How to write the thesis: chapters

Jun - 07
2019

How to write the thesis: chapters

How to write the thesis: now that you have prepared the outline, index and all the rest listed in the Secret Guide to the Thesis, we start with the contents!

HOW TO WRITE THE THESIS: THE BODY

The various chapters will go into the body of the thesis. The number of chapters depends on the topic you are dealing with and the type of thesis chosen.

FIRST CHAPTER THESIS OF DEGREE

It deals with the more general concepts, the analyzed context and the existing literature on the subject.

SECOND CHAPTER

Enter into the heart of the thesis: treat the topic you focused on considering all the aspects related to it.

THIRD CHAPTER

Treat a practical example or a specific case is exposed.

HOW TO START A CHAPTER

Each chapter begins with a brief introduction (5-10 lines) containing the objective of the chapter itself and a brief description of the contents of the chapter.

For example: In this second chapter we review the state of the art on … In paragraph 2.1 it is introduced … .. In paragraph 2.2 it is presented … They are then described … (paragraph 2.3) and the most recent research lines ( 2.4).

HOW TO FINISH A CHAPTER

Each chapter ends with a short paragraph, of 5-10 lines, entitled (if the fantasy does not suggest another) “Conclusions”; it summarizes the contents of the chapter and links it to the next chapter.

TIPS FOR WRITING

Always write using simple and concise sentences, not too long.

Furthermore, avoid expressing your thoughts by writing in the first person or even in the plural, you always prefer the third person.

For example:

  • NO: If I think / think about the cost of the public sector …
  • YES: If you think about the cost of the public sector …

And remember to never start a sentence with an adverb! Of the type:

NO: When referring to the cost of the public sector we must consider …

The adverb “when” has an interrogative function and this sentence is not! So much more suitable to write:

YES: With reference to the cost of the public sector we must consider …

In addition, if you enter words in a foreign language in your thesis, they should always be in italics

NO: market leadership …

YES: market leadership …

THE JUICE OF THE SPEECH: YOUR CONTENT

The central part of the thesis will inevitably have a structure that varies according to the subject area and the methodology used.

In the central chapters you will have to propose a review of the relevant literature (or doctrine).

It is absolutely important to avoid the detailed analysis of contributions that are only marginally relevant to the topic covered in the thesis. If you believe that a certain topic deserves more in-depth study, although marginal for the purposes of the thesis work, it is better to refer to the literature. For example: “on this topic there is a vast literature. Among the major contributions we highlight … “.

Sometimes it is better to impose a higher level structure, using the “parts” (part I, part II, etc.). It is difficult to give general recipes, but an example could be: part I contains a description of the context in which the thesis is placed (bibliographic review, definitions of concepts, etc.); part II deals with design aspects (and possibly implementation ones); and part III could deal with implementation aspects (if not covered in part II) or evaluation.

YOUR THESIS MUST BE A BEAUTIFUL TREE

Think of the thesis not only as a linear document (one word after the other), but also hierarchically (chapters that contain paragraphs that contain sub-paragraphs containing paragraphs, figures and tables, etc.). A thesis is not just a list of words, it is also a tree. And as a tree it must be “balanced”: if in chapter 2 there is the paragraph 2.1 which contains the subparagraph 2.1.1, then it is good that there are also subparagraph 2.1.2 (and possibly 2.1.3, 2.1.4, etc.) and paragraph 2.2 (and 2.3, 2.4, etc.).

Move through the chapters starting from macro contents up to specific contents and presenting the methodology with which you proceed step by step.

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