5 Free Helpful Websites for Your Thesis

What is a Thesis

A thesis is an argument you make which includes a support for your claim. Servicescape provides samples of thesis statements, one of them being: “School uniforms may be an upfront cost for families, but they eradicate the visual differences in income between students and provide a more egalitarian atmosphere at school.” Harvard explains that a thesis is neither a question, a list, is never vague, is definable, and should be clear and specific.

I went to architecture school and the same is applicable when making our thesis which backs up the design we make.

Table of Contents

What are the Parts of A Thesis

Before you can make the most of the websites you can use, the parts of the thesis will help you understand why or how they will make you work efficiently. This may depend on what degree you are taking but generally, here are the parts of a thesis:

  1. Introduction. The first contains your cover page, your certificates and descriptions, your table of contents, and your list of figures and tables.
  2. Implementation of Your Research. This part typically contains your introduction to your thesis and the research associated with it, the statement of the problem, the goals and objectives, the project significance, formulated theory, related literature and case studies, and your methodology. If you’re an architecture student, it would include your site profile, client profile, technical data research, space analysis and programming, and conceptual development.
  3. Resources. This last part includes your appendices and references.

For reference, you can check out my thesis research here.

Websites that will help you research more efficiently

Weava

Weava is a web highlighter extension for Chrome and it’s the first I’ve used. I’ve tried other similar applications however this is the easiest and the most convenient to use, for me personally. It has a dashboard where you can create folders and in each folder, you can assign a category or name per color of the highlighter. In each highlight, you have the option to add notes.

Website article highlighted with Weava
Website article highlighted with Weava

What makes it so convenient is that your dashboard summarizes your highlights. I’ll explain an example of how I used it for my thesis.

  1. The first thing I did was to set up my folders and assigned colors.
    1. Folder 1: Introduction / Background of the Study
      1. Red – General info about agriculture
      2. Orange – Agriculture in the Philippines
      3. Yellow – Significance (anything that will support the significance of my project)
  2. The next thing I did was to highlight from a specific website the information I need for my research. In each website, I could be using all three colors or just one.
  3. After highlighting from different websites, I go to the dashboard to see the summary of everything. I then start writing in accordance with the parts I’m working on. If I’m working on the general info about agriculture then I’ll be focusing on all info highlighted in red, which you can easily see on the middle left part of the image above. If I’m working on the significance of the project, then I’ll be focusing on all the yellow highlights.

This website has been helpful to me outside of my thesis as well. It’s what I’ve used when working with research assignments on other courses or subjects.

Scribd

Scribd is like an online library of ebooks, audiobooks, documents or articles, and magazines among others. It’s been helpful in my thesis because I can look up ebooks and documents that would help in my research wherever I go. I’d just need my laptop and wifi and I didn’t need to physically go to the library (although I still did).

I actually paid for Scribd eventually because of how useful it’s been for me but you can actually use it’s FREE TRIAL for a whole month. 

Similar to a library, there’s a limit to how many e-books you could read per month. However, what makes this powerful for thesis is that I was able to use it together with Weava in order to highlight information on the e-books or documents themselves. That’s working smart for me, I mean you can’t really highlight a library book to look at it for later.

Research Gate

Research Gate is like social media but for different research. It’s a free website where you can access studies where people who published them  were normally the authors. If a certain research topic interests you, you can download the files or ask permission from the author to get a copy of the file directly from the website.

You can also view different theses on this website. You can read mine here.

Grammarly

You must have heard about Grammarly at some point already but if you haven’t, it is a web and phone application which will help you check, revise, and improve your writing in terms of grammar, clarity, and more. It will help you adjust your tone to how you want your text to sound like, and offers suggestions on how to make them better.

It’s a no-brainer as to why this is useful for a thesis , however what I really used it for is for plagiarism checks. This is a free tool however if you want more functions such as the plagiarism check, they have the paid subscription as well.

You can use it wherever as it works with your email, messages, documents, and social media.

BibMe

Now we’re talking about a website you will most definitely use for referencing. In your thesis, you will most likely follow a format in your references. I followed the APA format in mine and Bibme.org made the entire thing smooth for me. It will also help you with MLA, Chicago, and other formats.

In the website, you can just look up a book by title and author and it will do the work for you. If your source is a website, you can also just input the link. They also work with journals and videos, among others.

Bonus Info

When looking up things online, you can use Google Scholar as your search engine for better results of articles, journals, or books. You can also tweak the year-rage of the dates published in order to filter articles and books of your required research bracket. In the case of my university, they allow for articles published within 5 years, and books published within 10. 

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