Thesis writing and presentation

Unit 1

Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should:


Introduction to classmates

Activity 1

Work in groups of three or four. Take it in turns to introduce yourselves by stating your name and laboratory, research field, and reason for selecting the lab.

Useful phrases

Remember the information for the next activity. Ask and answer questions. Get to know your classmates.

Activity 2

Work in pairs with a partner from a different group. Introduce yourself and then introduce one of your previous groupmates to your new partner or group. Ask and answer questions. Get to know your classmates. If there is time, repeat with another partner.

Introduction to teacher

Activity 3

Work in pairs or small groups. Write FIVE questions to ask your teacher. Do not write “What is your name” or “How old are you”.

Some ideas are given below.

Ask these questions and any follow-up questions when given a chance.

Introduction to course

Activity 4

Read the course syllabus to answer the following questions.

  1. What is the main aim of this course?
  2. How many blocks is the course divided into?
  3. What is the first block?
  4. How many sessions focus on presentations?
  5. What are the assessment criteria for thesis writing?
  6. What are the assessment criteria for presentation?

Ask your teacher to tell you about:

  1. attendance requirement - 80%?
  2. procedure for absences - email?
  3. final exam - yes?
  4. in-class writing - every class?
  5. writing submissions - online?

Introduction to graduation thesis

Activity 5

Work in pairs. Read the two links provided to find the answers to these questions.

  1. Can you submit a graduation thesis written in Japanese?
  2. When should you submit your draft graduation thesis to your supervisor?
  3. What is the minimum length of a graduation thesis?
  4. What is the maximum length of a graduation thesis?
  5. Approximately how many words is that?
  6. Do you need to write the graduation thesis in LaTeX?
  7. Is IEICE the recommended style for the bibliography?
  8. How many people will read your graduation thesis?
    1. No
    2. usually late Dec or early Jan, but ask your supervisor
    3. 4 pages (A4 pages)
    4. 6 pages
    5. around 2000 words
    6. Most students use LaTeX.
    7. ieice is the recommended bibliography style in LaTeX.
    8. probably just two people

Activity 6

This course is designed to help you complete your graduation thesis. This is achieved in two steps. Step one: write. Step two: improve the writing. To improve your writing, you can focus on five aspects.

Students tend to make similar errors when drafting graduation theses.

Identify the type of error in each of the following sentences. The first one has been completed.

  1. Researches help solve real-world problems. Accuracy (research)
  2. It`s important to write accurately.
  3. I am pleased to report fantastic results.
  4. I think the situation improved little by little.
  5. The capital of the United States is New York.

Compare your answers with those of a classmate.

Activity 7

Copy and paste the sentences in Activity 6 into the Error Detector.


This tool can find many typical errors made by University of Aizu students. Your focus for the next month should be on writing the content and not worrying about minor errors. Near the end of the course, we can focus on reducing the five types of errors. Your new motto: content first, grammar last.

Unit review

Answer these questions.

Find out the answers to any questions that you could not answer.

Motivate me

Neither your professor nor your supervisor will write your thesis for you. It is your responsibility. Start writing now.