Writing a senior thesis is very different from any other kind of writing you ever handled. It requires more work, more attention, and more research than the rest of papers, which is why it is not a part of a junior program. This article contains answers to all sorts of questions you may have regarding senior thesis planning, writing, arranging, referencing, and managing in general. Scroll it down to see all the aspects of work covered by useful tips from our best professionals.

How to Cite a Thesis in an Essay?

How to Cite a Thesis in Chicago/Turabian

  • For a thesis from a database:

Structure:

Last, F.M. (Date published). First name Last name, “Title” master’s thesis or PhD diss., University, Year published, Database (Identification Number).

Example:

Johan Willson, “Location tracking: Personal Freedom and Technologies” PhD diss., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2018, MLA International Bibliography (2018420305).

  • For a thesis from the Internet:

Structure:

First name Last name, “Title” master’s thesis or PhD diss., University, Year published, URL

Example:

Kenny, S.M. (2009). Location tracking: Personal Freedom and Technologies (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from //drum.lib.umd.edu/bitstream/1903/11801/1/Wilson_umd_0117E_12354.pdf

How to Cite a Thesis in APA

  • For a thesis from a database:

Structure:

Last, F.M. (Date published). Title (Doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis). Retrieved from database name. (Accession or Order no.)

Example:

Willson, J.K. (2009). Location tracking: Personal Freedom and Technologies (Doctoral dissertation (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from MLA International Bibliography Database. (Accession No. 2009420395)

  • For a thesis from the Internet:

Example:

Kenny, S.M. (2009). Media epidemics: Viral structures in literature and new media (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from MLA International Bibliography Database. (Accession No. 2009420395)

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Seven Suggestions for Writing a Senior Thesis

  1. Find the most suitable advisor. 

Your senior thesis advisor is your mentor, your teacher, and your authority. This person’s experience will ensure wise pieces of advice for you, and their deep knowledge will give you the right direction for the study. Obviously, you need to choose the advisor after a thorough consideration, as your work’s success depends on your collaboration with this person to a great extent. Thus, pay attention to the teachers’ board: is there anyone whom you could trust fully? Is there a person who specializes in the topic of your interest? Or maybe you have already worked under someone’s supervision and had a great experience? You can also consult the fellow researchers and ask for an advice regarding the best professors to collaborate with. In any case, your personal feeling and attitude towards the advisor is decisive for a fruitful work, so do not ignore it. 

  1. Pick a topic carefully.

Your thesis’ topic is something that your whole year will spin around, so you should never hurry while picking one. It is your responsibility to choose a theme that you would actually like to research, and not the one that you are sick of. If you feel completely lost as for which issue to address in your paper, here is a checklist for choosing a senior thesis topic:

  • It is familiar to you. You know at least something in the sphere or you have already carried out a research related to it.
  • It is coverable. The topic is not too general, and offers a clear aspect to be studied within the frames of your particular paper. Remember that you have a limited time and number of pages, so ensure that your topic can be covered within those limits. 
  • It answers a question. There must be a concrete research question encoded in the topic of your thesis; otherwise, you risk wandering around the theme and finding nothing.
  • You find it curious. The only thing that is going to keep you motivated through the sleepless nights and hours in the library is your personal interest in the topic. If you do not find it engaging, it is better not to start a thesis on it.
  1. Relate to your past studies.

Many sources suggest brainstorming as a technique for coming up with a topic for a big paper. However, this method can fail you if you use the random ideas that come to your mind out of nowhere, because it can lead to random themes that you will not necessarily like in the end. A much better approach is to brainstorm with the research topics that you have had in the past. Write down the topics of your course papers, term papers, researchers, and other works that you have prepared in the last two years. Find what connects them and come up with new branches of this line. This way, you will eventually find a topic that is based on your previous experience, and you will have a well-prepared ground for your thesis in the form of the literature you had already browsed and the issues you had addressed. 

  1. Schedule your work properly.

Most professors are extremely busy with all kinds of consultations, teaching, research projects, conferences, etc. Thus, one of the challenges of thesis writing that can be hard to predict is the unavailability of your advisor. This can become a real problem when you face difficulties or need a professional to look at your work and provide further directions, so it is better to prevent it right away. As soon as you find your advisor, fix a schedule of chapters’ submission and personal meetings for the whole year. This will motivate you to work consecutively and guarantee a timely feedback in accordance with the schedule.

  1. Cut half of the time.

When you have months and months before the final submission ahead of you, it may seem that there is nowhere to hurry. This misleading perception of time causes all the procrastinations and belated writing, always accompanied by a lot of stress. Thus, the wisest decision is to cut the available time in half right away, and plan your work according to the result. For example, if you have a year before the thesis has to be defended, plan to finish it in the first 6 months. The first 3 months should be devoted to the research, and you should not start writing any later than in 3 months. You will see that something may go not the way you planned it, and sometimes professor’s revisions will take a lot of time, so in the end, you will use the last 6 months to cover all these additional tasks. 

  1. More is not always better.

Young researchers often do everything they can to write as much text as they can, often compromising the writing quality for the sake of quantity. This idea is definitely outdated, and it is better to write less text, but make it really meaningful and academically valuable. It is best to clarify the volume requirements for the thesis with your authorities, and not strive for the maximum limit while writing. 

  1. Do not give up until the finish line.

It is understandable that after all the writing and rewriting you will feel exhausted, but the last phase of working on your thesis is not the right moment to relax or ease the tension. Do your best to stay focused until the very end and enhance your productivity for as long as you can. Defending your paper in front of a committee is a significant part of work, as proper presentation can enhance the paper’s value. Thus, hold yourself together until everything is done and your thesis is defended.

Dissertation vs Thesis

The terms “dissertation” and “thesis” are often used in the circles of academic researchers, and they can sound confusing for the students. So what is the main dissertation-thesis difference? The two kinds of studies can be easily distinguished if seen in context. Thesis is written as a part of a Master’s program, while dissertation a part of doctoral study. After defending these papers, the scholars receive the Master’s and the PhD degrees correspondingly. Due to the degree levels, the papers also differ in their complexity and purpose. Unlike thesis, dissertation does not summarize the existing studies of a person with a related research, but rather strives to introduce new knowledge and win the authority of a PhD. Due to this; dissertation is also longer and covers a broader theme.

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