How to Write a Better Thesis

Overview

This concise guide emphasizes clear and logical structure as the key to a well-written thesis. The book uses a direct and conversational tone while offering concrete examples of common structural problems and the numerous devices, tricks, and tests for avoiding them. It proves that the astute researcher must no longer regard writing as the last chore but rather as a crucial part of the research process. This updated edition demonstrates how computer software can be advantageous and includes a checklist to keep ...

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Overview

This concise guide emphasizes clear and logical structure as the key to a well-written thesis. The book uses a direct and conversational tone while offering concrete examples of common structural problems and the numerous devices, tricks, and tests for avoiding them. It proves that the astute researcher must no longer regard writing as the last chore but rather as a crucial part of the research process. This updated edition demonstrates how computer software can be advantageous and includes a checklist to keep students organized.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book is well worth reading for people writing up research, not only those writing a thesis. The truth is in there!"  — Neile A. Kirk, author, Dhumbadji! on the previous edition
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780522861266
  • Publisher: Melbourne University Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/1/2012
  • Edition description: Third Edition, Third edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 198
  • Sales rank: 1,433,007
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David Evans is a former senior associate of the faculty of architecture, building, and planning at the University of Melbourne and the coeditor of Restoring the Land. Paul Gruba is a lecturer in communication skills at the Center for Communication Skills and English as a Second Language at the University of Melbourne. Justin Zobel is a professor in the department of computing and information systems at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of Writing for Computer Science.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Third Edition ix

Introduction xiii

Using This Book xiv

1 What Is a Thesis? 1

Criteria for Examination 1

Types of Thesis 5

Look at Other Theses 6

Examiners' Reports 7

2 Thesis Structure 11

Why We Have Trouble with New Tasks 12

Structuring Your Thesis 13

The 'Standard' Thesis Structure 14

Narrative 18

Non-standard Thesis Structures 20

3 Mechanics of Writing 22

Writing at a Computer 22

Document and Version Management 31

Writing Style 34

Plagiarism and Research Integrity 48

4 Making a Strong Start 53

Creating a Structure 55

Initial Efforts 58

Writing up at the End 60

Starting, and Starting Again 62

The Creative Process 64

Writing an Individual Chapter 66

Literature 73

Styles of Working 75

Working with Your Supervisor 78

5 The Introductory Chapter 84

Establishing a Context 84

Stating the Problem, Motivating the Study 87

Aim and Scope of the Study 89

Significance of the Study 93

Overview of the Study 94

Research Questions and Hypotheses 96

Revising the Aim, Aligning the Conclusion 99

6 Background Chapters 103

Developing Critical Thinking 104

Establishing Context 107

Preliminary Investigations 111

Revising 112

7 Establishing Your Contribution 118

Kinds of Contribution 119

Method 126

'Research Methods' 129

Argument 133

Organization 135

8 Outcomes and Results 138

Quantitative or Qualitative Data? 139

From Data to Results 141

Quantitative or Qualitative, Revisited 150

Illustrations 154

9 The Discussion or Interpretation 162

The Task of the Chapter 163

Structuring the Discussion 165

Writing With Authority 168

10 The Conclusion 172

11 Before You Submit 177

From First to Second Draft 178

Dotting the 'i's and Crossing the 't's 183

Appendices 191

Glossary 192

12 Beyond the Thesis 194

Disseminating Your Research 195

Afterword 214

Appendix: Analysis of Examiners' Reports 217

Characteristics of a High Quality Thesis 217

Characteristics of a Poor Thesis 219

Notes on Further Resources 222

Index 225

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