How to write Thesis book

how thesis get written some cool tips and how write thesis statement in essay and how to write thesis statement for analysis essay how to write thesis results and discussion
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DrLaurenHepburn,United Kingdom,Researcher
Published Date:07-07-2017
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How Theses Get Written: Some Hot Tips Dr Steve Easterbrook NASA/WVU Software Research Lab 1Outline • Part 1: Writing your thesis (1) Context: What is a thesis (for)? (2) How Do I Get Started? (3) What Should My Thesis Contain? (4) How Do I Get Finished? (5) Summary • Part 2: The Examiner’s View (1) Oh God, not another thesis to read... (2) What’s this one about? (3) Now there must be some corrections... (4) Let’s see, what can I ask the candidate? 2What is a thesis? • An argument • An exposition of an original piece of work • The product of an apprenticeship • Probably the largest (most self-indulgent) piece of work you’ll ever do • Something that could be published “A thesis for the PhD must form a distinctive contribution to the knowledge of the subject and afford evidence of originality shown by the discovery of new facts and/or by the exercise of independent critical power.” (U. of London regulations) 3Examination Issues • The thesis is what you are examined on. Hence: È Choose your examiners well È Target your thesis at them È Keep abreast of their work • Whatever your research is like, it’s what you say in the thesis that matters 4How do I get started? • Do this today: È Decide your title È Write your title page È Start a file È (Look at some theses in your area) È Plan your argument 5Plan Your Argument Introduction (area of study) “A Ph.D. is examined by submission of a thesis... The problem (that I tackle) “Many students fail to complete their theses within the regulation four years... Literature Survey “Empirical studies indicate that late submission is highly correlated with delaying the start of the write-up... My solution “A model of DPhil study which encourages an early start to the thesis writing task is clearly desirable... How I implement my “Such a model encourages the student to plan a solution structure for the thesis and collect material for each chapter throughout their study... The result “Application of this model dramatically improves submission rates.” 6Plan your thesis • Convert this argument into a chapter outline • Start a file with a division for each chapter • Collect material in this file • Set out clearly what each chapter should say 7What the thesis should contain Title (and title page) - conveys a message Abstract - for the librarian Contents Listing - shows the right things are there Acknowledgements - get your supervisor on your side Introduction - says “I am going to look at the following things”. Review of Previous Work - show you know the subject Philosophy of Approach - no great detail Plan of Attack - a bit more specific Description of the work Critical analysis of the results - show you know its limitations Future Work - show you know what’s missing Conclusions - repetition of the intro, but with reference to the detail. References - Cover the field; examiners will look for key references Appendices - Nitty Gritty details that would clutter your eloquent description 8Say everything thrice • In the thesis as a whole: What the thesis will say Details of the work What the thesis said (Introduction) (Body) (Conclusion) • Within each chapter / section What this section says The details What this section said (Signposting) (Body) (Summary) • Within each paragraph… • But it’s not just repetition, it’s linking and rationale. 9Bibliography • Keep a database of complete references È Use a consistent citation style • Note: readability is reduced by: È having to flick to bibliography (or foot of page) È having too much detail • (assume the reader is familiar with the main references). 10How do I get finished? • Answer: by not getting stuck. • You’ve written most of it ... ... but for the bits you’re avoiding ... ... you keep rewriting other bits ... ... doing more reading ... ... tinkering with the layout ... ... seeking neat quotations ... • STOP Q: Why are they difficult to write? A: Because they are not relevant. È Don’t be afraid to change your plan if it proves too hard. È Be savage in cutting irrelevant bits. 11Reviewing • Get other people to read your drafts • Peers will give friendly comments (and may have the most time) • Supervisor will steer you • Other academics will spot things your supervisor has missed. • Above all, get the bugs out before the examiners see it. 12Summary • Start writing today (never tomorrow) • Make up a title page for inspiration • Write down your argument succinctly • Turn the argument into a chapter plan • Maintain a file of stuff to put into these chapters • Don’t be afraid to change the plan 13The Examiner’s View • Oh God, not another thesis to read... • Your examiners are busy people • Examining theses is a chore, but: “It might help me keep up to date with an area of research” “It might inspire me” “I might learn something” • Note: the reading will be done in trains, planes, and departmental meetings 14Examiner’s first question • What’s this one about? È Examiners have little time available, so they want to extract the most juice in the shortest time: abstract (bibliography) conclusions contents list • This may be enough to decide whether it’s worth a PhD. • Then: 1) What questions now spring to mind? 2) ...read through... 3) Were the questions answered? 15Corrections • “Now there must be some corrections…” È Many examiners don’t feel they’ve done the job unless they find some corrections to do. • Typical errors È Typographical / grammatical È Poor presentation È Missing statements / references È (Superfluous / redundant statements) È Missing pieces of work È Whole sections missing... – research questions – critical review of literature – research methodology – presentation of results – discussion and conclusions 16Thesis defense • “Let’s see, what can I ask the candidate?” È The examiners may have decided before the exam whether to pass you. • Defense, viva, exam, ... È viva = “viva voce” = “lively discussion” • The exam is to check it’s your work... È Talk fluently about the work; show you’ve thought about it (which you have). • ...and a chance to clarify things that aren’t clear in the thesis. È These are areas where corrections are likely. 17Summary • Know your audience • Help them understand: • Keep it short; use signposts; get the contents right. • Make sure you’ve covered the bases • (Leave some simple mistakes in?) 18What the examiners are looking for Adapted from Brown, G., and Atkins, M. (1988) Effective teacting in Higher Education. London: Routledge • Review of literature • Presentation of results È To what extent is the review relevant to the research È Have the hypotheses in fact been tested? study? È Do the solutions obtained relate to the questions È Has the candidate slipped into “Here is all I know about posed? x”? È Is the level and form of analysis appropriate for the È Is there evidence of critical appraisal of other work, or is data? the review just descriptive? È Could the presentation of the results been made È How well has the candidate mastered the technical or clearer? theoretical literature? È Are patterns and trends in the results accurately È Does the candidate make the links between the review identified and summarized? and his or her methodology explicit? È Does the software appear to work satisfactorily? È Is there a summary of the essential features of other work as it relates to this study? • Discussion and Conclusions È Is the candidate aware of possible limits to • Methodology confidence/reliability/validity of the work? È What precautions were taken against likely sources of È Have the main points to emerge from the results bias? been picked up for discussion? È What are the limitations in the methodology? Is the È Are there links made to the literature? candidate aware of them? È Is there evidence of attempts at theory building or È Is the methodology for data collection appropriate? reconceptualisation of problems? È Are the techniques used for analysis appropriate? È Are there speculations? Are they well grounded in È In the circumstances, has the best methodology been the results? chosen? È Has the candidate given an adequate justification to the methodology? 19

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