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Writing your graduate thesis

Basic element of a thesis

  • Hypothesis: what is the problem and what do you see as the solution?
  • Literature Review: what have others learned about the problem?
  • Methodology: What did you do towards finding a solution?
  • Results: What did you observe?
  • Conclusion/Discussion: What do you make of this?
  • Summary: repeat everything in a simple and clear way
  • References: who did you cite
  • Appendices:  extra parts of your work readers need to see

Stages of writing a thesis

Research phase

  • Set a schedule: create a deadline
  • Know your method:
    • Qualitative?
    • Quantitative?
    • Ethnography?
    • Statistics?
  • Read widely
  • Organize your papers
  • Keep a Study Journal:
    • Meetings with advisor
    • Thoughts, ideas, feelings,
    • New knowledge, reactions, question
  • Become familiar with your documentation guide (APA, MLA, IEEE etc.)
  • Choose a topic and focus
  • Always review your plans with your thesis advisor and keep them informed about your progress

Proposal phase

  • Read examples of other proposals
  • Plan your proposal: Thesis, Title, Headings, and Key Terms
  • Prepare “Review of Literature” and “Methodology”
  • Identify implications and assumptions
  • Write and revise

Format for the Concordia Thesis

A few tips for your writing phase

  • Provide an introduction that…
    • Summarizes the question (problem)
    • Explains why the study is worthwhile
    • Provides an overview of the main results
    • Outlines your thesis
  • Provide a thorough discussion of your results
  • Support claims
  • Keep your conclusions concise, and maintain correct, clear and simple language
  • Use headings and sub-headings that clearly indicate content
  • Be very vigilant with your citations and references
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