Searching For Outstanding Thesis Examples: An Effective Guide

An outstanding thesis isn’t necessarily one that comes loaded with a lot of praises. Some “outstanding” ones aren’t even good on a technical level. What’s considered an outstanding piece of writing doesn’t have to do with only the way it was written or what it was written about but about the way it flows and how it holds a reader’s attention. Just like reading essay examples for you regular, old essay, going over examples of outstanding theses is a great chance to understand just what makes it an outstanding piece of writing. Is the evidence solid? What kind of evidence was used? Is the writing style appealing? Does it draw in the reader? How effective is the argument? Is it something that might appeal to the masses or for a targeted group of academics? These are just some of the things to keep in mind when reading someone else’s paper.

How to find an outstanding thesis

Okay, now that you know that you want to read over some examples, how do you go about finding them? You could just search for “outstanding thesis” but many people think that theirs is outstanding. You could ask around, but then again, you’ll end up hearing people’s opinions about various papers and really, you just want to get your hands on one or two good examples to pick apart.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Bestsellers. No, joke. Take a look at the bestselling books in your subject area. Many of these started out as someone’s thesis.
  • University Publishers. Most universities will publish a student’s thesis depending on their degree level. Search the publisher’s web page for titles/authors.
  • The internet. Our old standby: the Internet is great for finding academic papers. You may end up sorting through a number of bad examples, too, but use that as a learning experience as well to see what makes it a “bad” paper.
  • Ask your department or student help centers. At many schools, departmental advisors may have copies of papers lying around that were particularly good to use as an example for students unsure about what is considered “desirable” writing. The same is true for learning centers within your school. These are generally where a student can go for tutoring or writing help, and they may just have examples of what is a good thesis, a bad one, and all the rest in between for reference.

A word of advice:

Not every paper you read will be a good one. In fact, you may even think that a lot are bad from a stylistic standpoint or topic adherence, or they might just be awkward to read. Not everything is appealing to everyone, even within your own field. That being said, take note of what you found undesirable or desirable about these bad papers that you come across, as well.

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