Thesis History - Who Invented Thesis
The term ‘thesis’ is derived from a Greek word which means ‘something put forth’. Thesis meaning builds on this derivation and actually stands for a theory which is put forth or forward to be proved, maintained or negated. In accordance to the ‘thesis definition’, in academic writing, a thesis can be described as a long essay containing the account and outcome of an original research on a topic. Generally a thesis is written by a candidate for a university degree – a common example is the doctoral or a PhD thesis.
There can be a wide array of Thesis topics as it can cover all the subjects known to human. The topics are broken down further to shape the central question which the thesis attempts to answer. The entire principle, rationale and the process of this investigation is presented in the written paper which will be the basis of judging one’s work. It is natural that a candidate would put an equal if not more endeavor in writing the thesis essay.
An important but neglected area that everyone fails to address is ‘what is a thesis statement’ and how is it important to the essay? The thesis statement is one or two lines in a research paper which contains the focus of the essay and tells the reader what the paper is about.
The thesis statement is important for the written paper because
- It introduces the topic to the readers and allows them to ponder about the scope or intent of the research
- It presents the essence of the research in a nutshell.
- It attracts the readers to delve into the main body of work.
So what makes an effective thesis statement? An effective thesis statement states the subject of the paper and doesn’t -
- Merely repeat the title of the paper.
- Announce the intention of the author.
- Uses very specific and appropriate language for description.
- Clearly convey the author’s opinion on the topic.
- Hints at the scope of the topic
The thesis statement usually appears at the beginning of the paper and direct and design the rest of the paper – its structure, divisions, language, and the whole general presentation.
Academic institutions generally have a guideline set for writing a thesis paper. Though there are some differences in presentation and writing according to subjects, a general thesis structure can be –
- Abstract – a highly crystallized version of the entire thesis. Readers often read only this part and carry on if the abstract interests them.
- Introduction – this part generally starts with the thesis statement and then goes on to explain the research hypothesis and rationale and the principles for assuming it
- Book review – this is an account of the existing work on the research topic.
- The research methodology – this chapter describes in detail about the research method adopted, the rationale behind the selected process and what it aims to achieve.
- The body - the main body of the thesis consists of the research process in detail and the results obtained. This can be in different aptly titled chapters.
- Analysis - the research results are analyzed keeping the thesis statement in focus.
- Discussion / summery – on the analysis and results. Also points to the weakness of the research and further scopes of study.
- Conclusion – a summing up of the whole research and the paper.
- Bibliography and acknowledgements.
A PhD thesis is a major work undertaken by a candidate and represents a milestone in his academic life - this is the first significant independent research that is undertaken by him and will pave the way for future research or professional life.
The process of research and investigation, gathering data and analyzing them, amounts to months or years of hard work. Writing the paper is another rigorous and tedious phase of a doctoral thesis. There are several drafts and rewrites before the paper is satisfactory. It definitely helps to plan the entire writing with enough time in hand. It also helps to incorporate certain smart time saving techniques – documenting and organizing the data as it is generated, planning the writing process with set targets and writing everyday are few of them. A very important preparation can be studying various outstanding thesis samples in the institute or faculty library and note the finer points.