Whether you’re an undergrad or grad student, writing a thesis can be a difficult process. Knowing how to select and narrow your topic can make it simpler.
When I discovered that I would have to write an undergraduate thesis to finish my scholar program, a big part of me wanted to turn tail and run. However, once I took the time to understand what a thesis paper was and how to write it, the fear dissipated. Thesis papers can be intimidating; many university programs require one, and often there is a minimum page limit; upwards of thirty pages.
However, if you select a topic like essay writers that interests you, keep yourself focused, and follow these suggestions, writing a thesis paper will no longer seem impossible.
Selecting A Topic
How many people would continue reading a book even if they found it uninteresting? Unless someone has a burning desire to finish everything he or she starts or is being made to read, odds are very few people will keep trudging through a bad novel. The same goes for writing a thesis.
The worst mistake an author can make is to select a topic and then grow bored with it as the writing progresses. If you end up hating what you’re writing, your readers will not enjoy it, and make no mistake – you need your readers to like your thesis, especially if it is being graded or used as a stepping stool to grad school. So how do you choose a topic?
There’s no magic formula to selecting a topic, but here are some helpful hints that can make the process easier:
- Make a list of your top five favorite classes you’ve taken in college – the best place to find a topic you like is in a class you enjoyed.
- Take a look back at your course syllabi – was there something discussed in class that you wanted to know more about? Was there an era, person, place, or concept that fascinated you?
- Pull out your favorite papers – let’s be honest: no one loves writing every single paper, but many people have at least one paper that they truly enjoyed writing.
- Consider your future – if you’re planning on becoming a chemist, writing your thesis on your favorite novel or the politics of Washington probably won’t help you advance your career. If you cannot marry your hobby with your major in a way that makes sense, select a topic within your major or field of interest.
Start broad – you do not need to have a specific question or idea in mind when you start. Think of this as narrowing down a timeline. First, you need a decade, then you can narrow yourself down to a year, month, and day as you progress.
Some examples of topics provided by the academic essay writing service are as follows:
George Washington and slavery, the science of diet foods, Shakespeare and politics, or the history of trade in India. Each of these topics is specific enough to start a writer on the path to a thesis, but next the topic needs to be narrowed down.
Narrowing Your Topic
So you’ve chosen your topic; what next? For many people, the next requirement will be writing what is known as a thesis prospectus. A prospectus is a short paper, usually four to five pages long, which explains a person’s topic and how the writer will go about finishing the thesis. If you do not have to write a prospectus, I strongly suggest you consider completing one for yourself.
The prospectus serves as a great focuser and an early outline for your thesis. To help illustrate this process, I will use my thesis as an example since reading someone else’s work helped me.
To make your prospectus (and ultimately your thesis) successful, focus on the following ideas in your prospectus:
What will you be writing about?
It seems obvious, but many people brush over this point. Examine what it is you are writing about. The topic I chose was Jane Austen and courtship, so I explained, based on what I already knew, the importance of courtship at the time as well as in her novels and why knowing more about it would further my understanding of her written works.
How will you be researching?
To succeed, you need a set plan or idea of how you will be advancing your knowledge. For a thesis in the Humanities (philosophy, English, politics, etc), research will involve reading a lot of articles and books. For math and science, this will involve lab work, reading previous research, and experimentation procedures. Make sure to include a list of books, journals, or texts that you will be examining.
Why did you choose your topic?
This section may seem superfluous, but four months in when you start questioning your sanity, you will want a reminder as to why you have undertaken this project. I chose my topic because of my love of literature and history, particularly the 19th century and Jane Austen. Why did you?
The Big Question
Ironically, the hardest part of writing a thesis isn’t the writing process; it is the process of finding “the big question”. As you research and begin to more fully understand your topic, you will narrow it down further and further. Suddenly Jane Austen and courtship becomes courtship and etiquette.
Then, that turns to courtship and etiquette in Pride and Prejudice and Emma. This is inevitable and is not a cause for worry; the more you learn, the more focused your topic will become. As you find out new information or discover a new fact or formula, your work will take on a new shape.
The big question needs to be the glue holding your thesis together. Every sentence you write needs to add and connect to your overall focus and intention. The overall goal of a thesis is not only to answer that big question, to prove a theory, or to solve a conundrum, but also to show the process of solving.
Those reading your thesis will not have put in the months of effort you have, so let your thesis reflect all of your hard work.