I am currently writing my thesis.

How should I refer to the thesis itself? "This thesis", "this text" or maybe "this work"?

I think that the fact that the text is currently used for my graduation (which makes it my thesis) is no inherent property of the text itself. I am therefore hesitant to refer to it as "this thesis".

  • This project/initiative/study/investigation/trial/etc works if you are referring to your actual study. If you are referring to your text for some reason, then "text" or "thesis" is fine, or the specific section you are referring to. – Behacad Jun 4 '14 at 13:21
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    Might be better suited for English Language & Usage – Suresh Jun 4 '14 at 15:12
  • Potential use case: "This [document/thesis/text/work/?] is dedicated to [person], who passed away during its preparation." You need an antecedent for its, so you need a noun that refers to the document itself, in its entirety. – Charles Staats Jun 4 '14 at 17:09
  • @Behacad Yes I am referring to the text itself and not the study. Take a look at the comments under the answer by leonardo. – Tim Kuipers Jun 5 '14 at 10:07

Perhaps I may be missing something, but in general, I think something such as "In this work" or "This text" would suffice. The thesis itself will be a form of publication, and you are writing it from that perspective, so it is perfectly acceptable to make reference to specific areas within the thesis, especially since you are likely to have results or new content that may not be found in other publications of yours.

More specifically, what exactly about your thesis are you trying to reference? Is it a result that can be found on a specific page, in a chapter or a particular figure? If so, then I would make specific reference to where exactly the reader can find the information. Maybe when describing results collectively, you could say "the results presented in this chapter" so that it's more clear to what you are trying to refer.

Are you citing some exposited logic or text that was previously introduced or will be further explained later on? Then the common ways of referring to this would be "see above/below", "in the previous/next section", "in the section entitled X", or the Latin equivalents vid supra (v.s.) and vid infra (v.i.).

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    manuscript > text > work > thesis I would say. The word manuscript seems to be the preferred one (Copy Editor speaking). – yo' Jun 4 '14 at 22:24
  • I am using it in a sentence similar to "In this manuscript, the ambiguous word 'X' will denote Y." Would you say it's better to say "Below the ambiguous word 'X' will denote Y."? I think that for the word 'below' is not really specific as to for what range it holds, wouldn't you agree? – Tim Kuipers Jun 5 '14 at 10:05
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    I would agree and go with your first statement. – user479 Jun 5 '14 at 10:35

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