Developing a Thesis Statement

Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement. In this section you’ll learn what a thesis statement is and how to write one.

Keep in mind that not all papers require thesis statements . If in doubt, please consult your instructor for assistance.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement . . .

  • Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic.
  • Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper.
  • Is focused and specific enough to be “proven” within the boundaries of your paper.
  • Is generally located near the end of the introduction ; sometimes, in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or in an entire paragraph.
  • Identifies the relationships between the pieces of evidence that you are using to support your argument.

Not all papers require thesis statements! Ask your instructor if you’re in doubt whether you need one.

Identify a topic

Your topic is the subject about which you will write. Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic; or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.

Consider what your assignment asks you to do

Inform yourself about your topic, focus on one aspect of your topic, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts, generate a topic from an assignment.

Below are some possible topics based on sample assignments.

Sample assignment 1

Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II.

Identified topic

Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis

This topic avoids generalities such as “Spain” and “World War II,” addressing instead on Franco’s role (a specific aspect of “Spain”) and the diplomatic relations between the Allies and Axis (a specific aspect of World War II).

Sample assignment 2

Analyze one of Homer’s epic similes in the Iliad.

The relationship between the portrayal of warfare and the epic simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64.

This topic focuses on a single simile and relates it to a single aspect of the Iliad ( warfare being a major theme in that work).

Developing a Thesis Statement–Additional information

Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic, or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper. You’ll want to read your assignment carefully, looking for key terms that you can use to focus your topic.

Sample assignment: Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II Key terms: analyze, Spain’s neutrality, World War II

After you’ve identified the key words in your topic, the next step is to read about them in several sources, or generate as much information as possible through an analysis of your topic. Obviously, the more material or knowledge you have, the more possibilities will be available for a strong argument. For the sample assignment above, you’ll want to look at books and articles on World War II in general, and Spain’s neutrality in particular.

As you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic. This means that you cannot include everything you’ve learned about your topic, nor should you go off in several directions. If you end up covering too many different aspects of a topic, your paper will sprawl and be unconvincing in its argument, and it most likely will not fulfull the assignment requirements.

For the sample assignment above, both Spain’s neutrality and World War II are topics far too broad to explore in a paper. You may instead decide to focus on Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis , which narrows down what aspects of Spain’s neutrality and World War II you want to discuss, as well as establishes a specific link between those two aspects.

Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts. Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.e., “eating disorders and body image among adolescent women”) or that simply are not important (i.e. “why I like ice cream”). These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported. A good thesis falls somewhere between the two extremes. To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times . Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Derive a main point from topic

Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be. This point, the “controlling idea,” becomes the core of your argument (thesis statement) and it is the unifying idea to which you will relate all your sub-theses. You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.

Look for patterns in your evidence

Compose a purpose statement.

Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement.

  • Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis
  • Franco turned to the Allies when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from the Axis

Possible conclusion:

Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: Franco’s desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power.

Purpose statement

This paper will analyze Franco’s diplomacy during World War II to see how it contributed to Spain’s neutrality.
  • The simile compares Simoisius to a tree, which is a peaceful, natural image.
  • The tree in the simile is chopped down to make wheels for a chariot, which is an object used in warfare.

At first, the simile seems to take the reader away from the world of warfare, but we end up back in that world by the end.

This paper will analyze the way the simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64 moves in and out of the world of warfare.

Derive purpose statement from topic

To find out what your “controlling idea” is, you have to examine and evaluate your evidence . As you consider your evidence, you may notice patterns emerging, data repeated in more than one source, or facts that favor one view more than another. These patterns or data may then lead you to some conclusions about your topic and suggest that you can successfully argue for one idea better than another.

For instance, you might find out that Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis, but when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from them, he turned to the Allies. As you read more about Franco’s decisions, you may conclude that Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: his desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power. Based on this conclusion, you can then write a trial thesis statement to help you decide what material belongs in your paper.

Sometimes you won’t be able to find a focus or identify your “spin” or specific argument immediately. Like some writers, you might begin with a purpose statement just to get yourself going. A purpose statement is one or more sentences that announce your topic and indicate the structure of the paper but do not state the conclusions you have drawn . Thus, you might begin with something like this:

  • This paper will look at modern language to see if it reflects male dominance or female oppression.
  • I plan to analyze anger and derision in offensive language to see if they represent a challenge of society’s authority.

At some point, you can turn a purpose statement into a thesis statement. As you think and write about your topic, you can restrict, clarify, and refine your argument, crafting your thesis statement to reflect your thinking.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Compose a draft thesis statement

If you are writing a paper that will have an argumentative thesis and are having trouble getting started, the techniques in the table below may help you develop a temporary or “working” thesis statement.

Begin with a purpose statement that you will later turn into a thesis statement.

Assignment: Discuss the history of the Reform Party and explain its influence on the 1990 presidential and Congressional election.

Purpose Statement: This paper briefly sketches the history of the grassroots, conservative, Perot-led Reform Party and analyzes how it influenced the economic and social ideologies of the two mainstream parties.


If your assignment asks a specific question(s), turn the question(s) into an assertion and give reasons why it is true or reasons for your opinion.

Assignment : What do Aylmer and Rappaccini have to be proud of? Why aren’t they satisfied with these things? How does pride, as demonstrated in “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” lead to unexpected problems?

Beginning thesis statement: Alymer and Rappaccinni are proud of their great knowledge; however, they are also very greedy and are driven to use their knowledge to alter some aspect of nature as a test of their ability. Evil results when they try to “play God.”

Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write.

Main idea: The reason some toys succeed in the market is that they appeal to the consumers’ sense of the ridiculous and their basic desire to laugh at themselves.

Make a list of the ideas that you want to include; consider the ideas and try to group them.

  • nature = peaceful
  • war matériel = violent (competes with 1?)
  • need for time and space to mourn the dead
  • war is inescapable (competes with 3?)

Use a formula to arrive at a working thesis statement (you will revise this later).

  • although most readers of _______ have argued that _______, closer examination shows that _______.
  • _______ uses _______ and _____ to prove that ________.
  • phenomenon x is a result of the combination of __________, __________, and _________.

What to keep in mind as you draft an initial thesis statement

Beginning statements obtained through the methods illustrated above can serve as a framework for planning or drafting your paper, but remember they’re not yet the specific, argumentative thesis you want for the final version of your paper. In fact, in its first stages, a thesis statement usually is ill-formed or rough and serves only as a planning tool.

As you write, you may discover evidence that does not fit your temporary or “working” thesis. Or you may reach deeper insights about your topic as you do more research, and you will find that your thesis statement has to be more complicated to match the evidence that you want to use.

You must be willing to reject or omit some evidence in order to keep your paper cohesive and your reader focused. Or you may have to revise your thesis to match the evidence and insights that you want to discuss. Read your draft carefully, noting the conclusions you have drawn and the major ideas which support or prove those conclusions. These will be the elements of your final thesis statement.

Sometimes you will not be able to identify these elements in your early drafts, but as you consider how your argument is developing and how your evidence supports your main idea, ask yourself, “ What is the main point that I want to prove/discuss? ” and “ How will I convince the reader that this is true? ” When you can answer these questions, then you can begin to refine the thesis statement.

Refine and polish the thesis statement

To get to your final thesis, you’ll need to refine your draft thesis so that it’s specific and arguable.

  • Ask if your draft thesis addresses the assignment
  • Question each part of your draft thesis
  • Clarify vague phrases and assertions
  • Investigate alternatives to your draft thesis

Consult the example below for suggestions on how to refine your draft thesis statement.

Sample Assignment

Choose an activity and define it as a symbol of American culture. Your essay should cause the reader to think critically about the society which produces and enjoys that activity.

  • Ask The phenomenon of drive-in facilities is an interesting symbol of american culture, and these facilities demonstrate significant characteristics of our society.This statement does not fulfill the assignment because it does not require the reader to think critically about society.
Drive-ins are an interesting symbol of American culture because they represent Americans’ significant creativity and business ingenuity.
Among the types of drive-in facilities familiar during the twentieth century, drive-in movie theaters best represent American creativity, not merely because they were the forerunner of later drive-ins and drive-throughs, but because of their impact on our culture: they changed our relationship to the automobile, changed the way people experienced movies, and changed movie-going into a family activity.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast-food establishments, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize America’s economic ingenuity, they also have affected our personal standards.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast- food restaurants, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize (1) Americans’ business ingenuity, they also have contributed (2) to an increasing homogenization of our culture, (3) a willingness to depersonalize relationships with others, and (4) a tendency to sacrifice quality for convenience.

This statement is now specific and fulfills all parts of the assignment. This version, like any good thesis, is not self-evident; its points, 1-4, will have to be proven with evidence in the body of the paper. The numbers in this statement indicate the order in which the points will be presented. Depending on the length of the paper, there could be one paragraph for each numbered item or there could be blocks of paragraph for even pages for each one.

Complete the final thesis statement

The bottom line.

As you move through the process of crafting a thesis, you’ll need to remember four things:

  • Context matters! Think about your course materials and lectures. Try to relate your thesis to the ideas your instructor is discussing.
  • As you go through the process described in this section, always keep your assignment in mind . You will be more successful when your thesis (and paper) responds to the assignment than if it argues a semi-related idea.
  • Your thesis statement should be precise, focused, and contestable ; it should predict the sub-theses or blocks of information that you will use to prove your argument.
  • Make sure that you keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Change your thesis as your paper evolves, because you do not want your thesis to promise more than your paper actually delivers.

In the beginning, the thesis statement was a tool to help you sharpen your focus, limit material and establish the paper’s purpose. When your paper is finished, however, the thesis statement becomes a tool for your reader. It tells the reader what you have learned about your topic and what evidence led you to your conclusion. It keeps the reader on track–well able to understand and appreciate your argument.

vocabulary for a thesis

Writing Process and Structure

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Getting Started with Your Paper

Interpreting Writing Assignments from Your Courses

Generating Ideas for

Creating an Argument

Thesis vs. Purpose Statements

Architecture of Arguments

Working with Sources

Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources

Using Literary Quotations

Citing Sources in Your Paper

Drafting Your Paper

Generating Ideas for Your Paper



Developing Strategic Transitions


Revising Your Paper

Peer Reviews

Reverse Outlines

Revising an Argumentative Paper

Revision Strategies for Longer Projects

Finishing Your Paper

Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist

How to Proofread your Paper

Writing Collaboratively

Collaborative and Group Writing

  • How it works

Glossary in a Dissertation – A Comprehensive Guide

Published by Owen Ingram at August 26th, 2021 , Revised On September 20, 2023

A list of glossary contains all those terms used in your dissertation, but the meanings of which may not be evident to the readers. Here is all you need to know about the glossary in a dissertation.

Basically, any term you use in your dissertation that you know, without a doubt, is not going to be common knowledge to readers outside of your field, is included in a list called glossary. And since every field has its unique, technical jargon, a glossary list can contain many terms some readers might not have even heard of before.

A typical glossary in a dissertation may look something like this:

glossary in a dissertation

Do you Even Need Glossary in your Dissertation to Begin with?

You may or may not be required to have a separate list of glossaries in your  dissertation . The decision whether to have a list of glossaries in a dissertation depends on whether it will improve the readability of your paper.

For example , if you are  writing a dissertation  for an engineering degree and have used several technical terms that readers—especially laymen—may not be familiar with, \ it is advised to add a glossary in a dissertation.

Listing Terms in a Glossary

A recommended practice of adding a glossary in a dissertation is to sort the terms alphabetically and provide a definition or explanations for each of those terms. Having the terms listed in alphabetical order will help the readers to easily locate the information they are interested in.

Location of a Glossary List in a Dissertation

The glossary list is generally placed at the beginning of the dissertation paper, just after the  list of tables and figures or the list of abbreviations.  However, if your paper does not have a list of abbreviations or a list of tables and figures, you can place the glossary right after the  table of contents .

This gives readers the opportunity to understand the meanings of key terms they are not familiar with even before they start to read the main content of the paper.

However, if you haven’t used a lot of technical terms in your dissertation, you can choose to provide an explanation and meanings of the few terms that you have used in the form of footnotes .

Difference Between Abbreviations and Glossary

It is important not to confuse the glossary in the dissertation with the abbreviations, which are put in the list of abbreviations.

A list of abbreviations contains all the terms that have abbreviations. For instance, if you have used terms like NASA , UNICEF , UNESCO , UN , NIH , etc., such terms along with what they stand for will come under the list of abbreviations.

Note, however, that only their full forms, and not their meanings, are mentioned in that list. That is what’s mentioned in a glossary list, though: meanings. Definitions of terms, terms that were used in the dissertation. The terms themselves aren’t abbreviation.

For instance, in a linguistics’ dissertation, you might end up creating a glossary list containing terms like phenomenology, code-switching, diglossia, etc. Notice how these are complete terms , not abbreviations.

Looking for dissertation help?

Researchprospect to the rescue then.

We have expert writers on our team who are skilled at helping students with quantitative dissertations across various disciplines. Guaranteeing 100% satisfaction!

vocabulary for a thesis

Example of a Glossary in Dissertation

If you haven’t created a list of glossaries before then you will find the below example of a glossary in a dissertation particularly useful:

example of glossary

Other Lists you can have in your Dissertation

You might also want to have a list of tables and figures as well as a list of abbreviations in your dissertation particularly if you are writing a master’s or PhD dissertation. However, make sure to keep the following order:

  • Table of contents
  • Lists of figures and tables
  • List of abbreviations

How Does ResearchProspect can Help

ResearchProspect is UK’s leading dissertation writing service. Our UK-qualified writers are hired following a strict recruitment process which helps us make sure that each of our writers is capable of delivering the quality guarantees we promise to our clients. Whether you need help with the whole dissertation or just a part of it , ResearchProspect can help.

Learn More About Our Dissertation Services

Place Your Order For Dissertation or Individual Chapters Now

FAQs About Glossary in a Dissertation

What is a glossary.

It’s a list of special terms—single words, phrases, etc.—that are not commonly known to the ‘average’ reader or to a reader who isn’t an expert in that field.

What is included in a glossary?

Ideally, words are included in a glossary. However, in some cases—depending on the topic— abbreviations , phrases etc. might also be mentioned within the list of glossary in a dissertation. Sometimes, it might also include a brief definition of how to pronounce a certain word/phrase.

What is the best way to create a glossary?

Keep in mind two things while creating a glossary list: keep the language of the definition simple so that every kind of reader can understand it. That’s why a glossary is given, to begin with, to simplify technical jargon and inform laymen. Secondly, arrange the terms inside it alphabetically.

How many times can I include the same term in a glossary list?

No matter how many times a word or a phrase appears in your dissertation , include it and define it only once in your glossary. There should be no duplicate entries in a glossary list.

You May Also Like

When writing your dissertation, an abstract serves as a deal maker or breaker. It can either motivate your readers to continue reading or discourage them.

This brief introductory section aims to deal with the definitions of two paradigms, positivism and post-positivism, as well as their importance in research.

A literature review is a survey of theses, articles, books and other academic sources. Here are guidelines on how to write dissertation literature review.





  • How It Works

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • Dissertation
  • What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples

What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples

Published on September 14, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on November 21, 2023.

A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master’s program or a capstone to a bachelor’s degree.

Writing a thesis can be a daunting experience. Other than a dissertation , it is one of the longest pieces of writing students typically complete. It relies on your ability to conduct research from start to finish: choosing a relevant topic , crafting a proposal , designing your research , collecting data , developing a robust analysis, drawing strong conclusions , and writing concisely .

Thesis template

You can also download our full thesis template in the format of your choice below. Our template includes a ready-made table of contents , as well as guidance for what each chapter should include. It’s easy to make it your own, and can help you get started.

Download Word template Download Google Docs template

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

Upload your document to correct all your mistakes in minutes


Table of contents

Thesis vs. thesis statement, how to structure a thesis, acknowledgements or preface, list of figures and tables, list of abbreviations, introduction, literature review, methodology, reference list, proofreading and editing, defending your thesis, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about theses.

You may have heard the word thesis as a standalone term or as a component of academic writing called a thesis statement . Keep in mind that these are two very different things.

  • A thesis statement is a very common component of an essay, particularly in the humanities. It usually comprises 1 or 2 sentences in the introduction of your essay , and should clearly and concisely summarize the central points of your academic essay .
  • A thesis is a long-form piece of academic writing, often taking more than a full semester to complete. It is generally a degree requirement for Master’s programs, and is also sometimes required to complete a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts colleges.
  • In the US, a dissertation is generally written as a final step toward obtaining a PhD.
  • In other countries (particularly the UK), a dissertation is generally written at the bachelor’s or master’s level.

Prevent plagiarism. Run a free check.

The final structure of your thesis depends on a variety of components, such as:

  • Your discipline
  • Your theoretical approach

Humanities theses are often structured more like a longer-form essay . Just like in an essay, you build an argument to support a central thesis.

In both hard and social sciences, theses typically include an introduction , literature review , methodology section ,  results section , discussion section , and conclusion section . These are each presented in their own dedicated section or chapter. In some cases, you might want to add an appendix .

Thesis examples

We’ve compiled a short list of thesis examples to help you get started.

  • Example thesis #1:   “Abolition, Africans, and Abstraction: the Influence of the ‘Noble Savage’ on British and French Antislavery Thought, 1787-1807” by Suchait Kahlon.
  • Example thesis #2: “’A Starving Man Helping Another Starving Man’: UNRRA, India, and the Genesis of Global Relief, 1943-1947″ by Julian Saint Reiman.

The very first page of your thesis contains all necessary identifying information, including:

  • Your full title
  • Your full name
  • Your department
  • Your institution and degree program
  • Your submission date.

Sometimes the title page also includes your student ID, the name of your supervisor, or the university’s logo. Check out your university’s guidelines if you’re not sure.

Read more about title pages

The acknowledgements section is usually optional. Its main point is to allow you to thank everyone who helped you in your thesis journey, such as supervisors, friends, or family. You can also choose to write a preface , but it’s typically one or the other, not both.

Read more about acknowledgements Read more about prefaces

Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting

Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:

  • Academic style
  • Vague sentences
  • Style consistency

See an example

vocabulary for a thesis

An abstract is a short summary of your thesis. Usually a maximum of 300 words long, it’s should include brief descriptions of your research objectives , methods, results, and conclusions. Though it may seem short, it introduces your work to your audience, serving as a first impression of your thesis.

Read more about abstracts

A table of contents lists all of your sections, plus their corresponding page numbers and subheadings if you have them. This helps your reader seamlessly navigate your document.

Your table of contents should include all the major parts of your thesis. In particular, don’t forget the the appendices. If you used heading styles, it’s easy to generate an automatic table Microsoft Word.

Read more about tables of contents

While not mandatory, if you used a lot of tables and/or figures, it’s nice to include a list of them to help guide your reader. It’s also easy to generate one of these in Word: just use the “Insert Caption” feature.

Read more about lists of figures and tables

If you have used a lot of industry- or field-specific abbreviations in your thesis, you should include them in an alphabetized list of abbreviations . This way, your readers can easily look up any meanings they aren’t familiar with.

Read more about lists of abbreviations

Relatedly, if you find yourself using a lot of very specialized or field-specific terms that may not be familiar to your reader, consider including a glossary . Alphabetize the terms you want to include with a brief definition.

Read more about glossaries

An introduction sets up the topic, purpose, and relevance of your thesis, as well as expectations for your reader. This should:

  • Ground your research topic , sharing any background information your reader may need
  • Define the scope of your work
  • Introduce any existing research on your topic, situating your work within a broader problem or debate
  • State your research question(s)
  • Outline (briefly) how the remainder of your work will proceed

In other words, your introduction should clearly and concisely show your reader the “what, why, and how” of your research.

Read more about introductions

A literature review helps you gain a robust understanding of any extant academic work on your topic, encompassing:

  • Selecting relevant sources
  • Determining the credibility of your sources
  • Critically evaluating each of your sources
  • Drawing connections between sources, including any themes, patterns, conflicts, or gaps

A literature review is not merely a summary of existing work. Rather, your literature review should ultimately lead to a clear justification for your own research, perhaps via:

  • Addressing a gap in the literature
  • Building on existing knowledge to draw new conclusions
  • Exploring a new theoretical or methodological approach
  • Introducing a new solution to an unresolved problem
  • Definitively advocating for one side of a theoretical debate

Read more about literature reviews

Theoretical framework

Your literature review can often form the basis for your theoretical framework, but these are not the same thing. A theoretical framework defines and analyzes the concepts and theories that your research hinges on.

Read more about theoretical frameworks

Your methodology chapter shows your reader how you conducted your research. It should be written clearly and methodically, easily allowing your reader to critically assess the credibility of your argument. Furthermore, your methods section should convince your reader that your method was the best way to answer your research question.

A methodology section should generally include:

  • Your overall approach ( quantitative vs. qualitative )
  • Your research methods (e.g., a longitudinal study )
  • Your data collection methods (e.g., interviews or a controlled experiment
  • Any tools or materials you used (e.g., computer software)
  • The data analysis methods you chose (e.g., statistical analysis , discourse analysis )
  • A strong, but not defensive justification of your methods

Read more about methodology sections

Your results section should highlight what your methodology discovered. These two sections work in tandem, but shouldn’t repeat each other. While your results section can include hypotheses or themes, don’t include any speculation or new arguments here.

Your results section should:

  • State each (relevant) result with any (relevant) descriptive statistics (e.g., mean , standard deviation ) and inferential statistics (e.g., test statistics , p values )
  • Explain how each result relates to the research question
  • Determine whether the hypothesis was supported

Additional data (like raw numbers or interview transcripts ) can be included as an appendix . You can include tables and figures, but only if they help the reader better understand your results.

Read more about results sections

Your discussion section is where you can interpret your results in detail. Did they meet your expectations? How well do they fit within the framework that you built? You can refer back to any relevant source material to situate your results within your field, but leave most of that analysis in your literature review.

For any unexpected results, offer explanations or alternative interpretations of your data.

Read more about discussion sections

Your thesis conclusion should concisely answer your main research question. It should leave your reader with an ultra-clear understanding of your central argument, and emphasize what your research specifically has contributed to your field.

Why does your research matter? What recommendations for future research do you have? Lastly, wrap up your work with any concluding remarks.

Read more about conclusions

In order to avoid plagiarism , don’t forget to include a full reference list at the end of your thesis, citing the sources that you used. Choose one citation style and follow it consistently throughout your thesis, taking note of the formatting requirements of each style.

Which style you choose is often set by your department or your field, but common styles include MLA , Chicago , and APA.

Create APA citations Create MLA citations

In order to stay clear and concise, your thesis should include the most essential information needed to answer your research question. However, chances are you have many contributing documents, like interview transcripts or survey questions . These can be added as appendices , to save space in the main body.

Read more about appendices

Once you’re done writing, the next part of your editing process begins. Leave plenty of time for proofreading and editing prior to submission. Nothing looks worse than grammar mistakes or sloppy spelling errors!

Consider using a professional thesis editing service or grammar checker to make sure your final project is perfect.

Once you’ve submitted your final product, it’s common practice to have a thesis defense, an oral component of your finished work. This is scheduled by your advisor or committee, and usually entails a presentation and Q&A session.

After your defense , your committee will meet to determine if you deserve any departmental honors or accolades. However, keep in mind that defenses are usually just a formality. If there are any serious issues with your work, these should be resolved with your advisor way before a defense.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

Research bias

  • Survivorship bias
  • Self-serving bias
  • Availability heuristic
  • Halo effect
  • Hindsight bias
  • Deep learning
  • Generative AI
  • Machine learning
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Supervised vs. unsupervised learning

 (AI) Tools

  • Grammar Checker
  • Paraphrasing Tool
  • Text Summarizer
  • AI Detector
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Citation Generator

The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5–7% of your overall word count.

If you only used a few abbreviations in your thesis or dissertation , you don’t necessarily need to include a list of abbreviations .

If your abbreviations are numerous, or if you think they won’t be known to your audience, it’s never a bad idea to add one. They can also improve readability, minimizing confusion about abbreviations unfamiliar to your reader.

When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .

A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.

Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation , such as:

  • Your anticipated title
  • Your abstract
  • Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review , research methods , avenues for future research, etc.)

A thesis is typically written by students finishing up a bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Some educational institutions, particularly in the liberal arts, have mandatory theses, but they are often not mandatory to graduate from bachelor’s degrees. It is more common for a thesis to be a graduation requirement from a Master’s degree.

Even if not mandatory, you may want to consider writing a thesis if you:

  • Plan to attend graduate school soon
  • Have a particular topic you’d like to study more in-depth
  • Are considering a career in research
  • Would like a capstone experience to tie up your academic experience

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

George, T. (2023, November 21). What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from

Is this article helpful?

Tegan George

Tegan George

Other students also liked, dissertation & thesis outline | example & free templates, writing strong research questions | criteria & examples, 10 research question examples to guide your research project, what is your plagiarism score.

  • Affiliate Program


  • 台灣 (TAIWAN)
  • Academic Editing Services
  • - Research Paper
  • - Journal Manuscript
  • - Dissertation
  • - College & University Assignments
  • Admissions Editing Services
  • - Application Essay
  • - Personal Statement
  • - Recommendation Letter
  • - Cover Letter
  • - CV/Resume
  • Business Editing Services
  • - Business Documents
  • - Report & Brochure
  • - Website & Blog
  • Writer Editing Services
  • - Script & Screenplay
  • Our Editors
  • Client Reviews
  • Editing & Proofreading Prices
  • Wordvice Points
  • Partner Discount
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • APA Citation Generator
  • MLA Citation Generator
  • Chicago Citation Generator
  • Vancouver Citation Generator
  • - APA Style
  • - MLA Style
  • - Chicago Style
  • - Vancouver Style
  • Writing & Editing Guide
  • Academic Resources
  • Admissions Resources

Useful Research Words and Phrases for All Sections

vocabulary for a thesis

What are the best research words and phrases to use in a paper?

If you are a graduate student, researcher, and/or professor, you already know that composing academic documents can be a frustrating and time-consuming undertaking. In addition to including all the necessary study content, you must also present it in the right order and convey the required information using the proper institutional language. Deciding exactly which language to put in which section can get confusing as you constantly question your choice of phrasing: “ Does the Results section require this kind of explanation? Should I introduce my research with a comparison or with background research? How do I even begin the Discussion section? ”

To help you choose the  right  word for the  right  purpose,  Wordvice  has created a handy academic writing “cheat sheet” with ready-made formulaic expressions for all major sections of a research paper ( Introduction, Literature Review, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion ) and for reaching different objectives within each section.

This downloadable  quick-reference guide  contains common phrases used in academic papers, a sample journal submission cover letter, and a template rebuttal letter to be modified and used in case of receipt of a letter from the journal editor.

Each section includes annotations explaining the purposes of the expressions and a summary of essential information so that you can easily find the language your are looking for whenever you need to apply it to your paper. Using this quick reference will help you write more complete and appropriate phrases in your research writing and correspondence with journal editors.

Reference Guide Content

1. common research paper phrases (listed by manuscript section).

common research paper phrases by section

  • Gathered from hundreds of thousands of published manuscripts, these frequently used key sentences and phrases are tailored to what each section of your paper should accomplish.
  • From the abstract to the conclusion, each section is tied together by a logical structure and flow of information.
  • Refer to this index when you are unsure of the correct phrases to use (in your paper/article, dissertation, or thesis) or if you are a non-native speaker and are seeking phrasing that is both natural in tone and official in form.

2. Acade mic Search Tools Index

online journal search tools

  • The search tools index is a concise compilation of some of the best academic research search tools and databases available that contain information about paper composition and relevant journals.
  • Locate the sites and tools most useful for your needs using our summary of site content and features.

3. Sample Journal Submission Cover Letter with Formal Expressions

journal submission cover letter sample

The  cover letter  is an essential part of the journal submission process, yet a great many researchers struggle with how to compose their cover letters to journal editors in a way that will effectively introduce their study and spur editors to read and consider their manuscript.

This sample cover letter not only provides an exemplary model of what a strong cover letter should look like but includes template language authors can apply directly to their own cover letters. By applying the formal language of the cover letter to the particular details of a particular study, the letter helps authors build a strong opening case for journals to consider accepting their manuscripts for publication.

4. Rebuttal Letter Template

The  rebuttal letter  is written as a response to previously received correspondence from journal editors that can take the form of a rejection, deferment, or request letter, which often requests changes, additions, or omission of content or augmentation of formatting in the manuscript. The rebuttal letter is therefore usually an author’s last chance to get their manuscript published in a given journal, and the language they use must convince the editor that an author’s manuscript is ready (or will be ready) for publication in their journal. It must therefore contain a precise rationale and explanation to accomplish this goal.

As with the journal submission cover letter, knowing exactly what to include in this letter and how to compose it can be difficult. One must be persuasive without being pushy; formal but yet candid and frank. This template rebuttal letter is constructed to help authors navigate these issues and respond to authors with confidence that they have done everything possible to get their manuscript published in the journal to which they have submitted.

5. Useful Phrases for the Journal Submission Cover Letter/Rebuttal Letter

journal rebuttal letter template

As with research papers, there are usually dozens of options for how to phrase the language in letters to journal editors. This section suggests several of the most common phrases that authors use to express their objectives and persuade editors to publish their journals. And as with the section on “Common Research Paper Phrases,” you will find here that each phrase is listed under a heading that indicates its objective so that authors know when and where to apply these expressions.

Use this reference guide as another resource in your toolkit to make the research paper writing and journal submission processes a bit easier. And remember that there are many excellent resources out there if you require additional assistance.

Wordvice ‘s academic English editing services include paper editing services , dissertation editing services , and thesis editing services that are specifically tailored to help researchers polish their papers to get the very most out of their research writing. Visit our  Resources  pages for great articles and videos on academic writing and journal submission.

Wordvice Resources

A guide to paraphrasing in research papers, 100+ strong verbs that will make your research writing amazing , how to compose a journal submission cover letter, how to write the best journal submission cover letter,  related resources,   40 useful words and phrases for top-notch essays, “essential academic writing words and phrases”  (my english, “academic vocabulary, useful phrases for academic writing and research paper writing”  (research gate).

School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies Te Kura Tātari Reo

Vocabulary research topics, vocabulary research topics for assignment, project, or thesis work.

These suggestions are organised according to the chapters and sections of the chapters in Learning Vocabulary in another Language .

Chapter 1: The goals of vocabulary learning

  • Analyse a technical dictionary to see how many words it contains, and what types of words it contains. Compare the results with a corpus study.
  • Examine the vocabulary load of your learners' textbooks.
  • Develop a procedure for quickly assessing the coverage of high frequency words in text books.
  • Make a replacement for the GSL.
  • Prepare a low frequency word list taking account of range.
  • Prepare a standardised graded reader list dividing the most frequent 3,000 word families into levels.
  • Use the Range program to develop a high frequency word list for spoken language.

Chapter 2: Knowing a word

  • Design a test to investigate the degree to which learners of English have control of important spelling rules.
  • Investigate the qualitative differences between receptive and productive vocabulary knowledge.
  • Classify and test proper nouns to see what categories can be assumed to provide minimal learning burden when looking at the vocabulary load of texts.

Chapter 3: Teaching and explaining vocabulary

  • Thoroughly examine learners using a particular type of activity to see if the process examination (goals, conditions, signs and features) is confirmed by a product examination (measured learning outcomes).
  • Experimentally test the differing effects of noticing, retrieving, and generating.
  • Replicate Joe's (1998) study of the differing effects of differing degrees of generating.
  • What unique information do different techniques add to word knowledge? What common information do they add?
  • When is the best time for direct teaching to occur in the learning of a word - before or after gaining meaning focused experience?
  • The forms and occurrences of definitions. The work on the different kinds of definition seems to have been thoroughly done, but it has focused only on limited areas of academic discourse. Bramki and Williams (1984) only looked at one writer's use of lexical familiarisation devices. Flowerdew (1992) looked at Biology and Chemistry lectures. There is scope for widening the data base.
  • The effects of definition types on comprehension and learning. Is there a relationship between the different types of definitions as revealed in the corpus studies of Bramki and Williams (1984) and Flowerdew (1992) and learners' understanding of these definitions and learning from them? There are no studies of second language learners' skill in recognising these definitions let alone the understanding that comes from them.
  • As well as looking at the effect of definitions, it would be useful to examine learners' skill. What range of skill do learners show in dealing with definitions? What aspects of the skill need attention? What diagnostic tests are most effective in showing degree of control of the skill? What kinds of training are effective in developing the skill?
  • Write a comparative review of several CAVL programs.
  • Use a CAVL program to evaluate the effect on learning of meeting the same item in different contexts.
  • Determine the factors influencing incidental vocabulary learning by using a message focused computer game.

Chapter 4: Vocabulary and listening and speaking

  • Compare the effects of types of defining (L1 or L2) on vocabulary learning while listening to a story.
  • Look at the incidence of academic vocabulary in university lectures. Is it as common as in written academic texts? Do lectures contain other sources of vocabulary difficulty, for example through the use of examples?
  • How does learners' focus of attention change as a text is listened to several times? Where does vocabulary fit in this range of focuses of attention?
  • Does adding a role play feature to a task result in more generative use? That is, does it cause more changes to the written input?
  • Analyse examples of semantic mapping to show the ways teachers use to encourage dialogue and participation. Make an observation checklist to grade semantic mapping performances.
  • Do a corpus study to find the vocabulary which is much more frequent in certain spoken registers than it is in written registers.

Chapter 5: Vocabulary and reading and writing

  • Do different kinds of learning occur from reading compared with learning from different kinds of exercises?
  • Is the Lexical Frequency Profile of a text an effective measure of the readability of the text for ESL learners?
  • Evaluate and investigate a reading based vocabulary activity for its effect on vocabulary learning and use.
  • Honeyfield (1977) claims that simplified reading texts distort normal language use. Research this claim looking at a range of language use features including collocation and information density.
  • Do simplified, elaborated and easified texts have similar effects on comprehension and vocabulary learning?
  • How can vocabulary learning from graded readers be optimized?
  • Experimentally test writing tasks to see what needs to occur to quickly enrich learners' written productive vocabulary.
  • Test the effect of richness of vocabulary use on teachers' assessment of ESL learners' writing.
  • Design and trial a checklist to guide teachers' response to vocabulary use in writing.

Chapter 6: Specialised uses of vocabulary

  • What are the general discourse functions of academic vocabulary. For example, it may be interesting to take an academic function, like defining or referring to previous research, and see what role academic vocabulary plays in this.
  • Do particular academic words behave differently in different subject areas? That is, does their meaning change? Do they have different collocates? This research would confirm or question the value of courses for academic purposes for students from a variety of disciplines, and would suggest how attention could be most usefully directed towards academic vocabulary.
  • How much is the academic vocabulary parallelled by high frequency words. That is, is the academic vocabulary just a more formal version of part of the most frequent 2,000 words, or does it add new meanings?
  • Compare several experimental reports to see if the same academic vocabulary occurs in the same parts of the reports. For example, do the method sections use a similar set of vocabulary which is different from the results section?
  • Look at learners' written work to see what vocabulary discourse features are not properly used.

Chapter 7: Vocabulary learning strategies and guessing from context

  • Are some vocabulary learning strategies superior to others?
  • Develop a taxonomy for evaluating strategy use that considers both type of strategies used and the quality of their use.
  • Evaluate the validity of a questionnaire approach to investigating strategy use.
  • Experimentally check Haastrup's idea that bottom up guessing results in more vocabulary learning than top down guessing which works from a lot of background knowledge.
  • What aspects of word knowledge are learned by guessing from context?
  • What difficulties do homographs cause for guessing from context.? That is, is it harder to guess a new meaning for a familiar form that already has a different associated meaning?

Chapter 8: Word study strategies

  • Devise a test of receptive knowledge of important derivational affixes for non-native speakers of English. Carroll's (1940) format could be a useful model. Make sure the test is reliable, valid and practical and would have a positive washback effect.
  • Examine learners' written work to determine if complex words are deliberately avoided.
  • Design an experiment to see what aspects of vocabulary knowledge are learned by dictionary use.
  • Design and check a diagnostic test of learners' dictionary use skills.
  • What additional information is provided by a sentence context?
  • How well does direct learning transfer to normal language use?
  • What is the effect of training on improving learning from word cards?

Chapter 9: Chunking and collocation

  • Develop a list of frequent collocations using well defined and carefully described criteria.
  • Look for evidence of unanalysed chunks in the language production of native speakers and non-native speakers.

Chapter 10: Testing

  • Get learners to sit a yes/no test and then go through their wrong answers on non-words to examine the reasons why they said they knew the non-words (Paul, Stallman and O'Rourke, 1990).
  • Compare multiple choice items containing L1 choices with items containing L2 choices.
  • Devise a well based measure of total vocabulary size for non-native speakers.
  • Measure the pattern of native speaker and ESL non-native speaker vocabulary growth.

Chapter 11: Designing the vocabulary component of a language course

  • Design a needs analysis questionnaire to determine vocabulary needs outside the high frequency general service vocabulary.
  • Design an evaluation form for evaluating the vocabulary component of a course.
  • Develop a program for helping learners become autonomous vocabulary learners. Justify your decisions.
  • Develop means of investigating the degree to which learners are autonomous in their vocabulary learning.

Training videos   |   Faqs

Ref-n-Write: Scientific Research Paper Writing Software

Academic Phrases for Writing Results & Discussion Sections of a Research Paper

Overview |   Abstract   | Introduction | Literature Review | Materials & Methods | Results & Discussion | Conclusion & Future Work | Acknowledgements & Appendix

The results and discussion sections are one of the challenging sections to write. It is important to plan this section carefully as it may contain a large amount of scientific data that needs to be presented in a clear and concise fashion. The purpose of a Results section is to present the key results of your research. Results and discussions can either be combined into one section or organized as separate sections depending on the requirements of the journal to which you are submitting your research paper. Use subsections and subheadings to improve readability and clarity. Number all tables and figures with descriptive titles. Present your results as figures and tables and point the reader to relevant items while discussing the results. This section should highlight significant or interesting findings along with P values for statistical tests. Be sure to include negative results and highlight potential limitations of the paper. You will be criticised by the reviewers if you don’t discuss the shortcomings of your research. This often makes up for a great discussion section, so do not be afraid to highlight them.

The results and discussion section of your research paper should include the following:

  • Comparison with prior studies
  • Limitations of your work
  • Casual arguments
  • Speculations
  • Deductive arguments

1. Findings

From the short review above, key findings emerge: __ We describe the results of __, which show __ This suggests that __ We showed that __ Our findings on __ at least hint that __ This is an important finding in the understanding of the __ The present study confirmed the findings about __ Another promising finding was that __ Our results demonstrated that __ This result highlights that little is known about the __ A further novel finding is that __ Together, the present findings confirm __ The implications of these findings are discussed in __ The results demonstrate two things.  First, __. Second,  __ The results of the experiment found clear support for the __ This analysis found evidence for __ Planned comparisons revealed that __ Our results casts a new light on __ This section summarises the findings and contributions made. It performs well, giving good results. This gives clearly better results than __ The results confirm that this a good choice for __ From the results, it is clear that __ In this section, we will illustrate some experimental results. This delivers significantly better results due to __ The result now provides evidence to __ It leads to good results, even if the improvement is negligible. This yields increasingly good results on data. The result of this analysis is then compared with the  __ The applicability of these new results are then tested on __ This is important to correctly interpret the results. The results are substantially better than __ The results lead to similar conclusion where __ Superior results are seen for __ From these results it is clear that __ Extensive results carried out show that this method improves __ We obtain good results with this simple method. However, even better results are achieved when using our algorithm. It is worth discussing these interesting facts revealed by the results of  __ Overall, our method was the one that obtained the most robust results. Slightly superior results are achieved with our algorithm. The result is equal to or better than a result that is currently accepted.

2. Comparison with prior studies

The results demonstrated in this chapter match state of the art methods. Here we compare the results of the proposed method with those of the traditional methods. These results go beyond previous reports, showing that __ In line with previous studies __ This result ties well with previous studies wherein __ Contrary to the findings of __ we did not find __ They have demonstrated that __ Others have shown that __ improves __ By comparing the results from __, we hope to determine __ However, in line with the ideas of __, it can be concluded that __ When comparing our results to those of older studies, it must be pointed out that __ We have verified that using __ produces similar results Overall these findings are in accordance with findings reported by __ Even though we did not replicate the previously reported __, our results suggest that __ A similar conclusion was reached by __ However, when comparing our results to those of older studies, it must be pointed out __ This is consistent with what has been found in previous __ A similar pattern of results was obtained in __ The findings are directly in line with previous findings These basic findings are consistent with research showing that __ Other results were broadly in line with __

3. Limitations of your work

Because of the lack of __ we decided to not investigate __ One concern about the findings of __ was that __ Because of this potential limitation, we treat __ The limitations of the present studies naturally include __ Regarding the limitations of __, it could be argued that __ Another limitation of this __ This limitation is apparent in many __ Another limitation in __ involves the issue of __ The main limitation is the lack of __ One limitation is found in this case. One limitation of these methods however is that they __ It presents some limitations such as __ Although widely accepted, it suffers from some limitations due to __ An apparent limitation of the method is __ There are several limitations to this approach. One limitation of our implementation is that it is __ A major source of limitation is due to  __ The approach utilised suffers from the limitation that __ The limitations are becoming clear __ It suffers from the same limitations associated with a __

4. Casual arguments

A popular explanation of __ is that __ It is by now generally accepted that __ A popular explanation is that __ As it is not generally agreed that __ These are very small and difficult to observe. It is important to highlight the fact that __ It is notable that __ An important question associated with __ is __ This did not impair the __ This is important because there is __ This implies that __ is associated with __ This is indicative for lack of __ This will not be biased by __ There were also some important differences in __ It is interesting to note that, __ It is unlikely that __ This may alter or improve aspects of __ In contrast, this makes it possible to __ This is particularly important when investigating __ This has been used to successfully account for __ This introduces a possible confound in __ This was included to verify that __

5. Speculations

However, we acknowledge that there are considerable discussions among researchers as to __ We speculate that this might be due to __ There are reasons to doubt this explanation of __ It remains unclear to which degree __ are attributed to __ However, __ does seem to improve __ This does seem to depend on __ It is important to note, that the present evidence relies on __ The results show that __ does not seem to impact the __ However, the extent to which it is possible to __ is unknown Alternatively, it could simply mean that __ It is difficult to explain such results within the context of __ It is unclear whether this is a suitable for __ This appears to be a case of __ From this standpoint, __ can be considered as __ To date, __remain unknown Under certain assumptions, this can be construed as __ Because of this potential limitation, we treat __ In addition, several questions remain unanswered. At this stage of understanding, we believe__ Therefore, it remains unclear whether __ This may explain why __

6. Deductive arguments

A difference between these __ can only be attributable to __ Nonetheless, we believe that it is well justified to __ This may raise concerns about __ which can be addressed by __ As discussed, this is due to the fact that __ Results demonstrate that this is not necessarily true. These findings support the notion that __ is not influenced by __ This may be the reason why we did not find __ In order to test whether this is equivalent across __, we __ Therefore, __ can be considered to be equivalent for __

Similar Posts

How to Write a Research Paper? A Beginners Guide with Useful Academic Phrases

How to Write a Research Paper? A Beginners Guide with Useful Academic Phrases

This blog explains how to write a research paper and provides writing ideas in the form of academic phrases.

Academic Phrases for Writing Introduction Section of a Research Paper

Academic Phrases for Writing Introduction Section of a Research Paper

In this blog, we discuss phrases related to introduction section such as opening statement, problem definition and research aims.

Academic Phrases for Writing Methods Section of a Research Paper

Academic Phrases for Writing Methods Section of a Research Paper

In this blog, we discuss phrases related to materials and methods such as experimental setup, data collection & analysis, and statistical testing.

Academic Phrases for Writing Abstract Section of a Research Paper

Academic Phrases for Writing Abstract Section of a Research Paper

In this blog, we discuss phrases related to the abstract section. An abstract is a self-contained and short synopsis that describes a larger work.

Useful Phrases and Sentences for Academic & Research Paper Writing

Useful Phrases and Sentences for Academic & Research Paper Writing

In this blog, we explain various sections of a research paper and give you an overview of what these sections should contain.

Academic Writing Resources – Academic PhraseBank | Academic Vocabulary & Word Lists

Academic Writing Resources – Academic PhraseBank | Academic Vocabulary & Word Lists

In this blog, we review various academic writing resources such as academic phrasebank, academic wordlists, academic vocabulary training sites.


Awesome vocab given, I am really thankful. keep it up!

Why didn’t I find this earlier? Thank you very much! Bless your soul!

thank you!! very useful!!!

Thank you, thank you thank you!!

I’m currently writing up my PhD thesis and as a non-native English speaker, I find this site extremely useful. Thanks for making it!

Very ve4y resourceful..well done Sam

Plesse add me to your mailing list Email: [email protected]

Hi, would like to clarify if that is “casual” or “causal”? Thanks!

Thanx for this. so helpful!

Very helpful. Thanks

thank you so much

  • Pingback: Scholarly Paraphrasing Tool and Essay Rewriter for Rewording Academic Papers - Ref-N-Write: Scientific Research Paper Writing Software Tool - Improve Academic English Writing Skills


thank you very much

wow thanks for the help!!

Quite interesting! Thanks a lot!

This is ammmaazzinggg, too bad im in my last year of university this is very handy!!!

Extremely Useful. Thank-you so much.

This is an excellent collection of phrases for effective writing

Thank you so much, it has been helpful.

I found it extremely important!!!

It is a precise, brief and important guides;

It is a very important which gives a guide;

It is a very important guiding explanation for writing result and discussion;

It is a very important guiding academic phrases for writing;

thank you so much.I was in need of this.

  • Pingback: Research Paper Structure – Main Sections and Parts of a Research Paper

Thank you so much!!! They are so helpful!

thank its very important.

This is timely, I needed it. Thanks

This is very helpful. Thanks.

You saved my Bachoelor thesis! Huge thanks

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

  • 90 Share Facebook
  • 66 Share Twitter
  • 52 Share LinkedIn
  • 99 Share Email

vocabulary for a thesis

Thesis Helpers

vocabulary for a thesis

Find the best tips and advice to improve your writing. Or, have a top expert write your paper.

Academic Vocabulary: Words And Phrases To Use In Your Papers

academic vocabulary

Vocabulary, as a whole, is known as a collection of words that can be used in a similar context or not. English vocabulary is one of the most difficult aspects to tackle in English especially for second language speakers or learners. Based on where the language is to be used, there are different types of vocabulary that a person may need to know.

One of such types is the academic vocabulary. What is academic vocabulary, its types, uses, examples, and how it is taught? We would look into all that pertains to academic vocabulary as we go on.

What Is Academic Vocabulary?

Academic words help build the students’ knowledge of a particular subject or domain. It gives the necessary skills to digest and reproduce the knowledge they have. Academic vocabulary words are used in spoken and written contexts. In teaching academic vocabulary, there are academic writing words and spoken words. Other than this broad classification, academic vocabulary consists of two major types.

Types Of Academic Vocabulary

Academic vocabulary can be divided into two types. They are:

General academic vocabulary consists of words that are commonly used in the academic context. While some are more general than others, some general academic words set the tone of the writing or speech to show it is formal or academic writing. For instance, in a phrase like ‘the aim of this report is to…’ the words, aim, and report are general academic words. While the other words in the phrase like this, the, and to are just more general words used in an academic context. Words used in academic contexts to link other words are known as academic transition words. These words are more general than others.

These words are essential academic vocabulary. These words are peculiar to a particular field and will only be understood in their context. There are various subject-specific academic vocabulary lists. For example, inertia (used in physics), photosynthesis (used in biology), externalities (used in economics).

Over time, teachers of languages especially the English language have complied lists of words used in academic context by levels of grade. Students can learn academic vocabulary by grade level. They can use a daily academic vocabulary online to learn more about these words.

Academic Vocabulary Lists

In a bid to help students learn the words in an academic context, various resources have been provided by teachers. Most of these resources are vocabulary lists that students can visit to update their knowledge of these words. Some of these resources provide the meaning and usage of the words in context while in others, you will have to find that out on your own.

Note that these lists are by no means complete, you will have to do personal deeper research to proclaim a sound knowledge of academic vocabulary.

One of the popular compilations is the Academic Word List (AWL). You can use this resource to build your academic vocabulary for the written context. The AWL Highlighter will also help you study the definitions, pronunciation, sentence examples of the words and the appropriate usage of the words in context. The New Academic Word List (NAWL) is a similar, updated list which can also be used. For Academic English, you can use lists like the Academic Collocation List (ACL) and the Academic Formulas List (AFL). The ACL consists of collocations used in written contexts in English academic texts. AFL consists of formulaic sequences that can be used in English academic writings. There are also special academic lists created for various courses of study. Users can use them to learn words related to their field. The Economics Academic Word List (EAWL) is one such list and it also has an EAWL Highlighter that can be used to understand the words.

Examples Of Academic Vocabulary By Grade Level

An academic vocabulary list by grade level can be used to teach students at different levels of technical and general words that they can use to excel in academic contexts whether in writing or speech. There are various examples of academic vocabulary on each level. This is very basic, but it might give you a better idea of what to expect if you are, for example, working on English dissertation writing . You can also use some of the examples below to gauge the level at which your students need to start expanding their knowledge of academic words. To be on the safe side, you can consult professional writers, who will answer all the questions you may have.

Grade 1 : odd, minus, equal, noun, city Grade 2 : fiction, prey, behavior, pound, graph Grade 3 : agriculture, economy, perimeter, glossary, multiple Grade 4 : bay, preface, sediment, evidence, stationary Grade 5 : compromise, religion, slavery, conjunction, onomatopoeia Grade 6 : appositive, propaganda, membrane, mutualism, niche Grade 7 : patterns, density, temperature, maneuver, immigration Grade 8 : elaboration, techniques, dependency, examination, hygiene Grade 9 : conservation, allegory, implicit, democracy, campaigning Grade 10-12 : naturalization, jurisdiction, synthetic, aesthetic, ballad

Academic vocabulary is important to learning especially when learning any language as a second language. Second language users of English have adequate resources to make learning academic words in English easy. Based on your grade level, you can dive into the meaning and use of words in an academic context.

Need Help Writing Your Thesis?

You might still feel your knowledge of English academic vocabulary is not up to standards. That is totally fine! You might feel that your papers or thesis need to sound smarter and more academic. Well, there is always our custom thesis writing service that provides high quality expert help. Any teacher or professor will absolutely love our work, and most of all it is all very secure. We uphold security and privacy standards at the highest standard. Enjoy a stress free academic life while our writers work on your thesis.

literary research paper topics

Make PhD experience your own

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What Words To Use To Make Your Thesis Look Better Now

Published by positive words research on december 12, 2018 december 12, 2018.

Thesis writing remains an integral part of academia even in the unforeseeable future. It is a test of expertise, excellence, knowledge ,experience and skills in postgraduate studies. The big question is whether you’re doing it right or writing thesis help will put all your worries behind.

The truth is that students exhibit wide-ranging skill levels when it comes to academic literary composition. But ,when it comes to doing a thesis paper, there is no one’s way of going about it one shoe fits all approach. A student must, therefore, follow set rules ,procedures and guidelines when writing this important paper. It is the epitome of earning a Master’s degree of PhD depending on a country’s academic system.

Choice of Words

Moreover, writing a thesis paper isn’t going to be easy unless you choose the right words for it. And, while there could be variations depending on a topic, it is imperative to note that certain phrases and words denote universal practices at this level of academic writing. You wouldn’t want to sound amateurish, would you? Well, no one would, especially given the significance and weight of this type of paper, not to mention the seriousness that goes into crafting it.

Now, let’s take a look at some example, particularly, words that will make your thesis look better.

  • Whether you want to indicate the purpose of your study or explain how original pieces of work have helped you arrived at the present project, the following phrases/words always fit the bill for introduction or description:
  • This study investigates….
  • This paper explores…
  • This research aims to address ….
  • The paper discuses …
  • This project presents…
  • The paper outlines (surveys, features, highlights, questions…)

2. For analytical purposes, words like this paper/study considers , analyzes, explains, evaluates, interprets, clarifies, identifies, delves into, advances, defines, dissects, probes, tests , explores and appraises have always worked wonders in helping students better their thesis writing. And when referring to sections, use words like covers, deals with, talks about, outlines, sketches, highlights, assesses or contemplates.

3. Descriptive elements of research finding analysis often employ words like

Findings/study/investigation calls into question, challenges, refutes, rebuts, disputes, disproves, questions, debunks, invalidates or rejects.

4. When it comes to giving background of a study, especially after going everywhere possible looking for information to backup your write-up, make it known in your thesis using the right words such as the following:

  • The mechanism/subject plays a significant/vital/important role (this is the conventional way of doing it).
  • Alternative phrases include the subject influences, regulates, directs, governs, inhibits, controls or constraints. The 5Ws apply here and by taking the normalized verb and making it the main verb, your sentences will sound scholastic.
  • When describing say theory Y and how it impacts your study, you can use words like ‘much attention has been drawn to…,’ ‘theory Y has become important in recent times…,’ the preferred theory to explain, widely accepted, frequently implemented, a common/prevailing method of explaining…. xyz …’

5. When consenting to an agreement that has been arrived at regarding your study topic, you can use the following words:

  • The agreement/consensus has been that…,
  • Initial/prior studies/research confirms that…,
  • Several studies confirm/agree…,
  • Some studies substantiate this belief…

6. When discussing findings and expressing the depth/breadth of a study/knowledgebase, the following phrases will make your thesis excellent:

  • Previous studies/researches indicate…
  • ….have documented
  • …have shown that…
  • Have demonstrated…
  • …much/little is known about xyz….

7. Finally, even if you choose to use paper writing pros , the following words for discussing results/findings, observations, methods and impact of a study are important.

  • Suggests, show, extrapolate, surmise, deduce, extract, approximate, evidence, surfaced, yielded, generated, perceived, detected…(for explaining results)
  • The research/y-method performed, used, employed, diffused, relayed, administered, applied, replicated, imitated…  (Discussing methods)
  • Study xyz demonstrates/shows, proves, establishes, offers, introduces, illustrates, attributes, ushers in, promotes, reveals, unveils, exposes, unearths, proffers, conveys, advances or strengthens. (For describing impact).

Positive Words Research – What Words To Use To Make Your Thesis Look Better?

What words to use to make your thesis look better

Related Posts

Good words: elevating communication with positivity and meaning, inspiring ways to teach your kid sight words.

Memorizing sight words is an important step in learning to read. From a child’s youngest years, parents and caregivers can help by introducing simple images with accompanying words. Toddlers love pointing to pictures of familiar Read more…

Positive Words Describing the Holy Spirit from A to Z List

Positive Words Research proudly presents its most recent research on positive words. Please find below a list of positive words describing the Holy Spirit from A to Z. This list also answers the question: What Read more…

Career: Pathways to Professional Growth with Positivity

How to change your occupation to professional translator.

Many future translators start preparing for their jobs while being toddlers. Those who weren’t lucky enough to be born in bilingual families will need to spend years learning a foreign language. Some do this sustained Read more…


  1. Thesis Writing Format with Example and Rules

    vocabulary for a thesis

  2. 💣 Thesis starter words. What Words To Use To Make Your Thesis Look

    vocabulary for a thesis

  3. Identifying Thesis Statement Worksheet

    vocabulary for a thesis

  4. 100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay

    vocabulary for a thesis

  5. Academic Vocabulary: Words And Phrases With Examples And Lists Doc

    vocabulary for a thesis

  6. Essay Help Words : 7 Tips On Writing a 500 Word Essay

    vocabulary for a thesis


  1. Writing the Narrative Paragraph

  2. Why it's essential to know yourself as a thesis writer

  3. Word Of The Day

  4. Dissertation Writing 101: Why You Have To Let Go #shorts

  5. Building A Langexchange Community App As Part of My Thesis.

  6. Mastering Academic Writing and Research in English


  1. 100+ Research Vocabulary Words & Phrases

    1. Analyze Vocabulary Using Word Clouds Have you heard of "Wordles"? A Wordle is a visual representation of words, with the size of each word being proportional to the number of times it appears in the text it is based on.

  2. (PDF) Useful Phrases for Writing Research Papers

    You at least know that these ready-made phrases are in correct English. You do not risk being accused of plagiarism because of the very generic nature of the phrases. This document presents lists ...

  3. What Is a Glossary?

    Published on May 24, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on July 18, 2023. A glossary is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it's a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader.

  4. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Step 1: Start with a question Step 2: Write your initial answer Step 3: Develop your answer Step 4: Refine your thesis statement Types of thesis statements Other interesting articles Frequently asked questions about thesis statements What is a thesis statement? A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay.

  5. Developing a Thesis Statement

    A thesis statement . . . Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic. Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper. Is focused and specific enough to be "proven" within the boundaries of your paper. Is generally located near the end ...

  6. PDF Writing a Scientific-Style Thesis

    8.1.1 Sentences and vocabulary 30 8.1.2 Paragraphing 31 8.1.3 Verb tenses 31 8.1.4 Double negatives 32 8.1.5 Only 32 8.1.6 To comprise 32 ... The purpose of writing a thesis is to demonstrate to an academic readership that you are competent in conducting and writing up a significant body of research. Therefore, you will need to develop the ...

  7. Glossary in a Dissertation

    Published by Owen Ingram at August 26th, 2021 , Revised On September 20, 2023 A list of glossary contains all those terms used in your dissertation, but the meanings of which may not be evident to the readers. Here is all you need to know about the glossary in a dissertation.

  8. What Is a Thesis?

    A thesis statement is a very common component of an essay, particularly in the humanities. It usually comprises 1 or 2 sentences in the introduction of your essay, and should clearly and concisely summarize the central points of your academic essay. A thesis is a long-form piece of academic writing, often taking more than a full semester to ...

  9. Useful Research Words and Phrases for All Sections

    1. Common Research Paper Phrases (Listed by Manuscript Section) Gathered from hundreds of thousands of published manuscripts, these frequently used key sentences and phrases are tailored to what each section of your paper should accomplish.

  10. PDF Academic Vocabulary List

    thesis Your thesis is the foundation of your essay; it is the central idea that the rest of the essay will develop with evidence and reasoning. tone Tone is the perspective, attitude, or emotion the writer has about the topic, revealed through his or her choices in language. topic sentence A topic sentence tells the reader what the main idea of the

  11. Useful Phrases and Sentences for Academic & Research Paper Writing

    Click here for the academic phrases and vocabulary for the introduction section of the research paper…. 3. Literature review. The literature review should clearly demonstrate that the author has a good knowledge of the research area. Literature review typically occupies one or two passages in the introduction section.

  12. Academic Writing Resources

    In this blog, we review various academic writing resources such as academic phrasebank, academic wordlists, academic vocabulary training sites. ... (AWL) for her MA thesis. This list is a very useful resource for improving academic writing skills for learners and a good teaching resource for tutors. The list contains 570 word families which ...

  13. Vocabulary research topics

    Vocabulary research topics. Vocabulary research topics for assignment, project, or thesis work. These suggestions are organised according to the chapters and sections of the chapters in Learning Vocabulary in another Language. Chapter 1: The goals of vocabulary learning.

  14. Academic Vocabulary, Useful Phrases and Sentences for ...

    I am after academic writing resources predominantly academic phrases, vocabulary, word lists and sentence stubs that can be readily used in research papers and academic reports.

  15. Academic Phrases for Writing Results & Discussion Sections of a

    In this blog, we discuss phrases related to results and discussion sections such as findings, limitations, arguments, and comparison to previous studies. The results and discussion sections are one of the challenging sections to write. It is important to plan this section carefully as it may contain a large amount of scientific data that needs to be presented in a clear and concise fashion.

  16. Thesis

    /ˈθisɪs/ /ˈθisɪs/ IPA guide Other forms: theses A thesis is the most important or foundational idea of an argument. If the thesis of your paper is that chocolate ice cream is better than vanilla, you'll need to back that up with plenty of sundae-based research. The noun thesis has more than one important sense to it.

  17. Effective Vocabulary Teaching Strategies For The English For Academic

    The author of this thesis focuses on effective vocabulary teaching strategies in the English for Academic Purposes ESL classroom. Drawing on findings obtained from observing three English for Academic Purposes ESL classrooms across the U.S.A, several current databases and his personal experience as a teacher and learner, the author discusses ...

  18. Academic Vocabulary: Words And Phrases With Examples And Lists

    Academic vocabulary words are used in classrooms, tests, examinations, thesis papers and so on. The academic vocabulary definition covers a wide range of words used in a formal environment. Academic words help build the students' knowledge of a particular subject or domain.

  19. PDF Argumentative Academic Vocabulary List

    Academic Vocabulary List Argumentative Terms Definitions formal Formal writing means that you speak to the reader in an academic way, using the third-person point of view, vocabulary specific to the topic, and a serious tone. hook A hook is an interesting statement about the topic made at the start of an essay in order to grab the reader's ...

  20. thesis

    thesis JGC (United States of America) Share 559 words 10 learners Learn words with Flashcards and other activities Other learning activities Assign learning activities including Practice, Vocabulary Jams and Spelling Bees to your students, and monitor their progress in real-time. Full list of words from this list: words only definitions & notes

  21. PDF Vocabulary Instruction: A Critical Analysis of Theories, Research ...

    Vocabulary size is also predictive of morphological awareness (i.e., understanding of principles that guide the way morphemes are combined to form words) [8,9], which in turn will contribute to expansion of vocabulary [10,11]. Finally, just as the relationship between vocabulary and morphological awareness is reciprocal [12], so is the relationship

  22. (Pdf) the Vocabulary Teaching and Vocabulary Learning: Perception

    The study also confirmed that there is a significant relationship between students' vocabulary learning strategy and their vocabulary mastery (r-value Discovery = .023 and r-value Consolidating ...

  23. What Words To Use To Make Your Thesis Look Better?

    The truth is that students exhibit wide-ranging skill levels when it comes to academic literary composition. But,when it comes to doing a thesis paper, there is no one's way of going about it one shoe fits all approach. A student must, therefore, follow set rules,procedures and guidelines when writing this important paper. It is the epitome of earning a Master's degree of PhD depending on ...