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dissertation writing tips

thesis writing

What Is A Thesis Paper For College: Basic Options To Remember

A thesis paper for college is quite different from one written for high school. The high school version will usually consist of 2 to 5 pages with the three basic parts that include the introduction that ends with the thesis statement, the body where the student states their case or defends their position with evidence and the conclusion where the student shows that their stance has been supported or proven with brief sentences.

The research paper becomes considerably more involved for university students. Their dissertation will cover their chosen career in their field of study. Let’s look at the two types and the basic options you will need to remember.

College Senior Paper

A tertiary education research paper is usually applied toward a senior student’s graduation rather than a final exam. It will involve a synthesis of their education in their field in Humanities. Recall that synthesis means that the student must make insightful connections and observations about what they learned in their fields of study

Graduate Dissertations

Students in the Sciences write graduate Dissertations. Unlike their Humanities counterparts that write 10 to 20 pages, the dissertations can be 100 pages or longer. The senior research paper is read by the professor and maybe a few others, but the professor grades it.

The graduate dissertation usually consists of quantifiable research performed by the student. Previous research is used to support the current research or to allow the student to use his own research to refute previous research. A committee reads the dissertation and it often is defended orally to the same committee. If the defense is successful, the dissertation will then be bound and archived for students to read and use for their work as well.

Common Elements of both types of papers

  • Both papers will have the same key points:
  • Thesis statement
  • Body of evidence
  • Conclusion

At the tertiary education level, it is important to understand your professor’s preference in formatting, due dates, length of the work, types of citations required, and types of sources permitted. Before you begin, review these requirements with your professor to ensure you understand all these aspects. Once you are ready to begin you should:

  • Plan a clear schedule for completion: Include due dates for parts of the paper. Some professors want to see the research statement before you set to work.
  • Gather sources that discuss and support your position on the topic or that support your thesis statement. The research statement is not dyed in the wool. If your research supports a different idea, talk with your professor about changing it.
  • Review your notes and write your bibliography on 3x5 notecards so you can keep them organized later for your final page of your paper.
  • Write your paper. Immediately proofread and then set it aside to re-read with fresh eyes or ask another person, such as a tutor, to read your work.
  • Edit for clarity, make sure citations are correct, and proofread again.
  • Turn in paper with a cover page, paper, and bibliography.
  • The tips above provide you with more than the basic of what is required for a university level dissertation. It equips you with the guidance to begin all the essential components of a research paper. If followed properly, only minimal changes under the advice of your faculty advisor should have to be made.