How to Write an Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis
A thesis is a mandatory academic work and an instrument for the final evaluation of a higher education course. It is prepared in the form of a dissertation, aiming at the initiation and involvement of the undergraduate student in the field of academic research.
The thesis aims to stimulate the academic’s curiosity and questioning spirit, which are fundamental to the development of knowledge. In this post, we present a guide on how to write an outstanding thesis as an undergraduate.
Things to consider when writing undergraduate thesis
The theme is the subject that will be studied in the research. It is chosen according to the experiences the student has acquired through books or professional practice. To choose the theme of your research, write in a notebook what you intend to produce in the study.
However, it is important to point out here that you should delimit your research before going to the field to avoid being stranded in the course of the work.
The delimitation of the theme is divided into four stages:
- Define the theme.
- Define the research problem.
- Define the limits of the research.
- Set up the research project.
Choice of the problem(s) or definition of the objective(s)
The challenge with an undergraduate thesis is the difficulty you want to solve with your research. After choosing the topic of the research, the time has come to define the research problem. The objective of study is the focus, the central axis of this investigation: it is not the subject, but what within a generally vast subject calls the researcher’s attention. Without defining the objective of study, all research work results in confusion and waste of time.
Definition of the theoretical and conceptual basis
The theoretical basis is a fundamental element to support any scientific research. It is what allows a researcher to be able to situate his problem and his concerns within the scope of the areas of knowledge where they are inserted.
Theoretical foundation or Theoretical framework is one of the elements of academic research that consists of reviewing texts, articles, books and all relevant material in the area or subject studied.
Formulation of hypothesis
The research hypothesis are statements that try to answer the research problem. These ideas emerge at the beginning or in the course of the investigative process, based on the student’s knowledge of the subject. A good hypothesis is one that can be contested, that is, confronted with real data.
The justification respects 4 valuable rules which are:
Why (why this theme was chosen),
What (what is the role of the project),
Who (the target audience of the work)
And base (source of information where your work is based).
The justification is usually a short text (about 100 to 200 words), usually a single paragraph, which serves to present a very convincing argument for that specific research. You must argue logically, clearly, and directly because it is worth determining the continuity of your research idea.
For any research work, there are two categories of objectives namely general objectives and specific objectives. They are fundamental elements for the accomplishment of academic works. The general objective should summarize and present the central idea of the work, also describing its purpose. While the specific objective is to present the core idea of the academic work. So, the student must clearly state the intention of that research project by describing and defining the scope of the work. Therefore, the general objective must express the delimitation of the theme. An important aspect of the general and specific objectives is the language used for its writing. So, the ideal is always to use verbs in the infinitive at the beginning of the statement of objectives. Using verbs in this way facilitates the understanding of what one seeks to achieve at work and can be classified into the following categories:
Verbs used for specific purposes to indicate knowledge include:
- to register.
- to define.
- to specify.
The research methodology is the description of your research process, that is, how you intend to do your research. And, to present the research methodology, you need to consider the type of research – the nature of your research, that is, whether it is exploratory, descriptive, or explanatory.
1. Unique alphabetical order
First, note the alphabetical order. Start with the author’s last name. In the case of authoring entities, the rule is to follow the title of the entity.
2. Use single spacing
Also, be sure to align all references to the left margin.
3. The title must be highlighted
The highlight can be in italics, underlined, or bold. Subtitles are not highlighted.
4. Last names must be capitalized
Capitalized names only.
Structure and format
The structure is an instrument for planning activities over time. Usually, it is part of the research project. Amid several personal and class works, the researcher must set deadlines to carry out the tasks related to the research. The researcher must also follow the established format to organize the work.
Cover: The cover must contain the name of the institution, course, author, title of the work, city, and year.
Cover page: The cover page presents the author’s name, title, city, year, and a brief descriptive note, which must contain the purpose of the work and the name of the researcher’s supervisor. Like the cover, it is also considered a mandatory pre-textual element, that is, it cannot be missing in the research.
Certification page: The certification page must be inserted right after the cover page. It should not contain a numeric code, as it is a pre-textual element. Important information is the name of the author of the research, title, type of work, name of the institution, and date of approval. It is also essential to include the name, title, and signature space of each member of the board.
Dedication/Acknowledgments: Do you want to honour someone or thank the people who helped in the course of the work? Then use the Dedication/Acknowledgments space. This part of the work is not mandatory, so it is recommended to be very simple and brief in writing the text. Indeed, it is not mandatory, but in recent times it has become necessary.
Abstract: The Abstract is a text that should preferably have between 150 and 250 words. In an undergraduate thesis, this synthesizes the ideas of the work in a few paragraphs.
To write a perfect abstract, it is necessary to finish the research, start the text talking about the main theme, and address the main topics worked throughout the research. Don’t forget to always use objective, short sentences written in an active voice. Below the abstract, add a sequence of keywords, that is, terms that characterize the research.
Lists: Lists are used to organize figures, tables, symbols, abbreviations, and acronyms. The identification of each element must be presented as follows: specific name, dash, title, and the page number where it is located.
Table of Content: The table of content is a mandatory item in the formatting of research work. It serves to present the enumerations of the pages and the respective sections of the work. Alignment is to the left, without indentation. The space between the lines should be 1.5. The font size is 12. By setting the markings correctly, you can generate the table of contents automatically using the Word text editor.
Research textual structure: The textual elements make up academic research. They are the introduction (initial part), development (main part), and conclusion (final part).
Post-textual elements: The student cannot forget that there are also post-textual elements, that is, those that are placed after completion of the work. Bibliographic references correspond to the only mandatory element of this part of the work. However, it is also possible to insert an appendix, glossary, and index (all to make the job more complete and the board more satisfied).