How to Write a Thesis Rough Draft

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Writing a thesis can feel like a daunting task, but with a little planning and a few tips, it can be relatively painless. When you have finished writing your rough draft, you will have a completed piece of work to give your thesis committee for review.

1 Thesis Draft Basics

Start the thesis-writing process by creating an outline plan that includes a timetable. Discuss this plan with your professor before you start writing. As you begin to write your thesis, you may discover facts and results that do not fit into your original argument, or you may find topics that you want to research further to strengthen your argument. The draft process is the time to evaluate evidence to create a cohesive argument.

2 Divide and Conquer

When you sit down and write your thesis, begin by crafting your main thesis statement and then list the ideas that you want to include in your draft. To keep things manageable, come up with tasks that you can finish in short periods of time, such as half an hour, one day or one week. Setting realistic goals that range in duration and difficulty allows you to have different pieces to tackle based on your energy level and motivation.

3 Creative Process

Do not plan to sit down and write your entire draft from start to end. To reduce some of your stress, write your draft in pieces. Start by writing sections about which you feel the most confident. Also remember that there is no need to write a section perfectly the first time. Begin with a rough cut or a list of bullet points and then move on. You can come back to the section later. Just keep focusing on making steady progress.

As you write each section, keep the rest of your paper in mind. Your overall thesis may need to evolve as you develop new insights. When you complete a section, ask your professor to read over it and offer feedback.

4 Your Voice

As you write your thesis, keep your audience in mind. You are the expert on this topic, and chances are your readers are less familiar with your subject than you are. Focus on explaining your topic, methodologies and results clearly. If you have a colleague who is a solid writer and familiar with your topic, ask whether he will give you feedback.

5 Final Draft

By the time you finish writing your draft thesis, you may decide that you need to go back and rewrite parts or conduct more research. After you do so and have finished your draft, reread your entire thesis to ensure that it presents a strong argument and includes evidence to support your claims. Before turning in your draft, carefully edit and spell check your work.

Fitzalan Gorman has more than 10 years of academic and commercial experience in research and writing. She has written speeches and text for CEOs, company presidents and leaders of major nonprofit organizations. Gorman has published for professional cycling teams and various health and fitness websites. She has a Master of Arts from Virginia Tech in political science and is a NASM certified personal trainer.