Table of Contents
How to Write a Thesis?
Dry Afforestation techniques in District Khuzdar
Pakistan Forest Institute Peshawar
Sir Nowsherwan Zarif
(The length of a thesis varies considerably from project to project; average thesis length is about 40 pages of text plus figures. This total page count includes all your text as well as the list of references, but it does not include any appendices).
(Main results, esp numbers; max two paras and 400 words)
- What did you do?
- Why did you do it? What question were you trying to answer?
- How did you do it? State methods.
- What did you learn? State major results.
- Why does it matter? Point out at least one significant implication.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
(All headings and sub-headings) also including the following:
List of Figures Page No
List of Tables
Questioner (if needed)
Write it when you have completed the thesis or read the thesis.
- In the introduction should cite previous research in this areas
- It should cite those who had the idea or ideas first, and should also cite those who have done the most recent and relevant work
- You should then go on to explain why more work was necessary (ie your work, of course.)
DESCRIPTION OF THE STUDY AREA
Describe an overview of your study area. Following things should be a part of it.
- The Geography of the Study area
- Location details with Maps and Figures
- Some other information pertaining to your Topic.
- Divide details into Headings and Sub-headings.
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
What work has already been done on the same subject/topic?
It will help you what efforts have already been done and what your current work can do in this regard. Make sure your work is not a repetition of a work carried out in past, rather, it should be a continuation of the work or update of that particular job/task.
- The results are actual statements of observations, including statistics, tables and graphs.
- Indicate information on a range of variation.
- Mention negative results as well as positive. Do not interpret results – save that for the discussion.
- Lay out the case as for a jury. Present sufficient details so that others can draw their own inferences and construct their own explanations.
- Use S.I. units (m, s, kg, W, etc.) throughout the thesis
- Break up your results into logical segments by using subheadings
- Key results should be stated in clear sentences at the beginning of paragraphs. It is far better to say “X had a significant positive relationship with Y (linear regression p<0.01, r^2=0.79)” then to start with a less informative like “There is a significant relationship between X and Y”. Describe the nature of the findings; do not just tell the reader whether or not they are significant.
Start with a few sentences that summarize the most important results. The discussion section should be a brief essay in itself, answering the following questions and caveats:
- What are the major patterns in the observations? (Refer to spatial and temporal variation.)
- What are the relationships, trends and generalizations among the results?
- What are the exceptions to these patterns or generalizations?
- What are the likely causes (mechanisms) underlying these patterns resulting predictions?
- Is there agreement or disagreement with previous work?
- Interpret results in terms of background laid out in the introduction – what is the relationship of the present results to the original question?
- What is the implication of the present results for other unanswered questions in earth sciences, ecology, environment policy, etc …..?
- Multiple hypotheses: There are usually several possible explanations for results. Be careful to consider all of these rather than simply pushing your favorite one. If you can eliminate all but one, that is great, but often that is not possible with the data in hand. In that case, you should give even treatment to the remaining possibilities, and try to indicate ways in which future work may lead to their discrimination.
- Avoid bandwagons: A special case of the above. Avoid jumping a currently fashionable point of view unless your results really do strongly support them.
- What are the things we now know or understand that we didn’t know or understand before the present work?
- Include the evidence or line of reasoning supporting each interpretation.
- What is the significance of the present results: why should we care?
(This section should be rich in references to similar work and background needed to interpret results.)
- What is the strongest and most important statement that you can make from your observations? (If you meet the reader at a meeting six months from now, what do you want them to remember about you paper?)
- Refer back to the problem posed, and describe the conclusions that you reached from carrying out this investigation, summarize new observations, new interpretations, and new insights that have resulted from the present work.
- Include the broader implications of your results.
- Do not repeat words from the abstract, introduction or discussion.
- Include when appropriate (most of the time)
- Remedial action to solve the problem
- Further research to fill in gaps in our understanding.
- Directions for future investigations on this or related topics.
Advisor(s) and any one who helped you:
- Technically (including materials, supplies)
- Intellectually (assistance, advice)
- Financially (for example, departmental support, and travel grants)
- Cite all ideas, concepts, text, data that are not your own
- If you make a statement, back it up with your own data or a reference
- All references cited in the text must be listed
- Cite single-author references by the surname of the author (followed by the date of the publication in parenthesis)
o … according to Hays (1994)
o … population growth is one of the greatest environmental concerns facing future generations (Hays, 1994).
- Cite double-author references by the surnames of both authors (followed by the date of the publication in parenthesis)
o e.g. Simpson and Hays (1994)
- Cite more than double-author references by the surname of the first author followed by et al. and then the date of the publication
o e.g. Pfirman, Simpson and Hays would be:
o Pfirman et al. (1994)
- Do not use footnotes
- List all references cited in the text in alphabetical order using the following format for different types of material:
o Hunt, S. (1966) Carbohydrate and amino acid composition of the egg capsules of the whelk. Nature, 210, 436-437.
o National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (1997) Commonly asked questions about ozone.
o Pfirman, S.L., M. Stute, H.J. Simpson, and J. Hays (1996) Undergraduate research at Barnard and Columbia, Journal of Research, 11, 213-214.
o Pechenik, J.A. (1987) A short guide to writing about biology. Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 194pp.
o Pitelka, D.R., and F.M. Child (1964) Review of ciliary structure and function. In: Biochemistry and Physiology of Protozoa, Vol. 3 (S.H. Hutner, editor), Academic Press, New York, 131-198.
o Sambrotto, R. (1997) lecture notes, Environmental Data Analysis, Barnard College, Oct 2, 1997.
o Stute, M., J.F. Clark, P. Schlosser, W.S. Broecker, and G. Bonani (1995) A high altitude continental paleotemperature
record derived from noble gases dissolved in groundwater from the San Juan Basin, New Mexico. Quat. Res., 43, 209-220.
o New York Times (1/15/00) PCBs in the Hudson still an issue, A2.
- It is acceptable to put the initials of the individual authors behind their last names, e.g. Pfirman, S.L., Stute, M., Simpson, H.J., and Hays, J (1996) Undergraduate research at ……
- Include all your data in the appendix.
- Reference data/materials not easily available (theses are used as a resource by the department and other students).
- Tables (where more than 1-2 pages)
- Calculations (where more than 1-2 pages)
- You may include a key article as an appendix.
- If you consulted a large number of references but did not cite all of them, you might want to include a list of additional resource material, etc.
- List of equipment used for an experiment or details of complicated procedures.
- Note: Figures and tables, including captions, should be embedded in the text and not in an appendix, unless they are more than 1-2 pages and are not critical to your argument.
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