There is the semester finish line- next week, Thursday, December 21. You are all at the 0.5 Thesis Point. These are some things to consider for preparing your State of The Thesis to the Arganee Journal Site.
Parts is Parts
I’ve yet to provide a specific structure for your thesis, but in your report I’d like to see an outline (or a sketched diagram) with, as you can see it now, the major components of the final thesis, and as much detail underneath as you can define. This is your map, and is essential to get to 1.0 Thesis in April 2018.
I will provide in email, as a reference, the 3 example Kean thesis we saw in seminar.
As a general suggestion, remember to keep in mind you are looking to produce something on the order of at least 60 printed pages (more is fine) that ought to include (this is purely a suggestion, we will negotiate structures as you design your own map). The major parts should have some sub sections identified as well.
- Title Page: use the format of the Kean Graduate Thesis Title Page Template (.docx)
- Dedication / Acknowledgements
- Introduction – ~2-5 pages, set the scene, the reason, the purpose of your thesis. The importance relevance, build to the main question or problem, summarize what will follow (e.g. place within other works, relevance, importance).
- Background, context, literature summary – ~8-20 pages. Cover all of the work that has been done before, or what the larger place of your work sits in, how it relates to other work, events. Summarize in text (not just copying from the annotated bibliography) prior or related works. Introduce possible counter arguments).
- Methodology / Approach – ~5-20 pages. Describe in detail how you did your work, considerations, possible problems, limitations. Justify your choices to frame your topic, what was left out, why. Make it clear how someone else might follow a similar approach.
- The Work itself – ~> 20 pages? this will vary depending on the structure and topic, but there should be an introduction to this section, then a series of major chapters/sections. These should all map to discussion in your introduction, perhaps describing the 5 methods used or 6 theoretical frameworks.
- Discussion / Summary / Analysis ~5-20 pages. Bring it all together, what did you show, what other insights did you gain? What does it mean for the field or other people or the world? Go big. What other questions, insights discovered not seen from the outset?
- Brief Final Conclusion / Reflection. ~2 pages What this might mean for the world, for you?
- Annotated Bibliography
- Appendices (if needed)
For more reference, please see resources such as:
- Structuring a Thesis Introduction (Explorations of Style)
- Sections of a thesis (University of Queensland)
- Structuring a Thesis (Search and Write)
- MA Thesis Guide (PDF, Westchester University)
Requirements for the State of the Thesis paper
This is what I am looking for:
- A working title
- A relevant featured image, with attribution to the source
- A filled out draft of your Introduction (this means multi paragraphs). This should, on it’s own fully introduce the topic, importance, relevance what you plan to do, for someone who knows nothing of your project. Include references to your bibliography). Rework several times what you have. Make it all a piece of writing that stands on its own, with a flow, and transitions, full paragraphs.
- Tentative outline – identify the major sections and subsections. Annotate with explanation what you think now needs to go in there. This is a draft!
- Annotated Bibliography – Your current literature, formatted as a citation, with a one paragraph annotation including the central argument of the reading and how you will take up this argument in connection to your thesis, along with how your work might be different or distinct from the reference.
- Include in the footer section of the form a link to your thesis blog.
You should all be able to access and modify the drafts we started in seminar this week. If you have any problems, please contact me ASAP.
The Finish is Also the Start
Take a break, enjoy your holiday break. But keep your project in mind, and, try where possible, especially after the new year, to pick up your pace, work on your written introduction again, refine your bibliography, and start planning the implementation/production phase. We will be going full speed on January 18, 2018, the long marathon to the real finish line (April 19, 2018).
Featured Image: Racers cross finish line in 5K run for Navy Chief birthday. flickr photo by Official U.S. Navy Imagery shared as a Public Domain United States Government Work (PD)