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What´s a Thesis?

Table of Contents

To start with the most important term of our work, we will briefly discuss the different meanings of what´s a thesis. As you probably know, the word has more than just one signification. To keep it simple, both principal meanings of the word thesis will be discussed shortly in this post, illustrated and accompanied by practical examples.

As usually defined within the literature, the term thesis has two principal particular meanings. Original from the greek „thésis“ and later transmitted into Latin, its first meaning is a general, maybe abstract question or a proposition, which is stated. 

What´s the first meaning of a thesis

To facilitate the understanding of the first signification, let me illustrate with a strong practical example of a “thesis” from the European history, that you probably are familiar with: Who doesn´t know about the famous 95 Thesis from Martin Luther? Visible to everybody, Luther published his thesis at the church door of Wittenberg in 1517. The history tells us, that he put a large piece of paper at the front door, that contained an extensive collection of 95 written sentences and paragraphs – his thesis statements.

The 95 thesis from Martin Luther at the church from Wittenberg (1517)

A practical example of a thesis

Just let me give you a practical example to illustrate the meaning of a thesis in a very simple way:

„The red flowers in the garden need much more care than the blue ones.“

As you can see, the thesis consists of a specific statement, that presents an argument, with the final aim of convincing and persuading another person from your specific point of view. The presented example is a very simple one – to develop a thesis statement for a paper, essay or dissertation is “another story”.

Defining the meaning of a thesis statement and how to create yours

Even if the first meaning of a thesis finally consists of a thesis statement, you have to be sensible and careful in separating a persuasion from the daily context, where you aim to convince your family or friends of your opinion, finding and presenting arguments from the academic one. Creating a good and strong statement for an academic paper is not simple at all. Here, you have to be able you have to develop a short paragraph from questions and aims from your chosen topic that condenses and crystallized your main ideas, arguments, and point of view. Imagine it like a summary for the reader, that you present in an article, an essay, or a dissertation. To keep it short: It tells the reader about your topic and condenses your principal ideas in just one or two sentences. In fact, there is no specific formula for how to make a thesis statement, but nevertheless, you can follow up on three essential steps to construct yours.

If you are interested to learn more about how do you start to write a thesis statement, just access to the following particular post, which will explain the steps.

What´s the second meaning of a thesis

Let´s go one step ahead! The second definition of what´s a thesis is given by Dictionaries from famous Universities, which are condensing the signification in one paragraph. As the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary states it, a thesis means:

a piece of writing involving (the) original study of a subject, especially for a college or university degree (Master thesis) or a long piece of writing on a particular subject, especially one that is done for a higher college or university degree (Ph.D. thesis)

Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary

As you can see, the common signification is the final product (an extensive piece of academic writing), presenting the results from scientific research, that the students complete at the end of their studies. Leaving from school or college, many students still don´t know what´s a thesis and how to create one. To get prepared for a later way of scientific and academic career, they start their second part of their education, entering at University. Here they make their way to graduation, beginning with the Bachelor thesis, followed by the Master thesis, and finally their doctoral dissertation (Ph.D. Thesis). If you like to get to know more about the steps of what´s a thesis and how do you start to write a thesis, access to the following post.

About the author:

Dr. Friederike Jurth
Dr. Friederike Jurth

Possibly you already heard of me through different media channels. My name is Dr. Friederike Jurth, and since 2010 I give lectures on Methodology, Empirical Research, Anthropology, and Transcultural (Music) Studies in collaboration with universities in the United States, Germany, Spain, and Brazil. In 2010 I started to carry out 7-year-long fieldwork in Rio de Janeiro and to present my research at conferences all around the world, such as in Japan, the United States, Australia, Brazil, Thailand, Switzerland, and many others. In addition, I worked as a lecturer and researcher with Germany’s famous UNESCO Chair.

After finalizing my doctoral dissertation with summa cum laude, it became my aim to unite, condense and share the steps, ways and details of my unique methodological and structural approach that I could develop and elaborate during my Ph.D. and that finally helped me to achieve this result. By concentrating and putting them together to an elaborated academic conception, MyThesis Academy was born. Motivated by the only aim and objective to help my students through all steps and stages of their thesis journey, it enables them to achieve their best possible result in shortest time, independent of their specific area of research.

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