Barnard College Introduction The senior thesis is an excellent opportunity for Religion majors to sustain thoughtful and creative research on a significant topic of his or her choosing. The thesis serves for many as the capstone experience of their undergraduate career.
This model works very naturally in a short space such as a research proposal or article but can be harder to realize on the bigger canvas of a thesis introduction. Many thesis writers struggle with the need to provide adequate contextualizing detail before being able to give a satisfying account of their problem.
Truth be told, this inclination—the feeling that our problem is so complex that any explanation will require extensive background—can be a bit of a graduate student weakness. I suggest that thesis writers take every possible opportunity to articulate their topic under severe space or time constraints.
You have to find a way of giving them the big picture before the deep context. You are writing your thesis on the reappearance of thestrals in the s in Mirkwood Forest in the remote country of Archenland after a devastating forest fire caused by mineral extraction in the s.
When a thesis writer attempts to give the full context before elaborating the problem, two things will happen.
First, the reader will labour to see the significance of all that they are being told.
Second, the reader will, in all likelihood, struggle to find connections between the various aspects of the context. Once you have explained what we need to know about thestrals, you will need to discuss the topography of Mirkwood, the endangered species policy framework in Archenland, the mineral extraction practices commonly used in the s, and the way forest fires affect animal populations.
I am picturing a thesis introduction that looks something like this: Introduction to the introduction: The first step will be a short version of the three moves, often in as little as three paragraphs, ending with some sort of transition to the next section where the full context will be provided.
Here the writer can give the full context in a way that flows from what has been said in the opening. The extent of the context given here will depend on what follows the introduction; if there will be a full lit review or a full context chapter to come, the detail provided here will, of course, be less extensive.
If, on the other hand, the next step after the introduction will be a discussion of method, the work of contextualizing will have to be completed in its entirely here. Restatement of the problem: With this more fulsome treatment of context in mind, the reader is ready to hear a restatement of the problem and significance; this statement will echo what was said in the opening, but will have much more resonance for the reader who now has a deeper understanding of the research context.
Restatement of the response: Similarly, the response can be restated in more meaningful detail for the reader who now has a better understanding of the problem. Brief indication of how the thesis will proceed.
What do you think about this as a possible structure for a thesis introduction? While I realize that it may sound a little rigid, I think such an approach is warranted here.
Using this type of structure can give thesis writers an opportunity to come to a much better understanding of what they are trying to say. In other words, in my experience, thesis writers tend to feel better after reconstructing their introductions along these lines. For some, it may prove a useful way to present their introduction in their final draft; for other, it may just be a useful scaffold, something that they can improve upon once everything is on a surer footing.
Using this structure can help the writer craft an introduction that responds to the needs of the readerrather than the demands of the material.Developing A Thesis. Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument.
Keep your thesis prominent in your introduction. Senior Thesis Tutoring.
Bok Writing Fellows. Writing Resources. Harvard Guide to Using Sources. Exposé Magazine. Employment. A few weeks ago, I had a post on writing introductions, in which I discussed the standard three moves of an leslutinsduphoenix.com model works very naturally in a short space such as a research proposal or article but can be harder to realize on the bigger canvas of a thesis introduction.
A Guide to Writing a Senior Thesis in History & Literature | page 1 introduction The History & Literature Senior Thesis Believe it or not, the most difficult part of any extended research project is where you are right now: the beginning.
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The senior thesis is an excellent opportunity for Religion majors to sustain thoughtful and creative research on a significant topic of his or her choosing.
Developing A Thesis. Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument. Once you have a working thesis, write it down. Keep your thesis prominent in your introduction.