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Saturday, December 20, 2008

What Exactly is a Thesis?

No doubt you are a student in academia at the moment, or you may even be a parent researching exactly what you son/daughter will be doing for their thesis. An academic thesis is a study that represents individual (or sometimes group) research, which is then concluded and grounded around written evidence, by the individual student; it is submitted in partial fulfillment of a degree at a recognised university. Such a degree can be for an undergraduate course (commonly termed bachelors), or a postgraduate course, such as a masters or PhD. The main idea behind this type of paper, is to provide the reader with an in-depth account and study of a particular project that the student has undertaken.

There are many such topics and subjects that the student can look into and conduct research, whether through an experiment, investigation, or other primary research area. The thesis will be measured for originality, findings and conclusions, as well as whether the paper has been kept within a set word-count that is established by the school, college or university.

The main part of the thesis, the research, will often start a long time before the student is thinking about what hypothesis he/she is trying to prove or disprove. A plan is an ideal position to start the actual research process, planning what they want to achieve and by when - as theses will have a submission deadline.

In general, the research element of a course, both in undergraduate and postgraduate terms, will be an extra part to the course. On an undergraduate course, the thesis is a main part of the final year grade that counts heavily to the final grade of the course, and is often found on degree courses that award honours. On a postgraduate course, such as a masters degree, the thesis part of the course will be a separate module of the course and will be conducted over the summer term of the year; this will count between 5 and 20% of the final grade. Generally, all masters degrees will require the student to complete a thesis.

Therefore, the thesis is an important part of any degree course and should be considered highly valuable to your final degree grade. There are strict guidelines to submission, other than the deadline, and these should be followed, as they are often more stringent than that of an essay.

Production of a thesis may require the student to put up a plausible defense in-front of the awarding panel, at their institution. Generally, only a few people will be chosen, and in some cases none, when they are submitting a thesis on an undergraduate degree or masters degree course. It is usually at this point where a defense is only seen for doctoral theses. However, the student should be aware that they may be called upon to defend their writing and research, as well as opinions, view and conclusions of their paper. Keeping in mind here, that it is often best to provide tangible examples when referring to what you have written in your actual paper.

Nick Sanders is the owner and founder of Supaproofread.com, a thesis editing services company, specialising in editing and proofreading services. You should visit them if you are looking for dissertation editing proofreading.


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