A thesis is a written product of a systematic study of a significant problem. The thesis demonstrates the ability of a student to analyze existing research, collate or collect data, and apply it in the context of an existing problem. The result is a de novo synthesis of theoretical and empirical information. The thesis identifies a problem, provides a rationale for the study, and states the hypothesis or research question. It identifies major theoretical assumptions, explains the methods chosen to study the problem, analyzes the data, and offers a conclusion or recommendation based on the data and theoretical framing. The finished thesis evidences originality, critical and independent thinking, appropriate organization and format, and thorough documentation. The optimum length for a thesis is about 35-40 pages (about 9,000-10,000 words) and should constitute approximately 400 hours of effort by the learner.