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Definition of thesis

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In high school, college, or graduate school, students often have to write a thesis on a topic in their major field of study. In many fields, a final thesis is the biggest challenge involved in getting a master's degree, and the same is true for students studying for a Ph.D. (a Ph.D. thesis is often called a dissertation ). But a thesis may also be an idea; so in the course of the paper the student may put forth several theses (notice the plural form) and attempt to prove them.

Examples of thesis in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'thesis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

in sense 3, Middle English, lowering of the voice, from Late Latin & Greek; Late Latin, from Greek, downbeat, more important part of a foot, literally, act of laying down; in other senses, Latin, from Greek, literally, act of laying down, from tithenai to put, lay down — more at do

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3a(1)

Dictionary Entries Near thesis

the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children

thesis novel

Cite this Entry

“Thesis.” Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of thesis, more from merriam-webster on thesis.

Nglish: Translation of thesis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thesis for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about thesis

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Synonyms for thesis

  • proposition
  • line of argument
  • dissertation
  • composition
  • disquisition
  • supposition

a hypothetical controversial proposition

  • contestation

a thorough, written presentation of an original point of view

Something taken to be true without proof.

  • postulation
  • presupposition

an unproved statement put forward as a premise in an argument

Related words, a treatise advancing a new point of view resulting from research.

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  • thiamine pyrophosphate
  • these unmitigated disaster
  • these ups and downs
  • these were tailor made
  • these were tailor-made
  • these white lies
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  • Theseus and Pirithoüs
  • Thesiger, Wilfred (Patrick)
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Synonyms of 'thesis' in American English

Synonyms of 'thesis' in british english, additional synonyms, video: pronunciation of thesis.

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noun as in belief, assumption to be tested

Strongest matches

  • proposition
  • supposition

Strong matches

  • contestation
  • postulation
  • presumption
  • presupposition

noun as in written dissertation

  • argumentation
  • composition
  • disquisition

Weak matches

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Related words.

Words related to thesis are not direct synonyms, but are associated with the word thesis . Browse related words to learn more about word associations.

noun as in putting regard in as true

  • expectation
  • understanding

noun as in main part of written work

  • dissertation

noun as in written or musical creation

  • arrangement
  • literary work
  • short story
  • architectures
  • combinations
  • configurations
  • constitutions
  • distributions
  • proportions

noun as in argument for idea

  • advancement
  • affirmation
  • asseveration
  • declaration
  • explanation
  • maintaining
  • predication

Viewing 5 / 42 related words

Example Sentences

“The Saudis have been proving the thesis of the film — they do in fact have an army,” said Thor Halvorssen, founder and chief executive of the nonprofit Human Rights Foundation, which funded the movie.

It’s a hypothesis that Bush pursued in her master’s thesis, and last year she began attending virtual Goth parties in a final round of field work before defending her doctoral thesis later this year.

While this partnership was planned prior to the coronavirus outbreak, co-founder Jordana Kier said the pandemic instantly proved out the expansion thesis.

They’ve had to defend that thesis for a very, very long time in front of a variety of different customers and different people.

Over the past decade, In-Q-Tel has been one of the most active investors in the commercial space sector, with a broad investment thesis that touches many aspects of the sector.

In “Back Home,” Gil also revisits the nostalgia for the South explored in his Johns Hopkins thesis, “Circle of Stone.”

At least father and son were in alignment on this central thesis: acting “gay”—bad; being thought of as gay—bad.

Her doctoral thesis, says Ramin Takloo at the University of Illinois, was simply outstanding.

Marshall McLuhan long ago argued the now accepted thesis that different mediums have different influences on thinking.

He wrote his Master's thesis on the underrepresentation of young people in Congress.

And indeed for most young men a college thesis is but an exercise for sharpening the wits, rarely dangerous in its later effects.

It will be for the reader to determine whether the main thesis of the book has gained or lost by the new evidence.

But the word thesis, when applied to Systems, does not mean the 'position' of single notes, but of groups of notes.

This conclusion, it need hardly be said, is in entire agreement with the main thesis of the preceding pages.

Sundry outlying Indians, with ammunition to waste, took belly and knee rests and strengthened the thesis to the contrary.

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On this page you'll find 90 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to thesis, such as: contention, hypothesis, opinion, premise, proposition, and supposition.

From Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

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a proposition stated or put forward for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections: He vigorously defended his thesis on the causes of war.

a subject for a composition or essay.

a dissertation on a particular subject in which one has done original research, as one presented by a candidate for a diploma or degree.

Music . the downward stroke in conducting; downbeat. : Compare arsis (def. 1) .

a part of a metrical foot that does not bear the ictus or stress.

(less commonly) the part of a metrical foot that bears the ictus. : Compare arsis (def. 2) .

Philosophy . See under Hegelian dialectic .

Origin of thesis

Word story for thesis, other words for thesis, words that may be confused with thesis.

  • 1. antithesis , synthesis , thesis
  • 2. dissertation , thesis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use thesis in a sentence

We have already seen (p. xxi) that this was one of the important theses of the Muʿtazilite Kalam.

In 1597 he maintained public theses in Mathematics, Philosophy, and Law with the highest applause.

The theses on indulgences having brought him to the knowledge of the truth, he had forthwith made a bold profession of the faith.

He went to Wittenberg, in his innocence, intending to tack on the church-door there his theses.

I think it in very bad taste, always impertinent, and often pedantic, to attempt to prove theses by writing stories.

British Dictionary definitions for thesis

/ ( ˈθiːsɪs ) /

a dissertation resulting from original research, esp when submitted by a candidate for a degree or diploma

a doctrine maintained or promoted in argument

a subject for a discussion or essay

an unproved statement, esp one put forward as a premise in an argument

music the downbeat of a bar, as indicated in conducting

(in classical prosody) the syllable or part of a metrical foot not receiving the ictus : Compare arsis

philosophy the first stage in the Hegelian dialectic, that is challenged by the antithesis

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for thesis

The central idea in a piece of writing, sometimes contained in a topic sentence .

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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Meaning of thesis in English

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  • I wrote my thesis on literacy strategies for boys .
  • Her main thesis is that children need a lot of verbal stimulation .
  • boilerplate
  • composition
  • dissertation
  • essay question
  • peer review

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics:

thesis | Intermediate English

Examples of thesis, collocations with thesis.

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What is another word for Thesis ?

Synonyms for thesis ˈθi sɪs the·sis, this thesaurus page includes all potential synonyms, words with the same meaning and similar terms for the word thesis ., princeton's wordnet rate these synonyms: 0.0 / 0 votes.

thesis noun

an unproved statement put forward as a premise in an argument

Synonyms: dissertation

dissertation, thesis noun

a treatise advancing a new point of view resulting from research; usually a requirement for an advanced academic degree

Synonyms: dissertation , thesis

Matched Categories

Dictionary of english synonymes rate these synonyms: 4.0 / 1 vote.

Synonyms: proposition , position , dictum , doctrine

Synonyms: theme , subject , topic , text

Synonyms: essay , dissertation , composition

PPDB, the paraphrase database Rate these paraphrases: 5.0 / 1 vote

List of paraphrases for "thesis":

dissertation , theses , theory , argument , proposition , contention , memory

Suggested Resources

Song lyrics by thesis -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by thesis on the website.

How to pronounce Thesis?

How to say thesis in sign language, words popularity by usage frequency, how to use thesis in a sentence.

Oliver Pursche :

The market is getting that the statements (from Mnuchin and Trump) are more political than indicative of a change in strategy. Nothing has changed in terms of our investment thesis.

Madeline Peltz :

The Republican Party was sort of testing this thesis about, do we continue down this path of Trumpism, of extreme election denial, and that was being reflected in the right wing media’s commentary on Brazil as well — they were testing that thesis both in the American elections and in the Brazilian elections.

J. Frank Dobie :

The average Ph.D. thesis is nothing but a transference of bones from one graveyard to another.

Miles Goslett :

A coroner is independent of the government, a coroner’s inquest goes into an investigation with an open mind, they don’t go into it to prove a thesis. A public inquiry into this man’s death was to prove a thesis, that he killed himself. It was a whitewash, a travesty.

Elvis Picardo :

We're seeing concerns about the timing of the inevitable rate hike of the Fed, our fundamental thesis that the TSX will have a down year still stands.

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  • What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples

What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples

Published on September 14, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on November 21, 2023.

A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master’s program or a capstone to a bachelor’s degree.

Writing a thesis can be a daunting experience. Other than a dissertation , it is one of the longest pieces of writing students typically complete. It relies on your ability to conduct research from start to finish: choosing a relevant topic , crafting a proposal , designing your research , collecting data , developing a robust analysis, drawing strong conclusions , and writing concisely .

Thesis template

You can also download our full thesis template in the format of your choice below. Our template includes a ready-made table of contents , as well as guidance for what each chapter should include. It’s easy to make it your own, and can help you get started.

Download Word template Download Google Docs template

Table of contents

Thesis vs. thesis statement, how to structure a thesis, acknowledgements or preface, list of figures and tables, list of abbreviations, introduction, literature review, methodology, reference list, proofreading and editing, defending your thesis, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about theses.

You may have heard the word thesis as a standalone term or as a component of academic writing called a thesis statement . Keep in mind that these are two very different things.

  • A thesis statement is a very common component of an essay, particularly in the humanities. It usually comprises 1 or 2 sentences in the introduction of your essay , and should clearly and concisely summarize the central points of your academic essay .
  • A thesis is a long-form piece of academic writing, often taking more than a full semester to complete. It is generally a degree requirement for Master’s programs, and is also sometimes required to complete a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts colleges.
  • In the US, a dissertation is generally written as a final step toward obtaining a PhD.
  • In other countries (particularly the UK), a dissertation is generally written at the bachelor’s or master’s level.

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The final structure of your thesis depends on a variety of components, such as:

  • Your discipline
  • Your theoretical approach

Humanities theses are often structured more like a longer-form essay . Just like in an essay, you build an argument to support a central thesis.

In both hard and social sciences, theses typically include an introduction , literature review , methodology section ,  results section , discussion section , and conclusion section . These are each presented in their own dedicated section or chapter. In some cases, you might want to add an appendix .

Thesis examples

We’ve compiled a short list of thesis examples to help you get started.

  • Example thesis #1:   “Abolition, Africans, and Abstraction: the Influence of the ‘Noble Savage’ on British and French Antislavery Thought, 1787-1807” by Suchait Kahlon.
  • Example thesis #2: “’A Starving Man Helping Another Starving Man’: UNRRA, India, and the Genesis of Global Relief, 1943-1947″ by Julian Saint Reiman.

The very first page of your thesis contains all necessary identifying information, including:

  • Your full title
  • Your full name
  • Your department
  • Your institution and degree program
  • Your submission date.

Sometimes the title page also includes your student ID, the name of your supervisor, or the university’s logo. Check out your university’s guidelines if you’re not sure.

Read more about title pages

The acknowledgements section is usually optional. Its main point is to allow you to thank everyone who helped you in your thesis journey, such as supervisors, friends, or family. You can also choose to write a preface , but it’s typically one or the other, not both.

Read more about acknowledgements Read more about prefaces

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An abstract is a short summary of your thesis. Usually a maximum of 300 words long, it’s should include brief descriptions of your research objectives , methods, results, and conclusions. Though it may seem short, it introduces your work to your audience, serving as a first impression of your thesis.

Read more about abstracts

A table of contents lists all of your sections, plus their corresponding page numbers and subheadings if you have them. This helps your reader seamlessly navigate your document.

Your table of contents should include all the major parts of your thesis. In particular, don’t forget the the appendices. If you used heading styles, it’s easy to generate an automatic table Microsoft Word.

Read more about tables of contents

While not mandatory, if you used a lot of tables and/or figures, it’s nice to include a list of them to help guide your reader. It’s also easy to generate one of these in Word: just use the “Insert Caption” feature.

Read more about lists of figures and tables

If you have used a lot of industry- or field-specific abbreviations in your thesis, you should include them in an alphabetized list of abbreviations . This way, your readers can easily look up any meanings they aren’t familiar with.

Read more about lists of abbreviations

Relatedly, if you find yourself using a lot of very specialized or field-specific terms that may not be familiar to your reader, consider including a glossary . Alphabetize the terms you want to include with a brief definition.

Read more about glossaries

An introduction sets up the topic, purpose, and relevance of your thesis, as well as expectations for your reader. This should:

  • Ground your research topic , sharing any background information your reader may need
  • Define the scope of your work
  • Introduce any existing research on your topic, situating your work within a broader problem or debate
  • State your research question(s)
  • Outline (briefly) how the remainder of your work will proceed

In other words, your introduction should clearly and concisely show your reader the “what, why, and how” of your research.

Read more about introductions

A literature review helps you gain a robust understanding of any extant academic work on your topic, encompassing:

  • Selecting relevant sources
  • Determining the credibility of your sources
  • Critically evaluating each of your sources
  • Drawing connections between sources, including any themes, patterns, conflicts, or gaps

A literature review is not merely a summary of existing work. Rather, your literature review should ultimately lead to a clear justification for your own research, perhaps via:

  • Addressing a gap in the literature
  • Building on existing knowledge to draw new conclusions
  • Exploring a new theoretical or methodological approach
  • Introducing a new solution to an unresolved problem
  • Definitively advocating for one side of a theoretical debate

Read more about literature reviews

Theoretical framework

Your literature review can often form the basis for your theoretical framework, but these are not the same thing. A theoretical framework defines and analyzes the concepts and theories that your research hinges on.

Read more about theoretical frameworks

Your methodology chapter shows your reader how you conducted your research. It should be written clearly and methodically, easily allowing your reader to critically assess the credibility of your argument. Furthermore, your methods section should convince your reader that your method was the best way to answer your research question.

A methodology section should generally include:

  • Your overall approach ( quantitative vs. qualitative )
  • Your research methods (e.g., a longitudinal study )
  • Your data collection methods (e.g., interviews or a controlled experiment
  • Any tools or materials you used (e.g., computer software)
  • The data analysis methods you chose (e.g., statistical analysis , discourse analysis )
  • A strong, but not defensive justification of your methods

Read more about methodology sections

Your results section should highlight what your methodology discovered. These two sections work in tandem, but shouldn’t repeat each other. While your results section can include hypotheses or themes, don’t include any speculation or new arguments here.

Your results section should:

  • State each (relevant) result with any (relevant) descriptive statistics (e.g., mean , standard deviation ) and inferential statistics (e.g., test statistics , p values )
  • Explain how each result relates to the research question
  • Determine whether the hypothesis was supported

Additional data (like raw numbers or interview transcripts ) can be included as an appendix . You can include tables and figures, but only if they help the reader better understand your results.

Read more about results sections

Your discussion section is where you can interpret your results in detail. Did they meet your expectations? How well do they fit within the framework that you built? You can refer back to any relevant source material to situate your results within your field, but leave most of that analysis in your literature review.

For any unexpected results, offer explanations or alternative interpretations of your data.

Read more about discussion sections

Your thesis conclusion should concisely answer your main research question. It should leave your reader with an ultra-clear understanding of your central argument, and emphasize what your research specifically has contributed to your field.

Why does your research matter? What recommendations for future research do you have? Lastly, wrap up your work with any concluding remarks.

Read more about conclusions

In order to avoid plagiarism , don’t forget to include a full reference list at the end of your thesis, citing the sources that you used. Choose one citation style and follow it consistently throughout your thesis, taking note of the formatting requirements of each style.

Which style you choose is often set by your department or your field, but common styles include MLA , Chicago , and APA.

Create APA citations Create MLA citations

In order to stay clear and concise, your thesis should include the most essential information needed to answer your research question. However, chances are you have many contributing documents, like interview transcripts or survey questions . These can be added as appendices , to save space in the main body.

Read more about appendices

Once you’re done writing, the next part of your editing process begins. Leave plenty of time for proofreading and editing prior to submission. Nothing looks worse than grammar mistakes or sloppy spelling errors!

Consider using a professional thesis editing service or grammar checker to make sure your final project is perfect.

Once you’ve submitted your final product, it’s common practice to have a thesis defense, an oral component of your finished work. This is scheduled by your advisor or committee, and usually entails a presentation and Q&A session.

After your defense , your committee will meet to determine if you deserve any departmental honors or accolades. However, keep in mind that defenses are usually just a formality. If there are any serious issues with your work, these should be resolved with your advisor way before a defense.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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The conclusion of your thesis or dissertation shouldn’t take up more than 5–7% of your overall word count.

If you only used a few abbreviations in your thesis or dissertation , you don’t necessarily need to include a list of abbreviations .

If your abbreviations are numerous, or if you think they won’t be known to your audience, it’s never a bad idea to add one. They can also improve readability, minimizing confusion about abbreviations unfamiliar to your reader.

When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .

A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.

Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation , such as:

  • Your anticipated title
  • Your abstract
  • Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review , research methods , avenues for future research, etc.)

A thesis is typically written by students finishing up a bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Some educational institutions, particularly in the liberal arts, have mandatory theses, but they are often not mandatory to graduate from bachelor’s degrees. It is more common for a thesis to be a graduation requirement from a Master’s degree.

Even if not mandatory, you may want to consider writing a thesis if you:

  • Plan to attend graduate school soon
  • Have a particular topic you’d like to study more in-depth
  • Are considering a career in research
  • Would like a capstone experience to tie up your academic experience

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Thesis synonyms

What is another word for thesis .

  • dissertation study, publishing
  • contention proposition, belief
  • proposition belief, conjecture
  • argument matter, theme
  • theory belief, conjecture
  • hypothesis belief, theory
  • supposition belief, conjecture
  • assumption conjecture, reason
  • paper publishing, dissertation
  • premise reason, theory

other words for thesis

  • postulate assumption, reason
  • treatise dissertation, research paper
  • monograph dissertation, research paper
  • presupposition conjecture, reason
  • opinion assumption, proposition
  • assertion proposition
  • composition publishing, dissertation
  • theme subject, publishing
  • postulation reason, theory
  • disquisition study, memoir
  • theorem assumption
  • point theme
  • subject theme, statement
  • discourse memoir, debate
  • belief proposition
  • proposal theory
  • study research paper

Synonyms for thesis

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Harvard Finds More Instances of ‘Duplicative Language’ in President’s Work

Claudine Gay has faced growing criticism of not only her response to antisemitism on campus but also her scholarship.

other words for thesis

By Jennifer Schuessler

Harvard University, in the face of mounting questions over possible plagiarism in the scholarly work of its president, Claudine Gay, said on Wednesday that it had found two additional instances of insufficient citation in her work.

The issues were found in Dr. Gay’s 1997 doctoral dissertation, in which Harvard said it had found two examples of “duplicative language without appropriate attribution.”

Last week, Harvard said that an earlier review had found two published articles that needed additional citations, and that Dr. Gay would request corrections.

“President Gay will update her dissertation correcting these instances of inadequate citation,” the university said on Wednesday of the additional findings.

The news was an embarrassing development for the university, which has sought to quell tumult over Dr. Gay’s leadership in recent weeks.

On Wednesday, a congressional committee currently investigating Harvard sent a letter to the university demanding all its documentation and communications related to the allegations.

More than a week ago, Dr. Gay seemed to survive concerns about her response to the Oct. 7 attack on Israel and charges of antisemitism on campus, only to be faced with criticism of her scholarship. Wednesday’s news has raised more questions about the process by which the university board, known as the Harvard Corporation, has handled plagiarism allegations against Dr. Gay, and whether it has been overly lenient with her.

On Wednesday, Harvard said that the inquiry into Dr. Gay’s work was not handled by the research integrity office of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which would normally investigate plagiarism charges against a member of that faculty. Instead the Corporation, a 12-member board that has been criticized for its insularity, appointed a panel of outside scholars to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, because the head of the research integrity office ultimately reports to the president.

The allegations of plagiarism against Dr. Gay have been driven by conservative media, and on Dec. 10 surfaced publicly when the activist Christopher Rufo published a newsletter piece headlined, “Is Claudine Gay a Plagiarist?” That article , which highlighted issues with Dr. Gay’s dissertation, appeared the night before the board met to decide if she would remain as Harvard’s president.

Additional allegations continued to surface in conservative outlets like The Washington Free Beacon and on social media, even after the board announced on Dec. 12 that it would stand behind her.

The controversy swirling around Dr. Gay raises questions about what it means for a premier American university when its scholarly leader — who at Harvard has final approval on all tenure decisions — has been accused of failing to adhere to scholarly standards. The allegations against her are landing in the middle of a charged political battle. But they have also prompted some to wonder whether Harvard is treating its leader with greater latitude than it would its students.

Altogether, the allegations accuse Dr. Gay, a political scientist, of using material from other sources without proper attribution in her dissertation and about half of the 11 journal articles listed on her résumé .

The examples range from brief snippets of technical definitions to paragraphs summing up other scholars’ research that are only lightly paraphrased, and in some cases lack any direct citation of the other scholars.

In one example that has drawn particular attention and online ridicule, the acknowledgments of Dr. Gay’s dissertation appear to take two sentences from the 1996 book acknowledgments of another scholar, Jennifer L. Hochschild. Dr. Hochschild wrote of a mentor who “showed me the importance of getting the data right and of following where they lead without fear or favor,” and “drove me much harder than I sometimes wanted to be driven.”

In Dr. Gay’s dissertation acknowledgments the next year, she thanked her family, who “drove me harder than I sometimes wanted to be driven.” And she thanked her thesis adviser, Gary King, who “reminded me of the importance of getting the data right and following where they lead without fear or favor.”

As allegations mounted last week, faculty members at Harvard and scholars elsewhere offered varying assessments of the severity of the infractions, with some seeing a disturbing pattern, and others calling them minor or dismissing them as a partisan hit job.

But to some, the issue is plain: Dr. Gay committed plagiarism — a word which does not actually appear in the Harvard board’s initial statement on Dec. 12 — and Harvard should admit it.

Carol Swain, a political scientist who retired from Vanderbilt University in 2017, said that she was “livid,” both at Dr. Gay’s use of her work and Harvard’s defense of her.

“I also have a concern that Harvard University decides it gets to redefine what plagiarism is when it suits its needs,” she said. “That to me is unacceptable.”

In the dissertation, Mr. Rufo said in his newsletter, Dr. Gay used Dr. Swain’s work at least twice with no citation. In one example, Dr. Gay wrote, “Since the 1950s, the re-election rate for incumbent House members has rarely dipped below 90%.” In an earlier book, Dr. Swain had written, “Since the 1950s the re-election rate for House members has rarely dipped below 90%.” (It is unclear if Harvard’s investigation deemed this example problematic.)

The left-leaning Boston Globe editorial board was also scathing about Harvard’s initial statement on the plagiarism allegations, which it called “confusing.”

“If Gay didn’t violate any standards of research, why would she need to correct anything?” it asked.

On Wednesday, Harvard provided some additional details about its investigation. It said that it was spurred by an inquiry on Oct. 24 from The New York Post, seeking comment on what Harvard described as “anonymous allegations” of plagiarism.

Harvard said the Corporation had appointed a three-member independent review board, consisting of scholars with “no ties to Harvard” who are “among the nation’s most respected political scientists, whose disciplinary expertise qualifies them to have conducted this review of Gay’s work.” It declined to publicly disclose the names of the scholars.

The panel reviewed all the allegations in The Post’s inquiry, the summary said, and also reviewed “all of President Gay’s other published works from 1993 to 2019.” It did not review her dissertation, Harvard said, since no questions had been raised about it. Allegations about the dissertation were first publicly raised on Dec. 10, in Mr. Rufo’s newsletter.

Two days later, in a statement saying Dr. Gay would remain as president, the Corporation briefly addressed the allegations about her scholarship.

It said an independent inquiry had investigated her “published work” and found two papers needing additional citations, but no “research misconduct.”

But that hardly settled the question, on campus or beyond.

On the face of it, Harvard’s definition of plagiarism would seem clear — and exacting. “Plagiarism is defined as the act of intentionally OR unintentionally submitting work that was written by somebody else,” a handbook for students says. Every source, including websites and seemingly unauthored documents, “must be cited properly.”

Plagiarism, the handbook says, “is taken very seriously at Harvard.”

The regulations for professors in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, of which Dr. Gay, a professor of government and of African and African American studies, is a member, define plagiarism similarly.

But it specifies that plagiarism rises to the level of “research misconduct,” which can be punished, only if the infractions were committed “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly.”

In a summary of its process on Wednesday, Harvard reiterated that its review of Dr. Gay’s work did not find evidence that met this bar.

For some faculty members, and not just liberal ones, the details of the charges and Harvard’s procedures were less important than the context in which the charges were being lobbed.

“It’s part of this extreme right-wing attack on elite institutions,” said Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School and a former solicitor general in the Reagan administration. “The obvious point is to make it look as if there is this ‘woke’ double standard at elite institutions.”

“If it came from some other quarter, I might be granting it some credence,” he said of the accusations. “But not from these people.”

Steven Levitsky, a government professor and the organizer of a faculty petition this month urging the Corporation to “resist political pressures that are at odds with Harvard’s commitment to academic freedom,” said the passages highlighted seemed to mostly be “mild sloppiness.”

Many, he said, appeared to occur in sections of the papers dealing not with Gay’s core claims, but with summaries of methodologies and of previous scholarship.

“She’s a quantitative scholar,” he said. “She cares about the data. These guys don’t spend time fussing about their literature reviews.”

Few of those who saw the accusations as potentially serious were willing to speak on the record. But some who said they were troubled also noted that students were often punished, sometimes harshly, for similar infractions.

“It’s troubling to see the standards we apply to undergrads seem to differ from the standards we apply to faculty,” Theda Skocpol, a professor of government, said.

Dr. Hochschild, who has known Dr. Gay for years and remains supportive, said in an interview that she was perplexed to learn about the repetition in language in the acknowledgments of her book, from the 1990s. But “I’m not terribly disturbed,” Dr. Hochschild, who joined the Harvard faculty in 2001, said, in part because “the sentiments and phrasing were not especially distinctive.”

How Harvard evaluates and punishes plagiarism — and whether star professors get off lightly compared with students — is a long-running subject of debate.

In 2005, after two prominent law professors, Charles Ogletree Jr. and Laurence Tribe, were publicly accused of plagiarism , The Harvard Crimson ran an editorial decrying the “disappointing double standard,” noting that “students caught plagiarizing are routinely suspended for semesters or even entire academic years.”

In both cases, the investigations — which were led by Derek Bok, a former Harvard president, and unfolded over months — found that each had in fact committed plagiarism. The professors were publicly chastised by the administration, but Harvard did not say whether there were any sanctions, according to news reports at the time.

In an apology, Mr. Ogletree, who died this year , acknowledged that his 2004 book “All Deliberate Speed” included several paragraphs from another law professor almost verbatim, without any attribution, according to a New York Times report at the time. (He said it was the result of a mix-up by his research assistants.)

In Mr. Tribe’s case, he was deemed by Harvard’s president and the law school dean to have unintentionally included “various brief passages and phrases that echo or overlap with material” in a book by another scholar, who was not credited. Mr. Tribe, who still teaches at Harvard, apologized.

At the time, a fellow legal scholar told The Times that for professors whose infractions became public, the humiliation was the true cost: “The discovery is the punishment.”

Anemona Hartocollis and Sarah Mervosh contributed reporting. Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.

Jennifer Schuessler is a culture reporter covering intellectual life and the world of ideas. She is based in New York. More about Jennifer Schuessler

What Words To Use To Make Your Thesis Look Better Now

Published by positive words research on december 12, 2018 december 12, 2018.

Thesis writing remains an integral part of academia even in the unforeseeable future. It is a test of expertise, excellence, knowledge ,experience and skills in postgraduate studies. The big question is whether you’re doing it right or writing thesis help will put all your worries behind.

The truth is that students exhibit wide-ranging skill levels when it comes to academic literary composition. But ,when it comes to doing a thesis paper, there is no one’s way of going about it one shoe fits all approach. A student must, therefore, follow set rules ,procedures and guidelines when writing this important paper. It is the epitome of earning a Master’s degree of PhD depending on a country’s academic system.

Choice of Words

Moreover, writing a thesis paper isn’t going to be easy unless you choose the right words for it. And, while there could be variations depending on a topic, it is imperative to note that certain phrases and words denote universal practices at this level of academic writing. You wouldn’t want to sound amateurish, would you? Well, no one would, especially given the significance and weight of this type of paper, not to mention the seriousness that goes into crafting it.

Now, let’s take a look at some example, particularly, words that will make your thesis look better.

  • Whether you want to indicate the purpose of your study or explain how original pieces of work have helped you arrived at the present project, the following phrases/words always fit the bill for introduction or description:
  • This study investigates….
  • This paper explores…
  • This research aims to address ….
  • The paper discuses …
  • This project presents…
  • The paper outlines (surveys, features, highlights, questions…)

2. For analytical purposes, words like this paper/study considers , analyzes, explains, evaluates, interprets, clarifies, identifies, delves into, advances, defines, dissects, probes, tests , explores and appraises have always worked wonders in helping students better their thesis writing. And when referring to sections, use words like covers, deals with, talks about, outlines, sketches, highlights, assesses or contemplates.

3. Descriptive elements of research finding analysis often employ words like

Findings/study/investigation calls into question, challenges, refutes, rebuts, disputes, disproves, questions, debunks, invalidates or rejects.

4. When it comes to giving background of a study, especially after going everywhere possible looking for information to backup your write-up, make it known in your thesis using the right words such as the following:

  • The mechanism/subject plays a significant/vital/important role (this is the conventional way of doing it).
  • Alternative phrases include the subject influences, regulates, directs, governs, inhibits, controls or constraints. The 5Ws apply here and by taking the normalized verb and making it the main verb, your sentences will sound scholastic.
  • When describing say theory Y and how it impacts your study, you can use words like ‘much attention has been drawn to…,’ ‘theory Y has become important in recent times…,’ the preferred theory to explain, widely accepted, frequently implemented, a common/prevailing method of explaining…. xyz …’

5. When consenting to an agreement that has been arrived at regarding your study topic, you can use the following words:

  • The agreement/consensus has been that…,
  • Initial/prior studies/research confirms that…,
  • Several studies confirm/agree…,
  • Some studies substantiate this belief…

6. When discussing findings and expressing the depth/breadth of a study/knowledgebase, the following phrases will make your thesis excellent:

  • Previous studies/researches indicate…
  • ….have documented
  • …have shown that…
  • Have demonstrated…
  • …much/little is known about xyz….

7. Finally, even if you choose to use paper writing pros , the following words for discussing results/findings, observations, methods and impact of a study are important.

  • Suggests, show, extrapolate, surmise, deduce, extract, approximate, evidence, surfaced, yielded, generated, perceived, detected…(for explaining results)
  • The research/y-method performed, used, employed, diffused, relayed, administered, applied, replicated, imitated…  (Discussing methods)
  • Study xyz demonstrates/shows, proves, establishes, offers, introduces, illustrates, attributes, ushers in, promotes, reveals, unveils, exposes, unearths, proffers, conveys, advances or strengthens. (For describing impact).

Positive Words Research – What Words To Use To Make Your Thesis Look Better?

What words to use to make your thesis look better

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  1. 48 Synonyms & Antonyms for THESIS

    Synonyms Antonyms Strongest matches written dissertation Discover More Related Words Words related to thesis are not direct synonyms, but are associated with the word thesis. Browse related words to learn more about word associations.

  2. THESIS Synonyms: 44 Similar and Opposite Words

    Definition of thesis 1 as in argument an idea or opinion that is put forth in a discussion or debate put forth the thesis that the electronic media's coverage of politics trivializes the workings of our democracy Synonyms & Similar Words Relevance argument contention assertion hypothesis theory guess assumption hunch proposal proposition

  3. What is another word for thesis?

    Find 1,880 synonyms for thesis and other similar words that you can use instead based on 6 separate contexts. Thesis can mean a statement or theory, a long essay or dissertation, a topic or theme, an explanation based on hypothesis and experiments, or a spoken word. See also antonyms, rhymes, sentences, and related words.

  4. thesis

    noun These are words and phrases related to thesis. Click on any word or phrase to go to its thesaurus page. Or, go to the definition of thesis. The engineer's thesis was that the new machinery would double production. Synonyms proposition proposal argument theory hypothesis postulate concept notion conjecture speculation surmise supposition

  5. Thesis synonyms

    Find other words and phrases for thesis, such as idea, belief, theory, essay, and more. Browse the list of 1 128 synonyms for thesis in different parts of speech and categories, or use the search function to filter by tags.

  6. Thesis Definition & Meaning

    The meaning of THESIS is a dissertation embodying results of original research and especially substantiating a specific view; especially : one written by a candidate for an academic degree. How to use thesis in a sentence. Did you know? ... Synonyms of thesis. 1: ...

  7. Thesis Synonyms and Antonyms

    (Noun) Synonyms: hypothesis belief argument postulate premise opinion theory principle assumption postulation composition discourse dissertation essay exposition presupposition supposition

  8. Thesis

    noun a treatise advancing a new point of view resulting from research; usually a requirement for an advanced academic degree synonyms: dissertation see more Pronunciation US /ˈθisɪs/ UK /ˈθisɪs/ Cite this entry Style: MLA "Thesis." Dictionary,, Accessed 18 Dec. 2023.

  9. THESIS Synonyms

    Explore 'thesis' in the dictionary thesis 1 (noun) in the sense of proposition Definition an opinion supported by reasoned argument This thesis does not stand up to close inspection. Synonyms proposition theory hypothesis idea view opinion proposal contention line of argument See examples for synonyms 2 (noun) in the sense of dissertation

  10. Thesis synonyms, thesis antonyms

    Antonyms for thesis. 37 synonyms for thesis: proposition, theory, hypothesis, idea, view, opinion, proposal, contention, line of argument, dissertation, paper, treatise, essay.... What are synonyms for thesis? Thesis synonyms, thesis antonyms - Printer Friendly

  11. Synonyms of THESIS

    Explore 'thesis' in the dictionary thesis 1 (noun) in the sense of proposition Definition an opinion supported by reasoned argument This thesis does not stand up to close inspection. Synonyms proposition theory hypothesis idea view opinion proposal contention line of argument See examples for synonyms 2 (noun) in the sense of dissertation

  12. THESIS in Thesaurus: 1000+ Synonyms & Antonyms for THESIS

    THESIS in Thesaurus: 1000+ Synonyms & Antonyms for THESIS Parts of speech Synonyms Similar meaning View all theme hypothesis proposition argument premise theory assumption essay dissertation contention supposition paper treatise postulate postulation presupposition subject idea monograph opinion theorem belief topic text disquisition Antonyms

  13. 48 Synonyms & Antonyms for THESIS (Page 2)

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  14. Thesis Definition & Meaning

    noun,pluralthe·ses[thee-seez]. /ˈθi siz/. the downward stroke in conducting; downbeat. arsis (def. 1) a part of a metrical foot that does not bear the ictus or stress. (less commonly) the part of a metrical foot that bears the ictus.: Compare arsis (def. 2) Hegelian dialectic See more

  15. THESIS Definition & Usage Examples

    Thesis definition: a proposition stated or put forward for consideration, especially one to be discussed and proved or to be maintained against objections. See examples of THESIS used in a sentence.

  16. THESIS

    THESIS definition: 1. a long piece of writing on a particular subject, especially one that is done for a higher…. Learn more.

  17. THESIS

    THESIS meaning: 1. a long piece of writing on a particular subject, especially one that is done for a higher…. Learn more.

  18. Thesis Synonyms & Antonyms

    Synonyms for Thesis ˈθi sɪs the·sis This thesaurus page includes all potential synonyms, words with the same meaning and similar terms for the word Thesis. Princeton's WordNet Rate these synonyms: 0.0 / 0 votes. thesis noun. an unproved statement put forward as a premise in an argument.

  19. What Is a Thesis?

    Dissertation What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples What Is a Thesis? | Ultimate Guide & Examples Published on September 14, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on November 21, 2023. A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research.

  20. 56 Words and Phrases for Thesis Statement

    Thesis Statement synonyms - 56 Words and Phrases for Thesis Statement statement n. # focus , solution thesis n. # focus , solution thesis defence n. # diploma , project abridged version brief account condensed version defence of the graduate project n. # diploma , project diploma defence n. # diploma , project essay's general statement

  21. More 700 Thesis Synonyms. Similar words for Thesis.

    What is another word for Thesis? dissertation study, publishing contention proposition, belief proposition belief, conjecture argument matter, theme theory belief, conjecture hypothesis belief, theory supposition belief, conjecture assumption conjecture, reason paper publishing, dissertation premise reason, theory essay publishing, dissertation

  22. Harvard Finds More Instances of 'Duplicative Language' in Claudine Gay

    By Jennifer Schuessler. Dec. 20, 2023. Harvard University, in the face of mounting questions over possible plagiarism in the scholarly work of its president, Claudine Gay, said on Wednesday that ...

  23. What Words To Use To Make Your Thesis Look Better?

    When it comes to giving background of a study, especially after going everywhere possible looking for information to backup your write-up, make it known in your thesis using the right words such as the following: The mechanism/subject plays a significant/vital/important role (this is the conventional way of doing it).