Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument. You'll want to know very soon whether the lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or not guilty, and how the lawyer plans to convince you. Readers of academic essays are like jury members: before they have read too far, they want to know what the essay argues as well as how the writer plans to make the argument. After reading your thesis statement, the reader should think, "This essay is going to try to convince me of something. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm interested to see how I might be."

An effective thesis cannot be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." A thesis is not a topic; nor is it a fact; nor is it an opinion. "Reasons for the fall of communism" is a topic. "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" is a fact known by educated people. "The fall of communism is the best thing that ever happened in Europe" is an opinion. (Superlatives like "the best" almost always lead to trouble. It's impossible to weigh every "thing" that ever happened in Europe. And what about the fall of Hitler? Couldn't that be "the best thing"?)

A good thesis has two parts. It should tell what you plan to argue, and it should "telegraph" how you plan to argue—that is, what particular support for your claim is going where in your essay.

Steps in Constructing a Thesis

First, analyze your primary sources.  Look for tension, interest, ambiguity, controversy, and/or complication. Does the author contradict himself or herself? Is a point made and later reversed? What are the deeper implications of the author's argument? Figuring out the why to one or more of these questions, or to related questions, will put you on the path to developing a working thesis. (Without the why, you probably have only come up with an observation—that there are, for instance, many different metaphors in such-and-such a poem—which is not a thesis.)

Once you have a working thesis, write it down.  There is nothing as frustrating as hitting on a great idea for a thesis, then forgetting it when you lose concentration. And by writing down your thesis you will be forced to think of it clearly, logically, and concisely. You probably will not be able to write out a final-draft version of your thesis the first time you try, but you'll get yourself on the right track by writing down what you have.

Keep your thesis prominent in your introduction.  A good, standard place for your thesis statement is at the end of an introductory paragraph, especially in shorter (5-15 page) essays. Readers are used to finding theses there, so they automatically pay more attention when they read the last sentence of your introduction. Although this is not required in all academic essays, it is a good rule of thumb.

Anticipate the counterarguments.  Once you have a working thesis, you should think about what might be said against it. This will help you to refine your thesis, and it will also make you think of the arguments that you'll need to refute later on in your essay. (Every argument has a counterargument. If yours doesn't, then it's not an argument—it may be a fact, or an opinion, but it is not an argument.)

This statement is on its way to being a thesis. However, it is too easy to imagine possible counterarguments. For example, a political observer might believe that Dukakis lost because he suffered from a "soft-on-crime" image. If you complicate your thesis by anticipating the counterargument, you'll strengthen your argument, as shown in the sentence below.

Some Caveats and Some Examples

A thesis is never a question.  Readers of academic essays expect to have questions discussed, explored, or even answered. A question ("Why did communism collapse in Eastern Europe?") is not an argument, and without an argument, a thesis is dead in the water.

A thesis is never a list.  "For political, economic, social and cultural reasons, communism collapsed in Eastern Europe" does a good job of "telegraphing" the reader what to expect in the essay—a section about political reasons, a section about economic reasons, a section about social reasons, and a section about cultural reasons. However, political, economic, social and cultural reasons are pretty much the only possible reasons why communism could collapse. This sentence lacks tension and doesn't advance an argument. Everyone knows that politics, economics, and culture are important.

A thesis should never be vague, combative or confrontational.  An ineffective thesis would be, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because communism is evil." This is hard to argue (evil from whose perspective? what does evil mean?) and it is likely to mark you as moralistic and judgmental rather than rational and thorough. It also may spark a defensive reaction from readers sympathetic to communism. If readers strongly disagree with you right off the bat, they may stop reading.

An effective thesis has a definable, arguable claim.  "While cultural forces contributed to the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the disintegration of economies played the key role in driving its decline" is an effective thesis sentence that "telegraphs," so that the reader expects the essay to have a section about cultural forces and another about the disintegration of economies. This thesis makes a definite, arguable claim: that the disintegration of economies played a more important role than cultural forces in defeating communism in Eastern Europe. The reader would react to this statement by thinking, "Perhaps what the author says is true, but I am not convinced. I want to read further to see how the author argues this claim."

A thesis should be as clear and specific as possible.  Avoid overused, general terms and abstractions. For example, "Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe because of the ruling elite's inability to address the economic concerns of the people" is more powerful than "Communism collapsed due to societal discontent."

Copyright 1999, Maxine Rodburg and The Tutors of the Writing Center at Harvard University

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Writing Tutorial Services

How to write a thesis statement, what is a thesis statement.

Almost all of us—even if we don’t do it consciously—look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence condensation of the argument or analysis that is to follow. We refer to that condensation as a thesis statement.

Why Should Your Essay Contain a Thesis Statement?

  • to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or two
  • to better organize and develop your argument
  • to provide your reader with a “guide” to your argument

In general, your thesis statement will accomplish these goals if you think of the thesis as the answer to the question your paper explores.

How Can You Write a Good Thesis Statement?

Here are some helpful hints to get you started. You can either scroll down or select a link to a specific topic.

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is Assigned

Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question. For example, if your assignment is, “Write a report to the local school board explaining the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class,” turn the request into a question like, “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” After you’ve chosen the question your essay will answer, compose one or two complete sentences answering that question.

Q: “What are the potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class?” A: “The potential benefits of using computers in a fourth-grade class are . . .”
A: “Using computers in a fourth-grade class promises to improve . . .”

The answer to the question is the thesis statement for the essay.

[ Back to top ]

How to Generate a Thesis Statement if the Topic is not Assigned

Even if your assignment doesn’t ask a specific question, your thesis statement still needs to answer a question about the issue you’d like to explore. In this situation, your job is to figure out what question you’d like to write about.

A good thesis statement will usually include the following four attributes:

  • take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree
  • deal with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment
  • express one main idea
  • assert your conclusions about a subject

Let’s see how to generate a thesis statement for a social policy paper.

Brainstorm the topic . Let’s say that your class focuses upon the problems posed by changes in the dietary habits of Americans. You find that you are interested in the amount of sugar Americans consume.

You start out with a thesis statement like this:

Sugar consumption.

This fragment isn’t a thesis statement. Instead, it simply indicates a general subject. Furthermore, your reader doesn’t know what you want to say about sugar consumption.

Narrow the topic . Your readings about the topic, however, have led you to the conclusion that elementary school children are consuming far more sugar than is healthy.

You change your thesis to look like this:

Reducing sugar consumption by elementary school children.

This fragment not only announces your subject, but it focuses on one segment of the population: elementary school children. Furthermore, it raises a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree, because while most people might agree that children consume more sugar than they used to, not everyone would agree on what should be done or who should do it. You should note that this fragment is not a thesis statement because your reader doesn’t know your conclusions on the topic.

Take a position on the topic. After reflecting on the topic a little while longer, you decide that what you really want to say about this topic is that something should be done to reduce the amount of sugar these children consume.

You revise your thesis statement to look like this:

More attention should be paid to the food and beverage choices available to elementary school children.

This statement asserts your position, but the terms more attention and food and beverage choices are vague.

Use specific language . You decide to explain what you mean about food and beverage choices , so you write:

Experts estimate that half of elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar.

This statement is specific, but it isn’t a thesis. It merely reports a statistic instead of making an assertion.

Make an assertion based on clearly stated support. You finally revise your thesis statement one more time to look like this:

Because half of all American elementary school children consume nine times the recommended daily allowance of sugar, schools should be required to replace the beverages in soda machines with healthy alternatives.

Notice how the thesis answers the question, “What should be done to reduce sugar consumption by children, and who should do it?” When you started thinking about the paper, you may not have had a specific question in mind, but as you became more involved in the topic, your ideas became more specific. Your thesis changed to reflect your new insights.

How to Tell a Strong Thesis Statement from a Weak One

1. a strong thesis statement takes some sort of stand..

Remember that your thesis needs to show your conclusions about a subject. For example, if you are writing a paper for a class on fitness, you might be asked to choose a popular weight-loss product to evaluate. Here are two thesis statements:

There are some negative and positive aspects to the Banana Herb Tea Supplement.

This is a weak thesis statement. First, it fails to take a stand. Second, the phrase negative and positive aspects is vague.

Because Banana Herb Tea Supplement promotes rapid weight loss that results in the loss of muscle and lean body mass, it poses a potential danger to customers.

This is a strong thesis because it takes a stand, and because it's specific.

2. A strong thesis statement justifies discussion.

Your thesis should indicate the point of the discussion. If your assignment is to write a paper on kinship systems, using your own family as an example, you might come up with either of these two thesis statements:

My family is an extended family.

This is a weak thesis because it merely states an observation. Your reader won’t be able to tell the point of the statement, and will probably stop reading.

While most American families would view consanguineal marriage as a threat to the nuclear family structure, many Iranian families, like my own, believe that these marriages help reinforce kinship ties in an extended family.

This is a strong thesis because it shows how your experience contradicts a widely-accepted view. A good strategy for creating a strong thesis is to show that the topic is controversial. Readers will be interested in reading the rest of the essay to see how you support your point.

3. A strong thesis statement expresses one main idea.

Readers need to be able to see that your paper has one main point. If your thesis statement expresses more than one idea, then you might confuse your readers about the subject of your paper. For example:

Companies need to exploit the marketing potential of the Internet, and Web pages can provide both advertising and customer support.

This is a weak thesis statement because the reader can’t decide whether the paper is about marketing on the Internet or Web pages. To revise the thesis, the relationship between the two ideas needs to become more clear. One way to revise the thesis would be to write:

Because the Internet is filled with tremendous marketing potential, companies should exploit this potential by using Web pages that offer both advertising and customer support.

This is a strong thesis because it shows that the two ideas are related. Hint: a great many clear and engaging thesis statements contain words like because , since , so , although , unless , and however .

4. A strong thesis statement is specific.

A thesis statement should show exactly what your paper will be about, and will help you keep your paper to a manageable topic. For example, if you're writing a seven-to-ten page paper on hunger, you might say:

World hunger has many causes and effects.

This is a weak thesis statement for two major reasons. First, world hunger can’t be discussed thoroughly in seven to ten pages. Second, many causes and effects is vague. You should be able to identify specific causes and effects. A revised thesis might look like this:

Hunger persists in Glandelinia because jobs are scarce and farming in the infertile soil is rarely profitable.

This is a strong thesis statement because it narrows the subject to a more specific and manageable topic, and it also identifies the specific causes for the existence of hunger.

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Tips and Examples for Writing Thesis Statements

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This resource provides tips for creating a thesis statement and examples of different types of thesis statements.

Tips for Writing Your Thesis Statement

1. Determine what kind of paper you are writing:

  • An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience.
  • An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience.
  • An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence. The claim could be an opinion, a policy proposal, an evaluation, a cause-and-effect statement, or an interpretation. The goal of the argumentative paper is to convince the audience that the claim is true based on the evidence provided.

If you are writing a text that does not fall under these three categories (e.g., a narrative), a thesis statement somewhere in the first paragraph could still be helpful to your reader.

2. Your thesis statement should be specific—it should cover only what you will discuss in your paper and should be supported with specific evidence.

3. The thesis statement usually appears at the end of the first paragraph of a paper.

4. Your topic may change as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.

Thesis Statement Examples

Example of an analytical thesis statement:

The paper that follows should:

  • Explain the analysis of the college admission process
  • Explain the challenge facing admissions counselors

Example of an expository (explanatory) thesis statement:

  • Explain how students spend their time studying, attending class, and socializing with peers

Example of an argumentative thesis statement:

  • Present an argument and give evidence to support the claim that students should pursue community projects before entering college

Grad Coach

Dissertation Structure & Layout 101: How to structure your dissertation, thesis or research project.

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) Reviewed By: David Phair (PhD) | July 2019

So, you’ve got a decent understanding of what a dissertation is , you’ve chosen your topic and hopefully you’ve received approval for your research proposal . Awesome! Now its time to start the actual dissertation or thesis writing journey.

To craft a high-quality document, the very first thing you need to understand is dissertation structure . In this post, we’ll walk you through the generic dissertation structure and layout, step by step. We’ll start with the big picture, and then zoom into each chapter to briefly discuss the core contents. If you’re just starting out on your research journey, you should start with this post, which covers the big-picture process of how to write a dissertation or thesis .

Dissertation structure and layout - the basics

*The Caveat *

In this post, we’ll be discussing a traditional dissertation/thesis structure and layout, which is generally used for social science research across universities, whether in the US, UK, Europe or Australia. However, some universities may have small variations on this structure (extra chapters, merged chapters, slightly different ordering, etc).

So, always check with your university if they have a prescribed structure or layout that they expect you to work with. If not, it’s safe to assume the structure we’ll discuss here is suitable. And even if they do have a prescribed structure, you’ll still get value from this post as we’ll explain the core contents of each section.  

Overview: S tructuring a dissertation or thesis

  • Acknowledgements page
  • Abstract (or executive summary)
  • Table of contents , list of figures and tables
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Literature review
  • Chapter 3: Methodology
  • Chapter 4: Results
  • Chapter 5: Discussion
  • Chapter 6: Conclusion
  • Reference list

As I mentioned, some universities will have slight variations on this structure. For example, they want an additional “personal reflection chapter”, or they might prefer the results and discussion chapter to be merged into one. Regardless, the overarching flow will always be the same, as this flow reflects the research process , which we discussed here – i.e.:

  • The introduction chapter presents the core research question and aims .
  • The literature review chapter assesses what the current research says about this question.
  • The methodology, results and discussion chapters go about undertaking new research about this question.
  • The conclusion chapter (attempts to) answer the core research question .

In other words, the dissertation structure and layout reflect the research process of asking a well-defined question(s), investigating, and then answering the question – see below.

A dissertation's structure reflect the research process

To restate that – the structure and layout of a dissertation reflect the flow of the overall research process . This is essential to understand, as each chapter will make a lot more sense if you “get” this concept. If you’re not familiar with the research process, read this post before going further.

Right. Now that we’ve covered the big picture, let’s dive a little deeper into the details of each section and chapter. Oh and by the way, you can also grab our free dissertation/thesis template here to help speed things up.

The title page of your dissertation is the very first impression the marker will get of your work, so it pays to invest some time thinking about your title. But what makes for a good title? A strong title needs to be 3 things:

  • Succinct (not overly lengthy or verbose)
  • Specific (not vague or ambiguous)
  • Representative of the research you’re undertaking (clearly linked to your research questions)

Typically, a good title includes mention of the following:

  • The broader area of the research (i.e. the overarching topic)
  • The specific focus of your research (i.e. your specific context)
  • Indication of research design (e.g. quantitative , qualitative , or  mixed methods ).

For example:

A quantitative investigation [research design] into the antecedents of organisational trust [broader area] in the UK retail forex trading market [specific context/area of focus].

Again, some universities may have specific requirements regarding the format and structure of the title, so it’s worth double-checking expectations with your institution (if there’s no mention in the brief or study material).

Dissertations stacked up

Acknowledgements

This page provides you with an opportunity to say thank you to those who helped you along your research journey. Generally, it’s optional (and won’t count towards your marks), but it is academic best practice to include this.

So, who do you say thanks to? Well, there’s no prescribed requirements, but it’s common to mention the following people:

  • Your dissertation supervisor or committee.
  • Any professors, lecturers or academics that helped you understand the topic or methodologies.
  • Any tutors, mentors or advisors.
  • Your family and friends, especially spouse (for adult learners studying part-time).

There’s no need for lengthy rambling. Just state who you’re thankful to and for what (e.g. thank you to my supervisor, John Doe, for his endless patience and attentiveness) – be sincere. In terms of length, you should keep this to a page or less.

Abstract or executive summary

The dissertation abstract (or executive summary for some degrees) serves to provide the first-time reader (and marker or moderator) with a big-picture view of your research project. It should give them an understanding of the key insights and findings from the research, without them needing to read the rest of the report – in other words, it should be able to stand alone .

For it to stand alone, your abstract should cover the following key points (at a minimum):

  • Your research questions and aims – what key question(s) did your research aim to answer?
  • Your methodology – how did you go about investigating the topic and finding answers to your research question(s)?
  • Your findings – following your own research, what did do you discover?
  • Your conclusions – based on your findings, what conclusions did you draw? What answers did you find to your research question(s)?

So, in much the same way the dissertation structure mimics the research process, your abstract or executive summary should reflect the research process, from the initial stage of asking the original question to the final stage of answering that question.

In practical terms, it’s a good idea to write this section up last , once all your core chapters are complete. Otherwise, you’ll end up writing and rewriting this section multiple times (just wasting time). For a step by step guide on how to write a strong executive summary, check out this post .

Need a helping hand?

english thesis report

Table of contents

This section is straightforward. You’ll typically present your table of contents (TOC) first, followed by the two lists – figures and tables. I recommend that you use Microsoft Word’s automatic table of contents generator to generate your TOC. If you’re not familiar with this functionality, the video below explains it simply:

If you find that your table of contents is overly lengthy, consider removing one level of depth. Oftentimes, this can be done without detracting from the usefulness of the TOC.

Right, now that the “admin” sections are out of the way, its time to move on to your core chapters. These chapters are the heart of your dissertation and are where you’ll earn the marks. The first chapter is the introduction chapter – as you would expect, this is the time to introduce your research…

It’s important to understand that even though you’ve provided an overview of your research in your abstract, your introduction needs to be written as if the reader has not read that (remember, the abstract is essentially a standalone document). So, your introduction chapter needs to start from the very beginning, and should address the following questions:

  • What will you be investigating (in plain-language, big picture-level)?
  • Why is that worth investigating? How is it important to academia or business? How is it sufficiently original?
  • What are your research aims and research question(s)? Note that the research questions can sometimes be presented at the end of the literature review (next chapter).
  • What is the scope of your study? In other words, what will and won’t you cover ?
  • How will you approach your research? In other words, what methodology will you adopt?
  • How will you structure your dissertation? What are the core chapters and what will you do in each of them?

These are just the bare basic requirements for your intro chapter. Some universities will want additional bells and whistles in the intro chapter, so be sure to carefully read your brief or consult your research supervisor.

If done right, your introduction chapter will set a clear direction for the rest of your dissertation. Specifically, it will make it clear to the reader (and marker) exactly what you’ll be investigating, why that’s important, and how you’ll be going about the investigation. Conversely, if your introduction chapter leaves a first-time reader wondering what exactly you’ll be researching, you’ve still got some work to do.

Now that you’ve set a clear direction with your introduction chapter, the next step is the literature review . In this section, you will analyse the existing research (typically academic journal articles and high-quality industry publications), with a view to understanding the following questions:

  • What does the literature currently say about the topic you’re investigating?
  • Is the literature lacking or well established? Is it divided or in disagreement?
  • How does your research fit into the bigger picture?
  • How does your research contribute something original?
  • How does the methodology of previous studies help you develop your own?

Depending on the nature of your study, you may also present a conceptual framework towards the end of your literature review, which you will then test in your actual research.

Again, some universities will want you to focus on some of these areas more than others, some will have additional or fewer requirements, and so on. Therefore, as always, its important to review your brief and/or discuss with your supervisor, so that you know exactly what’s expected of your literature review chapter.

Dissertation writing

Now that you’ve investigated the current state of knowledge in your literature review chapter and are familiar with the existing key theories, models and frameworks, its time to design your own research. Enter the methodology chapter – the most “science-ey” of the chapters…

In this chapter, you need to address two critical questions:

  • Exactly HOW will you carry out your research (i.e. what is your intended research design)?
  • Exactly WHY have you chosen to do things this way (i.e. how do you justify your design)?

Remember, the dissertation part of your degree is first and foremost about developing and demonstrating research skills . Therefore, the markers want to see that you know which methods to use, can clearly articulate why you’ve chosen then, and know how to deploy them effectively.

Importantly, this chapter requires detail – don’t hold back on the specifics. State exactly what you’ll be doing, with who, when, for how long, etc. Moreover, for every design choice you make, make sure you justify it.

In practice, you will likely end up coming back to this chapter once you’ve undertaken all your data collection and analysis, and revise it based on changes you made during the analysis phase. This is perfectly fine. Its natural for you to add an additional analysis technique, scrap an old one, etc based on where your data lead you. Of course, I’m talking about small changes here – not a fundamental switch from qualitative to quantitative, which will likely send your supervisor in a spin!

You’ve now collected your data and undertaken your analysis, whether qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods. In this chapter, you’ll present the raw results of your analysis . For example, in the case of a quant study, you’ll present the demographic data, descriptive statistics, inferential statistics , etc.

Typically, Chapter 4 is simply a presentation and description of the data, not a discussion of the meaning of the data. In other words, it’s descriptive, rather than analytical – the meaning is discussed in Chapter 5. However, some universities will want you to combine chapters 4 and 5, so that you both present and interpret the meaning of the data at the same time. Check with your institution what their preference is.

Now that you’ve presented the data analysis results, its time to interpret and analyse them. In other words, its time to discuss what they mean, especially in relation to your research question(s).

What you discuss here will depend largely on your chosen methodology. For example, if you’ve gone the quantitative route, you might discuss the relationships between variables . If you’ve gone the qualitative route, you might discuss key themes and the meanings thereof. It all depends on what your research design choices were.

Most importantly, you need to discuss your results in relation to your research questions and aims, as well as the existing literature. What do the results tell you about your research questions? Are they aligned with the existing research or at odds? If so, why might this be? Dig deep into your findings and explain what the findings suggest, in plain English.

The final chapter – you’ve made it! Now that you’ve discussed your interpretation of the results, its time to bring it back to the beginning with the conclusion chapter . In other words, its time to (attempt to) answer your original research question s (from way back in chapter 1). Clearly state what your conclusions are in terms of your research questions. This might feel a bit repetitive, as you would have touched on this in the previous chapter, but its important to bring the discussion full circle and explicitly state your answer(s) to the research question(s).

Dissertation and thesis prep

Next, you’ll typically discuss the implications of your findings? In other words, you’ve answered your research questions – but what does this mean for the real world (or even for academia)? What should now be done differently, given the new insight you’ve generated?

Lastly, you should discuss the limitations of your research, as well as what this means for future research in the area. No study is perfect, especially not a Masters-level. Discuss the shortcomings of your research. Perhaps your methodology was limited, perhaps your sample size was small or not representative, etc, etc. Don’t be afraid to critique your work – the markers want to see that you can identify the limitations of your work. This is a strength, not a weakness. Be brutal!

This marks the end of your core chapters – woohoo! From here on out, it’s pretty smooth sailing.

The reference list is straightforward. It should contain a list of all resources cited in your dissertation, in the required format, e.g. APA , Harvard, etc.

It’s essential that you use reference management software for your dissertation. Do NOT try handle your referencing manually – its far too error prone. On a reference list of multiple pages, you’re going to make mistake. To this end, I suggest considering either Mendeley or Zotero. Both are free and provide a very straightforward interface to ensure that your referencing is 100% on point. I’ve included a simple how-to video for the Mendeley software (my personal favourite) below:

Some universities may ask you to include a bibliography, as opposed to a reference list. These two things are not the same . A bibliography is similar to a reference list, except that it also includes resources which informed your thinking but were not directly cited in your dissertation. So, double-check your brief and make sure you use the right one.

The very last piece of the puzzle is the appendix or set of appendices. This is where you’ll include any supporting data and evidence. Importantly, supporting is the keyword here.

Your appendices should provide additional “nice to know”, depth-adding information, which is not critical to the core analysis. Appendices should not be used as a way to cut down word count (see this post which covers how to reduce word count ). In other words, don’t place content that is critical to the core analysis here, just to save word count. You will not earn marks on any content in the appendices, so don’t try to play the system!

Time to recap…

And there you have it – the traditional dissertation structure and layout, from A-Z. To recap, the core structure for a dissertation or thesis is (typically) as follows:

  • Acknowledgments page

Most importantly, the core chapters should reflect the research process (asking, investigating and answering your research question). Moreover, the research question(s) should form the golden thread throughout your dissertation structure. Everything should revolve around the research questions, and as you’ve seen, they should form both the start point (i.e. introduction chapter) and the endpoint (i.e. conclusion chapter).

I hope this post has provided you with clarity about the traditional dissertation/thesis structure and layout. If you have any questions or comments, please leave a comment below, or feel free to get in touch with us. Also, be sure to check out the rest of the  Grad Coach Blog .

english thesis report

Psst… there’s more (for free)

This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project. 

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36 Comments

ARUN kumar SHARMA

many thanks i found it very useful

Derek Jansen

Glad to hear that, Arun. Good luck writing your dissertation.

Sue

Such clear practical logical advice. I very much needed to read this to keep me focused in stead of fretting.. Perfect now ready to start my research!

hayder

what about scientific fields like computer or engineering thesis what is the difference in the structure? thank you very much

Tim

Thanks so much this helped me a lot!

Ade Adeniyi

Very helpful and accessible. What I like most is how practical the advice is along with helpful tools/ links.

Thanks Ade!

Aswathi

Thank you so much sir.. It was really helpful..

You’re welcome!

Jp Raimundo

Hi! How many words maximum should contain the abstract?

Karmelia Renatee

Thank you so much 😊 Find this at the right moment

You’re most welcome. Good luck with your dissertation.

moha

best ever benefit i got on right time thank you

Krishnan iyer

Many times Clarity and vision of destination of dissertation is what makes the difference between good ,average and great researchers the same way a great automobile driver is fast with clarity of address and Clear weather conditions .

I guess Great researcher = great ideas + knowledge + great and fast data collection and modeling + great writing + high clarity on all these

You have given immense clarity from start to end.

Alwyn Malan

Morning. Where will I write the definitions of what I’m referring to in my report?

Rose

Thank you so much Derek, I was almost lost! Thanks a tonnnn! Have a great day!

yemi Amos

Thanks ! so concise and valuable

Kgomotso Siwelane

This was very helpful. Clear and concise. I know exactly what to do now.

dauda sesay

Thank you for allowing me to go through briefly. I hope to find time to continue.

Patrick Mwathi

Really useful to me. Thanks a thousand times

Adao Bundi

Very interesting! It will definitely set me and many more for success. highly recommended.

SAIKUMAR NALUMASU

Thank you soo much sir, for the opportunity to express my skills

mwepu Ilunga

Usefull, thanks a lot. Really clear

Rami

Very nice and easy to understand. Thank you .

Chrisogonas Odhiambo

That was incredibly useful. Thanks Grad Coach Crew!

Luke

My stress level just dropped at least 15 points after watching this. Just starting my thesis for my grad program and I feel a lot more capable now! Thanks for such a clear and helpful video, Emma and the GradCoach team!

Judy

Do we need to mention the number of words the dissertation contains in the main document?

It depends on your university’s requirements, so it would be best to check with them 🙂

Christine

Such a helpful post to help me get started with structuring my masters dissertation, thank you!

Simon Le

Great video; I appreciate that helpful information

Brhane Kidane

It is so necessary or avital course

johnson

This blog is very informative for my research. Thank you

avc

Doctoral students are required to fill out the National Research Council’s Survey of Earned Doctorates

Emmanuel Manjolo

wow this is an amazing gain in my life

Paul I Thoronka

This is so good

Tesfay haftu

How can i arrange my specific objectives in my dissertation?

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Developing a Thesis Statement

Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement. In this section you’ll learn what a thesis statement is and how to write one.

Keep in mind that not all papers require thesis statements . If in doubt, please consult your instructor for assistance.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement . . .

  • Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic.
  • Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper.
  • Is focused and specific enough to be “proven” within the boundaries of your paper.
  • Is generally located near the end of the introduction ; sometimes, in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or in an entire paragraph.
  • Identifies the relationships between the pieces of evidence that you are using to support your argument.

Not all papers require thesis statements! Ask your instructor if you’re in doubt whether you need one.

Identify a topic

Your topic is the subject about which you will write. Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic; or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.

Consider what your assignment asks you to do

Inform yourself about your topic, focus on one aspect of your topic, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts, generate a topic from an assignment.

Below are some possible topics based on sample assignments.

Sample assignment 1

Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II.

Identified topic

Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis

This topic avoids generalities such as “Spain” and “World War II,” addressing instead on Franco’s role (a specific aspect of “Spain”) and the diplomatic relations between the Allies and Axis (a specific aspect of World War II).

Sample assignment 2

Analyze one of Homer’s epic similes in the Iliad.

The relationship between the portrayal of warfare and the epic simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64.

This topic focuses on a single simile and relates it to a single aspect of the Iliad ( warfare being a major theme in that work).

Developing a Thesis Statement–Additional information

Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic, or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper. You’ll want to read your assignment carefully, looking for key terms that you can use to focus your topic.

Sample assignment: Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II Key terms: analyze, Spain’s neutrality, World War II

After you’ve identified the key words in your topic, the next step is to read about them in several sources, or generate as much information as possible through an analysis of your topic. Obviously, the more material or knowledge you have, the more possibilities will be available for a strong argument. For the sample assignment above, you’ll want to look at books and articles on World War II in general, and Spain’s neutrality in particular.

As you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic. This means that you cannot include everything you’ve learned about your topic, nor should you go off in several directions. If you end up covering too many different aspects of a topic, your paper will sprawl and be unconvincing in its argument, and it most likely will not fulfull the assignment requirements.

For the sample assignment above, both Spain’s neutrality and World War II are topics far too broad to explore in a paper. You may instead decide to focus on Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis , which narrows down what aspects of Spain’s neutrality and World War II you want to discuss, as well as establishes a specific link between those two aspects.

Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts. Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.e., “eating disorders and body image among adolescent women”) or that simply are not important (i.e. “why I like ice cream”). These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported. A good thesis falls somewhere between the two extremes. To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times . Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Derive a main point from topic

Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be. This point, the “controlling idea,” becomes the core of your argument (thesis statement) and it is the unifying idea to which you will relate all your sub-theses. You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.

Look for patterns in your evidence

Compose a purpose statement.

Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement.

  • Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis
  • Franco turned to the Allies when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from the Axis

Possible conclusion:

Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: Franco’s desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power.

Purpose statement

This paper will analyze Franco’s diplomacy during World War II to see how it contributed to Spain’s neutrality.
  • The simile compares Simoisius to a tree, which is a peaceful, natural image.
  • The tree in the simile is chopped down to make wheels for a chariot, which is an object used in warfare.

At first, the simile seems to take the reader away from the world of warfare, but we end up back in that world by the end.

This paper will analyze the way the simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64 moves in and out of the world of warfare.

Derive purpose statement from topic

To find out what your “controlling idea” is, you have to examine and evaluate your evidence . As you consider your evidence, you may notice patterns emerging, data repeated in more than one source, or facts that favor one view more than another. These patterns or data may then lead you to some conclusions about your topic and suggest that you can successfully argue for one idea better than another.

For instance, you might find out that Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis, but when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from them, he turned to the Allies. As you read more about Franco’s decisions, you may conclude that Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: his desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power. Based on this conclusion, you can then write a trial thesis statement to help you decide what material belongs in your paper.

Sometimes you won’t be able to find a focus or identify your “spin” or specific argument immediately. Like some writers, you might begin with a purpose statement just to get yourself going. A purpose statement is one or more sentences that announce your topic and indicate the structure of the paper but do not state the conclusions you have drawn . Thus, you might begin with something like this:

  • This paper will look at modern language to see if it reflects male dominance or female oppression.
  • I plan to analyze anger and derision in offensive language to see if they represent a challenge of society’s authority.

At some point, you can turn a purpose statement into a thesis statement. As you think and write about your topic, you can restrict, clarify, and refine your argument, crafting your thesis statement to reflect your thinking.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Compose a draft thesis statement

If you are writing a paper that will have an argumentative thesis and are having trouble getting started, the techniques in the table below may help you develop a temporary or “working” thesis statement.

Begin with a purpose statement that you will later turn into a thesis statement.

Assignment: Discuss the history of the Reform Party and explain its influence on the 1990 presidential and Congressional election.

Purpose Statement: This paper briefly sketches the history of the grassroots, conservative, Perot-led Reform Party and analyzes how it influenced the economic and social ideologies of the two mainstream parties.

Question-to-Assertion

If your assignment asks a specific question(s), turn the question(s) into an assertion and give reasons why it is true or reasons for your opinion.

Assignment : What do Aylmer and Rappaccini have to be proud of? Why aren’t they satisfied with these things? How does pride, as demonstrated in “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” lead to unexpected problems?

Beginning thesis statement: Alymer and Rappaccinni are proud of their great knowledge; however, they are also very greedy and are driven to use their knowledge to alter some aspect of nature as a test of their ability. Evil results when they try to “play God.”

Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write.

Main idea: The reason some toys succeed in the market is that they appeal to the consumers’ sense of the ridiculous and their basic desire to laugh at themselves.

Make a list of the ideas that you want to include; consider the ideas and try to group them.

  • nature = peaceful
  • war matériel = violent (competes with 1?)
  • need for time and space to mourn the dead
  • war is inescapable (competes with 3?)

Use a formula to arrive at a working thesis statement (you will revise this later).

  • although most readers of _______ have argued that _______, closer examination shows that _______.
  • _______ uses _______ and _____ to prove that ________.
  • phenomenon x is a result of the combination of __________, __________, and _________.

What to keep in mind as you draft an initial thesis statement

Beginning statements obtained through the methods illustrated above can serve as a framework for planning or drafting your paper, but remember they’re not yet the specific, argumentative thesis you want for the final version of your paper. In fact, in its first stages, a thesis statement usually is ill-formed or rough and serves only as a planning tool.

As you write, you may discover evidence that does not fit your temporary or “working” thesis. Or you may reach deeper insights about your topic as you do more research, and you will find that your thesis statement has to be more complicated to match the evidence that you want to use.

You must be willing to reject or omit some evidence in order to keep your paper cohesive and your reader focused. Or you may have to revise your thesis to match the evidence and insights that you want to discuss. Read your draft carefully, noting the conclusions you have drawn and the major ideas which support or prove those conclusions. These will be the elements of your final thesis statement.

Sometimes you will not be able to identify these elements in your early drafts, but as you consider how your argument is developing and how your evidence supports your main idea, ask yourself, “ What is the main point that I want to prove/discuss? ” and “ How will I convince the reader that this is true? ” When you can answer these questions, then you can begin to refine the thesis statement.

Refine and polish the thesis statement

To get to your final thesis, you’ll need to refine your draft thesis so that it’s specific and arguable.

  • Ask if your draft thesis addresses the assignment
  • Question each part of your draft thesis
  • Clarify vague phrases and assertions
  • Investigate alternatives to your draft thesis

Consult the example below for suggestions on how to refine your draft thesis statement.

Sample Assignment

Choose an activity and define it as a symbol of American culture. Your essay should cause the reader to think critically about the society which produces and enjoys that activity.

  • Ask The phenomenon of drive-in facilities is an interesting symbol of american culture, and these facilities demonstrate significant characteristics of our society.This statement does not fulfill the assignment because it does not require the reader to think critically about society.
Drive-ins are an interesting symbol of American culture because they represent Americans’ significant creativity and business ingenuity.
Among the types of drive-in facilities familiar during the twentieth century, drive-in movie theaters best represent American creativity, not merely because they were the forerunner of later drive-ins and drive-throughs, but because of their impact on our culture: they changed our relationship to the automobile, changed the way people experienced movies, and changed movie-going into a family activity.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast-food establishments, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize America’s economic ingenuity, they also have affected our personal standards.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast- food restaurants, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize (1) Americans’ business ingenuity, they also have contributed (2) to an increasing homogenization of our culture, (3) a willingness to depersonalize relationships with others, and (4) a tendency to sacrifice quality for convenience.

This statement is now specific and fulfills all parts of the assignment. This version, like any good thesis, is not self-evident; its points, 1-4, will have to be proven with evidence in the body of the paper. The numbers in this statement indicate the order in which the points will be presented. Depending on the length of the paper, there could be one paragraph for each numbered item or there could be blocks of paragraph for even pages for each one.

Complete the final thesis statement

The bottom line.

As you move through the process of crafting a thesis, you’ll need to remember four things:

  • Context matters! Think about your course materials and lectures. Try to relate your thesis to the ideas your instructor is discussing.
  • As you go through the process described in this section, always keep your assignment in mind . You will be more successful when your thesis (and paper) responds to the assignment than if it argues a semi-related idea.
  • Your thesis statement should be precise, focused, and contestable ; it should predict the sub-theses or blocks of information that you will use to prove your argument.
  • Make sure that you keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Change your thesis as your paper evolves, because you do not want your thesis to promise more than your paper actually delivers.

In the beginning, the thesis statement was a tool to help you sharpen your focus, limit material and establish the paper’s purpose. When your paper is finished, however, the thesis statement becomes a tool for your reader. It tells the reader what you have learned about your topic and what evidence led you to your conclusion. It keeps the reader on track–well able to understand and appreciate your argument.

english thesis report

Writing Process and Structure

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Getting Started with Your Paper

Interpreting Writing Assignments from Your Courses

Generating Ideas for

Creating an Argument

Thesis vs. Purpose Statements

Architecture of Arguments

Working with Sources

Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources

Using Literary Quotations

Citing Sources in Your Paper

Drafting Your Paper

Generating Ideas for Your Paper

Introductions

Paragraphing

Developing Strategic Transitions

Conclusions

Revising Your Paper

Peer Reviews

Reverse Outlines

Revising an Argumentative Paper

Revision Strategies for Longer Projects

Finishing Your Paper

Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist

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Home / Guides / Writing Guides / Parts of a Paper / How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement

A thesis can be found in many places—a debate speech, a lawyer’s closing argument, even an advertisement. But the most common place for a thesis statement (and probably why you’re reading this article) is in an essay.

Whether you’re writing an argumentative paper, an informative essay, or a compare/contrast statement, you need a thesis. Without a thesis, your argument falls flat and your information is unfocused. Since a thesis is so important, it’s probably a good idea to look at some tips on how to put together a strong one.

Guide Overview

What is a “thesis statement” anyway.

  • 2 categories of thesis statements: informative and persuasive
  • 2 styles of thesis statements
  • Formula for a strong argumentative thesis
  • The qualities of a solid thesis statement (video)

You may have heard of something called a “thesis.” It’s what seniors commonly refer to as their final paper before graduation. That’s not what we’re talking about here. That type of thesis is a long, well-written paper that takes years to piece together.

Instead, we’re talking about a single sentence that ties together the main idea of any argument . In the context of student essays, it’s a statement that summarizes your topic and declares your position on it. This sentence can tell a reader whether your essay is something they want to read.

2 Categories of Thesis Statements: Informative and Persuasive

Just as there are different types of essays, there are different types of thesis statements. The thesis should match the essay.

For example, with an informative essay, you should compose an informative thesis (rather than argumentative). You want to declare your intentions in this essay and guide the reader to the conclusion that you reach.

To make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, you must procure the ingredients, find a knife, and spread the condiments.

This thesis showed the reader the topic (a type of sandwich) and the direction the essay will take (describing how the sandwich is made).

Most other types of essays, whether compare/contrast, argumentative, or narrative, have thesis statements that take a position and argue it. In other words, unless your purpose is simply to inform, your thesis is considered persuasive. A persuasive thesis usually contains an opinion and the reason why your opinion is true.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are the best type of sandwich because they are versatile, easy to make, and taste good.

In this persuasive thesis statement, you see that I state my opinion (the best type of sandwich), which means I have chosen a stance. Next, I explain that my opinion is correct with several key reasons. This persuasive type of thesis can be used in any essay that contains the writer’s opinion, including, as I mentioned above, compare/contrast essays, narrative essays, and so on.

2 Styles of Thesis Statements

Just as there are two different types of thesis statements (informative and persuasive), there are two basic styles you can use.

The first style uses a list of two or more points . This style of thesis is perfect for a brief essay that contains only two or three body paragraphs. This basic five-paragraph essay is typical of middle and high school assignments.

C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series is one of the richest works of the 20th century because it offers an escape from reality, teaches readers to have faith even when they don’t understand, and contains a host of vibrant characters.

In the above persuasive thesis, you can see my opinion about Narnia followed by three clear reasons. This thesis is perfect for setting up a tidy five-paragraph essay.

In college, five paragraph essays become few and far between as essay length gets longer. Can you imagine having only five paragraphs in a six-page paper? For a longer essay, you need a thesis statement that is more versatile. Instead of listing two or three distinct points, a thesis can list one overarching point that all body paragraphs tie into.

Good vs. evil is the main theme of Lewis’s Narnia series, as is made clear through the struggles the main characters face in each book.

In this thesis, I have made a claim about the theme in Narnia followed by my reasoning. The broader scope of this thesis allows me to write about each of the series’ seven novels. I am no longer limited in how many body paragraphs I can logically use.

Formula for a Strong Argumentative Thesis

One thing I find that is helpful for students is having a clear template. While students rarely end up with a thesis that follows this exact wording, the following template creates a good starting point:

___________ is true because of ___________, ___________, and ___________.

Conversely, the formula for a thesis with only one point might follow this template:

___________________ is true because of _____________________.

Students usually end up using different terminology than simply “because,” but having a template is always helpful to get the creative juices flowing.

The Qualities of a Solid Thesis Statement

When composing a thesis, you must consider not only the format, but other qualities like length, position in the essay, and how strong the argument is.

Length: A thesis statement can be short or long, depending on how many points it mentions. Typically, however, it is only one concise sentence. It does contain at least two clauses, usually an independent clause (the opinion) and a dependent clause (the reasons). You probably should aim for a single sentence that is at least two lines, or about 30 to 40 words long.

Position: A thesis statement always belongs at the beginning of an essay. This is because it is a sentence that tells the reader what the writer is going to discuss. Teachers will have different preferences for the precise location of the thesis, but a good rule of thumb is in the introduction paragraph, within the last two or three sentences.

Strength: Finally, for a persuasive thesis to be strong, it needs to be arguable. This means that the statement is not obvious, and it is not something that everyone agrees is true.

Example of weak thesis:

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are easy to make because it just takes three ingredients.

Most people would agree that PB&J is one of the easiest sandwiches in the American lunch repertoire.

Example of a stronger thesis:

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are fun to eat because they always slide around.

This is more arguable because there are plenty of folks who might think a PB&J is messy or slimy rather than fun.

Composing a thesis statement does take a bit more thought than many other parts of an essay. However, because a thesis statement can contain an entire argument in just a few words, it is worth taking the extra time to compose this sentence. It can direct your research and your argument so that your essay is tight, focused, and makes readers think.

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English 101: English Composition I: Creating a Thesis Statement

  • Picking a Topic
  • Creating a Thesis Statement
  • Doing Research
  • Creating an Essay
  • English Tutoring
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The second step to writing an essay or a research paper is to create a thesis statement, or the main idea.

What is a thesis statement?

According to Dictionary.com, thesis statement is defined as a short statement, usually one sentence, that summarizes the main point or claim of an essay, research paper, etc., and is developed, supported, and explained in the text by means of examples and evidence.

Video source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKXkemYldmw

Website(s) about Thesis Statements

  • How to Write a Thesis Statement Courtesy: Indiana University

Steps to Writing a Thesis Statement

Stuck on Your Thesis Statement? - Research leap

Tips to Writing a Strong Thesis Statement

  • Determine the type of paper you are trying to write.
  • A thesis statement should be specific.
  • A thesis statement usually is located at the end of your introduction (first) paragraph.
  • Your thesis statement may change as you write, revise as needed. 

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Home > ARTSSCI > English > dissertations

English Dissertations and Theses

The English Department Dissertations and Theses Series is comprised of dissertations and thesis authored by Marquette University's English Department doctoral and master's students.

Theses/Dissertations from 2023 2023

Lifting the Postmodern Veil: Cosmopolitanism, Humanism, and Decolonization in Global Fictions of the 21st Century , Matthew Burchanoski

Gothic Transformations and Remediations in Cheap Nineteenth-Century Fiction , Wendy Fall

Milton’s Learning: Complementarity and Difference in Paradise Lost , Peter Spaulding

“The Development of the Conceptive Plot Through Early 19th-Century English Novels” , Jannea R. Thomason

Theses/Dissertations from 2022 2022

Gonzo Eternal , John Francis Brick

Intertextuality and Sociopolitical Engagement in Contemporary Anglophone Women’s Writing , Jackielee Derks

Innovation, Genre, and Authenticity in the Nineteenth-Century Irish Novel , David Aiden Kenney II

Reluctant Sons: The Irish Matrilineal Tradition of Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, and Flann O’Brien , Jessie Wirkus Haynes

Britain's Extraterrestrial Empire: Colonial Ambition, Anxiety, and Ambivalence in Early Modern Literature , Mark Edward Wisniewski

Theses/Dissertations from 2021 2021

Re-Reading the “Culture Clash”: Alternative Ways of Reading in Indian Horse , Hailey Whetten

Theses/Dissertations from 2020 2020

When the Foreign Became Familiar: Modernism, Expatriation, and Spatial Identities in the Twentieth Century , Danielle Kristene Clapham

Reforming Victorian Sense/Abilities: Disabilities in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Social Problem Novels , Hunter Nicole Duncan

Genre and Loss: The Impossibility of Restoration in 20th Century Detective Fiction , Kathryn Hendrickson

A Productive Failure: Existentialism in Fin de Siècle England , Maxwell Patchet

Inquiry and Provocation: The Use of Ambiguity in Sixteenth-Century English Political Satire , Jason James Zirbel

Theses/Dissertations from 2019 2019

No Home but the World: Forced Migration and Transnational Identity , Justice Hagan

The City As a Trap: 20th and 21st Century American Literature and the American Myth of Mobility , Andrew Joseph Hoffmann

The Fantastic and the First World War , Brian Kenna

Insane in the Brain, Blood, and Lungs: Gender-Specific Manifestations of Hysteria, Chlorosis, & Consumption in 19th-Century Literature , Anna P. Scanlon

Reading Multicultural Novels Melancholically: Racial Grief and Grievance in the Joy Luck Club, Beloved, and Anil's Ghost , Jennifer Arias Sweeney

Theses/Dissertations from 2018 2018

The Ethos of Dissent: Epideictic Rhetoric and the Democratic Function of American Protest and Countercultural Literature , Jeffrey Lorino Jr

Literary Cosmopolitanisms of Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, and Arundhati Roy , Sunil Samuel Macwan

The View from Here: Toward a Sissy Critique , Tyler Monson

The Forbidden Zone Writers: Femininity and Anglophone Women War Writers of the Great War , Sareene Proodian

Theatrical Weddings and Pious Frauds: Performance and Law in Victorian Marriage Plots , Adrianne A. Wojcik

Theses/Dissertations from 2016 2016

Changing the Victorian Habit Loop: The Body in the Poetry and Painting of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Morris , Bryan Gast

Gendering Scientific Discourse from 1790-1830: Erasmus Darwin, Thomas Beddoes, Maria Edgeworth, and Jane Marcet , Bridget E. Kapler

Discarding Dreams and Legends: The Short Fiction of Elizabeth Madox Roberts, Flannery O’Connor, Katherine Anne Porter, and Eudora Welty , Katy L. Leedy

Theses/Dissertations from 2015 2015

Saving the Grotesque: The Grotesque System of Liberation in British Modernism (1922-1932) , Matthew Henningsen

The Pulpit's Muse: Conversive Poetics in the American Renaissance , Michael William Keller

A Single Man of Good Fortune: Postmodern Identities and Consumerism in the New Novel of Manners , Bonnie McLean

Julian of Norwich: Voicing the Vernacular , Therese Elaine Novotny

Theses/Dissertations from 2014 2014

Homecomings: Victorian British Women Travel Writers And Revisions Of Domesticity , Emily Paige Blaser

From Pastorals to Paterson: Ecology in the Poetry and Poetics of William Carlos WIlliams , Daniel Edmund Burke

Argument in Poetry: (Re)Defining the Middle English Debate in Academic, Popular, and Physical Contexts , Kathleen R. Burt

Apocalyptic Mentalities in Late-Medieval England , Steven A. Hackbarth

The Creation of Heaven in the Middle Ages , William Storm

(re)making The Gentleman: Genteel Masculinities And The Country Estate In The Novels Of Charlotte Smith, Jane Austen, And Elizabeth Gaskell , Shaunna Kay Wilkinson

Theses/Dissertations from 2013 2013

Brides, Department Stores, Westerns, and Scrapbooks--The Everyday Lives of Teenage Girls in the 1940s , Carly Anger

Placed People: Rootedness in G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, and Wendell Berry , David Harden

Rhetorics Of Girlhood Trauma In Writing By Holly Goddard Jones, Joyce Carol Oates, Sandra Cisneros, And Jamaica Kincaid , Stephanie Marie Stella

Theses/Dissertations from 2012 2012

A Victorian Christmas in Hell: Yuletide Ghosts and Necessary Pleasures in the Age of Capital , Brandon Chitwood

"Be-Holde the First Acte of this Tragedy" : Generic Symbiosis and Cross-Pollination in Jacobean Drama and the Early Modern Prose Novella , Karen Ann Zyck Galbraith

Pamela: Or, Virtue Reworded: The Texts, Paratexts, and Revisions that Redefine Samuel Richardson's Pamela , Jarrod Hurlbert

Violence and Masculinity in American Fiction, 1950-1975 , Magdalen McKinley

Gender Politics in the Novels of Eliza Haywood , Susan Muse

Destabilizing Tradition: Gender, Sexuality, and Postnational Identity in Four Novels by Irish Women, 1960-2000 , Sarah Nestor

Truth Telling: Testimony and Evidence in the Novels of Elizabeth Gaskell , Rebecca Parker Fedewa

Spirit of the Psyche: Carl Jung's and Victor White's Influence on Flannery O'Connor's Fiction , Paul Wakeman

Theses/Dissertations from 2011 2011

Performing the Audience: Constructing Playgoing in Early Modern Drama , Eric Dunnum

Paule Marshall's Critique of Contemporary Neo-Imperialisms Through the Trope of Travel , Michelle Miesen Felix

Hermeneutics, Poetry, and Spenser: Augustinian Exegesis and the Renaissance Epic , Denna Iammarino-Falhamer

Encompassing the Intolerable: Laughter, Memory, and Inscription in the Fiction of John McGahern , John Keegan Malloy

Regional Consciousness in American Literature, 1860-1930 , Kelsey Louise Squire

The Ethics of Ekphrasis: The Turn to Responsible Rhetoric in Mid-Twentieth Century American Poetry , Joshua Scott Steffey

Theses/Dissertations from 2010 2010

Cognitive Architectures: Structures of Passion in Joanna Baillie's Dramas , Daniel James Bergen

On Trial: Restorative Justice in the Godwin-Wollstonecraft-Shelley Family Fictions , Colleen M. Fenno

Theses/Dissertations from 2009 2009

What's the point to eschatology : multiple religions and terminality in James Joyce's Finnegans wake , Martin R. Brick

Economizing Characters: Harriet Martineau and the Problems of Poverty in Victorian Literature, Culture and Law , Mary Colleen Willenbring

Submissions from 2008 2008

"An improbable fiction": The marriage of history and romance in Shakespeare's Henriad , Marcia Eppich-Harris

Bearing the Mark of the Social: Notes Towards a Cosmopolitan Bildungsroman , Megan M. Muthupandiyan

The Gothic Novel and the Invention of the Middle-Class Reader: Northanger Abbey As Case Study , Tenille Nowak

Not Just a Novel of Epic Proportions: Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man As Modern American Epic , Dana Edwards Prodoehl

Recovering the Radicals: Women Writers, Reform, and Nationalist Modes of Revolutionary Discourse , Mark J. Zunac

Theses/Dissertations from 2007 2007

"The Sweet and the Bitter": Death and Dying in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings , Amy M. Amendt-Raduege

The Games Men Play: Madness and Masculinity in Post-World War II American Fiction, 1946-1964 , Thomas P. Durkin

Denise Levertov: Through An Ecofeminist Lens , Katherine A. Hanson

The Wit of Wrestling: Devotional-Aesthetic Tradition in Christina Rossetti's Poetry , Maria M.E. Keaton

Genderless Bodies: Stigma and the Myth of Womanhood , Ellen M. Letizia

Envy and Jealousy in the Novels of the Brontës: A Synoptic Discernment , Margaret Ann McCann

Technologies of the Late Medieval Self: Ineffability, Distance, and Subjectivity in the Book of Margery Kempe , Crystal L. Mueller

"Finding-- a Map-- to That Place Called Home": The Journey from Silence to Recovery in Patrick McCabe's Carn and Breakfast on Pluto , Valerie A. Murrenus Pilmaier

Emily Dickinson's Ecocentric Pastoralism , Moon-ju Shin

The American Jeremiad in Civil War Literature , Jacob Hadley Stratman

Theses/Dissertations from 2006 2006

Literary Art in Times of Crisis: The Proto-Totalitarian Anxiety of Melville, James, and Twain , Matthew J. Darling

(Re) Writing Genre: Narrative Conventions and Race in the Novels of Toni Morrison , Jennifer Lee Jordan Heinert

"Amsolookly Kersse": Clothing in Finnegan's Wake , Catherine Simpson Kalish

"Do Your Will": Shakespeare's Use of the Rhetoric of Seduction in Four Plays , Jason James Nado

Woman in Emblem: Locating Authority in the Work and Identity of Katherine Philips (1632-1664) , Susan L. Stafinbil

When the Bough Breaks: Poetry on Abortion , Wendy A. Weaver

Theses/Dissertations from 2005 2005

Heroic Destruction: Shame and Guilt Cultures in Medieval Heroic Poetry , Karl E. Boehler

Poe and Early (Un)American Drama , Amy C. Branam

Grammars of Assent: Constructing Poetic Authority in An Age of Science , William Myles Carroll III

This Place is Not a Place: The Constructed Scene in the Works of Sir Walter Scott , Colin J. Marlaire

Cognitive Narratology: A Practical Approach to the Reader-Writer Relationship , Debra Ann Ripley

Theses/Dissertations from 2004 2004

Defoe and the Pirates: Function of Genre Conventions in Raiding Narratives , William J. Dezoma

Creative Discourse in the Eighteenth-Century Courtship Novel , Michelle Ruggaber Dougherty

Exclusionary Politics: Mourning and Modernism in the Works of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Amy Levy, and Charlotte Mew , Donna Decker Schuster

Theses/Dissertations from 2003 2003

Toward a Re-Formed Confession: Johann Gerhard's Sacred Meditations and "Repining Restlessnesse" in the Poetry of George Herbert , Erik P. Ankerberg

Idiographic Spaces: Representation, Ideology and Realism in the Postmodern British Novel , Gordon B. McConnell

Theses/Dissertations from 2002 2002

Reading into It: Wallace Stegner's Novelistic Sense of Time and Place , Colin C. Irvine

Brisbane and Beyond: Revising Social Capitalism in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America , Michael C. Mattek

Theses/Dissertations from 2001 2001

Christians and Mimics in W. B. Yeats' Collected Poems , Patrick Mulrooney

Renaissance Roles and the Process of Social Change , John Wieland

'Straunge Disguize': Allegory and Its Discontents in Spenser's Faerie Queene , Galina Ivanovna Yermolenko

Theses/Dissertations from 2000 2000

Reading American Women's Autobiography: Spheres of Identity, Spheres of Influence , Amy C. Getty

"Making Strange": The Art and Science of Selfhood in the Works of John Banville , Heather Maureen Moran

Writing Guadalupe: Mediacion and (mis)translation in borderland text(o)s , Jenny T Olin-Shanahan

Writing Guadalupe: Mediacion and (Mis)Translation in Borderland Text(o)s , Jenny T. Olin-Shanahan

Theses/Dissertations from 1999 1999

Setting the Word Against the Word: The Search for Self-Understanding in Richard II , Richard J. Erable

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Harvard University Theses, Dissertations, and Prize Papers

The Harvard University Archives ’ collection of theses, dissertations, and prize papers document the wide range of academic research undertaken by Harvard students over the course of the University’s history.

Beyond their value as pieces of original research, these collections document the history of American higher education, chronicling both the growth of Harvard as a major research institution as well as the development of numerous academic fields. They are also an important source of biographical information, offering insight into the academic careers of the authors.

Printed list of works awarded the Bowdoin prize in 1889-1890.

Spanning from the ‘theses and quaestiones’ of the 17th and 18th centuries to the current yearly output of student research, they include both the first Harvard Ph.D. dissertation (by William Byerly, Ph.D . 1873) and the dissertation of the first woman to earn a doctorate from Harvard ( Lorna Myrtle Hodgkinson , Ed.D. 1922).

Other highlights include:

  • The collection of Mathematical theses, 1782-1839
  • The 1895 Ph.D. dissertation of W.E.B. Du Bois, The suppression of the African slave trade in the United States, 1638-1871
  • Ph.D. dissertations of astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (Ph.D. 1925) and physicist John Hasbrouck Van Vleck (Ph.D. 1922)
  • Undergraduate honors theses of novelist John Updike (A.B. 1954), filmmaker Terrence Malick (A.B. 1966),  and U.S. poet laureate Tracy Smith (A.B. 1994)
  • Undergraduate prize papers and dissertations of philosophers Ralph Waldo Emerson (A.B. 1821), George Santayana (Ph.D. 1889), and W.V. Quine (Ph.D. 1932)
  • Undergraduate honors theses of U.S. President John F. Kennedy (A.B. 1940) and Chief Justice John Roberts (A.B. 1976)

What does a prize-winning thesis look like?

If you're a Harvard undergraduate writing your own thesis, it can be helpful to review recent prize-winning theses. The Harvard University Archives has made available for digital lending all of the Thomas Hoopes Prize winners from the 2019-2021 academic years.

Accessing These Materials

How to access materials at the Harvard University Archives

How to find and request dissertations, in person or virtually

How to find and request undergraduate honors theses

How to find and request Thomas Temple Hoopes Prize papers

How to find and request Bowdoin Prize papers

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Harvard faculty personal and professional archives, harvard student life collections: arts, sports, politics and social life, access materials at the harvard university archives.

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English 102 (Roth)

  • Finding Articles
  • Outline & Thesis Statement
  • Avoiding Plagiarism

What's the Point?

This unit is intended to refresh your memory of how to work through the research process and begin work on your paper.

  • Start by clicking through the Prezi about how the research process works.
  • Watch the video on how to use brainstorming to bring focus to your topic .
  • An outline can be a useful tool in keeping your paper focused, and many instructors ask to see one before you begin writing. The tab explains how to set one up.
  • Finally, thesis statements can be a struggle for many students. The overview presented provides pointers on how to structure a thesis for your paper (It looks like a lot of text! But we promise it only takes a few minutes to read through).

Research and Writing

  • The Research and Writing Process
  • Focusing Your Topic
  • How to Create an Outline
  • Thesis Statements

Creating an Outline

An outline helps you plan out how the main body paragraphs of your paper will be used to support your thesis.

Microsoft Office Word has easy to use tools to create outlines. I like to start my outline with an introduction section. I can add lines ot my outline by hitting enter for additional numbered lines and hitting tab to create supporting points.

english thesis report

I'll use the numbered lines to outline my body paragraphs. Each body paragraph focuses on one main point which is presented and then supported. There are many ways to arrange the body paragraphs of your paper to best support your argument and it's worth checking out guides for ideas on how to best construct yours.

Once the main body paragraphs have been outlined, I'm going to start adding supporting evidence points. I like adding the direct quotes I've discovered during my research because they remind me of the exact point I was hoping to emphasize and speed up my writing process.

english thesis report

By keeping everything aligned this way, I can clearly see what parts of my outline are main body paragraphs and what points, or evidence, I will use to support them. If I mess something up, I can either hit the backspace button or I can use the decrease/increase indent buttons.

english thesis report

Outlines are only a guide -- they should be flexible . If you see holes in your research or argument, you should do additional work to address those issues. If the flow of your paper isn't right, feel free to move around paragraphs or sections until it sounds right and your argument is fully supported. Finally, if something simply doesn't fit, you shouldn't be afraid to delete it from your outline/paper entirely.

Thesis Statments

You need a good thesis statement for your essay but are having trouble getting started. You may have heard that your thesis needs to be specific and arguable, but still wonder what this really means.

Let's look at some examples. Imagine you're writing about John Hughes's film Sixteen Candles (1984).

You take a first pass at writing a thesis:

       Sixteen Candles is a romantic comedy about high school cliques.

Is this a strong thesis statement? Not yet, but it's a good start. You've focused on a topic - high school cliques - which is a smart move because you've settled on one of many possible angles. But the claim is weak because it's not yet arguable. Intelligent people would generally agree with this statement - so there's no real "news" for your reader. You want your thesis to say something surprising and debatable. If your thesis doesn't go beyond summarizing your source, it's descriptive and not yet argumentative.

The key words in the thesis statement are "romantic comedy" and "high school cliques." One way to sharpen the claim is to start asking questions .

For example, how does the film represent high school cliques in a surprising or complex way? how does the film reinforce stereotypes about high school groups and how does it undermine them? Or why does teh flim challenge our expectations about romantic comedies by focusing on high school cliques? If you can answer one of those questions (or others of your own), you'll have a strong thesis.

Tip: Asking "how" or "why" questions will help you refine your thesis, making it more arguable and interesting to your readers.

Take 2. You revise the thesis. Is it strong now?

       Sixteen Candles is a romantic comedy criticizing the divisiveness created by high school cliques.

You're getting closer. You're starting to take a stance by arguing that the film identifies "divisiveness" as a problem and criticizes it, but your readers will want to know how this plays out and why it's important. Right now, the thesis still sounds bland - not risky enough to be genuinely contentious.

Tip:  Keep raising questions that test your ideas. And ask yourself the "so what" question. Why is your thesis interesting or important?

Take 3. Let's try again. How about this version? 

       Although the film  Sixteen Candles  appears to reinforce stereotypes about high school cliques, it undermines them in important          ways, questioning its viewers' assumptions about what's normal. 

Bingo! This thesis statement is pretty strong. It challenges an obvious interpretation of the movie (that it just reinforces stereotypes), offering a new and more complex reading in its place. We also have a sense of why this argument is important. The film's larger goal, we learn, is to question what we think we understand about normalcy. 

What's a Strong Thesis?

As we've just seen, a strong thesis statement crystallizes your paper's argument and, most importantly, it's  arguable . 

This means two things. It goes beyond merely summarizing or describing to stake out an interpretation or position that's not obvious, and others could challenge for good reasons. It's also arguable in the literal sense that it can be argued , or supported through a thoughtful analysis of your sources. If your argument lacks evidence, readers will think your thesis statement is an opinion or belief as opposed to an argument. 

Exercises for Drafting an Arguable Thesis  

A good thesis will be  focused  on your object of study (as opposed to making a big claim about the world) and will introduce the key words  guiding your analysis. To get started, you might experiment with some of these "mad libs." They're thinking exercises that will help propel you toward an arguable thesis. 

By examining ___________________[topic/approach], we can see ____________________[thesis- the claim that's surprising, which is important because _____________________.[1]

" By examining   Sixteen Candles  through the lens of Georg Simmel's writing on fashion, we can see that the protagonist's interest in fashion as an expression of her conflicted desire to be seen as both unique and accepted by the group. This is important because  the film offers its viewers a glimpse into the ambivalent yearnings of middle class youth in the 1980s. 

Although readers might assume __________ [the commonplace idea you're challenging], I argue that _____________[your surprising claim]. 

Example: 

Although viewers might assume the romantic comedy  Sixteen Candles  is merely entertaining, I believe its message is political. The film uses the romance between Samantha, a middle class sophomore and Jake, an affluent senior, to reinforce the fantasy that anyone can become wealthy and successful with enough cunning and persistence. 

Still Having Trouble? Let's Back Up... 

It helps to understand why readers value the arguable thesis. What larger purpose does it serve? Your readers will bring a set of expectations to your essay. The better you can anticipate the expectations of your readers, the better you'll be able to persuade them to entertain seeing things your way. 

Academic readers (and readers more generally) read to learn something new. They want to see the writer challenge commonplaces - either everyday assumptions about your object of study or truisms in the scholarly literature. In other words, academic readers want to be surprised so that their thinking shifts or at least becomes more complex by the time they finish reading your essay. Good essays problematize what we think we know and offer an alternative explanation in its place. They leave their reader with a fresh perspective on a problem. 

We all bring important past experiences and beliefs to our interpretations of texts, objects, and problems. You can harness these observational powers to engage critically with what you are studying. The key is to be alert to what strikes you as strange, problematic, paradoxical, or puzzling about your object of study. If you can articulate this and a claim in response, you're well on your way to formulating an arguable thesis in your introduction. 

How do I set up a "problem" and an arguable thesis in response? 

All good writing has a purpose or motive for existing. Your thesis is your surprising response to this problem or motive. This is why it seldom makes sense to start a writing project by articulating the thesis. The first step is to articulate the question or problem your paper addresses. 

Here are some possible ways to introduce a conceptual problem in your paper's introduction. 

1. Challenge a commonplace interpretation (or your own first impressions). 

How are readers likely to interpret this source or issue? What might intelligent readers think at first glance? (Or, if you've been given secondary sources or have been asked to conduct research to locate secondary sources, what do other writers or scholars assume is true or important about your primary source or issue?). 

What does this commonplace interpretation leave out, overlook, or under-emphasize? 

2. Help your reader see the complexity of your topic.

 Identify and describe for your reader a paradox, puzzle, or contradiction in your primary source(s). 

What larger questions does this paradox or contradiction raise for you and your readers? 

3. If your assignment asks you to do research, piggyback off another scholar's research. 

Summarize for your reader another scholar's argument about your topic, primary source, or case study and tell your reader why this claim is interesting. 

Now, explain how you will extend this scholar's argument to explore an issue or case study that the scholar doesn't address fully. 

4. If your assignment asks you to do research, identify a gap in another scholar's or a group of scholars' research. 

Summarize for your reader another scholar's argument about your topic, primary source, or case study and tell your reader why this claim is interesting. Or, summarize how scholars in the field tend to approach your topic. 

Next, explain what important aspect this scholarly representation misses or distorts. Introduce your particular approach to your topic and its value. 

5. If your assignment asks you to do research, bring in a new lens for investigating your case study or problem. 

Summarize for your reader how a scholar or group of scholars has approached your topic. 

Introduce a theoretical source (possibly from another discipline) and explain how it helps you address this issue from a new and productive angle. 

Testing Your Thesis 

You can test your thesis statement's arguability by asking the following questions:

          Does my thesis only or mostly summarize my source? 

                 If so, try some of the exercises above to articulate your paper's conceptual problem or question. 

          Is my thesis arguable - can it be supported by evidence in my source, and is it surprising and contentious? 

                If not, return to your sources and practice the exercises above. 

           Is my thesis about my primary source or case study, or is it about the world? 

                If it's about the world, revise it so that it focuses on your primary source or case study. Remember you need solid evidence to support your thesis. 

"Formulating a Thesis" was written by Andrea Scott, Princeton University . CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

[1] Adapted from Erik Simpson’s “Five Ways of Looking at a Thesis” at http://www.math.grinnell.edu/~simpsone/Teaching/fiveways.html

Attribution

Information Literacy Tutorial  by  Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System  is licensed under a   Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License . Based on a work at  guides.library.uwm.edu

english thesis report

  • Last Updated: Dec 2, 2022 6:03 PM
  • URL: https://mohave.libguides.com/roth102

english thesis report

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english thesis report

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Subject report series: English

An Ofsted subject report on the quality of English in primary and secondary schools in England.

Applies to England

Telling the story: the english education subject report.

This report evaluates the common strengths and weaknesses of English that we have seen in schools across the country. It builds on our English research review , published in 2022.

  • See our collection of research reviews that look at the evidence about different curriculum subjects.
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Tax Time Guide: Taxpayers should report digital asset transactions, gig economy income, foreign source income and assets

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IR-2024-63, March 6, 2024

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers they’re generally required to report all earned income on their tax return, including income earned from digital asset transactions, the gig economy and service industry as well as income from foreign sources.

Reporting requirements for these sources of income and others are outlined in the Instructions for Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR . The information is also available on IRS.gov.

This release is the third in a four-part series called the Tax Time Guide , a resource to help taxpayers file an accurate tax return. Additional guidance is available in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax (For Individuals) .

Digital assets, including cryptocurrency

A digital asset is a digital representation of value that is recorded on a cryptographically secured, distributed ledger. Common digital assets include:

  • Convertible virtual currency and cryptocurrency.
  • Stablecoins.
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Everyone must answer the question

Everyone who files Forms 1040, 1040-SR, 1040-NR, 1041, 1065, 1120 and 1120-S must check one box answering either "Yes" or "No" to the digital asset question. The question must be answered by all taxpayers, not just by those who engaged in a transaction involving digital assets in 2023.

Checking “Yes” : Normally, a taxpayer must check the "Yes" box if they:

  • Received digital assets as payment for property or services provided;
  • Transferred digital assets for free (without receiving any consideration) as a bona fide gift;
  • Received digital assets resulting from a reward or award;
  • Received new digital assets resulting from mining, staking and similar activities;
  • Received digital assets resulting from a hard fork (a branching of a cryptocurrency's blockchain that splits a single cryptocurrency into two);
  • Disposed of digital assets in exchange for property or services;
  • Disposed of a digital asset in exchange or trade for another digital asset;
  • Sold a digital asset; or
  • Otherwise disposed of any other financial interest in a digital asset.

In addition to checking the "Yes" box, taxpayers must report all income related to their digital asset transactions. For example, an investor who held a digital asset as a capital asset and sold, exchanged or transferred it during 2023 must use Form 8949, Sales and other Dispositions of Capital Assets , to figure their capital gain or loss on the transaction and then report it on Schedule D (Form 1040), Capital Gains and Losses . A taxpayer who disposed of any digital asset by gift may be required to file Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return .

If an employee was paid with digital assets, they must report the value of the digital assets received as wages. Similarly, if they worked as an independent contractor and were paid with digital assets, they must report that income on Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship) . Schedule C is also used by anyone who sold, exchanged or transferred digital assets to customers in connection with a trade or business and who did not operate the business through an entity other than a sole proprietorship.

Checking “No” : Normally, a taxpayer who merely owned digital assets during 2022 can check the "No" box as long as they did not engage in any transactions involving digital assets during the year. They can also check the "No" box if their activities were limited to one or more of the following:

  • Holding digital assets in a wallet or account;
  • Transferring digital assets from one wallet or account they own or control to another wallet or account they own or control; or
  • Purchasing digital assets using U.S. or other real currency, including through electronic platforms such as PayPal and Venmo.

For more information, see the list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other details, visit the Digital Assets page on IRS.gov.

Gig economy earnings

Typically, income earned from the gig economy is taxable and must be reported to the IRS on tax returns. Examples of gig work include providing on-demand labor, services or goods, or selling goods online. Transactions often occur through digital platforms such as an app or website.

Taxpayers are required to report all income earned from the gig economy on a tax return, even if the income is:

  • From temporary, part-time or side work.
  • Paid through digital assets like cryptocurrency, as well as cash, goods or property.
  • Not reported on an information return form like a Form 1099-K, 1099-MISC, W-2 or other income statement.

Taxpayers can visit the gig economy tax center for more information on the gig economy.

Service industry tips

Individuals who work in service industries such as restaurants, hotels and salons often receive tips from customers for their services. Generally, tips like cash or non-cash payments are taxable and should be reported.

  • All cash tips should be reported to the employer, who must include them on the employee’s Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement . This includes direct cash tips from customer to employee, tips from one employee to another employee, electronically paid tips and other tip-sharing arrangements.
  • Noncash tips include value received in any medium other than cash, such as: passes, tickets, or other goods or commodities a customer gives the employee. Noncash tips aren't reported to the employer but must be reported on a tax return.
  • Any tips the employee didn't report to the employer must be reported separately on Form 4137, Social Security and Medicare Tax on Unreported Tip Income , to include as additional income with their tax return. The employee must also pay the employee share of Social Security and Medicare tax owed on those tips.

Service industry employees don't have to report tip amounts of less than $20 per month per employer. For larger amounts, employees must report tips to the employer by the 10th of the month following the month the tips were received.

See Tip Recordkeeping and Reporting for more information on how to report tips.

Foreign source income

Generally, A U.S. citizen or resident alien’s worldwide income is subject to U.S. income tax, regardless of their residence. They're also subject to the same income tax filing requirements that apply to U.S. citizens or resident aliens living in the United States.

U.S. citizens and resident aliens must report unearned income, such as interest, dividends and pensions, from sources outside the United States unless exempt by law or a tax treaty. They must also report earned income, such as wages and tips, from sources outside the United States.

An income tax filing requirement generally applies even if a taxpayer qualifies for tax benefits, such as the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion or the Foreign Tax Credit , which substantially reduce or eliminate U.S. tax liability. These tax benefits are available only if an eligible taxpayer files a U.S. income tax return.

A taxpayer is allowed an automatic two-month extension to file a tax return to June 15 if both their tax home and abode are outside the United States and Puerto Rico. Even if allowed an extension, a taxpayer will have to pay interest on any tax not paid by the regular due date of April 15, 2024.

Those serving in the military outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico on the regular due date of their tax return also qualify for the extension to June 15. The IRS recommends attaching a statement if one of these two situations applies. More information can be found in the Instructions for Form 1040 and Form 1040-SR, Publication 54, Tax Guide for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens Abroad and Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens .

Foreign accounts and assets

Federal law requires U.S. citizens and resident aliens to report their worldwide income, including income from foreign trusts and foreign bank and other financial accounts. In most cases, affected taxpayers need to complete and attach Schedule B (Form 1040), Interest and Ordinary Dividends , to their tax return. Part III of Schedule B asks about the existence of foreign accounts such as bank and securities accounts and usually requires U.S. citizens to report the country in which each account is located.

In addition, certain taxpayers may also have to complete and attach to their return Form 8938, Statement of Foreign Financial Assets . Generally, U.S. citizens, resident aliens and certain nonresident aliens must report specified foreign financial assets on this form if the aggregate value of those assets exceeds certain thresholds. See the instructions for this form for details.

In addition, U.S. persons with an interest in or signature or other authority over foreign financial accounts where the aggregate value exceeded $10,000 at any time during 2023 must file electronically with the Treasury Department a Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) . Because of this threshold, the IRS encourages U.S. persons with foreign assets, even relatively small ones, to check if this filing requirement applies to them. The form is available only through the BSA E-filing System website.

The deadline for filing the annual Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) is April 15, 2024. FinCEN grants U.S. persons who miss the original deadline an automatic extension until Oct. 15, 2024, to file the FBAR. There is no need to request this extension. See FinCEN’s website for further information.

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How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

Published on September 7, 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes. Revised on November 21, 2023.

The introduction is the first section of your thesis or dissertation , appearing right after the table of contents . Your introduction draws your reader in, setting the stage for your research with a clear focus, purpose, and direction on a relevant topic .

Your introduction should include:

  • Your topic, in context: what does your reader need to know to understand your thesis dissertation?
  • Your focus and scope: what specific aspect of the topic will you address?
  • The relevance of your research: how does your work fit into existing studies on your topic?
  • Your questions and objectives: what does your research aim to find out, and how?
  • An overview of your structure: what does each section contribute to the overall aim?

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Table of contents

How to start your introduction, topic and context, focus and scope, relevance and importance, questions and objectives, overview of the structure, thesis introduction example, introduction checklist, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about introductions.

Although your introduction kicks off your dissertation, it doesn’t have to be the first thing you write — in fact, it’s often one of the very last parts to be completed (just before your abstract ).

It’s a good idea to write a rough draft of your introduction as you begin your research, to help guide you. If you wrote a research proposal , consider using this as a template, as it contains many of the same elements. However, be sure to revise your introduction throughout the writing process, making sure it matches the content of your ensuing sections.

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Begin by introducing your dissertation topic and giving any necessary background information. It’s important to contextualize your research and generate interest. Aim to show why your topic is timely or important. You may want to mention a relevant news item, academic debate, or practical problem.

After a brief introduction to your general area of interest, narrow your focus and define the scope of your research.

You can narrow this down in many ways, such as by:

  • Geographical area
  • Time period
  • Demographics or communities
  • Themes or aspects of the topic

It’s essential to share your motivation for doing this research, as well as how it relates to existing work on your topic. Further, you should also mention what new insights you expect it will contribute.

Start by giving a brief overview of the current state of research. You should definitely cite the most relevant literature, but remember that you will conduct a more in-depth survey of relevant sources in the literature review section, so there’s no need to go too in-depth in the introduction.

Depending on your field, the importance of your research might focus on its practical application (e.g., in policy or management) or on advancing scholarly understanding of the topic (e.g., by developing theories or adding new empirical data). In many cases, it will do both.

Ultimately, your introduction should explain how your thesis or dissertation:

  • Helps solve a practical or theoretical problem
  • Addresses a gap in the literature
  • Builds on existing research
  • Proposes a new understanding of your topic

Perhaps the most important part of your introduction is your questions and objectives, as it sets up the expectations for the rest of your thesis or dissertation. How you formulate your research questions and research objectives will depend on your discipline, topic, and focus, but you should always clearly state the central aim of your research.

If your research aims to test hypotheses , you can formulate them here. Your introduction is also a good place for a conceptual framework that suggests relationships between variables .

  • Conduct surveys to collect data on students’ levels of knowledge, understanding, and positive/negative perceptions of government policy.
  • Determine whether attitudes to climate policy are associated with variables such as age, gender, region, and social class.
  • Conduct interviews to gain qualitative insights into students’ perspectives and actions in relation to climate policy.

To help guide your reader, end your introduction with an outline  of the structure of the thesis or dissertation to follow. Share a brief summary of each chapter, clearly showing how each contributes to your central aims. However, be careful to keep this overview concise: 1-2 sentences should be enough.

I. Introduction

Human language consists of a set of vowels and consonants which are combined to form words. During the speech production process, thoughts are converted into spoken utterances to convey a message. The appropriate words and their meanings are selected in the mental lexicon (Dell & Burger, 1997). This pre-verbal message is then grammatically coded, during which a syntactic representation of the utterance is built.

Speech, language, and voice disorders affect the vocal cords, nerves, muscles, and brain structures, which result in a distorted language reception or speech production (Sataloff & Hawkshaw, 2014). The symptoms vary from adding superfluous words and taking pauses to hoarseness of the voice, depending on the type of disorder (Dodd, 2005). However, distortions of the speech may also occur as a result of a disease that seems unrelated to speech, such as multiple sclerosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

This study aims to determine which acoustic parameters are suitable for the automatic detection of exacerbations in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by investigating which aspects of speech differ between COPD patients and healthy speakers and which aspects differ between COPD patients in exacerbation and stable COPD patients.

Checklist: Introduction

I have introduced my research topic in an engaging way.

I have provided necessary context to help the reader understand my topic.

I have clearly specified the focus of my research.

I have shown the relevance and importance of the dissertation topic .

I have clearly stated the problem or question that my research addresses.

I have outlined the specific objectives of the research .

I have provided an overview of the dissertation’s structure .

You've written a strong introduction for your thesis or dissertation. Use the other checklists to continue improving your dissertation.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

Research bias

  • Survivorship bias
  • Self-serving bias
  • Availability heuristic
  • Halo effect
  • Hindsight bias
  • Deep learning
  • Generative AI
  • Machine learning
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Supervised vs. unsupervised learning

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The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:

  • A hook to catch the reader’s interest
  • Relevant background on the topic
  • Details of your research problem

and your problem statement

  • A thesis statement or research question
  • Sometimes an overview of the paper

Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.

This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .

Research objectives describe what you intend your research project to accomplish.

They summarize the approach and purpose of the project and help to focus your research.

Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement .

Scope of research is determined at the beginning of your research process , prior to the data collection stage. Sometimes called “scope of study,” your scope delineates what will and will not be covered in your project. It helps you focus your work and your time, ensuring that you’ll be able to achieve your goals and outcomes.

Defining a scope can be very useful in any research project, from a research proposal to a thesis or dissertation . A scope is needed for all types of research: quantitative , qualitative , and mixed methods .

To define your scope of research, consider the following:

  • Budget constraints or any specifics of grant funding
  • Your proposed timeline and duration
  • Specifics about your population of study, your proposed sample size , and the research methodology you’ll pursue
  • Any inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Any anticipated control , extraneous , or confounding variables that could bias your research if not accounted for properly.

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  30. How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

    Overview of the structure. To help guide your reader, end your introduction with an outline of the structure of the thesis or dissertation to follow. Share a brief summary of each chapter, clearly showing how each contributes to your central aims. However, be careful to keep this overview concise: 1-2 sentences should be enough.