What is a thesis?

A clear explanation!

If you are currently completing higher education or university education, something exciting awaits you: writing your thesis. Before you complete your study program and receive your diploma, you first spend several months on your thesis. It is an important graduation paper that goes a step further than an ordinary essay. What exactly is a thesis? What's in it? Why should you write a thesis? We’ll explain it all to you.

What is a thesis? The meaning of a thesis

If you are going to graduate from higher professional education or university education, a thesis is unavoidable. The thesis is a research report that you write at the end of your higher education or university education (for bachelor's and master's degrees). You set up your own research, and then report on the design and the results of it in your thesis.

Your thesis is a report of the research you have done, that you use to complete your training.

Why write a thesis?

Now you know what a thesis is. Why do you have to write one? The aim of your HBO or university education is that you achieve an academic level of thinking and can thus conduct independent research. That is why you learn a lot about conducting research and course content during your studies.

When the end of your education is approaching, the moment has come where your educational institution wants to know if you are able to conduct research yourself and write a report about it. So, can you write a thesis?

With your thesis, you show that you have acquired sufficient research skills and academic knowledge. Writing your thesis is therefore not so much about the results of your research, but more about how you conducted the research and how you report on it. You can submit a good thesis even without groundbreaking results.

Writing a thesis: is it too nerve-racking?

We are happy to help you avoid language errors so that you can submit your thesis with more confidence. Let the editors of AthenaCheck check your thesis for language errors, structure and/or the common thread.

What does a thesis look like?

The structure of a thesis differs between study programmes. In higher professional education, for example, you often write theses for a client or internship. The thesis is therefore mainly focused on a practical problem that you solve. Theses at the university are often more about a lack of knowledge in a certain area. You conduct your own scientific research to supplement the existing literature.

A thesis is on average about 12,000 to 18,000 words. For larger theses, the word count may be slightly higher. The number of pages can also be higher if you have many attachments. Follow the requirements of your study programme in terms of word count.

The structure of a thesis is often the same. It usually looks like this:

Thesis example

Are there examples of theses? There certainly are, and they are quite handy to have access to when you are about to start working on your thesis.

You can find previously written university theses in these databases:

Keep in mind that a thesis looks different for every discipline. Ask your supervisor if they have a recent example of a thesis in your field.

For an example of an hbo-thesis, you can take a look at the knowledge database for bachelor theses or the knowledge database for master theses. There, you will find several examples.

How do you start your thesis?

The first steps are the hardest. That is why we have made a step-by-step plan for starting your thesis, so you know exactly how to get off to a flying start. The first step is always to choose a thesis topic and possibly find a suitable client/internship for it.

Fortunately, you don't write a thesis all on your own. You will always be assigned a thesis supervisor from your university or higher professional education institution. They will help you make an action plan, clarify your problem and draw up an outline.

You usually draw up a plan of action before you start working on your thesis. In it, you explain more about your research questions, your research method and your problem statement. This also gives you a good idea of ​​what your thesis will look like.


How long does it take you to finish your thesis?

You cannot write a thesis in a few days or weeks. Assume that it will take about three to nine months of work. You are often intensively involved in the process, since a thesis has a large number of credits and study load hours. You often get more credits for a master's thesis than for a bachelor's thesis. Therefore, more is expected of you.

Can you also have a thesis written for you?

Having your thesis written is not prohibited by law. This also goes against the entire purpose of the project, and is notwhat writing a thesis is intended for. Your educational institution may even consider it fraud if someone else has written your thesis.

Why it is important to write your thesis yourself:

  • You must be able to defend your thesis and therefore know its content well. You can expect substantive questions about certain method choices or results. A supervisor will quickly notice if you are not well aware of these things.
  • Teachers often notice if the thesis is written in a different style from how you usually write.
  • You cannot rely on the quality of the writing and research done by the other person. It may just be that the writer has copied pieces from other sources, despite this being prohibited.
  • You run the risk of your educational institution accusing you of plagiarism. This can have major consequences. It is even possible to be suspended from your studies.

A more convenient option: have your thesis checked!

What is allowed is to have your thesis checked for language mistakes, spelling errors and a proper structure. It may be nice to have another person read over your thesis once. This way, you won't overlook any clumsy language mistakes, and you will discover ambiguities that you may have missed. A check on the common thread and references is also possible.

The editors of AthenaCheck are happy to do this for you. They ensure that you can hand in your thesis with confidence. Curious to learn more or get your thesis checked? Contact us.