Use simple language.
If in doubt, break long phrases into short ones.
Write brief, coherent paragraphs, each with a single topic.
Rewrite any sentences that chain prepositions.
Make sure you are repeating yourself or using the same words very often.
Use direct quotes in moderation and refer to the person being quoted.
Check the opening paragraphs of the paper. They should involve the reader.
Introduce your key questions and core arguments early and clearly, do not wander.
Well-organized paragraphs are the building blocks of your work. Through them, you develop your question, your answer and your evidence in a well-ordered and sequential way. Each paragraph should be relatively short and focused, with a clear topic sentence that articulates the main point. Check all paragraphs that run more than five or six sentences to see if you are exaggerating content or even duplicating information.
Editing your drafts early is the key to making your thesis sharper, deeper, and more readable. Do not be afraid to cut off strange content, even if it took a long time to write. Remember, you are not being paid by the hour. What matters is the quality of the final product. It should be clear and polished. It may be difficult to eliminate parts that seemed, at first, so good. Save these parts in a “scrap file.” This gives you the chance to re-enter sentences or paragraphs if you really need them.
Quotations can be a source of writing problems. Do not abuse the quotations. When you are simply presenting well-known data or opinions, rephrase the quote in your own words and place the source in a footnote.
In some cases, you may want to use longer quotes with more than three lines. They should be used with restraint and indentation in your text. Insert these longer quotations with your own synthetic phrase so they make sense.
Your monograph should have a conclusion section, usually succinct. It should summarize your findings, not retrace everything you’ve done. Remember, it’s a concluding section, not a summary section. The main thrust should be the interpretation of their findings. Report the high points and then tell them what they mean. What are the main findings? Why are they significant? What are the limitations of your findings? Start discussing your conclusions with your mentor when you are still writing the body of the thesis, when your conclusions are still mere possibilities.
The pages should be numbered and, depending on your course, you will need to format your work according to the required standards.
Review ALWAYS! Read and re-read aloud while you edit. You need to edit, over and over again. One of the best ways to do this and improve your writing is by reading it aloud to yourself. Take the time to reread. If you have finished writing, save the document and come back later to read it aloud. Be aware of grammar, formatting and misspellings.
Always save a backup copy of your research and write on your school computer or elsewhere. Security first.
Some suggestions here are most helpful when you start thinking about the thesis project, others when you start writing, and still others when you are polishing your final outline. It really helps to reread these advice as your thesis project develops.
Do not put quotation marks around “common words” unless you want to draw attention to the misuse of a word, and make your purpose and point of view clear. Do not use quotation marks to be sarcastic or ironic.
A thesis is a hard work, but can be a very rewarding experience, so good luck!