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This THESIS OVERVIEW, based on requirements at Rice University, is designed to help graduate students understand the magnitude of a traditional Master's or PhD thesis. It shows what sections need to be included in a thesis, gives advice on what should be covered in each section, and makes specific recommendations for what questions need to be answered as a student writes up research results. Although this document is directly applicable to Rice graduate students, it can be modified for other universities and for those departments that require three published papers in lieu of a traditional thesis.

What is a thesis? what should be in it?

The word “thesis” has two meanings, both of which are applicable to your writing. First, the word refers to either a Master’s Thesis or a PhD Thesis (dissertation). Additionally, the word “thesis” signals the fact that your thesis must be a work of persuasive argumentation. You first make a statement defining the focus of your research (the problem/question/issue that needed to be solved) and signal your results. Then, through evidence and reasoning, you persuade your committee of the validity of your research.

Every thesis, either Master’s or PhD, must tell a compelling and exciting story about important original research. In the process of telling that story, you must answer, clearly and precisely, the following key questions:

  • What problem/question/issue does your thesis focus on?
  • Why is it important ?
  • How does your work fit into the intellectual context of your field ?
  • What experimental design / methods did you use? Why did you choose those methods? What difficulties did you encounter along the way? How did you solve (or not) those difficulties?
  • What are your research results ? How do they differ from what you had expected or from what had previously been done by others? What evidence do you have to support those results? What conclusions did you reach?
  • What, specifically, is your unique contribution ?
  • What are some possible applications , either practical or theoretical, of your findings? What future work does your thesis suggest?

In sum, you are writing a fascinating work of non-fiction, complete with beginning, middle, and end. Your readers should be drawn smoothly from one essential page to the next. You must tell

  • what you did
  • why you did it
  • how you did it
  • with what results, and
  • why we should care (so what).

In other words, you must explain your work to your reader. If you write to the person on your committee who is least familiar with your work, that will help you decide the level of detail and explanation needed. My experience says that most graduate students need to explain more fully. Think back to when you weren’t so familiar with the subject. Leave no gaps in your argument; omit no essential step in your thinking. Include what didn’t work as well as what did work. Get comments from someone who can evaluate the technical content and from someone not so familiar with your work.

If you are incorporating published papers into your thesis, at minimum they need to be tied together and explained in an overarching Introduction and then summarized in a final chapter. Ideally, however, you will expand a published paper so that you can go into greater detail on answering the Seven Key Questions. Published papers by necessity are short; a thesis gives you the opportunity to give greater depth to your explanations and examples. It can be exciting to talk in detail about work that has been so absorbing and important to you.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
Bhagvanji
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
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Source:  OpenStax, Becoming a professional scholar. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10871/1.2
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