Skip to main content

Finance and Tax Library Guide: Thesis, antithesis and synthesis

Guide for library resources for UCT Finance students

About this guide

The content of this guide was developed by Alex D'Angelo.

Thesis, antithesis, synthesis

The classic pattern of academic arguments is:

Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.

An Idea (Thesis) is proposed, an opposing Idea (Antithesis) is proposed, and a revised Idea incorporating (Synthesis) the opposing Idea is arrived at. This revised idea sometimes sparks another opposing idea, another synthesis, and so on…

If you can show this pattern at work in your literature review, and, above all, if you can suggest a new synthesis of two opposing views, or demolish one of the opposing views, then you are almost certainly on the right track.

Next topic: Step 1: Choose your topic