How to write your thesis paper

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Feeling lost on how to start your thesis paper?

Generally, a thesis paper can be divided into five sections: (1) introduction, (2) literature review, (3) methodology, (4) results and discussion, and (5) conclusion and recommendation.

RELATED: How to find a research topic

If you are still struggling on how to begin writing, here’s a set of guidelines that can help you organize your ideas into a coherent thesis paper.

1. INTRODUCTION

  • (Background of the study)
    Show the context of the problem or issue you want to address.
    Describe the condition in which it can be observed.
  • (Rationale)
    Explain why your study is important.
    Identify who will benefit from your research.
    Discuss the need of knowing the answers to your research.
    Explain why you need to improve the situation, method, or model.
  • (Problem Statement)
    Identify the gap in the existing literature your research will fill.
    Identify the things in the body of knowledge that needs improvement.
  • (Objectives)
    Identify the steps you will take to and fill the identified research gap.
    • Overall objective. This is the main goal you want to do in your research.
    • Specific objectives. This contains the breakdown (actionable steps) of how you are to achieve your overall objective.
  • (Scope)
    Identify the extent or coverage of your research. (example: scale, geography, source of data, time horizon)
  • (Limitations)
    Identify any factor, condition, or circumstance that prevents you from achieving all your identified objectives.
  • (Assumptions)
    If there are any, name the factors, conditions, or circumstances that you did not consider in your method, model, or research strategies.
    Indicate the conditions in your research you assumed to be true.

2. LITERATURE REVIEW

  • Determine the existing studies or body of knowledge in your chosen research topic.
  • Identify the distinguishable qualities of the key ideas or main variables in your research.
  • What are the relationships between these key concepts, factors or variables?
  • Identify the existing theories.
  • Point out the inconsistencies and/or shortcomings of the previous studies.
  • Identify the considerations or perspectives that need to be tested or further tested.
  • Recognize from the existing literature if there is a lack of evidence concerning your chosen topic.
  • Identify research concepts or methods that seem inadequate.
  • Distinguish from the existing literature results that are inconclusive or contradictory.
  • Discuss the need to further study your research problem.
  • Present the contribution of your research.

3. METHODOLOGY

  • Show the process flow of your methodology.
  • Discuss how you obtained the data you used in your research.
  • Discuss how you analyzed the data.
  • Show how you obtained your results.

4. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

You can present them in two ways:

  • Present all the results first then discuss them in another section.
  • Present a part of the results with its discussion in one section then another part of the results and its discussion in another.

5. CONCLUSION and RECOMMENDATIONS

Give a summary of the following:

  • The things learned through your research
  • The things that need further study
  • The evaluation of your research
  • The shortcomings of your research
  • The benefits, advantages, and applications of your research
  • Recommendations

So, I hope this post can help you finish that thesis paper you’ve been working on. Off you go!


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