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CRJ 417/517: Crimmigration

Research Guide for CRJ 417/517

Writing Your Thesis Paper

Writing Tips

  • Decide on the main focus and main points of your Thesis Paper first
  • Everything in your Thesis Paper should relate back to its thesis statement


1. Introduction: summarizes what you will write and puts it into context. Should consist of 3 parts:

  • "What You're Studying": start with a thesis statement about your research question which includes background contextualizing your question
  • "So What?": demonstrate why your research question and project is important and why your reader should care
  • "Game Plan": outline the main points of your project and the order in which you will address them

2. Literature Review: survey research done in a particular area, bringing together theories and results from a number of studies to describe the "big picture" of an area of research. Each paragraph representing one aspect of the literature review's main focus, and should include a topic sentence, evidence, analysis, and a transition sentence:

  • The topic sentence summarizes the paragraph's main idea
  • Use evidence from your research sources to support or make the argument for your main ideas
  • Analyze your evidence to show how it links to your broader thesis statement
  • Include a transition sentence at the end of each paragraph to connect what you discussed in that paragraph with the main idea of the next paragraph

3. Methods: this is an optional section, which you should write up if your analysis is data-driven. Include information about which statistical tests you ran on the data and why you chose those particular statistical tests.

4. Analysis: synthesizes, examines and interprets your literature review. It may also include arguments about the meaning of aspects of your literature review. Your analysis should be generalizable, grounded in your literature review, and tied back to your thesis statement. 

5. Discussion: discusses the limitations, opposing viewpoints, what's missing, still unknown, and future directions from your thesis paper.

6. Conclusion: summarizes what you wrote and what you learned

  • Restate your thesis statement from the introduction in different words
  • Briefly summarize your main points or arguments and pull them together into the paper's main thesis
  • End with a strong, final statement that ties the whole paper together and makes it clear the paper has come to an end
  • No new ideas should be introduced in the conclusion, it should only review and analyze the main points from the body of the paper (with the exception of suggestions for further research)
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