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shortthesisguide2.gif November 2007

Chapter 1: Introduction to Graduate Research and Thesis Writing

Section 1.3: Deciding on the content type of your thesis - two types of thesis: qualitative (including creative) and quantitative

Subsection 1.3.1 Thesis Types

Theses generally can be categorized as two types: qualitative (which includes creative) and quantitative. While some graduate work may not clearly fit in one category, most will. Because the structure and formatting for each are different, this document is organized in to two sections describing each. Although some information is the same for all theses, it is important to determine which type of thesis you are writing early in your graduate program.

Qualitative or Creative Thesis

This type of thesis is the result of work done by students in a descriptive, exploratory, analytical, or creative way. Departments that encompass the arts and humanities may have graduate students doing this type of thesis.

Quantitative Thesis

This type of thesis typically contains data, pieces of information made or measured by scientific devices (such as spectrophotometers, polymerase chain reaction cyclers, microscopes, stopwatches) and recorded numerically on some type of scale. Examples of this type of thesis may include:

This document is organized so that you can obtain information as you proceed through the various stages of your thesis work. Subsection 1.3.2 provides guidance for how to best use this document.

17 Jan 2008