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How to Write a Thesis in Leadership Studies: Step-by-step Guide for Students

Looking for recommendations on writing a thesis in Leadership Studies? The concept of leadership has generated great interest and debate and due to the complexity of this subject, there is no general consensus on its field of analysis. That’s why writing about leadership can be really challenging. In this article, you will find a full step-by-step guide on how to write a thesis in Leadership studies that covers writing specifics of this field of studies, tips on choosing a good topic, approach to planning a thesis and making an outline, advice on writing different thesis chapters, editing, and proofreading, Besides, we offer you a shortlist of 15 powerful topics. If you need advice on writing another type of paper, here you can find a lot of full guides to all writing assignments out there.

Specifics of Writing a Thesis in Leadership Studies

Leadership in human groups is a universal phenomenon and is the subject of Leadership Studies. Leadership Studies are multi-disciplinary in nature and try to answer a lot of questions for example: Why is leadership important? What motivates leaders? Are leaders born? What moral dilemmas do leaders face? The course studies the meaning of leadership within different social contexts – in a team, family, state, multinational corporation, university, etc. The goal of this field of study is to understand the relationships between leaders and their followers. Many of the questions can’t be fully answered but students are encouraged to critically analyze these issues and write about them creating a strong logical argument. Learning about leadership theories, skills, and styles can help you better understand what it takes to be an effective leader in your student and future professional career.

The goal of thesis writing is to produce an original piece of research work on a specific clearly defined topic. Writing a thesis in Leadership Studies requires the ability to work independently and is a chance to put students’ innovativeness to test while defining and solving a practical problem. It’s critical to make real-life connections and apply different leadership theories to real-life displays of leadership. Your thesis in Leadership Studies has to demonstrate this approach. Remember that writing in humanities and social sciences relies heavily on applying theories to practice and Leadership Studies is no exception to this rule.

How to Choose an Interesting Topic for a Thesis in Leadership Studies

When you think about a topic for your original research, it’s important to choose a subject that you are interested in because a thesis is a lengthy project and you will easier stay motivated if you work on something you are passionate about. Choosing a topic for your thesis in Leadership Studies may take some time because there are many aspects of this subject that may pick your interest. That’s why you should start thinking about selecting a topic as early as possible. Can explore different leadership styles, investigate the role of gender in leadership, examine different organizational leadership theories and how they can be applied in real life, create case studies about influential leaders like Mahatma Gandhi or Mother Theresa and try to answer a highly debatable question of whether leadership abilities are innate or people can be taught to be leaders. Here is a shortlist of interesting topic ideas for your consideration:

  • Impact of Leadership Styles on Employee Motivation;
  • Changes in Leadership Behavior of Students;
  • European Perspective on Leadership in Health Care;
  • Methods Related to Study of Leadership;
  • Leadership as a Group Process;
  • Development of Leadership Theories;
  • Leadership in The USA Organizations;
  • Leadership in Mass Campaigns;
  • How Effective are Managerial Leadership Programs?
  • Transactional-transformational Leadership Paradigm;
  • Theory of Transformational Leadership;
  • Collective Leadership in Public Administration;
  • Business Ethics and Moral Leadership;
  • Leadership Styles of Different Generations;
  • Current Leadership Theories.

Write a Research Question/ Thesis Statement

You can’t start a research process without writing a research question which will help you focus your research and provide a path through the writing process. It will help you create a specific arguable thesis statement like this one:

‘Leadership is the key factor in organizational effectiveness and transactional and transformational leadership styles have a great impact on organizational performance in business corporations as well as on achieving their business objectives.’

When you have chosen a broad topic, you should do some preliminary research to narrow your focus. You should find out what issues researchers and scholars are discussing when it comes to your thesis topic. Try to identify gaps in existing researches to identify possible areas for your study.

Start asking yourself open-ended ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about your topic and evaluate them to understand whether these questions would be effective or you need to revise and refine them. For example, you may ask: ‘How does transactional leadership style affect the performance in the public sector?’ or ‘Why does transformational leadership style helps achieve business goals?’ Make sure that your research question is clear to help you direct your research and specific enough to be covered in your thesis paper. Your research question should be complex and require in-depth research and thoughtful analysis.

Create an Outline of Your Thesis

Your thesis in Leadership Studies should have a logical structure. For example, you can present your information in a chronological order in which you performed your research but it’s not obligatory to organize your thesis this way. But you should make it clear to your readers why and how your analysis answers your research question and solves the problem that you set out to solve. It’s important to outline the key points and provide a concise summary of your research.

Tired of all the guides and never-ending instructions?

A typical thesis is Leadership Studies should contain the following content:

  • Title page;
  • Table of contents which shows page numbering of chapters;
  • Abstract of about 250-350 words;
  • Introduction that outlines your paper as a whole;
  • The literature review that provides the background for your research;
  • The main body that consists of substantive chapters;
  • The discussion that puts your argument together;
  • Conclusions and recommendations for further research;
  • Bibliography;
  • Appendices.

Recommendations on Writing Different Chapters of a Thesis in Leadership Studies

The abstract is an important component of your thesis because it’s the first part that most people read. That’s why you should do your best to make a great impression on your readers. The abstract is a brief summary of your research where your readers can find answers to the key questions about the work you have done in your thesis. You should inform about what you did, what question you are trying to answer, what methods you used for your research, and what are your key results. You should avoid writing general statements and focus on communicating the facts. One half of your abstract should be dedicated to summing up and interpreting your results. You should make sure you don’t include any unnecessary information in this part of your project.

The introduction should introduce your readers to the research you have conducted and tell them about its significance by providing some background information. You need to describe the problem you will be trying to solve and explain why it’s important. Your introduction may include the following points listed below:

  • General topic and the background information;
  • Review of the relevant literature on your topic;
  • Definition of the key terms;
  • Research problem/research question;
  • Research goals;
  • Hypothesis;
  • Outline of the research methods.

The literature review is the chapter where you need to evaluate the previous research on the topic of your thesis. Its goal is to summarize and synthesize the arguments and ideas of other people without adding any new contribution to this part of your thesis. You should tell about well-established research on your topic and organize your material around key debates or themes or present your sources chronologically. You can also use the methodological approach and explain different methods used in Leadership Studies to research the problems. You need to identify the gap in the research on your topic and make an attempt to fill it with your study. This chapter should be about 15-35% of the whole thesis.

The methodology section of a thesis is likely to the most challenging part of your final project. You should outline which methods you used in your paper to answer the initial research question. This will allow your readers to critically evaluate the overall reliability and validity of your research. Actually, you will need to answer 2 questions: How did you collect data? And how did you analyze your data? You should also explain the reasons why you selected a particular technique or procedure and describe potential limitations that could affect your data collection. You should provide enough information about the methods you used to allow other researchers to replicate your methodology.

The results section should present your finding in a logical order without interpretation or bias. You need to present facts of your research in relation to your hypotheses or research question. You should be concise and use figures and tables to present your findings more effectively. Don’t any raw data in this section and avoid reporting data which is not important for answering your research question.

In the Discussion chapter, you need to discuss your findings. You should comment on your results and explain what they mean. Analyze how they support the research that you presented in your literature review and what contribution your study makes to the literature. You should also interpret your results in a wider context and determine which results were expected or unexpected. Identify the limitations of your research and tell if any questions remain unanswered.

In the Conclusion, you need to present concise statements about your key findings from a perspective of your hypothesis and objectives. You should also tell about your contribution to the previous research and emphasize the significance of your findings, including the limitations of your study. Finally, you can provide suggestions for further research.

Revise the Draft

When you finish writing a draft of your thesis in Leadership Studies, you should put it away for a couple of days and then reread it and find areas for revision. This will allow you to see your work objectively and notice any gaps or problems. You should reconsider your arguments, review your evidence, refine your purpose, reorganize your presentation, and improve your style. You may need to reorganize paragraphs and reword sentences in order to develop your ideas in more detail. Besides, you may need to provide more evidence to support your argument or delete some unnecessary information. You should check your thesis for consistent use of tenses, voice, and referencing style.

Proofread Your Thesis in Leadership Studies

The final step in polishing your thesis is proofreading. You need to examine your thesis carefully in order to find and fix typographical errors, and mistakes in grammar and spelling. You should make corrections at the sentence and word level only when you have revised the larger aspects of your text and are satisfied with the development and organization of the whole thesis, its sections, and paragraphs. You’d better put your paper aside for a while so it will be easier for you to see different minor mistakes and typos. It’s better to proofread on a printed copy of your thesis and not on the computer screen. If you typically make a lot of mistakes, you should check for each type of error separately rather than trying to fix everything at once. You can use different techniques to do that. For example, you can read your thesis sentence by sentence to check for fragments and then read it again backward to check the subject and verb agreement. You should proofread thoroughly and systematically or you can miss some important details that should be changed.

Proofreading is the last stage in the writing process of your thesis in Leadership Studies. Follow our easy recommendations and you are sure to do it right and to succeed in making the final copy of your thesis paper the best it can be. We hope that our complete writing guide will help you create an interesting thesis full of original ideas and impress your committee.