Write concise thesis

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The second way one uses the word "thesis" is in reference to a major paper that one writes as a capstone for his or her bachelor's or master's degree. Whereas term papers are projects that last one term, theses are projects that last several terms. Theses are usually much, much longer than term papers, often stretching past two hundred pages. Perhaps counterintuitively, however, theses often cover much more specialized topics than term papers. For example, one may write a term paper on Herman Melville for a literature survey course, but one would be much more likely to write a thesis on homosexual symbolism in Herman Melville's Moby Dick or on some other extremely specific aspect of one of Melville's novels. In fact, one could write an entire thesis on a single paragraph of Moby Dick . The goal of a thesis is to expound fully one's opinion on a given subject and to confront and exhaust all the opposition to that opinion. Therefore, one usually specializes his or her thesis topic almost to the point of absurdity.

For an excellent source on English composition, check out this classic book by William Strunk, Jr. on the Elements of Style. Contents include: Elementary Rules of Usage, Elementary Principles of Composition, Words & Expressions Commonly Misused, An Approach to Style with a List of Reminders: Place yourself in the background, Revise and rewrite, Avoid fancy words, Be clear, Do not inject opinion, Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity, … and much more. Details of The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. partially available online at . Note: William Strunk, Jr. (1869–1946). The Elements of Style was first published in 1918.

As much as possible, replace the verb "to be" with a stronger verb. "To be" is often part of a construction called an expletive , a filler expression like "there were," "it is," or "here are." The problem with expletives, besides their meaninglessness, is that they are wordy and their verbs are lackluster. The subject follows the verb, resulting in an indirect, roundabout expression (also see TIP Sheet "Active and Passive Voice"). To avoid expletives, lead with the subject or even choose a different subject and, if possible, substitute a vivid verb to make the sentence more straightforward and easier to understand:

Write concise thesis

write concise thesis

As much as possible, replace the verb "to be" with a stronger verb. "To be" is often part of a construction called an expletive , a filler expression like "there were," "it is," or "here are." The problem with expletives, besides their meaninglessness, is that they are wordy and their verbs are lackluster. The subject follows the verb, resulting in an indirect, roundabout expression (also see TIP Sheet "Active and Passive Voice"). To avoid expletives, lead with the subject or even choose a different subject and, if possible, substitute a vivid verb to make the sentence more straightforward and easier to understand:

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