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How to Organize Your Thesis

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Presentation on theme: "How to Organize Your Thesis"— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Organize Your Thesis
Yarma Velazquez Vargas

2 Thesis from the Greek θέσις, meaning "position", and refers to an intellectual proposition the purpose of the graduate thesis is to prove that you have made an original contribution to knowledge

3 Generic Structure Abstract Introduction Literature Review Method
Analysis Conclusions References Appendices

4 First things First… OUTLINE
Start by making a Table of Contents. Listing each section and subsection that you propose to include. For each section and subsection, write a brief point-form description of the contents of that section. Include a list of references. 2 to 5 pages long Meet with your thesis chair, review this outline: Remove unnecessary material (i.e. not directly related to the problem statement)? Is there missing material? Then add. Please approximate dates of completion.

5 Abstract The LAST thing you write
A complete but concise description of your work ( words) It should include: What is the importance of your work? What is your research question? How did you go about solving or making progress on the problem? What did you use to gather data or what is your method of analysis? What's the answer? What are the implications of your answer? Use the search phrases and keywords that people looking for your work might use.

6 Introduction 5-8 pages Describes the background leading to the project and the importance of the research. Personal opinions can be part of this section but your work MUST be grounded in theory (even if working on an autoethnography or testimonio) Start with something interesting, e.g., a quote or story Introduce your research question. What is it that you want to know or understand? How did you get interested in the topic? If your question has evolved since you have begun, describe the process. What is your personal involvement if any? Tell why there's a need for the study. Why is the study significant? Cite literature that calls for the need for the research, or the lack of attention to the topic. Describe how this study will be useful. What is the goal of this research project? What is the significant contribution you will make? Give a brief description of the upcoming chapters

7 Literature Review 15-30 pages
All published information in your particular subject area. Define terms Define the theories that will inform your study Summarize and then discuss all literature in your particular subject area. How will the theories add to your study?

8 Methodology 6-10 pages Detailed description of the methodology used for your particular study. Identify and describe your research method (e.g., ethnographic study, focus groups), and your research procedures (e.g., long interviews, observation). Cite the major authors who have described your research method. How the data will be collected, analyzed, and interpreted. Discuss the potential difficulties & limitations of the collection. Explain how you will select participants (if relevant). Describe the procedures you will take to protect the rights of your informants (e.g. informed consent, human subjects approval, debriefing). Describe the kind of relationship you intend to have with the participants. Will you be neutral, collaborative, and objective? Describe the kind of data you will collect (e.g., field notes from memory, audio tapes, video Describe your intended data analysis procedures (coding, sorting, etc.)?

9 Analysis 20 to 30 pages Describe the themes of your analysis
This may have one or several sections and subsections. GOAL: to convince the readers that you answered the question or solved the problem that you set for yourself.

10 Discussion/Conclusion 8-15 pages
What are the intended and unintended consequences of your research? How did your study answer each of the research questions? What is your conclusion based on the research? What are the limitations of your study? What are your recommendations to other as a result of your study?

11 General Guidelines Remember to include transition paragraphs.
Do the work for your reader. Meet frequently with your advisor. Make the thesis a priority. Meet regularly with others in you cohort for support.

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