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How to Create an Effective Thesis Statement in 5 Easy Steps
Creating a thesis statement can be a daunting task. It’s one of the most important sentences in your paper, and it needs to be done right. But don’t worry — with these five easy steps, you’ll be able to create an effective thesis statement in no time.
Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas
The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your paper. Think about what you want to say and write down any ideas that come to mind. This will help you narrow down your focus and make it easier to create your thesis statement.
Step 2: Research Your Topic
Once you have some ideas, it’s time to do some research on your topic. Look for sources that support your ideas and provide evidence for the points you want to make. This will help you refine your argument and make it more convincing.
Step 3: Formulate Your Argument
Now that you have done some research, it’s time to formulate your argument. Take the points you want to make and put them into one or two sentences that clearly state what your paper is about. This will be the basis of your thesis statement.
Step 4: Refine Your Thesis Statement
Once you have formulated your argument, it’s time to refine your thesis statement. Make sure that it is clear, concise, and specific. It should also be arguable so that readers can disagree with it if they choose.
Step 5: Test Your Thesis Statement
The last step is to test your thesis statement. Does it accurately reflect the points you want to make? Is it clear and concise? Does it make an arguable point? If not, go back and refine it until it meets all of these criteria.
Creating an effective thesis statement doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these five easy steps, you can create a strong thesis statement in no time at all.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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Why use a dissertation or a thesis.
A dissertation is the final large research paper, based on original research, for many disciplines to be able to complete a PhD degree. The thesis is the same idea but for a masters degree.
They are often considered scholarly sources since they are closely supervised by a committee, are directed at an academic audience, are extensively researched, follow research methodology, and are cited in other scholarly work. Often the research is newer or answering questions that are more recent, and can help push scholarship in new directions.
Search for dissertations and theses
Locating dissertations and theses.
The Proquest Dissertations and Theses Global database includes doctoral dissertations and selected masters theses from major universities worldwide.
- Searchable by subject, author, advisor, title, school, date, etc.
- More information about full text access and requesting through Interlibrary Loan
NDLTD – Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations provides free online access to a over a million theses and dissertations from all over the world.
WorldCat Dissertations and Theses searches library catalogs from across the U.S. and worldwide.
Locating University of Minnesota Dissertations and Theses
Use Libraries search and search by title or author and add the word "thesis" in the search box. Write down the library and call number and find it on the shelf. They can be checked out.
Check the University Digital Conservancy for online access to dissertations and theses from 2007 to present as well as historic, scanned theses from 1887-1923.
Other Sources for Dissertations and Theses
- Center for Research Libraries
- DART-Europe E-Thesis Portal
- Theses Canada
- Ethos (Great Britain)
- Australasian Digital Theses in Trove
- DiVA (Sweden)
- E-Thesis at the University of Helsinki
- DissOnline (Germany)
- List of libraries worldwide - to search for a thesis when you know the institution and cannot find in the larger collections
University of Minnesota Dissertations and Theses FAQs
What dissertations and theses are available.
With minor exceptions, all doctoral dissertations and all "Plan A" master's theses accepted by the University of Minnesota are available in the University Libraries system. In some cases (see below) only a non-circulating copy in University Archives exists, but for doctoral dissertations from 1940 to date, and for master's theses from 1925 to date, a circulating copy should almost always be available.
"Plan B" papers, accepted in the place of a thesis in many master's degree programs, are not received by the University Libraries and are generally not available. (The only real exceptions are a number of old library school Plan B papers on publishing history, which have been separately cataloged.) In a few cases individual departments may have maintained files of such papers.
In what libraries are U of M dissertations and theses located?
Circulating copies of doctoral dissertations:.
- Use Libraries Search to look for the author or title of the work desired to determine location and call number of a specific dissertation. Circulating copies of U of M doctoral dissertations can be in one of several locations in the library system, depending upon the date and the department for which the dissertation was done. The following are the general rules:
- Dissertations prior to 1940 Circulating copies of U of M dissertations prior to 1940 do not exist (with rare exceptions): for these, only the archival copy (see below) is available. Also, most dissertations prior to 1940 are not cataloged in MNCAT and can only be identified by the departmental listings described below.
- Dissertations from 1940-1979 Circulating copies of U of M dissertations from 1940 to 1979 will in most cases be held within the Elmer L. Andersen Library, with three major classes of exceptions: dissertations accepted by biological, medical, and related departments are housed in the Health Science Library; science/engineering dissertations from 1970 to date will be located in the Science and Engineering Library (in Walter); and dissertations accepted by agricultural and related departments are available at the Magrath Library or one of the other libraries on the St. Paul campus (the Magrath Library maintains records of locations for such dissertations).
- Dissertations from 1980-date Circulating copies of U of M dissertations from 1980 to date at present may be located either in Wilson Library (see below) or in storage; consult Libraries Search for location of specific items. Again, exceptions noted above apply here also; dissertations in their respective departments will instead be in Health Science Library or in one of the St. Paul campus libraries.
Circulating copies of master's theses:
- Theses prior to 1925 Circulating copies of U of M master's theses prior to 1925 do not exist (with rare exceptions); for these, only the archival copy (see below) is available.
- Theses from 1925-1996 Circulating copies of U of M master's theses from 1925 to 1996 may be held in storage; consult Libraries search in specific instances. Once again, there are exceptions and theses in their respective departments will be housed in the Health Science Library or in one of the St. Paul campus libraries.
- Theses from 1997-date Circulating copies of U of M master's theses from 1997 to date will be located in Wilson Library (see below), except for the same exceptions for Health Science and St. Paul theses. There is also an exception to the exception: MHA (Masters in Health Administration) theses through 1998 are in the Health Science Library, but those from 1999 on are in Wilson Library.
Archival copies (non-circulating)
Archival (non-circulating) copies of virtually all U of M doctoral dissertations from 1888-1952, and of U of M master's theses from all years up to the present, are maintained by University Archives (located in the Elmer L. Andersen Library). These copies must be consulted on the premises, and it is highly recommended for the present that users make an appointment in advance to ensure that the desired works can be retrieved for them from storage. For dissertations accepted prior to 1940 and for master's theses accepted prior to 1925, University Archives is generally the only option (e.g., there usually will be no circulating copy). Archival copies of U of M doctoral dissertations from 1953 to the present are maintained by Bell and Howell Corporation (formerly University Microfilms Inc.), which produces print or filmed copies from our originals upon request. (There are a very few post-1952 U of M dissertations not available from Bell and Howell; these include such things as music manuscripts and works with color illustrations or extremely large pages that will not photocopy well; in these few cases, our archival copy is retained in University Archives.)
Where is a specific dissertation of thesis located?
To locate a specific dissertation or thesis it is necessary to have its call number. Use Libraries Search for the author or title of the item, just as you would for any other book. Depending on date of acceptance and cataloging, a typical call number for such materials should look something like one of the following:
Dissertations: Plan"A" Theses MnU-D or 378.7M66 MnU-M or 378.7M66 78-342 ODR7617 83-67 OL6156 Libraries Search will also tell the library location (MLAC, Health Science Library, Magrath or another St. Paul campus library, Science and Engineering, Business Reference, Wilson Annex or Wilson Library). Those doctoral dissertations still in Wilson Library (which in all cases should be 1980 or later and will have "MnU-D" numbers) are located in the central section of the third floor. Those master's theses in Wilson (which in all cases will be 1997 or later and will have "MnU-M" numbers) are also located in the central section of the third floor. Both dissertations and theses circulate and can be checked out, like any other books, at the Wilson Circulation desk on the first floor.
How can dissertations and theses accepted by a specific department be located?
Wilson Library contains a series of bound and loose-leaf notebooks, arranged by department and within each department by date, listing dissertations and theses. Information given for each entry includes name of author, title, and date (but not call number, which must be looked up individually). These notebooks are no longer current, but they do cover listings by department from the nineteenth century up to approximately 1992. Many pre-1940 U of M dissertations and pre-1925 U of M master's theses are not cataloged (and exist only as archival copies). Such dissertations can be identified only with these volumes. The books and notebooks are shelved in the general collection under these call numbers: Wilson Ref LD3337 .A5 and Wilson Ref quarto LD3337 .U9x. Major departments of individual degree candidates are also listed under their names in the GRADUATE SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT programs of the U of M, available in University Archives and (for recent years) also in Wilson stacks (LD3361 .U55x).
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Answered By: Kathryn Ray Last Updated: Sep 01, 2023 Views: 7938
The database Dissertations and Theses Global (ProQuest) is the best place to begin searching for theses and dissertations. Approximately half the listings include full text. Dissertations can also be found in a search of the AU Library Catalog .
For dissertations and theses written by AU students and not found in Dissertations and Theses Global, consult the database Dissertations and Theses (American University-authored) .
The AU Digital Research Archive (AUDRA) also has electronic versions of some AU dissertations and theses.
EBSCO Open Dissertations is a free database with records for more than 800,000 electronic theses and dissertations in institutional repositories around the world. Open Dissertations includes the content from American Doctoral Dissertations, plus additional metadata from a number of colleges and universities.
Another free source is Open Access Theses and Dissertations .
Some dissertations and theses can be purchased directly from ProQuest.com at ProQuest Dissertation Copy Options .
If you encounter any issues while trying to use the ProQuest site, please refer to their ProQuest Dissertations FAQ .
If you would like further assistance, please Ask-A-Librarian .
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For Harvard theses, dissertations, and prize winning essays, see our How can I find a Harvard thesis or dissertation ? FAQ entry.
Beyond Harvard, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses G lobal database (this link requires HarvardKey login) i s a good place to start:
- lists dissertations and theses from most North American graduate schools (including Harvard) and many from universities in Great Britain and Ireland, 1716-present
- You can get full text from Proquest Dissertations and Theses through your own institutional library or you can often purchase directly from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Express.
Databases beyond ProQuest Dissertations & Theses:
Some out of copyright works (pre-1924) are available via large digital libraries. Search online for the title.
Networked Digital Library of Electronic Theses and Dissertations ' Global Search scans participating international libraries
The Center for Research Libraries ' Dissertations database includes many non-US theses.
WorldCat describes many masters' & PhD theses. Use "Advanced Search" and limit to subtype "thesis/dissertation." No full text; it just tells you what libraries have reported having copies.
There are several excellent guides out there with international search recommendations like University College London's Institute of Education Theses and Dissertations LibGuide .
At the institution where the work originated or the national library of the country (if outside the US):
Online institutional repositories (like Harvard's DASH ): If the work was produced after the school's repository was established, it may well be found here in full text.
Libraries: Check the library catalog. There's often a reproductions service ($) for material that hasn't been digitized, but each school has its own policies. Most schools have some kind of "ask a librarian" service where you can ask what to do next.
At your own institution (where applicable) or public library: While many institutions will not lend theses and dissertations or send copies through Interlibrary loan, your Interlibrary Loan department may be able to help you acquire or pay for reproductions.
- Current Harvard faculty, staff and students: Once you identify a reproduction source you can place a request with Harvard Library ILL (in the notes field, ask for help with funding).
For Harvard theses and dissertations, see " How can I find a Harvard thesis or dissertation? "
If you're having trouble locating or acquiring a copy of/access to a dissertation, try " Why can't I find this thesis or dissertation?"
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EBSCO Open Dissertations
EBSCO Open Dissertations makes electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) more accessible to researchers worldwide. The free portal is designed to benefit universities and their students and make ETDs more discoverable.
Increasing Discovery & Usage of ETD Research
EBSCO Open Dissertations is a collaboration between EBSCO and BiblioLabs to increase traffic and discoverability of ETD research. You can join the movement and add your theses and dissertations to the database, making them freely available to researchers everywhere while increasing traffic to your institutional repository.
EBSCO Open Dissertations extends the work started in 2014, when EBSCO and the H.W. Wilson Foundation created American Doctoral Dissertations which contained indexing from the H.W. Wilson print publication, Doctoral Dissertations Accepted by American Universities, 1933-1955. In 2015, the H.W. Wilson Foundation agreed to support the expansion of the scope of the American Doctoral Dissertations database to include records for dissertations and theses from 1955 to the present.
How Does EBSCO Open Dissertations Work?
Your ETD metadata is harvested via OAI and integrated into EBSCO’s platform, where pointers send traffic to your IR.
EBSCO integrates this data into their current subscriber environments and makes the data available on the open web via opendissertations.org .
You might also be interested in:
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International Theses: Search Tools
Proquest dissertations and theses.
A comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world from 1861-present. Full text since 1997. Abstracts since 1980 for doctoral dissertations and 1988 for masters' theses. Citations since 1861.
Citations are indexed in Web of Science in the ProQuest ™ Dissertations & Theses Citation Index collection.
Center for Research Libraries
CRL holds more than 800,000 doctoral dissertations outside of the U.S. and Canada. Search dissertations in the dissertations section of the CRL catalogue. Digitized dissertations can be searched in the catalogue's e-resources section.
Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations
A collection of more than 800,000 international full text theses and dissertations.
Try searching Google Scholar for theses posted on institutional digital repositories or on personal web pages.
A web search engine devoted to Science and Technology.
Search for dissertations, theses and published material based on theses catalogued in WorldCat by OCLC member libraries worldwide. In Advanced Search, you can search by author, title, subject, year, and keyword. Under Subtype Limits, select Theses/Dissertation from the Any Content menu
International Theses: By Country
The Austrian dissertation database contains the bibliographical data of dissertations approved in Austria from 1990 on, and in most cases the relevant abstracts. (This website is hosted by the National Library of Austria).
National Library of Australia’s Trove Service
Search for full text digital theses from Australian universities. On the Advanced search screen under Format, select Thesis.
DART-Europe : Access to full text theses and dissertations from many countries in Europe.
Europeana : Additional electronic dissertations from other European libraries.
Système universitaire de documentation (Sudoc): Provides access to records and some electronic theses and dissertations published at French research institutions.
Fichier central des thèses
DissOnline provides information on the subject of electronic university publications. It can be used to find out directly all about online dissertations and post-doctoral theses. Sample documents can be downloaded to provide help in the creation of electronic university publications. For more information about the portal, please go to German National Library website (DNB) .
TESIUNAM: Tesis del Sistema Bibliotecario de la Unam
(Theses from the National University of Mexico / Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México). To search for electronic theses, click on “tesis electrónicas (REDUNAM).”
The Center for Research Libraries and the British Library have made available online 400 UK doctoral theses focusing on the Middle East, Islamic studies, and related subjects. More information .
Some Dutch e-theses are available through NARCIS.
- Some electronic theses from Bolivia, Brasil, Chile and Peru can be found at Cybertesis.NET , a portal created by the University of Chile (Information Services & Library System) that provides an easily accessible tool to full text electronic theses published in different universities of the world.
For more university/national library catalogues, search for the word University/Universidad and the country (Argentina, Peru, etc.) in Google. Find the link to the library ( biblioteca ) and search the catalogue for theses ( tesis ). You may need to click on the advanced search function ( búsqueda guíada or búsqueda avanzada ) and select tesis as a format or type.
There are several portals/catalogues in Spain for theses and dissertations. Here are some examples listed on Spain’s National Library website:
Spain’s Ministry of Education thesis database (TESEO)
Biblioteca Virtual del Español (on the Biblioteca Virtual, Miguel de Cervantes website)
Universidad Complutense de Madrid’s catalogue
TDX (Tesis Doctorals en Xarxa)
This is a cooperative repository of digital theses from the University of Cataluña and other autonomous communities (such as Murcia, Cantabria, Barcelona, and Oviedo)
For print and electronic dissertations, please consult the Swiss National Library website.
- NDLTD: National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan is an open full-text permanent archive of scholarly research in Taiwan.
EThOS : Access to doctoral dissertations (paper and electronic) from UK institutions of higher education.
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- Last Updated: Oct 18, 2023 3:58 PM
Finding Dissertations & Theses: Online Dissertations & Theses
- Online Dissertations & Theses
- Dissertations & Theses Written at Simmons
Use the links below to locate dissertations and theses from the United States in both proprietary and open access collections.
Use the links below to locate international dissertations and theses in open access collections.
More Dissertations & Theses on the Web
More colleges and universities such as the University of Minnesota are setting up digital repositories to make theses and dissertations freely available on the Internet. Try searching for keywords , author , title , or academic institution in Google Scholar , to check for full-text availability.
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10 Best Dissertation Databases. Find Thesis or Dissertation
Textero.ai offers a tool designed to assist users in finding a comprehensive list of references for their writing tasks. The platform provides an AI-powered reference finder that helps users locate necessary sources for their writings. Textero.ai aims to simplify the research and writing process, allowing users to focus more on the actual writing while the tool searches for relevant sources.
Search through almost 4 million papers to find the one that will inspire you. Here you’ll find the papers not only from the North America but the ones around the globe. You can explore some of the narrow topics with the help of this resource as there is a massive collection of dissertations and theses to discover.
These four letters stand for “Open Access Theses and Dissertations”. Sounds great, doesn’t it? The resource can boast to have more than 3 million works for you to enjoy. You can use the search tool to find the paper you need with the appropriate keywords.
- Stanford University Libraries
Here you’ll find an impressive collection of academic papers. The site’s navigation is very convenient and allows you to narrow down your search and save time. You can filter the results by language, topic, author, etc.
You can find the paper you need using keywords, author’s name, subject area, university, etc. The advanced search gives you additional options of ranking the results by dates or relevance.
- WorldCat Dissertations and Theses
The resource grants access to 5 million academic works. There is a high chance you’ll find something you need here.
It’s a British Library’s collection of the masterpieces of the UK higher education. Treat yourself with over 400,000 doctoral theses. You can download the one you need or order a scanned copy.
- Cambridge University Library Theses Catalogue
This is the collection of all Cambridge theses since 1970. A tremendous variety to find a source for your paper even if there is a shortage of information elsewhere.
- LSE Theses Online
Ph.D. theses from the London School of Economics. The best part is that you get to read the full texts.
- Oxford University Research Archive
An easy-to-use database from the University of Oxford. You can search by subject or type of work which is very helpful.
- EBSCO EBSCO Open Dissertations offers access to more than 1.4 million electronic theses and dissertations from more than 320 colleges and universities around the world absolutely free of charge. What is more, their newest update gives you access to American Doctoral Dissertations.
- Princeton University Library
The vast digital catalogue of Princeton University Library gives you access to a variety of different dissertations and theses that you can make use of anytime you want. All you need to do is filter through their databases to find what you are looking for.
- CSULB LibGuides
Take a look at the impressive libguides provided by California State University Long Beach. This resource gives you an opportunity to search through their databases for free and by specifying the exact subject you need information on.
- Cornell University Library
The electronic catalogue of Cornell University Library has numerous dissertations and theses which you can freely access in the process of doing your research. What is vital to highlight is that the catalogue includes both Cornell and Non-Cornell theses.
The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations is another great free resource that provides access to well-written dissertations and theses from all over the world. You will find over a million of useful materials on this platform.
Remember about plagiarism . If you come across a nice thought you’d like to use in your paper, make sure you give its author a credit. Also, check if all the references you make are listed in your bibliography page. These papers have open access and everyone can use them as a source of information and inspiration. But you should value the hard work of others and mention them in your dissertation.
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How to Find Dissertations and Theses
- Finding Dissertations and Theses
- University of Illinois Dissertations
Proquest dissertations and theses, non-u.s. dissertations.
- Dissertation Tracking
Ask a Librarian
Google Scholar searches specifically for scholarly materials, including Open Access (freely available) dissertations and theses. Many institutions make their dissertations publicly available, making Google Scholar a great place to search.
See the Library's guide on Google for Academic Research for more information.
If the Library does not have a copy of a dissertation or a theses, use ProQuest Dissertations and Theses to obtain a citation for the dissertation. Most American and Canadian universities are represented in this database, as well as selected British and European universities. Dissertations completed at many major U.S. universities during the past 10 years (and sometimes earlier) are available as full-text downloads.
If full text is not available, you can request a dissertation through interlibrary loan.
- ProQuest Dissertations and Theses This link opens in a new window PQDT is a collection of citations to dissertations and theses worldwide from 1861 to the present day. Full-text is available for most of the dissertations added since 1997 and some of the older graduate works. PQDT is also the official digital dissertations archive for the Library of Congress. Also included are the citations to British and Irish dissertations and theses (PQDT: UK & Ireland) since 1761 and abstracts for content since 1986. Note: UIUC masters theses are not in PQDT. They are only found in IDEALS or in the library catalog .
A note on terminology for dissertations and theses: these words are used differently depending on the country (at least in the English speaking world). In the US, dissertations are for doctoral work while a thesis can be a for a bachelor’s or master’s degree. However, it’s often flipped in Europe, e.g., a master’s dissertation and a doctoral thesis.
- The DART-Europe E-theses Portal DART-Europe is a partnership of research libraries in Europe who are working together to improve access to European theses. Several hundred universities link their digital repositories to DART-Europe and link to full text theses.
- EThOS: e-theses online service A project by the British Library Board to provide access to all dissertations from institutions in the UK. This website indexes the dissertations and provides links to full text where available and provide assistance to institutions digitizing dissertations. If available, full text dissertations are free to download.
- Foreign Dissertations at the Center for Research Libraries Try here when looking for a dissertation outside of the United States and Canada. CRL acquires hundreds of non-US, non-Canadian doctoral dissertations a year to add to its 800,000+ collection of dissertations. Acquisitions are primarily through the demand purchase program . Because the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a member of CRL, loans to the U of I community are provided free of charge - just fill out a standard interlibrary loan request and put "Item held by CRL" in the notes field.
- Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations This directory provides links to country-specific and international online libraries of electronic theses and dissertations. Many items, including those dating back to the early 1900s, are available in full text for free. For those not available in full text, fill out an interlibrary loan request.
- Theses Canada Portal A searchable catalog of all Canadian theses published since 1965, many of which are available in full-text electronic versions which can be downloaded free by students, scholars, and the public. You can also access and search for free full text electronic versions of Canadian theses and dissertations that were published from the beginning of 1998 to August 31, 2002.
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- URL: https://guides.library.illinois.edu/finddissertationstheses