How to Write a BA Thesis: A Practical Guide from Your First Ideas to Your Finished Paper

University of Chicago Press
2
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The senior thesis is the capstone of a college education, but writing one can be a daunting prospect. Students need to choose their own topic and select the right adviser. Then they need to work steadily for several months as they research, write, and manage a major independent project. Now there's a mentor to help. How to Write a BA Thesis is a practical, friendly guide written by Charles Lipson, an experienced professor who has guided hundreds of students through the thesis-writing process.

This book offers step-by-step advice on how to turn a vague idea into a clearly defined proposal, then a draft paper, and, ultimately, a polished thesis. Lipson also tackles issues beyond the classroom-from good work habits to coping with personal problems that interfere with research and writing.

Filled with examples and easy-to-use highlighted tips, the book also includes handy time schedules that show when to begin various tasks and how much time to spend on each. Convenient checklists remind students which steps need special attention, and a detailed appendix, filled with examples, shows how to use the three main citation systems in the humanities and social sciences: MLA, APA, and Chicago.

How to Write a BA Thesis will help students work more comfortably and effectively-on their own and with their advisers. Its clear guidelines and sensible advice make it the perfect text for thesis workshops. Students and their advisers will refer again and again to this invaluable resource. From choosing a topic to preparing the final paper, How to Write a BA Thesis helps students turn a daunting prospect into a remarkable achievement.
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About the author

Charles Lipson is professor and director of undergraduate studies in political science at the University of Chicago. He is the author of Doing Honest Work in College.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Dec 1, 2007
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Pages
402
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ISBN
9780226481272
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / General
Language Arts & Disciplines / Composition & Creative Writing
Reference / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Since its publication in 2004, Doing Honest Work in College has become an integral part of academic integrity and first-year experience programs across the country. This helpful guide explains the principles of academic integrity in a clear, straightforward way and shows students how to apply them in all academic situations—from paper writing and independent research to study groups and lab work. Teachers can use this book to open a discussion with their students about these difficult issues. Students will find a trusted resource for citation help whether they are studying comparative literature or computer science. Every major reference style is represented. Most important of all, many universities that adopt this book report a reduction in cheating and plagiarism on campus.
For this second edition, Charles Lipson has updated hundreds of examples and included many new media sources. There is now a full chapter on how to take good notes and use them properly in papers and assignments. The extensive list of citation styles incorporates guidelines from the American Anthropological Association. The result is the definitive resource on academic integrity that students can use every day.
“Georgetown’s entering class will discover that we actually have given them what we expect will be a very useful book, Doing Honest Work in College. It will be one of the first things students see on their residence hall desks when they move in, and we hope they will realize how important the topic is.”—James J. O’Donnell, Provost, Georgetown University
“A useful book to keep on your reference shelf.”—Bonita L. Wilcox, English Leadership Quarterly
With more than three-quarters of a million copies sold since its first publication, The Craft of Research has helped generations of researchers at every level—from first-year undergraduates to advanced graduate students to research reporters in business and government—learn how to conduct effective and meaningful research. Conceived by seasoned researchers and educators Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, this fundamental work explains how to find and evaluate sources, anticipate and respond to reader reservations, and integrate these pieces into an argument that stands up to reader critique.

The fourth edition has been thoroughly but respectfully revised by Joseph Bizup and William T. FitzGerald. It retains the original five-part structure, as well as the sound advice of earlier editions, but reflects the way research and writing are taught and practiced today. Its chapters on finding and engaging sources now incorporate recent developments in library and Internet research, emphasizing new techniques made possible by online databases and search engines. Bizup and FitzGerald provide fresh examples and standardized terminology to clarify concepts like argument, warrant, and problem.

Following the same guiding principle as earlier editions—that the skills of doing and reporting research are not just for elite students but for everyone—this new edition retains the accessible voice and direct approach that have made The Craft of Research a leader in the field of research reference. With updated examples and information on evaluation and using contemporary sources, this beloved classic is ready for the next generation of researchers.
Writers know only too well how long it can take—and how awkward it can be—to describe spatial relationships with words alone. And while a map might not always be worth a thousand words, a good one can help writers communicate an argument or explanation clearly, succinctly, and effectively.

In his acclaimed How to Lie with Maps, Mark Monmonier showed how maps can distort facts. In Mapping it Out: Expository Cartography for the Humanities and Social Sciences, he shows authors and scholars how they can use expository cartography—the visual, two-dimensional organization of information—to heighten the impact of their books and articles.

This concise, practical book is an introduction to the fundamental principles of graphic logic and design, from the basics of scale to the complex mapping of movement or change. Monmonier helps writers and researchers decide when maps are most useful and what formats work best in a wide range of subject areas, from literary criticism to sociology. He demonstrates, for example, various techniques for representing changes and patterns; different typefaces and how they can either clarify or confuse information; and the effectiveness of less traditional map forms, such as visibility base maps, frame-rectangle symbols, and complementary scatterplot designs for conveying complex spatial relationships.

There is also a wealth of practical information on map compilation, cartobibliographies, copyright and permissions, facsimile reproduction, and the evaluation of source materials. Appendixes discuss the benefits and limitations of electronic graphics and pen-and-ink drafting, and how to work with a cartographic illustrator.

Clearly written, and filled with real-world examples, Mapping it Out demystifies mapmaking for anyone writing in the humanities and social sciences.

"A useful guide to a subject most people probably take too much for granted. It shows how map makers translate abstract data into eye-catching cartograms, as they are called. It combats cartographic illiteracy. It fights cartophobia. It may even teach you to find your way."—Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
Each year, 700,000 students from around the world come to the United States and Canada to study. For many, the experience is as challenging as it is exciting. Far from home, they must adapt to a new culture, new university system, and in many cases, a new language. The process can be overwhelming, but as Charles Lipson’s Succeeding as an International Student in the United States and Canada assures us, it doesn’t have to be.
Succeeding is designed to help students navigate the myriad issues they will encounter—from picking a program to landing a campus job. Based on Lipson’s work with international students as well as extensive interviews with faculty and advisers, Succeeding includes practical suggestions for learning English, participating in class, and meeting with instructors. In addition it explains the rules of academic honesty as they are understood in U.S. and Canadian universities.
Life beyond the classroom is also covered, with handy sections on living on or off campus, obtaining a driver’s license, setting up a bank account, and more. The comprehensive glossary addresses both academic terms and phrases heard while shopping or visiting a doctor. There is even a chapter on the academic calendar and holidays in the United States and Canada. Coming to a new country to study should be an exciting venture, not a baffling ordeal. Now, with this trustworthy resource, international students have all the practical information they need to succeed, in and out of the classroom.
High school students, two-year college students, and university students all need to know how to write a well-reasoned, coherent research paper—and for decades Kate Turabian’s Student’s Guide to Writing College Papers has helped them to develop this critical skill. In the new fourth edition of Turabian’s popular guide, the team behind Chicago’s widely respected The Craft of Research has reconceived and renewed this classic for today’s generation. Designed for less advanced writers than Turabian’s Manual of Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Seventh Edition, Gregory G. Colomb and Joseph M. Williams here introduce students to the art of defining a topic, doing high-quality research with limited resources, and writing an engaging and solid college paper.

The Student’s Guide is organized into three sections that lead students through the process of developing and revising a paper. Part 1, "Writing Your Paper," guides students through the research process with discussions of choosing and developing a topic, validating sources, planning arguments, writing drafts, avoiding plagiarism, and presenting evidence in tables and figures. Part 2, "Citing Sources," begins with a succinct introduction to why citation is important and includes sections on the three major styles students might encounter in their work—Chicago, MLA, and APA—all with full coverage of electronic source citation. Part 3, "Style," covers all matters of style important to writers of college papers, from punctuation to spelling to presenting titles, names, and numbers.

With the authority and clarity long associated with the name Turabian, the fourth edition of Student’s Guide to Writing College Papers is both a solid introduction to the research process and a convenient handbook to the best practices of writing college papers. Classroom tested and filled with relevant examples and tips, this is a reference that students, and their teachers, will turn to again and again.

Each year, 700,000 students from around the world come to the United States and Canada to study. For many, the experience is as challenging as it is exciting. Far from home, they must adapt to a new culture, new university system, and in many cases, a new language. The process can be overwhelming, but as Charles Lipson’s Succeeding as an International Student in the United States and Canada assures us, it doesn’t have to be.
Succeeding is designed to help students navigate the myriad issues they will encounter—from picking a program to landing a campus job. Based on Lipson’s work with international students as well as extensive interviews with faculty and advisers, Succeeding includes practical suggestions for learning English, participating in class, and meeting with instructors. In addition it explains the rules of academic honesty as they are understood in U.S. and Canadian universities.
Life beyond the classroom is also covered, with handy sections on living on or off campus, obtaining a driver’s license, setting up a bank account, and more. The comprehensive glossary addresses both academic terms and phrases heard while shopping or visiting a doctor. There is even a chapter on the academic calendar and holidays in the United States and Canada. Coming to a new country to study should be an exciting venture, not a baffling ordeal. Now, with this trustworthy resource, international students have all the practical information they need to succeed, in and out of the classroom.
Democracies often go to war but almost never against each other. Indeed, "the democratic peace" has become a catchphrase among scholars and even U.S. Presidents. But why do democracies avoid fighting each other? Reliable Partners offers the first systematic and definitive explanation. Examining decades of research and speculation on the subject and testing this against the history of relations between democracies over the last two centuries, Charles Lipson concludes that constitutional democracies have a "contracting advantage"--a unique ability to settle conflicts with each other by durable agreements. In so doing he forcefully counters realist claims that a regime's character is irrelevant to war and peace. Lipson argues that because democracies are confident their bargains will stick, they can negotiate effective settlements with each other rather than incur the great costs of war.

Why are democracies more reliable partners? Because their politics are uniquely open to outside scrutiny and facilitate long-term commitments. They cannot easily bluff, deceive, or launch surprise attacks. While this transparency weakens their bargaining position, it also makes their promises more credible--and more durable, for democracies are generally stable. Their leaders are constrained by constitutional rules, independent officials, and the political costs of abandoning public commitments. All this allows for solid bargains between democracies. When democracies contemplate breaking their agreements, their open debate gives partners advance notice and a chance to protect themselves. Hence agreements among democracies are less risky than those with nondemocratic states. Setting rigorous analysis in friendly, vigorous prose, Reliable Partners resolves longstanding questions about the democratic peace and highlights important new findings about democracies in world politics, from rivalries to alliances. Above all, it shows conclusively that democracies are uniquely adapted to seal enduring bargains with each other and thus avoid the blight of war.

Since its publication in 2004, Doing Honest Work in College has become an integral part of academic integrity and first-year experience programs across the country. This helpful guide explains the principles of academic integrity in a clear, straightforward way and shows students how to apply them in all academic situations—from paper writing and independent research to study groups and lab work. Teachers can use this book to open a discussion with their students about these difficult issues. Students will find a trusted resource for citation help whether they are studying comparative literature or computer science. Every major reference style is represented. Most important of all, many universities that adopt this book report a reduction in cheating and plagiarism on campus.
For this second edition, Charles Lipson has updated hundreds of examples and included many new media sources. There is now a full chapter on how to take good notes and use them properly in papers and assignments. The extensive list of citation styles incorporates guidelines from the American Anthropological Association. The result is the definitive resource on academic integrity that students can use every day.
“Georgetown’s entering class will discover that we actually have given them what we expect will be a very useful book, Doing Honest Work in College. It will be one of the first things students see on their residence hall desks when they move in, and we hope they will realize how important the topic is.”—James J. O’Donnell, Provost, Georgetown University
“A useful book to keep on your reference shelf.”—Bonita L. Wilcox, English Leadership Quarterly
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