Thesis: A paper’s central claim or promise.

In humanistic disciplines, the thesis is an arguable claim—i.e., an assertion someone could reasonably argue against; as such, it provides unexpected insight, goes beyond superficial interpretations, or challenges, corrects, or extends other arguments. In scientific disciplines, the thesis is a statement of purpose indicating that a particular investigation will be described and significant results presented—results that challenge standard opinions or methodology, or add to knowledge in the field.

Analysis: The interpretation of sources.

In humanistic disciplines, analysis of primary sources is used to support claims, while analysis of other kinds of sources is used to advance the overall argument (for example, by providing a theoretical framework). In scientific disciplines, analysis of data leads to results (described in the Results section); the results are further analyzed for their larger implications (in the Discussion section).

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