• PART 1 OF THE ASSIGNMENT: PAPER TOPIC PROPOSAL
The formal research paper or honors thesis will provide you with an opportunity to more fully develop the background and implications of one of the topics presented during the semester or explore a related topic not covered. Your paper topic proposal requires research in order to make your proposal as close to your paper topic as possible. I strongly suggest you come to office hours to discuss your topic proposal with me, because I will review all proposals for viability and reject any inappropriate or undoable topics.
The written proposal must include the following 2 things:
1. Your proposed paper topic: This part of the proposal is one sentence. Keep your paper topic narrow (but not so narrow that there are no scholarly sources available on the topic).
2. Why the topic is interesting and important: Address how you will focus the topic. If you choose a topic that is not of interest to you, it will show in your paper. This topic must remain of interest to you for two semesters, so give it some serious consideration. As we cover topics in class, undoubtedly something will come up that you want to learn more about. This would be an ideal paper topic. This part of the assignment requires that you include two to three paragraphs about why this topic is interesting and important. Why should the reader care about Roger Williams’s relationship with the Narragansett Indians? If you simply retell the story of his exile from Massachusetts and what he thought of the Narragansett religious beliefs and practices, that’s a book report, not an honors level research paper. However, if you explore the significance Narragansett religion had on Williams, his writings, and his life, you have the makings of an interesting and important research paper. It would require research pertaining to the role of missionaries in the American colonies, research of the Puritan philosophy and why Williams was banned from Massachusetts Bay Colony, and research of Narragansett beliefs and religious views and how they were impacted by the English and Dutch.
What should your paper topic be? Select a course-related topic. I suggest you write about an area that most interests you and in which you might already have some background knowledge. What do you want to learn more about? What are you interested in? Avoid choosing a topic that bores you. Sustained interest in your topic is important, as a topic that bores you makes for a boring paper. It is unlikely you will be able to fool the reader into believing you liked a topic that you didn’t actually like.
In order to write a successful thesis, pay attention to the sections we present here, since they are the most challenging for students. Methodology is the part that also can cause trouble even if you think that you know how to do it. First of all, you need to provide the reader with confidence in the reliability of your results. Present to your audience the description of materials, procedure and theory, grounded in the research you conducted in the literature review. Refer back to specific examples from your research. Essentially, you are providing and outline and a plan for how you conducted your research and are making the case that it was a solid and effective way to undertake your experiment. Make sure that after reading your methods section another researcher would be able to replicate your experiments. Very often candidates highlight a description of the results which is a mistake! Be sure to cite all sources in a standard format such as MLA or APA style.
The abstract is a section of the thesis about 400-500 words in length that highlights some very important questions of the study. The abstract should be written in a way that would provide a person that is looking at your writing for the first time with a general idea of the purpose and conclusions of your work. In order to write a good abstract, answer these questions: "What is the purpose of your paper?"; "Why did you do this?"; "What methods did you use?"; "What did you learn and what results did you get?"; and "Why do you think it is important?" Essentially, the abstract provides a brief outline of your project and a sample of the conclusions reached.
The title is such an easy part and yet one that leads to so many mistakes made by students. We believe that it is caused by some differences between a usual academic paper's title and thesis title. To make sure you develop the best possible title, just make sure you give these items: the title and subtitle, your institution (full name), author's name, department, date of delivery, research mentors. Follow the requirements of formatting that your institution provides. In terms of the title itself, try to be creative without being too showy. Your title should be descriptive but also intriguing enough to show your committee that your topic is interesting rather than boring.
Point out at least one significant implication. List page numbers of all figures.
The list should include a short title for each figure but not the whole caption.
List page numbers of all tables.
The list should include a short title for each table but not the whole caption.
You can't write a good introduction until you know what the body of the paper says.
Now, narrow down your topic: Once you’ve chosen a topic, ask yourself if it’s narrow enough for you to tackle in the paper or honors thesis you will be writing. Narrow topics generally result in the best papers. One important consideration is the availability of material. Therefore, before making a final decision on your topic, do some initial research to find out the type, quality, and quantity of information available. Finally, how much time do you have to write your paper? The earlier you begin your paper, the more thorough the treatment your topic will receive. If you can’t begin your paper early in the semester, consider limiting your topic so you can deal with it adequately.
Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion – convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.
How do you come up with a thesis statement? A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process and careful deliberation after preliminary research. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading a writing assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis,” a basic main idea, an argument that you think you can support with evidence but that may need adjustment along the way. Your topic may change somewhat as you write, so you may need to revise your thesis statement to reflect exactly what you have discussed in the paper.
The goal is the shortest possible paper that contains all information necessary to describe the work and support the interpretation.
Avoid unnecessary repetition and irrelevant tangents.
Necessary repetition: the main theme should be developed in the introduction as a motivation or working hypothesis.
An academic thesis is a paper written by students who are pretty close to earning an academic degree. It is the name typically given to the major document candidates compose to earn a Masterâs degree or an MBA, but it can also be used to describe a PhD dissertation or even a culminating study a college student completes at the end of an undergraduate program. At the graduate and doctoral levels, the thesis is a complex academic document of 30, 50, or 100 pages, and the candidate provides an oral defense of it before a university committee. Candidates for an academic degree are required to write a paper that would present a hypothesis and the way they proved it. In other words, you have to find an interesting idea or theory that no one has proved before you and try to explain and convince a reader of its validity using research and experiments. So, let us explore the main techniques that every candidate should pass through on the way of creating a strong and effective thesis. How does one write a good thesis paper? Read the following steps: