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Writing a Thesis
This page provides practical guides to writing a thesis for beginners.

Coursework · Research Question · Outline · Oral Exam · Citation Styles · Dictionary · Resources

Hun Stamp TIME FRAME
First Year Second Year
Fall TermSurveying professorsRefining the research question
Data analysis & writing a draft
Advanced Seminar 2 (ch. 4 & 5)
English Thesis Writing 1
Winter TermSelecting the supervisorFinalizing the draft
Advanced Seminar 3 (ch. 3 & 6)
English Thesis Writing 2
Spring TermResearch question
Research plan
Advanced Seminar 1 (ch. 1 & 2)
Final revision (April)
Oral exam (May)
Final draft submission (Early June)
Graduation (Late June)
Summer VacationData collection with a research diary taken

* Research diary is a record of your research. See a sample

Hun Stamp Coursework Recommended [Faculty introduction PDF Icon]

Hun Stamp Sample Outline [Template 2003 MS Word Icon | 2007 MS Word Icon]

In the sample outline below, you may switch chapter 2 and 3 and, if necessary, skip discussion chapter. Also you may change chapter titles as you want.

  1. CHAPTER 1. Introduction
    • What is the public problem?
    • Why is the problem important and significant?
    • Which aspect of the problem do you want to study?
    • Scope and time-span of the research?
    • State clearly the research question that you want to answer. Be specific!
    • Provide a roadmap of your thesis
  2. CHAPTER 2. Background
    • Provide a description of the problem so that audience can understand the situation
    • Think about important factors that are closely related to the research question
    • Basic information about country, organization (government department/agency), or county/city/town of interest
    • This explanation should be consistent with Introduction
  3. CHAPTER 3. Literature Review
    • Review previous research that is directly related to the research question
    • Ask yourself, "Which model am I going to use?"
    • "Who already studied topics related to my research question?"
    • Include academic work rather than practical report or Internet resources
  4. CHAPTER 4. Data & Methods
    • Describe data: Where did you get? how they were collected? By whom?
    • How did you manipulate data?
    • Provide descriptive statistics of data you are using
    • What are dependent variables and independent variables?
    • Which method are you using? Describe the core logic of the method.
    • Provide your framework if you have
  5. CHAPTER 5. Analysis and Findings
    • Describe how well the model fits the data.
    • Interpret and explain the key findings
    • Summarize results you obtained from the analysis
  6. CHAPTER 6. Discussion
    • Discuss the results, in particular, surprising, strange, and/or conflicting results
    • Discuss how the results are related to literature review and background information
    • Discuss their implications for management and policy
    • You may make suggestions or recommendations
  7. CHAPTER 7. Conclusion
    • Summarize your main arguments, limitations of your research, and future study plans

Hun Stamp ORAL EXAM (PRESENTATION)
  • Prepare 20-30 minute presentation and adjust the number of slides properly. Sample Powerpoint Icon
  • Highlights your research question, data, method, and key findings.
  • Reviewers will ask questions after your presentation and then make decision.
  • After the oral exam, summarize comments, revise the draft accordingly, and email supervisor and examiner to show how their comments were reflected.
  • Oral Presentation Advice by Mark D. Hill
  • How to give a bad talk PDF Icon