Once the topic has been chosen it is necessary to give oneself the objectives that we intend to achieve, that is if we intend to demonstrate or disprove one or more scientific theses object of our documentation.
A thesis is compiled when it involves the drafting of a historical-critical review related to a topic, a current of thought, a historical period, etc. (generally more widespread in the humanities faculties) [working on existing material]
A thesis is research (ie experimental) when it starts from studies or from existing literature to analyze independently its own field of investigation (generally more widespread in the scientific faculties) [It is an almost exclusively own creation, interviews are used and research to write something that was never written]. Usually with this typology a greater number of points are assigned at the time of the discussion
- The research method and tools
- The tools are many: paper and multimedia texts, internet, magazines, scientific investigations;
- The search method will certainly depend on the type of tools you will be using.
- Surely you will not be able to do without going to the libraries and consulting the network, which remain the primary sources of information. Depending on the type of thesis (compilative or scientific), interviews and / or experiments will then be used.
- As the books are read and consulted or websites are visited on the subject, it is advisable to start immediately the cataloging work, indicating for each text author, title, magazine, number, date, place of publication, edition, chapter, pages. In the case of Web sites, the advice is to save the pages visited in a folder [if you use Microsoft Explorer, save it using this method: FILE menu> Save with Name> In the box below under File Type: indicates Web archive, single file (* .mht) “in this way you will have a file with all the images that you can consult and print whenever you want].
- ATTENTION: reading and collecting a lot of material produces an enrichment of the knowledge of the argument of the thesis that could soon backfire against us if we do not systematically monitor the outcome of the various readings. In other words, the risk is to widen the scope of our topic more and more, perhaps getting excited by what we are gradually learning. So be careful to stay on topic.
- The key words in this case are, instead, to restrict, delimit the field of investigation to move from a general topic to a precise topic.
- The index
- The Index is usually one of the first things to do, after having outlined the topic and the title (even provisional) of the Thesis.
- The drafting of the index has a double function: to clarify both the writer and the supervisor the structure of the work to be carried out and to allow the two parties to begin a constructive dialogue that will continue until the end of the work.
- For this reason it is timely to inform the speaker whenever changes are made to the Index. We remember, in fact, that, during the work, the index will have several occasions to be modified both by the author and by the rapporteur and often, the final Index is little or not at all like the first draft of it. So don’t get too attached to the documents you create and be extremely flexible.
A definition: “The Bibliography is the list of books written around a topic, an author, or consulted for the compilation of a work.”
Although this is always found at the bottom of the Thesis (or, if desired, at the end of each chapter) the Bibliography is often requested by the speaker together with the Index and, therefore, it is also one of the first things to do.
Also in this case, the items shown in the list are susceptible to changes and revisions, so that the final work will be based on books that we gradually see fit to consult for the success of our work.
The Introduction must describe the work done as clearly as possible.
Starting from the reasons that led to the choice of the topic of the thesis, the author must clearly illustrate the thesis or hypotheses that he intends to demonstrate and indicate the objectives he aims to achieve, present the tools used and show the organization of the work in parts and chapters.
All the objectives and hypotheses described here will then be taken up again in the Conclusions of the thesis, demonstrating that what was intended (documented and demonstrated during the various chapters) was achieved.
The drafting of the introduction, contrary to what might be thought, must be done at the end of the thesis work, in consideration of the fact that the hypotheses and objectives that we have set change in the course of our work.
Only when we have reached the bottom and the thesis has assumed the characteristics that are due to it, will the structure of the work be very clear and it is at that moment that we will be able to write our Introduction.
Chapters and paragraphs
The central body of the thesis must be divided into parts, chapters and paragraphs with progressive numbers to facilitate internal and external references to the text and accompanied by descriptive / informative bold headings.
In this drafting phase it is advisable to carry out a thorough check of the information gathered and their credibility, comparing all the available sources. In the event that elements are found that are contrary to the assertions set out in the thesis, effective arguments can be provided to their statements, motivating their choice.
When, on the other hand, we also report personal opinions, judgments, criticisms, it is good to express them in the most impersonal way possible, rather than in the first person, using formulas such as “We deduce that”, rather than “I believe that”.
They are the last chapter of the thesis and represent the “summa” of the work done.
With the Conclusions, the work ends and all the hypotheses and objectives that had been set in the Introduction must be fulfilled here.
It is the moment of verification in which all the arguments and information reported during the various chapters find the right place in an organic, clear and scientific discourse.
The conclusions must report the most important results that emerged and outline possible research developments.
This chapter will be as successful as it will be in harmonizing with the Introduction, thus presenting itself as a response to the questions or objectives raised therein.
The notes are references to the sources whose information is reported.
All statements made on the thesis must be duly documented using the notes referring to the source from which the information was learned; usually the references of the notes are reported in the footer or at the end of each chapter or at the end of the thesis.
It often happens during the documentation to report in full the text parts of other authors.
In this case it is good to take some precautions.
The text shown can be formatted in italics and in quotes;
the parts mentioned must be “separated” from the text of the writer by inserting spaces above and below.
If you want to deepen the topic consult: “The bibliographic citation of remote electronic resources”
- There are no predefined styles for writing the thesis but rather we can certainly say that the style must be in keeping with the chosen topic.
- There are many topics and disciplines and each of these needs a different editorial style.
- Anyway, it’s good:
- Use short, simple and clear sentences
- We often use the conditional because we are not always sure of what we say
- Never use superlatives
- Moderate the use of adjectives and adverbs
- Do not use connecting sentences between paragraphs or chapters (“as we said in the chapter …” or “we will try to outline in this paragraph …”)
- Make good use of subtitles
- Write foreign words not in force on the Italian vocabulary in italics and in the singular (avoid the final “s” for words like test (s), sport (s), etc.)
- Being synthetic in the exhibition (a long thesis is not at all better than a short thesis)
- Make use of multimedia tools for graduation exposure (PowerPoint and other similar software)
- With regard to the drafting of the entire work it should be remembered that there are no standard number of folders, even if a respectable degree thesis must be at least 100 folders with two lines with no less than 22 lines per page, excluding of course the bibliography and the attachments.
- AIA standards for layout / formatting
- (Italian Association of English Studies)
- Compose pages of approximately 23/25 lines (calculated on a page without footnotes)
- Use a 12-point font if you use Times New Roman (or another character with an equivalent graphical impact)
- The sheet must have margins of about 3 cm. ca. on each side. If you want to keep the text centered once the whole will be bound you can take into account about 1cm on the left side. of space that will be lost for the binding
- Use double line spacing in plain but single text for quotes of more than two lines or 4/5 lines
How to calculate the Graduation grade
The degree mark is expressed in one hundred and ten.
The student is presented to take the graduation exam with a basic grade expressed by the arithmetic average of the grades divided by 30 (thirty) and multiplied by 110 (one hundred and ten).
To this value must be added the score that the degree commission assigns to the thesis after its discussion. The evaluation of the thesis and its discussion varies greatly from university to university and from faculty to faculty and is also linked to the type of commitment that the student has put into the realization of the thesis, where it is assumed that to make experimental theses it takes more effort that in making theses compilative. In some faculties there are maximum voting bands that depend on the starting vote at the time of discussion.
The final grade is obtained by adding the thesis score to the average expressed in one hundred and ten.
It is usually possible to take the exams of your study plan within 20 days of the graduation session:
At the time of the request for the assignment of the thesis, the candidate must deliver a form to the Secretariat with the temporary title of the thesis, signed by the supervisor.
Approximately forty days before the graduation exam, the candidate must present the application form and the university booklet updated to the last study plan approved by the Degree Course Council at its student secretariat.
Thirty days before the graduation session the candidate must submit a form with the final thesis to the Presidency secretariat.
The written paper must be delivered (4 copies) to the secretariat about 40 days before the date set by the Faculty from time to time. It is therefore necessary to inform yourself in time and in person about the various deadlines set by the University.
The thesis must be requested at least one year before the presumed date of the end of the studies.
Until the thesis sheet is signed, the (non-formalized) commitment between teacher and candidate can be “terminated” by one of the parties, after due information to the interested party.
With the exception of particular agreements with the teacher, and only after valid and justified reasons, no jobs are accepted that after the delivery of the thesis sheet in the secretariat, are extended beyond one year of study course.
It is therefore necessary for the student to identify the type to be proposed to the teacher together with any area of interest on which to develop the work.
For the drafting of the work it is necessary to remember that the initial system agreed with the professor (a general outline), can be modified “in progress” after connection with the lecturer.
It is necessary to keep in mind that every research work requires numerous revisions by the teacher and therefore it is a good habit to be seen periodically by the speaker with the chapters of the thesis that gradually take shape in the course of our work; chapters that must be finished and complete with notes and bibliographical references.
In any case, the entire duration of the research work for the thesis must be agreed in advance with the teacher and respected, under penalty of revocation of the work assignment except for serious and justified reasons. (wrong to ask for the thesis and then let years go by … without being heard by the teacher any more).