it is the thread of your argumentation. It also helps you to select information that is really relevant. Select information — written, visual or otherwise. Document your sources carefully: if you use written sources, write down the title, the name of the author, and the place and year of publication. When you reference text, write down the exact page number of the original text. While reading, make notes in your own words.
Perhaps add a glossary of terms to the thesis.
Research comes before writing, but you should not defer writing too long. While you are writing, keep the following in mind:. Writing is a process that has its own logic. Some writers work with a set text scheme, others write while they think. Usually a combination of both works best. In any case, your text should have a clear structure, otherwise readers will get confused.
The main question is the key to a clear structure as each chapter should deal with a particular aspect of that question. You can also help the reader by making your own line of thoughts explicit: explain which steps you have been taking and how they are connected. Write a paragraph or chapter, put it aside for while, then read it again and rewrite it. Ask fellow students or friends to read your text and give comments.
2. Well-defined research project
It is their job to help you. Sources on the web need a date and timestamp to indicate when the resource was referenced. It is required to store the resource link URL in archive. Typeface 11 or 12, 1.