Thesis writing guide: Five steps to basic thesis writing

by on October 8, 2011
in Being a writer

Writing a thesis, whether it is in middle school, high school or at the college level, requires you to follow some very basic steps. You can, of course, expect the degree of difficulty in writing the paper to increase as you move up the academic ladder. The fundamental steps that must be followed to create a thesis or paper that can earn you a passing mark, however, do not.

The first step is the simplest and the most difficult at the same time. The formulation of your thesis can take more time than the research or writing phases of the work. Still, you want a nailed-down, solid thesis (theory) on which to base your work. If it is too broad, it will require a book to cover. If, on the other hand, it is too narrow and shallow, you will have trouble meeting the page count and fulfilling the academic requirements.

The next step is to use your thesis to formulate your outline. The initial outline should be somewhat tentative. After all, you may discover facts or data in your research that need to be added or that will change the way you wish to present your findings. Still, the basic outline needs to be done and followed, even during the research phase.

Once you have a working outline, you can move on to the research phase. Research can be done by reading and compiling information from various reference sources or, in the case of scientific papers, you might actually need to perform lab or field work, as well. Keeping detailed notes and ensuring that you have all of your source information notated on your outline can be a big help.

Once research is done, then you can begin composing the paper. You want a good introduction. Make it at least one solid paragraph and be sure to state your thesis in the form of a sentence in the first paragraph. The following paragraphs, after your introduction, will begin the body of the work. The body follows the outline that you have been fine-tuning all throughout your research. It lays out the facts that support your thesis following a logical sequence.

Finally, you will write your conclusion. The conclusion should hit the high notes on the most crucial points that back up your theory. It should then end with a restatement or summarization of your thesis. The conclusion of the paper is probably the hardest part to write, and the most crucial. Spend as much time as you need to get it just right.

Writing a thesis or other research paper is about following basic steps. These fundamental guidelines will not change even as you move forward towards your degree. Eventually, you might even be called upon to write the ultimate thesis, a doctoral dissertation. If you do, you will still follow these same basic steps in order to achieve the success you seek.

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