Writing a Thesis Statement

A thesis statement synthesizes the main idea behind a written text in a single text. The reader can get a glimpse of the content discussed in the body of the essay. You must endeavor to write a strong thesis as it determines whether the reader will continue reading your work or not. Writing a thesis statement helps in organizing and developing the body of the text.

Creating a Thesis statement

It takes a long process to come up with a thesis because the writer has to research, draw inferences, compare and contrast ideas. All of the above-mentioned activities are based on evidence gathered. Integrate the few thesis statements you develop from research materials with your arguments. As you proceed deeper into crafting your paper, you will realize that your thesis and arguments might need a few adjustments to correlate.

Writing a thesis requires effort and creativity from the student. Sometimes you will find yourself in a position in which you still have no idea how to go about your thesis statement even after reading the guide and doing research.

Tips for writing a thesis

  • Identify the topic you want to write about.
  • Limit the topic. Cover a limited scope so that it helps you in writing a thesis statement that is narrow.
  • Brainstorm. Reflect on different ideas, arguments, and evidence before writing a thesis. The ideas put together will be of help in writing a thesis and shaping your essay.

Features

  • Be specific: As you are writing, ensure that it captures the major theme reflected in the text. The main idea should have enough evidence to support it
  • Put the thesis statement at the end of the first paragraph: It is unusual to place the thesis statement in the conclusion or body.
  • Have a strong statement. The statement should be well thought and worded. Weak thesis statement deters the reader from more of your work.

Example of a strong statement

College graduates should take part in two-year community service before joining university to pursue degrees to increase their responsibility, diligence, and discipline.

Points to remember

  • Ensure the word count is no more than 40 words.
  • The argument in the body should support how the two-year training will help in the transition of students to the university.
  • Always ask yourself if answers the questions “how” and “why” are addressed. If your readers ask themselves these questions, then you have a broad thesis statement.
  • Ensure you state an argument and use facts to support your viewpoint.

Types of theses

Writers encounter problems in differentiating the thesis statements while coming up with a “working” thesis statement.

Analytical

It analyzes a topic. In this type, you define the topic and evaluate some of its aspects. Analytical thesis statements are considered the most challenging.

Example:

An analysis of the study conducted by the World Bank reveals that one challenge facing African countries is an inability to tap into their natural resources fully to propel economic development.

The thesis highlights the topic, which is the study conducted by the World Bank, and how it will evaluate the problem faced by African countries.

Explanatory

An explanatory thesis is mostly used in research essays. You should desist from openly declaring a stand on the issue at hand when writing this type of thesis statement. In an explanatory statement, the thesis statement announces the subject to the reader. It further lists aspects of topics evaluated.

Example;

Illegal drug use in Mexico and Colombia has led to an increase in insecurity and violence in the country.

The explanation that follows should highlight the effects of illegal drug use and give supporting evidence.

Argumentative

An argumentative statement is a form of personal response to a particular subject. You should present a challenge to the readers in an understandable manner. An argumentative thesis statement is a claim and not a factual statement. Therefore, the rest of the paper should bring out arguments that support the claim.

Example;

College graduates should take part in two-year community service before joining university to pursue degrees to increase their responsibility, diligence, and discipline.

The argument presented in the paper must give evidence to demonstrate the claim by the writer on the importance of the two-year community service before pursuing a university education.

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Dissertation Writing Tips

Table of Contents

A dissertation refers to the final project that students submit as evidence of having completed their core research project. It is also the research paper that Ph.D. students present before the award of their doctorate degrees. A dissertation is frequently confused with a thesis. It is not uncommon for scholars to encounter problems during dissertation writing that can cause a huge set back in their academic progress.

Problems Encountered During Dissertation Writing

  • Procrastination. We can all collectively agree that most students do not set a time frame to stick to during dissertation writing. Having a timeline ensures that you avoid the last-minute rush, which renders your dissertation writing a tedious process.
  • Poor research skills. Research skills are fundamental in dissertation writing, as it is the basis of any dissertation.
  • Poor writing skills. It is a common problem among academicians in dissertation writing. The major hurdle occurs in citations when information from additional sources are used. If done incorrectly, the writer is often accused of plagiarism that leads to a fresh writing process.
  • right places, such as journal articles, books, web articles, among others.

The Research Part

  • Ensure that you have spoken to your supervisor on the title and draft outline of your research.
  • Make a timeline for the project.
  • Look for information in the right places, such as journal articles, books, web articles, among others.

Sections of a Dissertation

Introduction

The introduction is a crucial aspect of the dissertation paper as the writer formulates a thesis statement at this stage. A thesis statement is a single sentence where the main idea behind the paper is highlighted. A thesis statement should be narrowed as a broad one obscures the main idea in the essay.

Clear definitions of terms used in the dissertation writing are explained in this segment, and the writer states the background of the problem. Also, the purpose of the research is stated.

The Main Body

The main arguments surrounding the topic are raised, expounded on concisely and evidence to support the arguments given. In dissertation writing, quotations are used to increase the authenticity of the paper.

The main body can be subdivided into the following chapters;

Literature Review

It is a review of the research process.

Methodology

This chapter mostly focuses on the research questions, hypotheses, and data analysis. The writer expounds on the location of resources and the implementation of the data collection results.

Data Analysis and Findings

This is one of the most important chapters as it directly answers the research questions.

Conclusion

The conclusion is mostly done in a rush with excitement to complete the paper. Writers should take their time to draw a coherent conclusion as it depicts strongly in work.

Features of a Good Conclusion

  • Summarizes the main arguments behind the paper without making it ambiguous and redundant.
  • Offers recommendations that can be taken into account in future research.
  • Briefly explains your findings and how it can make an impact on fellow scholars. Also, the practical implementation of the findings in the real world.

Bibliography

A bibliography list must be presented to show the sources that were used in research. The correct citation style must be adhered to.

Editing and Proofreading

Editing is a crucial aspect of dissertation writing as it is focused on the structure of the dissertation. It is meant to correct any gaps that arise and add more detailed information. At this stage, one may seek professional editing services.

Feedback

Feedback from colleagues and mentors in the field is valuable as the opinion improves the quality of the paper.

Are you working on your dissertation? Find out how to approach the literature review section here.

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Dissertation Literature Review: A Guide

Table of Contents

What is a dissertation literature review?

A dissertation literature review explores existing academic resources pertinent to a specific area of research. It also provides a context in a research project by evaluating past research on the current research project. Academic resources include journal articles, books, websites articles, other published dissertation projects, etc. A literature review offers new perspectives on the subject matter.

Purpose of a literature review

  • Provide intellectual context to your research and positions it with similar works on the topic.
  • Increase a scholar’s knowledge of the research pertinent to the central theme.
  • Gives an overview of what has been explored on the dissertation topic.
  • Identifies gaps in existing research that you can offer new perspectives on.
  • Help in the discovery of applicable research methods on your dissertation topic.
  • It provides the scholar with opposing viewpoints on the research content.

Before drafting your dissertation literature review, seek your supervisor’s consent on the dissertation topic. Be specific on the areas your literature review will cover and start looking for relevant research material.

Structure

A dissertation literature review is dependent on other chapters and variables in the dissertation, such as findings. For example, you may find that you lack enough evidence to justify the relevance of the source; hence you will alter the literature review.

The main part of the dissertation literature review is a discussion and analysis of the sources used. An introduction to the main discussion and a concise conclusion summing up the main points of discussion is included.

The literature review is introduced by:

  • Outlining the context of your literature review: Discuss how your dissertation topic relates to the subject matter in your sources.
  • Outlining the scope of your dissertation literature review: Mention the sources you will use books, journal articles, etc. and areas to be discussed.
  • Outline how and why you have selected the sources for review.
  • Provide a logic (aims and reasons) for reviewing the literature on the specific topic.

The main body comprises:

  • Critical evaluation and analysis of themes.
  • Integration of common themes to come up with detailed and well-reasoned conclusions.
  • Comparison and contrast of common themes to the research topic.

Below is a guide on the conclusion of a dissertation literature review:

  • Highlight how the literature review has met the aims stated in the introduction.
  • Offer suggestions for further research areas.
  • Summarize the main ideas related to the topic and research question identified in the dissertation paper.
  • Outline the significance of the identified themes for your dissertation topic.
  • Outline how your research aims to address the gaps in the sources.

Avoid the following common mistakes

  • Not linking the literature review to your dissertation topic: The literature analyzed must be pertinent to the topic.
  • Describing the literature word for word instead of analyzing the major themes relating to the subject matter.
  • Not discussing the literature sources in context: Analyzing content that is not relevant to the research topic is a mistake.

The presentation of your literature review must exhibit the following:

  • Selecting and quoting the most relevant material for your argument.
  • The quotation used must be within context and logical.
  • Introducing and integrating only relevant sources to the dissertation literature review.
  • The use of citations to emphasize the reported work by the author. Citations include:
  • Integral citations are where the name of the author is cited at the beginning of a sentence.
  • Non-integral citations refer to the author by the use of footnotes and parenthesis.

It is important to use headings and sub-headings in organizing the chapters in the dissertation to enable cross-referencing. Cross-referencing is vital as you refer to the literature gathered when explaining your findings.

If you need help with your dissertation sections, feel free to explore our dissertation writing services.

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