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Undergraduate Thesis

Preparing for Thesis

Getting Started - Topic Selection

Check out our Thesis Finding Aid to see topics previous students have chosen. 

  • brainstorm for ideas - what problem(s) might you address through design?

  • choose a topic that will enable you to read and understand the literature
  • ensure that the topic is manageable and that material is available
  • make a list of keywords
  • be flexible
  • define your topic as a focused research question
  • research and read more about your topic
  • use your question to formulate a thesis statement

For more ideas check out our guide on How to Write an Academic Paper

Types of Architectural Research

There are many types of research in architecture but they all share the same goal to create new architectural knowledge. The books on this page provide more information on conducting research. Depending on your thesis topic you may choose to apply any research methods, but each thesis includes at a minimum the following:

  1. Literature Review - A summary and analysis of published sources on the thesis topic that brings the reader up to date with current thinking.
  2. Case Studies - Built projects relevant to the thesis topic which are analyzed for ideas and inspiration. Usually include images, data, drawings, and description and analysis of the project. 
  3. Physical model - A scale model physical representation of the design solution intended to demonstrate the space and communicate design ideas. 

Some other approaches include questionnaires, surveys, interviews, site analysis, demographics, digital models, materials research, performativity tests, consumer research, or financial viability. They are all valid. The type of research you do will be determined by your research question. 

RICHARD WELSH LIBRARY at NewSchool of Architecture + Design

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