LCC International University > News and Events archive > Thesising
Thesis is a verb. “To thesis” means to create research questions, to synthesize sources into a literature review, to design methods, to gather data, to analyze results, and to defend the work in front of academics.
I have “thesised.” I have taught “thesising.” My students have ”thesised.”
The eastern European country where I am currently teaching requires all university students to complete a fairly formulaic 5-chapter researched thesis. Mostly the projects are replication studies, but essentially the genre of thesis follows the formula for a standard research article with an introduction, literature review, methods, results, and discussion.
What is the purpose of senior university students writing a thesis? Especially when most students will move on to lucrative employment; they have no interest in completing a PhD dissertation let alone publishing their own research. Our students are not making stunning discoveries or writing about news-breaking results. A good thesis topic integrates ideas from several courses that the author may have taken during their university tenure.
I can think of many positive reasons for university students to “thesis.” They are learning life skills through “thesising.”
First, students learn to find, read, and properly cite credible sources. This skill is helpful when they need to research the history of a current phenomenon. Recognizing credible sources saves us from becoming trapped in conspiracy theories.
Second, students’ academic writing skills must be strong requiring critical thinking, crafting an argument, defending a position, and backing up ideas with research. Writing a coherent, logical essay that flows well requires drafting, revising, and editing. Strong writing skills are essential in politics, education, media creation, project management, and many other fields.
Third, completing a long project requires intricate layers of detail, multiple renditions of outlining, and numerous changes. This all takes stamina and sheer determination.
Fourth, synthesizing their own ideas with advice from an academic advisor, who may have their own agenda, requires the patience of Job and a good dose of tenacity. Simply begin tough when “the going gets tough” develops life skills.
This is why I am glad when thesis day comes and my students are able to present their research, no matter how theoretically shaky or how crudely presented it is. They have learned a great deal about life and hard work by “thesising.”
Author: Robin Gingerich, Ph.D., MA TESOL Program Director at LCC International University.
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