If you have already read this article you will already have an idea of the difference between the thesis and the experimental thesis. We will now deepen the structure and characteristics of the compilation thesis.
In the first place we want to break a lance in its favor and defend it from those who consider it of a lower commitment and value than the experimental one. It’s not true! The time and effort involved is equivalent, although you will not have to carry out an experiment yourself.
The compilation thesis foresees an ample work of bibliographical research, the advancement of a hypothesis based on the available literature and the confirmation or denial of that hypothesis, on the base of the collected evidences. This is true both for scientific subjects (although the preference is usually to draw up an experimental thesis) and for the humanities.
The compilation thesis is not a great quote
And not even a copy-paste of things written by others (it would be too easy). It must be a critical look, it must provide an interpretation that makes logical sense regarding content, topics or theories developed by others.
How to proceed?
ONE. Choose a theme, a topic or a subject that you are passionate about, or at least interests. This advice applies to all types of thesis: doing something you don’t like makes it more difficult.
TWO. Ask yourself: WHAT DO I WANT TO DEMONSTRATE? Then begin the bibliographic search: first of all to understand if others before you had the same idea …
THREE. Look for material that supports your thesis. To do this you can:
use the library’s online catalog, searching for keywords. Or to online library catalogs.
Google books, where you can also read text excerpts and get an idea of their contents
Search with Google Scholar: a really useful source search system, with which you can consult and even download articles from experts on the subject. (NB: always mention the source, even if it is a fragment of an article or you have reworked the sentence!).
Amazon: searching for key words you never know which text could tick.
FOUR. Keep calm. Reading all that material, your idea will become stable or it will be reformulated based on new evidence. If you still have a bit of fog in your brain, we advise you to build a concept map, a schemino, a draft index to find the right path for the thesis.
Do not peg on the idea of departure if it is obvious that it does not make logical sense!
FIVE. When everything is clear in your head, proceed to illustrate your interpretative hypothesis. Usually including it in the introduction. You will then have to bring the theoretical and even better empirical evidence of what you are stating. Do not limit yourself to citing the theories of others, if possible try to interpret them and apply them to a practical case, an example that confirms what you are saying.
SIX. For the conclusion you will have to expound coherently the evidence that you have collected, confirming the thesis, or rephrase your thoughts in case it has been refuted.