Instructions on how to write a thesis - uniroma2.it
Instructions on how to write a thesis Professor Paolo Paesani (DEF) March 23, 2016 The thesis as scientific work The thesis is a SCIENTIFIC WORK, which examines in depth a specific topic related to a graduating course of studies. A good thesis, like any good research, expands existing knowledge about a given subject.
How do I write a thesis? Writing a thesis requires taking a series of steps: Choose topic and research question; Collect and study the relevant material; Synthesise and elaborate on the acquired content; Formulate a methodology to answer the research question, taking previous studies on the chosen topic into account;
Present your results as clearly as possible (remember that others should be able to replicate your analysis); Compare your results with results obtained by others on the same topic (if any) Conclude Topic Choose a topic that is CIRCUMSCRIBED, INTERESTING, and consistent with your CAPACITY to develop it. Constraints to consider in the choice of the topic: (1) available time, (2) your level of commitment, (3) other personal factors (e.g.
knowledge of foreign languages). Time: 24 credits X 25 hours = 600 hours; 600 hours: 6 hours a day = 100 working days; Result: about 4 months of work. Choice of the topic and choice of the thesis supervisor: the student can make proposals but the choice of the topic must be shared by the supervisor who always has the last word. Relationship with the supervisor: Mutual Respect, punctuality and correctness. Preliminary steps Once you have a topic and a research question, elaborate a preliminary index to use as a guide in the organization of bibliographical sources.
This initial index does not necessarily coincide with the final index but it serves to clarify ideas and keep you in the right direction. For the same reason it may be useful to first write a short introduction to clarify your research objectives and how you plan to achieve them. You will write the real introduction at the end of your research (see below) Bibliography What is a bibliography? It is a list at the end of any scientific work (dissertation, thesis or article) where the author indicates the texts used for research and citations. The purpose of the bibliography is to enable the reader to
trace the sources the author(s) used. Sources Primary sources (e.g. The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money by Keynes) and secondary sources (e.g. Books, articles etc. which review, comment on, interpret the general theory) Hierarchy and reliability of sources: (1) published scientific work (books, articles, congressional acts), (2)research reports produced by public and private entities, (3) non-scientific works (printed by quality publishers), (4) non-scientific and unpublished works (Wikipedia, blogs ...) Initial and final bibliography Read and take notes (while keeping in mind the initial index)
Enter references in the text starting from the drafting phase How and where to do the literature research: databases and catalogs (e.g. Econlit; Google Scholar, JSTOR, our library catalog, OPAC) How to insert the various contributions Writing style KEEP IT SIMPLE Adopt a plan that is direct and simple. The thesis is neither a news article, nor a novel, nor a confidential letter, nor a blog, and it should not surprise/ shock/amuse the reader.
Make your sentences as short and concise as posisble. Avoid jargon, colloquialisms and inadequate expressions. Avoid expressions such as "the country of the Rising Sun" if you mean Japan. Text structure and length Structure 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
Introduction Reference Literature Methodology Research results Conclusions and next research Minimum length 50 pages (1 page = 2000 characters including spaces and notes) Citations and quotations Literal citations FAITHFULLY indicate the text you want to
cite in quotation marks and clearly denote the source used. EXAMPLE: As Eco writes (2014, p. 15) "A thesis is an elaborate manuscript, of an average length varying between one hundred and four hundred pages, where the student focuses on a issue concerning the field of study in which he wants to graduate." Eco, U. (2014) How to write a dissertation. XXV Edition. Milan. Bompiani. Citations and quotations Paraphrase (abbreviate a text without quoting it literally while focusing on the information that you find interesting).
EXAMPLE: As Eco writes (2014), the thesis is a paper in which the student critically deals with a matter that regards his area of study. Citations and quotations Citing correctly is fundamental Knowing how to cite correctly is fundamental to avoid the risk of PLAGIARISM PLAGIARISM - presenting others ideas and words as your own is a very serious transgression for a researcher in addition to being a crime. Global Governance and the University of Rome Tor Vergata uses anti plagiarism
software (e.g. Turnitin http://turnitin.com/). The students who are guilty of plagiarism (measured by the percentage of similarity between the student's text and others which exceeds a specific threshold) will incur heavy penalties from the reduction of the final score to the complete rejection of the paper. The Global Governance Code of Conduct clearly states: In case of plagiarism or copying noticed while exams are performed or detected in the execution of the final work, the student will be expelled from the B.A. following an immediate measure issued by the B.A. Director and approved by the B.A. Council and verified by the University, after hearing the student involved and, as the case may be, the professor and/or the supervisor or other relevant parties. Such decision of the B.A. Council shall not admit appeal. Tables, charts, figures and data
Each table, graph, and figure must include a number, a title, a source, and its explanation and description must be integrated into the main body of the text. Any data must include the source (confirming the verifiability of your results). In the case of empirical work, CLARIFY the model used and COMPARE your results with those obtained from previous work on the topic. Footnotes Footnotes contain the information or observations that would make reading
the text too laborious and would interrupt the main narrative of the sentence. Do not exceed with footnotes. Numbered lists in uniform style When the content of the footnote is too long, use the appendix. EXAMPLE: The agreements of Bretton Woods * have marked the beginning of a reorganization of the international monetary system * Bretton Woods is a place of ....... XY 1987 states that precautionary and transaction purposes for holding the coin cannot be distinguished * * Actually this hypothesis seems to have been retracted in XY 1989 but ......
Introduction (to be written at the end) Thesis topic and potential research questions Motivation of the research (why the research is important, what it adds) Brief description of the structure of the work (how you plan to deal with the chosen topic) Summary of key findings Conclusions Briefly recall topic, research question
and structure of the thesis. Answer you research question in detail, highlighting the novelty of your findings. No references in your conclusions. Mistakes you MUST avoid NEVER write things that you did not understand or use terms that you do not know. Do not write about ideas and authors you did not research, merely because you heard about them in another textbook or context. Do not report any data, quotations, citations or information
without specifying where you found them. AVOID PLAGIARISM - PLAGIARISM IS A CRIME. How to draft a bibliography? Indicate the sources of your research information (in a way that is essential and complete). Start with the name of the author: last name followed by first name or just the first initial: Varian H. If there are more than three authors, use AA.VV. which stands for various authors, or indicate one author and add et al which means and others: Varian H. et al Next put the year of publication of the source in parenthesis: Varian H. (1993)
In the main body of your thesis, when referring to a page from a source: As one famous text of microeconomics states, The economic analysis proceeds by building models of social phenomena. (Varian 1993, p.1) At the end of the thesis, in the bibliography you will indicate the complete reference to the author and the title of his text. Each source listed in the bibliography has a special form. Book Scientific journal Collection of essays
Article written on a website Book After the author and the year you should indicate: the title, the publishing house and the city of the headquarters of the publishing company. This information is found in the frontispiece of the book: Varian H. (1993), Microeconomics, Venice: Cafoscarina, 3 ed. The name of the book must be in italics or underlined. Always indicate the books edition number, as each edition is different and contains corrections and the pages might be numbered differently. If the book is a classic, and not the precious first edition, it is a good idea to put the first edition date as well as the modern edition:
Smith A. (1995) , Wealth of Nations, Rome: Newton Compton Scientific Journal The author and year of publishing come first. The title of the journal in which the article was published is written either in italics or underlined. The title of the article is written inside quotation marks. Indicate the volume number and the page number. There are three different ways to choose from, but once you choose a form, it must be the same from that is used throughout your thesis. Examples of how to indicate an article entitled Is post-marshallian economics an evolutionary research tradition? written by John Finch which
was published in the year 2000 in the number 3 autumn issue of the journal called The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought: Scientific Journal: 4 examples Finch J. 2000. Is post-marshallian economics an evolutionary research tradition?, The European Journal of the History of Econnomic Thought, Vol. 7, pp. 377-402. Finch J. 2000. Is post-marshallian economics an evolutionary research tradition?, The European Journal of the History of Econnomic Thought, 7:377-402. Finch J. 2000. Is post-marshallian economics an evolutionary research
tradition?, The European Journal of the History of Econnomic Thought, Vol. 7, No. 3. Finch J. 2000. Is post-marshallian economics an evolutionary research tradition?, The European Journal of the History of Econnomic Thought, Vol. 7, Autumn. Collection of Essays written by various authors Be sure to always indicate the name author as well as the name of the editor or editors (this is the curator who has collected the essays and possibly written an introduction; you may use the abbreviation ed. or eds.) because the collection will be catalogued according to the editors name and the title of the collection.
An example is that of an essay written by Siro Lombardini entitled Stato e mercato nel pensiero degli economisti e nella realt contemporanea which was published in a book entitled Quale mercato per quale Europa, which was edited by Piero Roggi: Lombardini S. (1994), Stato e mercato nel pensiero degli economisti e nella realt contemporanea, in P. Roggi, Quale mercato per quale Europa, Milan: Franco Angeli. Article written on a website Indicate the author and the title followed by the complete address of the website.
If the article has also been printed, provide indications regarding the printed publication instead of the electronic one. If it is a webmagazine and it only exists online, indicate the full website: Ragozzino G. (2015) What is behind the new Pirelli in Sbilanciamoci, http://www.sbilanciamoci.info/Ultimi-articoli/Cosa-sinasconde-dietro-la-nuova-Pirelli-29256 Graphic Layout The graphic layout you choose is up to you. For example you can highlight the authors last name, write in capital letters
or bold print. You can remove the parenthesis around the year of publication. You can use periods instead of commas. You can omit the quotation marks around the title of the article or essay. The important thing is that once you have chosen a setting, it must be used uniformly throughout the bibliography. An example of a bibliography Becattini, G. (1990) 'Alfred Marshall of Cambridge and the old school of economics', in Becattini G. (ed.), The Economic Thought: themes, problems, and schools, Torino: Utet, pp. 275-310. Besomi, D. (2000) 'On the Spread of an Idea: The Strange Case of Mr. Harrod and the
Multiplier', History of Political Economy 32: 347-379. Coats, AW (1967) 'Sociological Aspects of British Economic Thought (ca. 18801930)', Journal of Political Economy 75: 706-729. Coats, AW (1993) The Sociology and professionalization of Economics, London: Routledge. Collard, DA (1990) 'Cambridge after Marshall', in JKWhitaker (ed.), Centenary Essays on Alfred Marshall, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 164-192. Dobb, M. (1928) Wages, with an introduction by JM Keynes, London: Nisbet & Co. and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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