How to write a standard Thesis: A Step-by-Step with sample
An important part of the college experience involves learning how to write a thesis. Writing a thesis allows you to present important research about a specific topic and demonstrate your ability to create original work using critical thinking and analytical skills to present your argument.
In this article, we will explain what a thesis is, its types and styles, as well as steps for how to write a thesis and examples.
What is a Thesis?
A thesis is a long-form academic writing, usually taking more than a full semester to complete. It is generally a degree requirement for Master’s programs and is also sometimes required to complete a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts colleges.
A thesis is a research paper that presents the author’s original research and findings on a particular topic. The thesis is typically based on the author’s own data collection and analysis, and it should make a significant contribution to the field of study.
The thesis is typically structured as follows:
- Introduction: The introduction provides background information on the topic of the thesis and states the thesis statement.
- Literature review: The literature review summarizes the existing research on the topic of the thesis.
- Methodology: The methodology section describes how the author collected and analyzed the data for the thesis.
- Results: The results section presents the findings of the thesis.
- Discussion: The discussion section interprets the findings of the thesis and discusses their implications.
- Conclusion: The conclusion summarizes the main points of the thesis and provides a closing statement.
Types of Thesis
There are many different types of thesis statements, but some of the most common include:
- Argumentative: An argumentative thesis statement makes a claim about a topic and supports it with evidence. For example, “The use of social media has a negative impact on the mental health of adolescents.”
- Analytical: An analytical thesis statement breaks down a topic into its component parts and examines how they work together. For example, “The novel To Kill a Mockingbird explores the themes of racism, injustice, and courage through the eyes of a young girl.”
- Expository: An expository thesis statement explains a topic or concept to the reader. For example, “The process of photosynthesis is essential to life on Earth.”
- Evaluative: An evaluative thesis statement assesses the strengths and weaknesses of a topic or concept. For example, “The new iPhone is a significant improvement over its predecessor, but it is still overpriced.”
- Comparative: A comparative thesis statement compares and contrasts two or more topics or concepts. For example, “The poetry of Emily Dickinson and Sylvia Plath is similar in its use of symbolism and imagery, but it differs in its themes and perspectives.”
To write a thesis, you will need to:
- Choose a topic. Your topic should be something that you are interested in and that you have some knowledge about. It should also be something that is narrow enough to be covered in a thesis, but broad enough to be interesting and significant.
- Do your research. Once you have chosen a topic, you will need to do your research to gather information and evidence to support your thesis statement. You can do your research by reading books, articles, and other scholarly sources.
- Develop a thesis statement. Your thesis statement is the main argument or claim that you will make in your thesis. It should be clear, concise, and arguable.
- Create an outline. An outline will help you to organize your thoughts and arguments. It will also help you to make sure that your thesis is well-structured and easy to follow.
- Write your thesis. When writing your thesis, be sure to use clear and concise language. Support your thesis statement with evidence from your research.
- Revise and edit your thesis. Once you have finished writing your thesis, be sure to revise and edit it carefully. Make sure that your thesis is well-written, grammatically correct, and free of errors.
Here are some additional tips for writing a thesis:
- Be sure to cite your sources correctly. This will help to avoid plagiarism and show that you have done your research.
- Get feedback from your advisor or other professors. This will help you to identify and correct any problems with your thesis.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are struggling with any aspect of writing your thesis, be sure to ask for help from your advisor or other professors.
Writing a thesis can be a challenging task, but it is also a rewarding one. By following the tips above, you can write a thesis that is well-written, informative, and persuasive.
How to write a thesis
All thesis papers follow a specific structure to ensure the research clear and easily accessible for the reader. Here are the steps for how to write a thesis:
- Start with the title page.
- Write your abstract.
- Create a table of contents.
- Add a list of figures.
- Add a list of tables.
- Write an introduction.
- List your methods of research.
- Present your results.
- Start a discussion.
- Write your conclusion.
- Add recommendations.
- Write your acknowledgments.
- List your references.
- Include your appendices.
1. Start with the title page
This page is where the reader will find your title and your name. You should also include the name of the institution you attend, the department and the date of delivery. Your advisor’s name should also be included here.
2. Write your abstract
An abstract should be about 400 words long in one to two paragraphs. The abstract should be clear, concise and quantitative. It should tell the reader what the thesis is about and give a summary of the most important results. When available, it should also provide specific numbers and data. The abstract should address the following:
- What you researched and why
- The question you are trying to answer
- How you came to your conclusion
- What you learned
- Why this research matters
3. Create a table of contents
The table of contents should include a list of everything that is included in your thesis paper, including all headings and subheadings, with page numbers.
4. Add a list of figures
If you plan to include figures in your thesis, you should list them with their corresponding page numbers. You may also want to include a short title for each figure.
5. Add a list of tables
Your thesis may also have a series of tables. These should also be listed with corresponding page numbers and a short title for each.
6. Write an introduction
You might find it easier to write the introduction when the rest of the thesis has been written so that you know the direction your thesis has taken. A strong introduction includes the following:
- A first sentence that draws the reader in like a provocative or an interesting statement
- An explanation of past research
- An explanation as to why this research was necessary
- An explanation of what you will and will not include in your thesis
- A statement explaining the argument of your thesis
7. List your methods of research
Your thesis should provide the reader with information about the results you have gathered to back up your argument. Information about your research methods can also be important as another researcher may need to use your methods to further their own research on the subject.
In this section, you should describe the methods of research, theory and the materials you have used. You should also state the calculations you have made, the equipment you used and the techniques you adopted. When you are writing this section, you should be answering the following questions:
- Can another researcher easily replicate my study?
- Is it possible for another researcher to accurately find the track lines or sampling stations?
- Have I included enough information about the instruments used for another researcher to be able to replicate the experiment?
- Can another researcher find another set of identical data if my results were in the public domain?
- Can another researcher replicate any statistical analyses, laboratory analyses or key algorithms used in this research?
8. Present your results
The results section should provide the reader with statistics, tables and graphs for actual statements of observation.
9. Start a discussion
Next, summarize your most significant results and answer the following questions:
- What are the relationships between the results?
- Are there trends?
- What and where are the major patterns?
- Are there exceptions to these patterns?
- What are the possible causes of these patterns?
- Are these results aligned with previous research?
- How do these results correlate with your thesis statement?
- Are there multiple hypotheses and explanations for these results?
- Have these results brought new knowledge to this subject?
- What do these results mean for this research?
10. Write your conclusion
Start your conclusion by writing the strongest statement about your results. Remind the reader about your thesis statement, any new insights you have gathered and a note on the broader implications your results have led to.
11. Add recommendations
In this section, you should write plausible actions to solve the problem of your thesis statement. More than that, you should add other research that can help fill in gaps for the reader. You may also wish to write a set of directions for future researchers when conducting further investigations on this topic.
12. Write your acknowledgments
Write down a note of thanks to the people who have helped you write your thesis. You can include your advisor as well as people who may have helped you financially, intellectually or even on a technical level.
13. List your references
Make a list of references for every single material that you have cited in your thesis. List the references according to the format style guide you have been asked to follow, such as AP style or Chicago style.
14. Include your appendices
This section should have all your data including tables and calculations. You might also need to include an important article, a list of equipment used or details of complex procedures.
Once you complete your thesis, proofread it to ensure there are no grammatical or formatting errors.
Sample thesis on the effect of social media
Here is a sample thesis on the topic of the impact of social media on the mental health of adolescents:
Thesis statement: The use of social media has a negative impact on the mental health of adolescents.
Social media has become an integral part of the lives of adolescents. In 2023, over 90% of adolescents in the United States use social media on a regular basis. While social media can have some positive benefits, such as staying connected with friends and family and learning new things, it also has a number of negative impacts on the mental health of adolescents.
A growing body of research has shown that social media use is associated with a number of mental health problems in adolescents, including depression, anxiety, and loneliness. For example, one study found that adolescents who spent more time on social media were more likely to report symptoms of depression and anxiety. Another study found that adolescents who used social media more frequently were more likely to feel lonely.
This study was a cross-sectional survey of 500 adolescents in the United States. The survey assessed social media use and mental health symptoms.
The results of the study showed that social media use was positively correlated with depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Adolescents who spent more time on social media were more likely to report symptoms of these mental health problems.
The findings of this study suggest that social media use can have a negative impact on the mental health of adolescents. There are a number of possible explanations for this. For example, social media can lead to cyberbullying, which can have a significant impact on the mental health of adolescents. Additionally, social media can create unrealistic expectations about body image and social success, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.
The findings of this study suggest that parents, educators, and healthcare professionals should be aware of the potential negative impacts of social media use on the mental health of adolescents. It is important to talk to adolescents about their social media use and to help them develop healthy habits. Additionally, parents should monitor their adolescents’ social media use and be on the lookout for signs of mental health problems.
This is just a sample thesis. The specific content and structure of your thesis will vary depending on your topic and the requirements of your thesis.