How To Write A PhD Thesis: Structuring Your Project
Structure before writing, during the writing process and after writing determines how well the thesis performs. When writing a paper, the process of writing can be tedious and repetitive. The following guide to writing a thesis should therefore be taken as a flexible guide, depending on the situation, topic, and scope of the paper.
The first step in writing is deciding what to write about. Sometimes the topic is set but in other instances the writer has to choose for themselves what to write about. Choosing the right topic is all about striking the perfect balance between the topic that interests the writer and the interests of the intended audience. If the writer is unsure of what to do, they should consult their instructor for guidance.
Resources provide the information and evidence that the writer uses to strengthen their points. There are several types of sources that a writer can use to get information. These are secondary sources, primary sources, library catalogues, online journals, eBooks and articles. The writer should make sure that they have sources that are acceptable and reputable. After finding the sources they should group them according to the level of importance and the information they provide. This helps in arranging their thoughts in a logical manner.
Before delving into the actual writing, they should consider the scope of the topic and what they aim to achieve in their paper. They should also consider the thesis statement and whether the information they have gathered is relevant to the questions it poses. They should also consider which plan or organization best suits their paper.
After choosing the structure, in the introduction they should
- Give the background information to the topic and state the purpose of the thesis.
- Where necessary, they should define terms and explain abbreviations to the intended audience.
- They should also reveal briefly their plan of writing and the specific purpose of the paper.
In the body, they should
- Consider building their thesis around the major points that they mention in the paper.
- The body should be a summary and analysis of the work rather than simply a report of the findings or a research exercise.
- They should focus on the strengths of their research but also mention the weaknesses, and the areas where the topic needs further research.
In the conclusion
- They should summarize the argument and place it in context with the problem question stated in the introduction.
- They should give time for proofreading and checking for things like grammar and plagiarism.