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Proofreading Asia

Four Tips for Better Thesis Writing

By DALE JACKSON

When working on a thesis, it is important to pay attention to how you write; not only with your choice of words, but also the way in which you express yourself. This is because academic writing can be very different from the casual style used day-to-day.

There are always exceptions to every rule, but here are some pointers which may help when writing your thesis:

Contractions

Words such as ‘it’s’, ‘we’ve’, and ‘don’t’ make writing seem more informal, and when writing a thesis it is better to write them out in full rather than using the shortened forms. This is an easy way to make sure your writing sounds more formal.

Tone

In keeping with the theme of formal vs. informal writing, tone is very important in elevating your casual essay into something more professional. Tone refers to the writer’s attitude towards their subject, conveyed through the choice of words making up the essay. As an example, in academic writing, the tone is much more complex and formal than that used in conversation.

Always Explain

When making a statement in a thesis, it is always important to back up what you are saying. If you tell someone that ‘the movie is bad’, they are bound to ask, ‘Why?’

When expressing your opinion in an essay, you need to be able to offer an explanation to support your argument. This is generally done through referencing someone else’s research.

Third Person

It is generally better not to use words such as ‘I’, ‘we’, ‘me’, and ‘you’. Remember that you are writing objectively, and using first person pronouns can come across as too opinionated and subjective. Writing in the third person also helps to improve the formality of your writing, and allows you to explain the point being made in a way that makes sense.

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