20 The Thesis

623 views

Published on

Theological Research Methodology: Presentation 20

Published in: Spiritual, Education, Technology
  • Be the first to like this

20 The Thesis

  1. 1. By Kevin G. Smith The Thesis Theological Research Seminar
  2. 2. Academic Writing Even if you are competent and experienced in all the other skills required to be or become a good scholar, few people master the art of writing scientifically overnight. To put together a coherent, logical, clear and persuasive argument, because that is the literal meaning of “thesis” or “dissertation,” usually involves repeated practice, many drafts, and a great deal of effort and even frustration (Mouton 2001, 112).
  3. 3. THE LOGIC OF THE THESIS
  4. 4. Logic A thesis is, above all else, a logical report of the research process and findings.
  5. 5. Logic of Validation One aspect of the logic of the thesis concerns the relationship between the evidence you present and the conclusion you draw. 1) Objective evidence 2) Appropriate evidence 3) Weighty evidence
  6. 6. Logical Fallacies 1) Unsupported generalisations 2) Appeals based on authority 3) The bandwagon argument 4) The “post hoc” fallacy 5) False analogy 6) Circular reasoning 7) Ad hominem reasoning (attacking the person) 8) Non sequitur reasoning 9) Red herring arguments
  7. 7. THE STRUCTURE OF A THESIS
  8. 8. Preliminaries • Title page • Disclaimer • Declaration • Abstract • Table of contents • List of figures
  9. 9. First Chapter • What? Begin with the background of the problem, leading into the problem statement and main research questions. • Why? Explain the research’s motivation, aims, objectives and significance. • How? Present a synopsis of the research design and methodology adopted to solve the main problem. End with a preview of the argument to follow.
  10. 10. Last Chapter • Summary: a review of the logical argument of the research. • Deductions: conclusions that have been reached through the research (e.g., whether the research has supported or refuted the hypothesis). • Recommendations: practical suggestions flowing out of the research.
  11. 11. Chapter Structure • Introduction • Body • Conclusion • Bridging sentences and paragraphs • Section headings
  12. 12. THE RHETORIC OF THE THESIS
  13. 13. Rhetoric (Mouton) • Write clearly, simply and to the point. • Use positive constructions. • Avoid passive constructions. • Do not use an indefinite ‘this’. • Avoid sexist or derogatory language. • Avoid colloquial (spoken) language.
  14. 14. Rhetoric (Mouton) • Structure and organise your argument. • Assess alternative perspectives and rival points of view. • Think through the sort of evidence that would be convincing to a competent reader.
  15. 15. Rhetoric (Mouton) • Use linking devices. • Edit and rework your writing. • Check grammar and spelling.
  16. 16. CONCLUSION

×