What Is A College Thesis?

Does it ever surprise you to know that when you get to your senior year in college, your professors will never, not once in your lifetime, answer the question, “What is a college thesis?”

Certainly, with the guidance of an able and competent thesis advisor, you will be able to turn in a thesis that demonstrates thorough research and effective arguments. Your advisor will provide feedback and assistance when you need him to and, very likely, his comments on the progress of your work will propel you to redirect your arguments in the right direction.

However, your advisor will never tell you what a college thesis is. He will assume that you know what it is since most college students before you simply did not ask. Of course, there are several more pressing questions that need to be answered, such as, “How do I write a college thesis?”, but before we move to the bigger issues, let us stick to the basics first.

So, what is a college thesis?

A college thesis is a document that proves that you, the author, have demonstrated in-depth and comprehensive knowledge in your chosen field, as opposed to a graduate thesis, which aims to prove that the author has contributed a significant piece of knowledge to his area of expertise.

To be more specific, a college thesis is a written report of a research investigation that you have conducted. In the college thesis, you aim to do the following:

  • Offer a hypothesis that is meant to explain a certain phenomena in your field of study.
  • Provide a meaningful context into which your hypothesis fits.
  • Test your hypothesis.
  • Explain how the results of your test affect the truthfulness of your hypothesis.

A college thesis generally has five essential elements, aside from peripheral parts such as the title page, table of contents and list of figures. While the latter are certainly required in a college thesis, you can put off paying any attention to them until the last minute. For the most part of the year, however, focus all of your energies on the following: introduction, review of literature, methodology, results and discussion and conclusion.

1. Introduction

The introduction has several purposes. One, it should be able to tell your reader right away what the thesis is going to be about. There is no need to launch into the details of the study for now, but it is important that you provide sufficient background information by relating your study to the other aspects of the world. It is also in this section that you provide a clear and straightforward statement of the problem you propose to address in your thesis as well as an explanation of why the study needs to be done and the implications of the possible results.

2. Review of literature

For many college students, this section of the thesis is the most challenging to write because it entails reading a large number of texts and synthesizing the pertinent ideas presented in these texts into a single section of the college thesis. The number of texts to be included varies according to each department. It is wise to consult your advisor as to this matter. The purpose of the literature review is to demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge in your subject area to be able to conduct research on your own. It also aims to show the reader what has already been done in the area and that what you propose to do in your research is not simply a duplication of a study done before.

3. Methodology

When writing your thesis proposal, take due care with the methodology section. It is said that the methodology is the most important part of the proposal because it provides a detailed outline of the activities that you plan to do. The methodology identifies your research instrumentations, sampling methods and analysis techniques and explains why these, in particular, were used as opposed to other possible instruments, methods and techniques. A general rule of thumb when writing a methodology is that it should be specific enough so that somebody else can replicate your procedure and conduct your research on his own.

4. Results and discussion

The results section is an objective narrative of the findings of your research, while the discussion presents your interpretation of these findings. To distinguish between the two, it helps to physically separate these two components, allotting a single chapter for results and another for discussion. Do not worry if the former is short. There is no need for elaboration in this chapter; it is best left to the discussion section.

5. Conclusion

The last part of your thesis should be able to draw all findings together and tie up all the loose ends. You should be able to provide recommendations for further study to fill in the gaps that your own research was not able to satisfy.

Hope now you know what a college thesis is and can explain this term to your friends. If you need additional help with academic writing – feel free to browse our articles. There’s plenty of valuable information!

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