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Crafting Your Theses Proposal


									Crafting Your Theses Proposal
Carlos Garcia
Director Office of Graduate Research, University of Santo Tomas Graduate School

Chapter One: Introduction
 A general introduction to what the thesis is all about -- it is not just a description of the contents of each section.  Briefly Summarize the question - you will be stating the question in detail later  Give an overview of your main results. - This is a birds-eye view of the answers to the main
questions answered in the thesis

Chapter One: Introduction
1. The introduction should be interesting. 2. What is the topic and why is it important?
State the problem(s) as simply as you can.

3. Step back mentally / take a broader view of the problem. 4. How does it fit into the broader world of your discipline? 5. Do not overestimate the reader's familiarity with your topic.

Chapter One: Introduction
5. For the first paragraph, permits prose that is less dry than the scientific norm. 6. Go read several thesis introductions. 7. This is an iterative process. 8. Ask someone, not a specialist, to read it. 9. Your introduction should tell where the thesis is going, and this may become clearer during the writing.

Chapter One: Introduction
Statement of the Problem
The "problem" to be solved or in terms of a "question" to be answered. Has three main parts:

1. A concise statement of the question that your thesis tackles
2. Justification, by direct reference that your question is previously unanswered 3. Discussion of why it is worthwhile to answer this question.

Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature
1. Here you review the state of the art relevant to your thesis. 2. The idea is to present (critical analysis comes later) the major ideas in the state of the art right (not your own) 3. You organize this section by idea, and not by author or by publication.
Organize subsections around these three approaches, if necessary.

Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature
• Where did the problem come from? • What is already known about this problem? • What other methods have been tried?
- Keep up with the literature

- When you start reading about a topic, you should open


spread sheet file, for your literature

review. Note title, authors, year, volume and pages, short summary (depending on the relevance), add key words (your own / theirs)

Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature • How many references?
• How relevant do they have to be before you include them? On the order of a hundred is reasonable,
but it will depend on the field.

A Political Point
Do not omit relevant papers by researchers who are like to be your examiners, or by potential employers to whom you might be sending the thesis in the next year or two.

Chapter 3: Methodology
• Varies enormously from thesis to thesis, and may be absent in theoretical theses.

Details. Details. Details.
• Write for the benefit of the ‘next’ researcher.
There is a good chance that this test will be applied: sometime after you have left, another researcher will want to do a similar experiment either with your gear, or on a new set-up in a foreign country.

 In some theses, particularly multi-disciplinary or developmental ones, there may be more than one such chapter.

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