It is not easy to explain to you how to write a degree thesis briefly, since we are convinced that, although the synthesis is important, in some cases it is good to dwell on certain concepts and repeat them also extending to examples and advice; for this reason, we will explain you in detail, therefore leaving nothing to chance, as you do a thesis, triennial or magisterial: it does not matter what type it is. We have all had experience with the writing of a thesis, and we have been followed by university professors of unquestionable prestige: we say this not to show merit or who knows what, but to emphasize that what we are about to write certainly does not depend on ways of seeing or think that nothing has to do with the university.
How to do a thesis is certainly one of the main problems that a graduate student must face if he has never done such a job, since the latter represents – as you have certainly been told – your first real scientific job: in fact, with your degree thesis, you contribute to the study of a problem and, if done well, you allow those who come after you to have valid and therefore useful material with which to deepen the subject taken into consideration.
Be well anchored to reality, but dream big: if you are writing an experimental thesis, this thesis could be transformed, with the necessary corrections and obvious insights, into something more (perhaps in an article or a book), and this could help you on several occasions (having a publication, in fact, allows you to get points for doctoral competitions and also for teaching), as well as giving great satisfaction.
But let’s get right to the point; our advice on how to write a thesis cannot but start from the basics: we want to point out, in fact, our in-depth analysis of grammatical and spelling mistakes to be avoided, as well as useful information – hopefully, at least – on how to use punctuation well; it is true: many professors have little interest in the use of commas and semicolons, but you may also find the demanding teacher (as it should be) and therefore it is better to arrive prepared (and then, let’s face it, know how to write a thesis degree also means having a textual competence that goes beyond orthographic and morpho-syntactic correctness).
In this in-depth study of how to do a thesis, we will guide you step by step to the project, from the introduction, of which we will speak immediately, to the choice of sources, without missing any passage.
The introduction of the thesis: correct and interesting
Writing a good degree thesis means presenting it not only in a dignified manner (well laid out, with page returns of a certain type and just formatting: the professor, however, will communicate all the details to you) but also interesting: who reads your thesis will certainly start from the introduction, and it is to this, in fact, that you will have to be very careful; like when a book is appreciated from the back cover, even the thesis should make a good impression right from the start: to write the introduction, you will have to be synthetic but clear, as well as clever.
We have already explained to you why how to write the introduction of a thesis; here, however, we want to summarize our intervention to give you a general picture of what your work should be: you will have to be smart by highlighting the strengths of your project, and that is what your degree dissertation, triennial or magisterial , added to the studies on the topic you have chosen.
Let’s take an example: if your work concerns the effects that social networks have on company activity, one of the strengths of your work could be an interview with some social media manager or some strong piece of a business (of course, nobody will never reveal the economic results in detail, but we are sure that exchanging a little chat will bring an added value to the thesis, and, above all, it will allow you to look at the topic from other angles).
The sources of the thesis: how to choose them and why
A degree thesis is done with a good idea and with excellent sources, whether you are doing a thesis or writing an experimental thesis: there is always someone who has already said something about the subject, even if it is brand new, and to read what someone has written this, or on the Internet for the most modern projects, or in magazines, essays, books and so on, could give you more ideas and perspectives to carry out your speech in a correct and exhaustive way, in the security that you will not have failed to update yourself on essential concepts and studies. In general, the speaker leads you in choosing the sources, but the facts are not always like this, and that is why you will have to arm yourself with a lot of patience and cut out a lot of time in your day.
Here you will find all our advice on how to choose the sources of a thesis, while here below we present only an extreme summary:
- Search for sources in the main source, and then identify the books that are useful for your speech in the text suggested by your supervisor;
- Consult Google Books and the tools provided by the Web, before going to the library;
- Choose relevant and varied sources: even a source that may not seem useful to you may turn out to be more useful than those chosen at the beginning;
- Cite the sources you choose, even strategically, to show that you have really done a good job of research.
Quotations and bibliography of a thesis: how to do it
We have seen how to look for the sources and which sources you will have to use: now let’s see how the sources are quoted in a thesis, and therefore how a bibliography is made. Find in-depth information here:
- In this section we give you some useful tips on the footnotes;
- In this other, instead, we explain to you how to make a bibliography and how to make citations in all the cases that will appear before you.
Here we will only give you the general indications, because the purpose of this guide to how to write a thesis is to give you advice that can serve as a guide for the realization of a task that may be completely foreign to you. Let’s take a look at the general advice on the footnotes:
- Insert them only if you really need them and don’t be afraid to do it: better a note more than a long and complex main text; in fact, the ultimate goal is clarity and readability;
- Quotations of books, chapters of books or magazine articles must be written correctly, indicating the pages consulted;
- Properly use the Latin abbreviations ibidem and idem.
These, instead, the correct indications for the bibliography of the thesis:
- Just include the books you mentioned during your thesis: books not mentioned in the notes should not be inserted, unless they are vocabularies (a vocabulary should always be mentioned);
- Order everything in alphabetical order;
- Also in this case, use the Latin and non-Latin abbreviations well, wherever possible.