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09/02/2019

How to write a thesis

From the first year, students wonder whether it is difficult to write a thesis. Each teacher considers it his duty to say: “If you cannot write a test (essay, coursework), how will you write a thesis?”. As a result, final qualifying work – the most voluminous work of those that students write over the years of study – is surrounded by an aura of inaccessibility. In fact, to write a thesis work itself is quite realistic – if you correctly approach the process.

The choice of topics and the head of the final qualifying work

Before you begin to write a thesis, it is necessary to decide on the topic and the leader. Samples of themes are usually given at the department; you can choose from a ready list or agree on changes. Two approaches are possible at the preparatory stage:

First choose a manager. This may be a teacher of the department, with whom you have developed the warmest relationships over the years of study, with which it will be easier for you to reach a mutual understanding. This may be a teacher, about which as a leader you have heard good reviews from past graduates. Some ambitious students are trying to get to the head of the department, but this choice is quite risky: the head of the department may simply not have enough time to carefully study your thesis. Once an agreement has been reached, a topic should be formulated with the manager.

First choose a topic. The topic may be related to your practical activity (it’s not a secret that many undergraduates, even full-time students, work in their specialty, and it is common among correspondents) or you are just very interested. Then the leader will have to choose from those in whose sphere of scientific interest this topic falls.

Example 1

For example, if your thesis in programming will concern the automation of accounting, it is impractical to negotiate guidance with a teacher who specializes in low-level programming. Similarly, if you are a philologist and want to concentrate on slang in modern Internet communication, an expert in Silver Age poetry can hardly become a useful mentor.

It is very important who leads the thesis. If the manager is not well-versed in the topic or is simply dishonest, you will have to write WRCs yourself, and if he is interested in the topic and he is ready to delve into the work, you will receive strong support and a competent guide in the scientific world.

Preparation of the thesis plan

To write a thesis correctly, you need to determine its structure from the very beginning – to make a plan. The main requirements for the content are determined at the department. As a rule, students are invited to do a thesis work in three parts. The first part is theoretical, the second – methodical, the third – practical. Another variant of the distribution of parts: the first is a theoretical methodological, the second is a review of the current situation, the third is recommendations. For some specialties, another work structure is possible.

Example 2

For example, a thesis work of an engineer along with the actual development (terms of reference, work project) may include a chapter on occupational safety and a business case for development.

You can ask the manager for an example of writing a thesis, or at least a sample of the plan – most likely, he has last year’s work, and he will allow to get acquainted with them. The main thing is not to write off everything verbatim (even if the topic is very similar), but to use information only as a starting point for your own research.

The thesis plan must be coordinated with the supervisor, since it is the plan that determines the content of the material. It would be a shame to write a thesis quickly and with inspiration according to your plan, and then find out that all this is not the case – and slowly and painfully rewrite according to the new content.

Introduction of thesis

Suppose a plan is made. The question arises – how to start writing a thesis. There is no single answer to this question.

You can go in order and start writing a thesis from the introduction, you can leave the introduction at last. In the first case, after writing the main part, the introduction will still have to go back and make adjustments – but at the writing stage, the tasks will be clearly defined, and their solution will be more systematic.

The introduction of the thesis should include a number of mandatory elements:

Justification of relevance. This material may take up about half of the volume of administration. Relevance is the connection of the topic of the thesis with the current state of affairs in society, science and technology.

Example 3

Thus, the optimization of the manufacture of punch cards is completely irrelevant, since they are not currently used. At the same time, the study of long-abolished laws is relevant, since they often form the basis of adopted later (and still in force) or may be useful in reforming the branch of law.

The purpose of the work – what are you going to achieve in the course of writing a thesis (except to obtain a document on higher education). To correctly formulate a goal, you need to clearly understand what it means to write a thesis. If term papers for the most part were purely educational in nature, and in them goals like “to study the process of accounting for settlements with suppliers and contractors” were acceptable, then the thesis should first of all demonstrate the completeness of your training, the ability to perform the functions of a specialist. The goal cannot be educational. The goal can begin with the words “optimization”, “improvement”, “identification of patterns”, “model building”, “development of a software product (device)”.

Tasks work. For their writing will need a plan. How many points in the plan – so many tasks? You just need to reformulate the names of the paragraphs, so that they answer the question “what to do?”.

The object and subject of study. The object is the system you are considering, and the subject is from which side you are considering it. For example, the object will be an enterprise, and the subject will be labor productivity in this enterprise.

Research methods. To a large extent determined by the scope of the study, but almost always can be mentioned general scientific methods – deduction and induction, analysis and synthesis.

Review of used literature.

The standard introduction volume is 5% of the total workload (3-5 pages).

The theoretical part of the thesis

The theoretical part of the work is based on the study of literary sources. In this part the student does not create anything of his own – he studies what has been done before him. Since the theses are checked for borrowing, and the requirements for originality are high enough, you simply cannot copy textbooks and articles, you have to write the theory in your own words. A thesis cannot be based solely on textbooks: both monographs and articles in periodicals (specialized journals, collections of conference materials), and electronic sources must be used, and for many areas – legal acts.

The choice of sources is a guarantee of the quality of the theoretical part. Source Requirements:

Modernity. Sometimes rigid formal requirements are established: textbooks are not older than 5 years, articles are not older than 3 years. This approach is not entirely correct. On the one hand, classical works (especially of deceased authors) do not gain from reprints, and you can quote Karl Marx both in the 2018 edition and in the 1956 edition – there will be no difference. On the other hand, in dynamic areas even for 5 years (and taking into account that the textbook is not published instantly, that is, a textbook published 5 years ago was written about 7 years ago) a lot can change. The easiest way in this regard is with the regulations: you need to take from the reference legal systems the current edition (if we are not talking about a historical review of the changes).

Reliability. Inaccurate information is often found on the Internet and in unlicensed journals (as well as collections) – this may be due to both the incompetence and dishonesty of the authors, and the deliberate distortion of the facts. It is better to take material from magazines with a reputation (ideally, those included in the list of HAC).

To write a good thesis, you need to recycle many sources. The list of references should reflect at least 30-40, and most of them usually refer to the theoretical section.

The practical part of the thesis

The theory of the thesis is not limited; it must be a practice. The practice can be divided into two parts:

Inspection of the object “as is”. If in the theoretical student analyzes the sources, then in the practical part there is an analysis of a specific subject.

Example 4

So, for example, for lawyers – this is an analysis of judicial practice, for journalists – an analysis of a specific publication, for accountants – the financial activities of a company.

Development of something new – a project, recommendations, and an assessment of their effect.

Example 5

It is not enough to simply write: “A new law should be adopted”, it is necessary to explain in detail how it should differ fundamentally from the current one, what gaps in the law it will allow to close, what problems to avoid. For economic theses, the most popular criterion is profit: the proposed measures for commercial enterprises, directly or indirectly, should contribute to its increase (through cost reduction or revenue increase). However, for some topics, other criteria may be selected. For engineering surveys, it is usually about improving the existing technology – you need to prove that it really will be something better.

Thesis

By the 4th course, when it comes time to write a thesis, students usually already know what a conclusion is and how it is written. The conclusion is not significantly different from the conclusion of the course work – except that it has a slightly larger volume. Like the introduction, it should occupy about 5% of the volume of work (perhaps a little more – 7-8%), that is, about 3-6 pages.

In the conclusion summarizes the work, draws conclusions for chapters. The focus should be on the practical part; only the main points can be written out from the theory.

In conclusion, it summarizes how the objectives set in the introduction have been accomplished and the goal achieved. If some problems could not be solved, it should be explained in detail why this happened (although this is usually avoided – if there is too little material on some aspect of the topic, adjust the plan and choose a more illuminated one).

At the very end one can note the practical significance of the research, the possibilities of its application. If the project has been implemented or the copyright certificate (patent) has been drawn up, it can also be mentioned.

List of used sources

References – the most strictly regulated part of the thesis. It is necessary to write a thesis at a university on the basis of a large array of sources — a standard requirement is the use of at least 40 units. Each source should be referenced in the text, and each should be described in the list of references.

Own requirements, how to write a list of references in the thesis, can be formulated and the department. In this case, the sample is issued in the form of guidelines on thesis design. It is at the department that the sources are listed alphabetically or in order of use, whether they are divided into sections (books, articles in periodicals, electronic sources).