Writing The Thesis Or Dissertation

This guide has been created to assist my graduate students in thinkingthrough the many aspects of crafting, implementing and defending a thesisor dissertation. It is my attempt to share some of the many ideas thathave surfaced over the past few years that definitely make the task offinishing a graduate degree so much easier. (This Guide is a companion to the .)

The Thesis/Dissertation Defense

Here are some examples of weak and strong evidence sections:

... the realization that you are fulfilling an academic requirement,

Note that the second example seems more "balanced," because the author demonstrates knowledge of the subject and incorporates several expert opinions to back up the claim.

Evidence that includes information from one source (weak evidence):

Sometimes your assignment will not require you to conduct research into secondary sources, and you may need to use your own ideas or experiences as evidence to back up your claims. Try to be very specific. If you include detailed examples and explanations, your evidence will be more interesting and more persuasive to the reader, and you will seem like more of an authority on your topic:

Evidence that includes information from a variety of sources (stronger evidence):

UMUC is a proud member of the University System of Maryland.

One of the most common mistakes is to present a topic sentence that is actually an observation of facts or a description of events rather than an active argument. When you make a claim based on a fact or event in your topic sentence, you aren’t presenting an arguable claim that you can back up with your evidence in that paragraph.

UMUC is a proud member of the University System of Maryland.

In the introduction above, the opening line does not serve to grab the reader’s attention. Instead, it is a statement of an obvious and mundane fact. The second sentence is also not very specific. A more effective attention grabber may point out a specific, and perhaps surprising, instance when adults use math in their daily lives, in order to show the reader why this is such as important topic to consider.

The following ideas should help you keep the meeting on your agenda.

To evaluate whether your paper contains effective claims in each paragraph, read only the first sentence of each paragraph. You should be able to follow the development of the paper’s thesis by reading only the claim sentences. These should tell you the main points that you are making throughout the paper. Your claims will also prepare the reader for the second section of your paragraph.

View important information about the  of students enrolled in certificate programs.

Stage 6- Revising the Research Paper

Effective paragraphs are important in all types of writing. Your paragraphs guide your reader through the paper by helping to explain, substantiate, and support your thesis statement or argument. Each paragraph should discuss one major point or idea. An effective paragraph has three parts: claim, evidence, and analysis.

Evidence that is specific (stronger evidence):

Please see the for specific details about residency requirements.

Following this structured presentation the committee begins to ask questions,but as can be expected the questions follow along with the wall chartsand the whole discussion proceeds in an orderly manner. If guests are presentat the defense, this form of presentation helps them also follow alongand understand exactly what was accomplished through the research.

Okay, you're ready to write your research proposal. Here are some ideasto help with the task:

Please see the for specific details about residency requirements.

The "thinking about it stage" is when you are finallyfaced with the reality of completing your degree. Usually the early phasesof a graduate program proceed in clear and very structured ways. The beginningphases of a graduate program proceed in much the same manner as an undergraduatedegree program. There are clear requirements and expectations, and the graduatestudent moves along, step by step, getting ever closer to the completionof the program. One day, however, the clear structure begins to diminishand now you're approaching the thesis/dissertation stage. This is a newand different time. These next steps are more and more defined by youand not your adviser, the program, or the department.