Academic writing prompts: organizing a thesis

In most cases, writing in institutions of higher learning is a form of persuasion. The student aims to persuade others that they have an interesting point of view, which is different from the ones that are already in existence. Writing a thesis is no different, and in order to persuade the reader of the potency of the ideas in it, the writer has to organize their train of thought well. A thesis is often the end result of a long thought process, and the organization of those thoughts determines whether or not they make sense. The following is a general guide to the organization of a thesis.

  • Title page- this contains the general information about the writer. It will have information on things like the author’s name and the institution they are in. Their contact details like phone and email, the department they are in, instructors’ names and the date that the thesis is due.
  • Abstract- abstracts are a short justification of the paper and the efforts the writer went through in investigating the phenomena they present in the paper. They should be both short and clear, and have some of the most important points in the thesis.
  • Table of contents- this is list of all the headings and their subheadings in the paper. It is a tool of convenience, guiding the reader through the paper. It should also include a list of figures, tables and appendices.
  • Introduction: experts say it is almost impossible to write a proper introduction without knowing what the paper is all about. With this information in mind, the writer should consider writing the introduction after finishing the body of the paper. Introductions state the goal of the paper, give background information on the topic and summarize previous work on the field of study.
  • Methods- this section highlights how the writer gathered the information that they used in the thesis. It should describe the materials, theory, calculations and the technique that the researcher used. The methods section should be such that the results are believable and clear enough that another researcher can replicate the study.
  • Results- these are the results of the procedures that the writer went through in the methods section to gather information and prove right or wrong the hypothesis formulated in the research question.
  • Discussion- this section discusses the significance of the results with respect to the hypothesis and the field of study.
  • Other key areas are the reference section and the appendices.

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