Ways & How

how to write a thesis

how to write a thesis how to write a thesis

Every academic experience requires at one point a thesis or a research paper.  A thesis is a scholarly written work based on a research problem pursued by the researcher. A novice or amateur researcher would certainly need to know how to write a thesis. While thesis writing is usually taught in school, the steps can be overwhelming and writers need to be guided as they progress. The basic steps in writing a thesis are similar to the steps in writing a research paper. After all, a thesis is a research paper. The steps require several processes that take time to accomplish. Students intending to write a thesis must learn to manage their time well. Here are the major steps:

  1. The first step is to choose a topic. The topic must be interesting enough to drive you to pursue it. There should be available and adequate sources on the topic. This means that you have to visit the library and source out possible materials. Make sure that writing on that topic has some value or significance to a group of readers other than yourself.

    Consider the time frame and possible constraints.

  2. The second step is to write your research problem. Based on the sources you have read, examine areas of problematicity. This should be your basis for writing a thesis. Write down specific research questions based on the general area you intend to address. To formulate your research questions, consider the type of research you intend to embark. Is it quantitative or a qualitative research? Is it analytic or descriptive research? The kind of research you wish to undertake will determine the phrasing of your research questions. Good research questions are doable, interesting and relevant. The answers should be able to confirm or refute previous findings on similar studies. You may consult your thesis adviser on formulating your research questions.

  3. The third step is to prepare a working bibliography, read extensively on the topic and take down notes. Examine findings, conclusions and recommendations on related studies. You should be able to decide on the scope and limitation and, more importantly, articulate the theoretical and conceptual framework of your study. Your study must be supported by theories and principles which serve as a basis for framing your concept of the study.  A sizable volume of readings will enable you to map out your frameworks.

  4. The theoretical framework presents all the theories that explain why the problem under study exists. It becomes the basis for conducting the research. Most theses have to be written with a theoretical framework to begin with. When writing the framework, you should cite the proponents of the theory and provide a summary of the theory’s major points. You may confer with your thesis adviser in the choices of your study’s theoretical underpinnings.

  5. The fourth step is to write a thesis outline. This entails knowing the parts and sub-parts of the thesis. Usually, an academic thesis has to be proposed first before it can be conducted. The thesis proposal is comprised basically of three major parts: the problem and its scope, a review of literature and related studies and methodology. The sub-parts or sections in each chapter or major heading vary from school to school and the choice of research design. The methodology section would be written based on the research design and specific research methods employed.

  6. The fifth step is to conduct the study and write the results, findings, conclusions and recommendations based on these. Some research may take time to conduct. Thus, writing the last chapters will have to wait until the data gathering and analysis are done. The last chapters of the thesis will depend on the success of the conduct of the study and the analysis and interpretation of data.

All throughout the writing of the thesis, it would be best to consult your thesis adviser for better guidance. Your academic adviser would surely be able to explain to you the details in how to write a thesis.


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