In regard to the first person pronouns or , judicious use is widely accepted, especially to make the writing more active (see Chapter 6 of ) or to assume responsibility for assumptions or actions.
Another word that many committees frown upon, because of its informality, is the word While this word is appropriate for instructions and correspondence, it is seldom, if ever, appropriate in theses or dissertations (note that the implied is certainly acceptable in clauses such as ).
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.
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.
In other words, you should avoid colloquial language such as using an ampersand when the word is appropriate (in other words, write , not .) Also, many committees frown upon the use of contractions, such as or that would be readily accepted in a less formal document such as an e-mail.
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.
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.
If you are studying to become a psychiatrist, or are just taking some psychology classes for your own interest it is very likely that at some point you will have to write a unique thesis on a psychology topic. Due to the popularity of different psychology areas, coming up with a unique and original thesis topic idea can be quite difficult. It may begin to feel like everything you come up with “has been done before”. Occasionally with psychology thesis topics, the opposite happens and there just isn’t enough research resources available to verify and support an original thesis concept. Either way, it is safe to say, that coming up with a thesis topic can be tricky; however you’re in luck, because we’ve created a list of foolproof psychology thesis topic ideas to help inspire you.
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).
Be forewarned, though, that despite its acceptance by most committees (and journals), an occasional committee remains opposed to use of the first person, even when that use is judicious.
In viewing this sample thesis and all thesis excerpts on this page, please be aware that different universities have different format guidelines.
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).
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.