The definition and purpose of the thesis : What is a thesis and why is it required? ; For whom is this book written? ; The usefulness of a thesis after graduation ; Four obvious rules for choosing a thesis topic -- Choosing the topic : Monograph or survey? ; Historical or theoretical? ; Ancient or contemporary? ; How long does it take to write a thesis? ; Is it necessary to know foreign languages? ; "Scientific" or political? : What does it mean to be scientific? ; Writing about direct social experience ; Treating a "journalistic" topic with scientific accuracy ; How to avoid being exploited by your advisor -- Conducting research ; The availability of primary and secondary sources : What are the sources of a scientific work? ; Direct and indirect sources ; Bibliographical research : How to use the library ; Managing your sources with the bibliographic index card file ; Documentation guidelines ; An experiment in the library of Alessandria ; Must you read books?: If so, what should you read first? -- The work plan and the index card : The table of contents as a working hypothesis ; Index cards and notes : various types of index cards and their purpose ; Organizing the primary sources ; The importance of readings index cards ; Academic humility -- Writing the thesis : The audience ; How to write ; Quotations : When and how to quote: 10 rules ; Quotes, paraphrases, and plagiarism ; Footnotes : The purpose of footnotes ; The notes and bibliography system ; The author-date system ; Instructions, traps, and conventions ; Academic pride -- The final draft : Formatting the thesis : Margins and spaces ; Underlining and capitalization ; Sections ; Quotation marks and other signs ; Transliterations and diacritics ; Punctuation, foreign accents and abbreviations ; Some miscellaneous advice ; The final bibliography ; The appendices ; The table of contents -- Conclusions.