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Title: Thesis writing

Thesis writingfor( post graduate Medical
students )
  • Dr.T.V.Rao MD

What is a thesis / Dissertation
  • A dissertation or thesis is a document submitted
    in support of candidature for an academic degree
    or professional qualification presenting the
    author's research and findings.

Why write a thesis?
  • It is the contribution you make to the academic
  • You all have to suffer like we too suffered !
  • In the process, you will learn
  • How to research
  • How to write

Why write a thesis?
  • Does make you famous
  • Unlikely yes
  • Look at the statistics and the Seniors Work
  • It will radically change science
  • Unlikely
  • Look at the statistics

What a thesis creates
  • What I did in the lab over the last 2 to 3 years
  • I first read the background material
  • I then implemented an algorithm
  • I did some practical work
  • A thesis is a logical reconstruction
  • Not a historical narrative

How a Dissertation is conducted
  • A postgraduate conducts research on a problem
    relevant to medical specality under the guidance
    of Faculty Members and submits a
    protocol/synopsis in the end of 1st year and the
    final dissertation at the end of 2½ years.

A thesis is an original contribution to knowledge
  • An advisor/ guide will expect that
  • You have identified a worthwhile problem or
    question which has not been previously answered ?
  • You have solved the problem or answered the
    question or at least contributed some facts for
    better understanding on the topic selected.

Who selects the thesis Topicguide or student ?
  • On many occasions guide suggest some topics with
    better understanding, knowing very well the
    facilities available in the Laboratory /
  • The student has also important role in accepting
    what has been suggested,
  • Impracticable outdated ideas of guides is
    catastrophic both to the students and to the

Conflicts in guide and student relations
  • A non committed students and a irrational guides
    are the real areas of conflict what we see in
    the working environment .
  • Todays youth too are intelligent wise and well
    informed they can understand strengths and
    weakness of the guides in few days of joining the
  • Even guides should practice the policy of Humble
    to learn and wise to teach

Introduction to Thesis
  • An average introduction should build up the logic
    why it was necessary to conduct the study
  • An average Introduction should be approx. 5 A4
    pages, double spaced, Times NR, Font size 12
  • An Introduction may contain Figures needed to
    build up the logic. These should have a legend
    mentioning the Source, Year of publication

Choosing a topic too difficult A task ?
Scope and Objectives
  • An aim or aims should be 1-3 sentences and as
    concise as possible
  • Examples
  • The present study aims at evaluating the
    Carbapenemase resistance in ICU patients.
  • Or
  • The present study was conducted to study the
    prevalence of Carbapenemase resistance in
    severely ill patients.

What you choose for dissertation
  • Do remember easier topics difficult to work with
  • Do never select an outdated work, as you have to
    remain in the Profession for gt 4 decades
  • Your desertion is the reflection of your hands on
  • Avoid topics which do not give adequate and
    modern skills

Can Internet search solve the problem of writing
a good thesis
  • Many postgraduates usually search on the internet
    to find out information for any thesis. They
    find it interesting and obviously there is no
    place better than internet where they can find
    all the relevant information. However, the
    students are not aware of the contents and
    patterns and often end up writing down something
    absolutely meaningless.

Selecting the right topic makes a great
  • lot of research and hard work can make a thesis
    relevant and good. The topic must be something
    that has some importance to our society and
    something that can be helpful to evaluate your
  • Vague ideas and concepts won't work in your
    thesis. You need to think plenty of times about
    the whole thing. You must understand that people
    must connect with your research

Who are Thesis committee members
  • Who should be on your committee?
  • Ideally you and your supervisor will come to a
    mutual decision and present with consent
  • Important, well-known researchers,unbaised

A good thesis reflects how much you are creative
  • How you see the world and what you think about it
    must be reflected in your thesis. This is
    something where your thoughts need to be
    reflected. That is why choosing the topic is very
    crucial. If you are planning to write down a
    thesis on Medical or basic sciences, then you
    must understand even the smallest things. You
    need not be a master of that. You just need to be
    clear about the whole concept. Your enthusiasm
    and passion must be there. Otherwise everything
    will be a sheer waste of time.

What is a thesis statement?
  • A thesis statement is a sentence used in an essay
    that serves as the guide for the essay and
    directly answers the question or task asked of
  • A thesis statement express the
  • main idea of your paper.

The main sections in Thesis
  • Introduction
  • Aims (in most cases objectives aims with
    specific targets to achieve)
  • A review of the relevant literature
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Summary
  • References
  • Appendices
  • NOTE indicates topics which the
    dissertation committee may especially like to

Apart from the Sections from Start to End a
thesis may have
  • The Title page
  • An inscription/dedication
  • Certificate
  • Declaration
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract ()
  • The contents page (including the contents of
  • Introduction
  • Aims (and Objectives )
  • A review of the relevant literature
  • NOTE indicates topics which the
    dissertation committee may especially like to

  • Methods (or Materials, and another Section for
    Methods, or Materials and Methods )
  • Results, including Tables, Figures
  • Discussion
  • Summary
  • References
  • Appendices usually 2
  • - Appendix A Materials used in testing
  • - Appendix B Original Data which could also
    include computer printouts of waveforms, graphs
  • NOTE indicates topics which the
    dissertation committee may especially like to

Cover Page with University Logo a Photograph of
the University Office Building or as advised
  • The title In upper case, Arial, Font Size 16
  • Name of the candidate Sentence case, Name
    followed by qualifying degree, Arial, Font Size
  • Names of Guides Names followed by degrees
    (standard short forms, e.g., MD Ph.D. ), Arial,
    Font Size 14
  • Name of the institution In upper case, Arial,
    Font Size 16
  • Can covers be different colors?
  • Should covers be hard-binding and the front page
  • NOTE indicates topics which the
    dissertation committee may especially like to

The Title Page inside the Thesis
  • Do we still need to standardize the format?
  • The title In upper case, Times NR, Font Size 16
  • Name of the candidate Sentence case, Name
    followed by qualifying degree, Times NR, Font
    Size 14
  • Names of Guides Names in Sentence case, followed
    by degrees (standard short forms, e.g., MD (
    Microbiology )
  • Names of Dissertation Committee members in
    Sentence case, followed by degrees, Times NR,
    Font Size 14
  • Names of Doctoral students who assisted in
    Sentence case, Times NR, Font Size 12

.what each section should contain..
  • Inscriptions/ Dedications
  • This is, of course, optional and depends on the
    candidate. As far as possible a dedication or
    inscription should not be corrected or modified.
    However it is necessary to check that there are
    no obvious grammatical/spelling errors or that a
    quotation is not misquoted
  • Certificate Declaration the format are

  • It is very important to be clear who may be
    acknowledged when writing a thesis as compared
    to compiling a manuscript
  • Guides, Dissertation committee members
  • Assistance received for laboratory tests,
    statistical analysis, compilation, library
  • Sources of funding both Institutional (to be
    mentioned in all cases), other funds
  • OPTIONAL (for a thesis not a manuscript)
  • Family and friends

The main sections..a few details
  • Each Section begins on a fresh page
  • Section Titles should be in Times New Roman font,
    Font size 14, centered, bold, upper case
  • After each Section Title the first Para of each
    Section should be left aligned not be indented
    subsequent pares are to be indented

Review of the Relevant Literature
  • This Section should contain relevant references
  • Traditional texts (ending with a clear link to
    experimental research)
  • Early publications (e.g., books, Indexed Journals
  • Recent publications preferably publications,
    also books
  • Tabulate the most relevant references at the end
    of the Section

Materials and Methods
  • This Section has been called Methods/ Materials
    and Methods/ Methods as one Section and Materials
    as another we can use METHODS
  • The Methods Section varies according to the type
    of study. This presentation includes a standard
    description for an experimental study conducted
    with Human Subjects.

  • This main Section should be very concise
  • It should include what was found mentioning
    the level of significance and other information
    considered relevant depending on the test used
  • Mention the effect size
  • Tables
  • Graphs
  • Information in Tables Graphs should NOT
    duplicate each other

Results, Tables
  • Tables should be numbered in Arabic Numerals
  • Each Table should have a comprehensive heading
    this should begin on the next line after the
    Table No. Headings should be in Times NR (like
    the rest of the text), Font size 12, Bold,
    Sentence case
  • Each Table should indicate significant changes
    with asterisks
  • The level of significance (e.g., plt.05)
    should be mentioned below the Table, Times NR,
    Font size 12, Bold

Results, Figures
  • Figures should not duplicate data given in Tables
  • Figures should be numbered in Arabic numerals
  • Every Figure should have a legend written below
    it in Times NR, font size 12, bold, sentence case
  • The units for all numbers should be provided in
    SI units (e.g., length meter (m), time second
    (s), frequency cycles per second (Hz)

  • This is a very important Section!
  • It should attempt to describe what the study
    found possible reasons for the findings
  • How the findings differ/are similar to those
    described earlier and reasons for differences
    if any
  • Obvious drawbacks of the study design (etc.) and
    how these could have influenced the outcome
  • Implications of the findings
  • Applications of the finding
  • Sub-sections depending on variables studied,
    integrating the discussion on each at the end

  • This Section should ideally Stand Alone if
    anyone reads it they would know why the study was
    done, what was done, what was found..
  • It should include
  • The Background (1-2 sentences)
  • The Aim
  • The Methods
  • Results
  • Implications
  • Drawbacks
  • Directions for future research

Well done Thesis has a message
  • If Youre tackling an important research problem
  • Youve made an original contribution to its
  • E.g. If you have attempted uncommon problem with

Well written thesis .
  • Concise, yet clear (scientific writing should
    avoid long sentences)
  • Attention to grammar, punctuation
  • Attention to details (for example, terms written
    in a language other than English should be in

Presented wellsimple, yet important
  • Titles, sub-titles, sub-sub-titles (differences
    in case, font size, bold/underlined/italics,
    centered or indented or not-indented)
  • Indentation, line spacing
  • Fonts (thesis-writers should be discouraged from
    using fonts other than Times NR/ Arial) Font
    size 12, 14
  • Bold/Italics/Underlined
  • Using the customary sections, using the
    appropriate terms (for e.g., references rather
    than bibliography)

what is a Accurate, completethesis
  • Figures should have a legend regarding the source
    from which they are reproduced
  • References cited in the text in the reference
    list should NOT have any discrepancies (e.g.
    authors names, year..)
  • Material used for assessments (e.g.,
    questionnaires, recording sheets should be
    provided in an Appendix)

What a thesis isnt?
  • A brain dump of everything youve done
  • You get to leave out the dead-ends
  • But you have to fill in any obvious gaps!
  • A thesis is should be logical reconstruction
  • With a single coherent message

An ideal thesis should..
  • Have sound stuff
  • Be well written
  • Be presented well
  • Be accurate, complete

Be brave to Defend your thesis / dissertation
  • Dont panic
  • Youre probably the expert on this topic by now!
  • Your examiners may not be experts in your area of
    work however you are
  • Your examiners are human
  • Theyve sat in your seat
  • They will help you find what changes (if any) are
    needed to make this the required quality

What are examiners looking for?
  • Review of literature
  • Is the literature relevant?
  • Is the review critical or just descriptive?
  • Is it comprehensive?
  • Does it link to the methodology in the thesis?
  • Does it summarize the essential aspects?
  • Methodology
  • Is there a clear hypothesis?
  • Are precautions taken against bias?
  • Are the limitations identified?
  • Is the data collected appropriately?
  • Is the methodology justified?

What are examiners looking for?
  • Presentation of results
  • Have the hypotheses in fact been tested?
  • Are the results shown to support the hypothesis?
  • Is the data properly analyzed?
  • Are the results presented clearly?
  • Are patterns identified and summarized?
  • Discussion and Conclusions
  • Are the limits of the research identified?
  • Are the main points to emerge identified?
  • Are links made to the literature?
  • Is there theoretical development?
  • Are the speculations well grounded?

What we should do after completing thesis
  • Youve finished writing defending your thesis
  • What do you do next?
  • Turn it into a book now possible to publish as
  • Publish some journal articles around it

Teachers should be practical
  • As we pass through years of change there is
    change in education, students are wise learn what
    is useful to them which can bring them
    materialistic gains and academic upliftment
  • Teachers should be creative to select futuristic
    topics then only our Departments flourish

What to expect from your Guide /
  • Intellectual support
  • Quality assurance
  • What standard a thesis should reach
  • Indication of when to stop
  • Emotional support
  • Encouragement
  • Constructive atmosphere

Guiding too much is catastrophic
  • The guides should be wise to guide the students,
  • Too much and unnecessary guidance will expose the
    ignorance of guides sooner if not later.
  • Human relations are more important as our
    students are colleagues tomorrow.
  • Best dissertations and research is created when
    guide knows the his job well done
  • Practice the best policy as guide
  • 1 Speech is silver
  • 2 Silence is gold
  • 3 If you talk with Knowledge and wisdom it is
  • Dr.T.V.Rao MD

Your dedicated thesis work has support of..
Thank them
With dedication to many helped in my thesis
  • The programme is possible with unselfish
    dedication of my Professor and Guide Dr.B Raja
    Rao MD, Late Dr.Saroja Venugopal MD and all the
    Faculty and Non Teaching Staff members of the
    Microbiology Department of Andhra Medical
    College, Visakhapatnam ( A P ) India and The
    Director and all Scientific Community at National
    Institute of Enteric Diseases , ICMR Kolkata.
    Never to be forgotten the help of Dr.T.N Naik PhD
    to train me and elevate me from darkness to
    light with wisdom and selfless service

    Dr.T.V.Rao MD

Visit me for more topics of interest in Medicine
and Microbiology
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    resources for Medical Students in the Developing
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