When you work on a thesis, how you write is almost as important as what you write. A thesis requires the use of a particular style; failing to follow it will be just as harmful to your grade as a poor choice of topic or insufficient research. “But what does good style constitute? How do I write my thesis for me?” you may ask. Let’s find out.
❏ Use active voice whenever possible.
Some students believe that passive voice makes their writing more serious, reserved and scientific. It is not so. All they manage to achieve by using it is to make their style obtuse and difficult to understand. And on the contrary, active voice can make sentences more alive, lightens up constructions and eliminates the need to reread a sentence a few times before you can understand what refers to what. Don’t use passive voice at all; if you must, reserve its use to the situations in which the actor has secondary importance when compared to the action.
❏ Alternate sentence length.
A text comprised of only long sentences is lumbering, awkward and hard to read. A text comprised of only short sentences is bumpy and is more suitable for fiction than for scientific writing. A healthy compromise is to alternate the length of your sentences: use 1 long per 3 or 4 short ones.
Your thesis may be 300 pages long, but within this space, you should strive to express yourself in as few words as possible. Therefore, cut mercilessly: if you find that a word, sentence or an entire paragraph isn’t necessary to make the reader understand your point, get rid of it. If you have trouble grasping the idea, buy a sample from a writing service like DoMyThesis.net, specifying that you are particularly interested in laconic writing – this will give you some idea of what you should pursue.
❏ Compliance with the formatting style.
If you have any experience at all in writing academic papers, you should know that supervisors pay a lot of attention to formatting. It is doubly so with theses, as these papers are used to decide if you can do independent research unsupervised by anybody else. How well you manage to grasp the rules of this or that formatting style defines how well other researchers will be able to understand and navigate your paper. Read your style guide. Consult your supervisor concerning its most important factors. Read your college’s guidelines concerning the academic format it uses. Study one of many online resources dedicated to this or that style and follow its directions. In other words, do everything in your power to learn the details of your style and meticulously check every sentence for compliance with it.
Again, scientific writing exists to transfer information, not to look vaguely intellectual. Reread your thesis as if you see it for the first time in your life, as if somebody else wrote it, and give yourself an honest answer to this question: “Do I really understand everything that is written here without rereading it? Is everything clear? Can anything be further clarified?”
❏ Consistent sentences.
It refers mostly to pronouns – check every sentence and see if you can immediately say what each pronoun refers to. Better yet, ask somebody else – what may be obvious to you, the author, may be much less so for somebody who is reading the text for the first time. If a pronoun’s provenance is vague, replace it with a noun or a noun phrase. Don’t be afraid of repetitions – you are writing a scientific paper, your primary goal is clarity of information, not the beauty of style.
❏ Consistent terminology.
The same goes for synonyms. Don’t try to diversify your sentences by replacing terms with their synonyms. You should use one and the same word to refer to each object, factor or situation. Adding synonyms can make your text a little prettier, but it sounds unscientific and can confuse the reader.
One can write a lot more about what is acceptable and unacceptable when you write a thesis, but we hope that these tips will give you the necessary groundwork, and you will never have to ask, “What should I do to write my thesis for me” again.