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ELEMENTS OF A THESIS
Dr. Sano-Franchini | sanojenn@vt.edu | October 11, 2016
FIRST, A CAVEAT…
Thesis conventions vary depending on discipline &
department.
• Check your program’s graduate handbook fo...
OVERVIEW
COMMON COMPONENTS
Front Matter
• Title Page
• Abstract
• Dedication
• Acknowledgements
• Table of Contents
• List of Figur...
ONE WAY OF LOOKING AT IT…
Broad: Introduction 

(Describe larger exigence)
Narrow: Thesis/Purpose Statement

(Define your s...
INTRODUCTION
• Exigency/Rationale
• Background Information
• Summary of the Project
- Theoretical Framework
- Methods
- Re...
CONCLUSION
• Summary of Findings
• Larger Social or Disciplinary Implications
• Limitations
• Future Directions
• Recommen...
GETTING STARTED
SELECTING A TOPIC
Defining a research question
• Is it both broad and narrow enough such that you will be able to
address i...
DIVING IN
• Identify your data. Will you do interviews, textual analysis,
surveys, experiments, etc.?
• Identify your meth...
MAKING WRITING
HAPPEN
Draw your writing process.
• What does your writing process look like?
• How do you begin? What do y...
KEEP ACCESSIBILITY
IN MIND
Make sure that all text can be read by screen 

readers and other assistive technologies.
• Cle...
YOUR QUESTIONS?
sanojenn@vt.edu
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Elements of a Thesis

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Elements of a Thesis

  1. 1. ELEMENTS OF A THESIS Dr. Sano-Franchini | sanojenn@vt.edu | October 11, 2016
  2. 2. FIRST, A CAVEAT… Thesis conventions vary depending on discipline & department. • Check your program’s graduate handbook for any guidelines and/or requirements. • Talk with your graduate director, advisor, & other professors. • Check to ensure that you have met any requirements outlined by your department and the Graduate School (see the Graduate Catalog and http://etd.vt.edu/guidelines/). • Check out recently filed theses in your department and in your field. (Ask your peers and see: ProQuest Dissertations and Theses)
  3. 3. OVERVIEW
  4. 4. COMMON COMPONENTS Front Matter • Title Page • Abstract • Dedication • Acknowledgements • Table of Contents • List of Figures • List of Tables • List of Abbreviations Body • Introduction • Literature Review • Methodology • Analysis/Results • Discussion • Conclusions Back Matter • Notes • References/ Bibliography • Appendices ital. = optional
  5. 5. ONE WAY OF LOOKING AT IT… Broad: Introduction 
 (Describe larger exigence) Narrow: Thesis/Purpose Statement
 (Define your specific contribution) Broad: Literature Review
 (Situate project in larger disciplinary conversation) Narrow: Analysis
 (What does your specific data say?) Broad: Conclusions
 (What are the larger implications of this work?)
  6. 6. INTRODUCTION • Exigency/Rationale • Background Information • Summary of the Project - Theoretical Framework - Methods - Research Questions - Findings • Road Map (Overview of the chapters that follow.)
  7. 7. CONCLUSION • Summary of Findings • Larger Social or Disciplinary Implications • Limitations • Future Directions • Recommendations
  8. 8. GETTING STARTED
  9. 9. SELECTING A TOPIC Defining a research question • Is it both broad and narrow enough such that you will be able to address it in the allotted amount of time? • How might that question speak to—and extend upon—larger conversations going on in your field? • What objects of analysis can help you address that research question? In other words, what is your data? Making it your own • Does your selected topic reflect your passions, interests, your previous academic experiences and/or your future goals?
  10. 10. DIVING IN • Identify your data. Will you do interviews, textual analysis, surveys, experiments, etc.? • Identify your methodologies. What methodologies will inform your approach to studying that data and what methods will you use? In other words, through what lens(es) will you observe your data? • Start with your analysis. Write down your observations. Your findings and thus your argument should emerge from your analysis. Note that writing is a recursive process.
  11. 11. MAKING WRITING HAPPEN Draw your writing process. • What does your writing process look like? • How do you begin? What do you need to do to get started? What motivates you to write? • When do you tend to write? • What do your writing spaces look like? Where do you do your best writing? What do you like to have around you?
  12. 12. KEEP ACCESSIBILITY IN MIND Make sure that all text can be read by screen 
 readers and other assistive technologies. • Clearly identify and describe all tables, images, figures, and graphs using captions and alt text. • Avoid using images of text that are not also transcribed in-text. • Use “heading styles” to ensure that structure is clear. • Use columns instead of tabs and spaces to create columns. • Use text for hyperlinks rather than URLs when doing so enhances the ability to read the text out loud.
  13. 13. YOUR QUESTIONS? sanojenn@vt.edu

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