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Thesis Writing


Thesis Writing

Definition and Purpose thesis writing, that is the writing of a research paper. A research paper usually deals with an important issue, factual or theoretical, and it is usually fairly long and well-documented.

purpose or objectives of thesis writing
1. You may learn how to use libraries, how to read books critically and efficiently, and how to use books wisely and correctly. 2. You may familiarize yourself with the knowledge and mechanics necessary for writing a research paper. 3. You may combine the course work of Thesis Writing with the actual preparation of your BA paper writing. 4. You may also gain some experience in writing long papers or reports, which most probably will be part of your future work.

Thesis writing consists of three parts: 1. Steps 2. Format 3. A sample
Steps Generally speaking, you go through five steps or stages in the process of preparing a research paper: 1.choosing a topic; 2.collecting information; 3.analyzing the information, organizing ideas, and working out an outline; 4.writing the first draft; and 5.revising the draft and finalizing the paper.

Unit 1 Choosing a Topic
Goals 1. Become aware of the importance of choosing a manageable topic in the process of writing of a research paper. 2.Learn to follow the 4 steps in choosing a topic.

go from the general to the specific in the following way:

1) Selecting a general topic; 2) Reading and thinking; 3) Narrowing down the scope of your topic to a specific aspect; 4) Formulating the final topic.

Sample
General topic: 20th Century American Novelists Restricted: Hemingway and His Works More restricted: Hemingway and His Short Stories Topic chosen: Old People in Hemingway's Short Stories

Unit 2 Collecting Information
Goals 1. Learn to use the library. 2. Be able to read books and other materials in the right way. 3. Learn to take reading notes.

Information
Information here refers to the material you will need for your research. It is impossible for you to write a paper of some significance without any information, and the quality and quantity of the information you have for your paper show the depth of your research. You should begin collecting the necessary information for your paper the moment you begin your research and you are supposed to keep on doing this till the end of your research.

1. Using the library
In a library, books are arranged alphabetically according to their authors, titles and the subjects they belong to. That is to say each book has an author card, a title card and one or more subject cards in the card catalogue rooms. Nowadays, most libraries are computerized and the books are arranged in the same way as in the card catalogue rooms

2. Reading
You should learn to read books quickly and critically. It is not always necessary to read an article from beginning to end or a book from cover to cover. it is necessary to know what has been said about the book and who has said so.

try to find the latest edition of the book and compare what is said in it with what other books say on the same topic. .

3. Taking notes
Rules for note-taking 1) Take notes on cards, or on separate pieces of paper. 2) Place only one note on a card. 3) Be selective.

Information on a note card
Every note card should contain two kinds of information: 1) the fact, idea or opinion, and 2) the source. Since you have the complete data for the source on your bibliography card, you need to give yourselves just enough information on the note card to refer to the appropriate bibliographical reference. Usually, the author's last name and the page number from which you take the information will be sufficient.

Sample

Kinds of notes
Basically, there are three major kinds of notes: the direct quotation, the paraphrase, and the summary. The direct quotation is a note that takes down the exact wording of a particular effective statement on a subject. The paraphrase is a note that takes down the information of a source in your own words. The summary is a note that abstracts and condenses a large amount of material into a small space. Whichever method you use, you must cite the source of the information.

Unit 3 Analyzing the Information ,Organizing
Ideas ,Working Out an Outline

Goals : Learn to analyze your information and organize your ideas to work out a thesis statement for your paper. Learn to write an outline for your paper

1. The thesis statement
The thesis statement is the central idea of your research paper. The thesis Statement is usually a single sentence that expresses the main point of view on your topic. In your thesis statement, you should only state the central idea of your paper. Words like "I intend to···", "The purpose of this paper is to···", or "The method of research I am going to adopt is···" should not appear in your thesis

Sample
Topic: Confucius' Main Teaching Methods and Their Applicability to China's Education Today Thesis statement: Confucius' elicitation method of teaching and that of teaching students in accordance with their aptitude are still applicable to China's education today.

2. Outlining
An outline is the framework of a research paper. The outline will help you organize your ideas and put your material in good order. a topic outline, in which all the parts of your paper are laid out in short phrases. a sentence outline, in which all points of your paper are expressed in complete sentences.

Unit 4 Writing the First Draft
Goals When writing your paper, learn to 1. use your own words, 2. use the proper tenses, 3. unite facts and views, 4. pay attention to logic and organization, 5. make your tone objective rather than personal, and 6. choose the right style.

1. Using your own words

The basic principle is that the paper must be yours ─ your ideas, your organization, and for the most part, your own words

2. Using the proper tenses
1) When you are dealing with an event or a concept of the past, the past tense should be your basic tense. Sample 1 Confucius often encouraged his disciples to express their own ideas so that they would form the habit of active thinking. When a student was too timid to express his ideas, the Master urged him on in a most friendly manner, and did not command him with the severity of an old-style Chinese teacher.

2) Biographical details of a person's life should normally be reported in the past tense. Sample 2 Ernest Hemingway (1899─1961) was born in 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois. His father was a successful and well-to-do physician who enjoyed hunting and fishing in his spare time. He often took young Hemingway with him while hunting or fishing and initiated him into the virtues of sportsman. It is said that Dr. Hemingway left his son not only a way of life but also a way of death.

3) If you mention events in a story in a chronological order, you should use the simple present tense for all. But the simple past tense or the present perfect tense should be used for an event that happened before one that has been mentioned.
Sample 3 Here is a summary of The Scarlet Letter in The Oxford Companion to

American Literature.

An aged English scholar sends his young wife, Hester Prynne, to establish their home in Boston. When he arrives two years later, he finds Hester in the pillory with her illegitimate child in her arms. She refuses to name her lover and is sentenced to wear a scarlet A, signifying Adulteress, as a token of her sin. The husband conceals his identity, assumes the name Roger Chillingworth, and in the guise of a doctor seeks to discover her paramour. Hester, a woman of strong, independent nature, in her ostracism becomes sympathetic with other unfortunates, and her works of mercy gradually win her the respect of her neighbors. Chillingworth meanwhile discovers that the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale, a revered, seemingly saintly young minister, is the father of Hester's beautiful, mischievous child, Pearl. Dimmesdale has struggled for years with his burden of hidden guilt, but, though he does secret penance, pride prevents him from confessing publicly, and he continues to be tortured by his conscience. Chillingworth's life is ruined by his preoccupation with his cruel search, and he becomes a morally degraded monomaniac. Hester wishes her lover to flee with her to Europe, but he refuses the plan as a temptation from the Evil One, and makes a public confession on the pillory in which Hester had once been placed. He dies there in her arms, a man broken by his concealed guilt, but Hester lives on, triumphant over her sin because she openly confessed it, to devote herself to assuring a happy life in Europe for Pearl, and helping others in misfortune.

4) The present tense should also be used for your comments on the content of a book or the language and style of an author

.

Sample 4 Saul Bellow is regarded by many as "probably the most important living American novelist". Seize the Day is considered to be Bellow's greatest achievement, and one of the great short novels written by an American.

5) When you quote from an authority, the reporting verb can also be in the present tense.

Sample 5 Sinclair Lewis (1885─1951), the first American Nobel Prize winner for literature says that "Dreiser... more than any other man, marching alone, usually unappreciated, often hated, has cleared the trail from Victorian and Howellsian timidity and gentility in the American fiction to honesty, boldness and passion of life."

3. Uniting facts and views
a good paper is marked by the unity of facts and views. Your paper is not good if it just expresses a lot of views, even good ones, without strong supporting facts. Your paper is not good either if the facts, even interesting ones, in it do not support your view or views.

4. Paying attention to logic and organization
Views should be developed logically and facts should be used to support your views at the right time and in the right place.

5. Making your tone objective rather than personal

our paper is supposed to be an academic research paper dealing with an important issue and the conclusion you draw should be based only on relevant facts and careful analyses of facts, but not on personal likes or dislikes. Your arguments will be convincing if they are well grounded and presented in an objective tone.

6. Choosing the right style
The style of a paper is largely determined by personal preference and naturally it varies from person to person. But for the students who are learning to write a research paper, it is advisable to use the formal, written style. You should do your best to make your paper easy for your reader to understand. Your language should be simple, clear, straightforward and smooth. Florid expressions or unnecessarily complicated structures should be avoided. You should remember that pompous language and complicated structures do not make a good research paper. You should also try to put the quotations into your paper as naturally as possible to guarantee that the whole paper is smooth and the style consistent.

Unit 5 Revising the Draft and Finalizing the Paper

unified, coherent and clear. a unified point of view ideas are logically developed, facts and views in your paper are properly arranged correct all the technical errors make a clear copy of your paper and proofread it carefully


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