Thesis Writing Resources
Writing a thesis or report can be a daunting task. For many students, this is the first 100+ page paper they've ever written. Students may be confused as to the papers format and style, as well as knowing how to structure the content. Following are a few tips on how to improve your thesis writing skills.
- As a rule, theses submitted by LAEP students follow APA style.
- The School of Graduate Studies has a Publication Guide which should be followed.
- The School of Graduate Studies has a Template Thesis which can be used to help format your paper.
- Erika Beckstrand, the School of Graduate Studies' thesis reviewer, holds thesis information sessions once a month during the school year. These sessions provide an oppotunity for students to ask Erika questions and learn what she's looking for when she reviews a paper.
For students wanting additional help with their theses, Utah State University provides the following resources:
- USU Writing Center - The campus writing center is located in the Ray B. West building. Students can receive individual attention from peers and tutors. Appointments can be made for online or in-person tutoring. Visiting the writing center with your thesis is completely free.
- USU Science Writing Center - Similar to the English Writing Center, the Science Writing Center specializes in reviewing lab reports, annotated bibliographies, research proposals, reserach papers and other scientific writing. This resource is free.
- Freelance Editors - Though not endorsed by the university, students within the English Department have signed-up to be freelance editors. These students have a wide variety of skillsets and experience. Payment for each freelance editor is negotiated between you and them.
- Classes - If you feel you could benefit from it, consider taking a writing course as an elective credit. Two good options are English 3080 Introduction to Technical Communication, and Animal, Diary and Veterinary Sciences 6650 Science Communication. ADVS 6650 is taught by Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies for the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, Dr. Abby Benninghoff.
Another option for interested students is the Cache Valley Community Writing Center. Held in the Juniper Room of the Logan City Library, students receive personal instruction between 6 and 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. It is not necessary to make an appointment for these visits, and there is no cost. Students can arrive at 5 p.m. and learn from a guest lecturer before individual reviews, if desired.
In addition to the resources above, there are numerous online apps and websites available to assist you. A few of these are listed below:
- The Hemingway Editor (Website & Desktop App) - This app allows you to paste your writing in, and it will tell you what grade level your writing is at, how long it will take the average person to read, how many sentences are hard to read, how many sentences use passive voice, etc.
- WebFX Readability Tool (Website) - This website rates your text based on six readability scales, including the SMOG Index, the Coleman Liau Index and the Automated Readability Index.