There are no significant differences between Undergraduate, Master or PhD dissertation formats. The only difference that exists between the formats of thesis writing at all academic levels is the word count and the depth of research. Generally, the format of thesis writing is the same for all academic levels. Most PhD dissertations are prepared in the form of publishable journal articles, so the format differs as per the requirements of different journals. A PhD thesis includes an opening chapter offering background information for the project as a whole and a conclusions chapter. These chapters discuss the study within the broader context of the discipline. This article will discuss the standard format of thesis writing for all academic levels.
The first thing to take care of in the format of thesis writing is to ensure the inclusion of a title page. The title page should encompass the following:
- The complete title of your thesis
- Your Full Name
- Name of your Degree
- Name of your Institute
- Name of your Department
- Year of Submission
Statement of Declaration
The thesis declaration attests that the thesis is your work that was finished throughout your degree. It states that the study was conducted in accordance with all ethical guidelines. You must sign this declaration.
The copyright sign, the year of the work’s initial publication, and the author’s name should all be included on a separate page immediately following the title page. Students might also freely license their work under a Creative Commons license.
The abstract of your thesis should be a short description of the study’s topic, scope, results, and conclusions. It should be between 250 to 300 words condensed on one single-spaced page. Write the abstract so that a layperson can understand it, regardless of the discipline. In case of any issue, you can get in touch with most reliable dissertation writing services like The Academic Papers UK.
Table of Contents
The format of thesis writing requires a table of contents. It must include the following:
- Title Page
- Abstract/Executive Summary
- Main Body
You can generate the Table Contents in MS Word automatically.
List of Figures and Tables
Format of thesis writing requires including a list of figures and tables if you have used any tables and figures in your dissertation. You can use The Insert Caption function in MS Word to generate this list automatically.
List of Abbreviations
If you used any abbreviations in your dissertation, this section provides an alphabetical list of their extended forms.
List of Glossary
Most of the readers are not familiar with the technical terminologies. So, it is important to include a list of those terminologies and their definitions for readers’ convenience.
The Introduction is the most important part of your thesis. As per the format of thesis writing, you must discuss the topic, purpose and significance of your thesis in this section. IT must include the following things:
- Provide background information and context for your study topic to help it stand on its own.
- What is the need for your study, and why is it worthwhile to investigate?
- What is the significance of your research?
- Define the research’s scope
- Make room for your research by tying it to previous research
- Include research objectives and research questions
- Describe your research methods briefly
- Describe the structure of your dissertation and what you want to cover in each of the core chapters.
Literature Review/Theoretical Framework
The literature review is the section that situates your thesis in context and explains why you’re doing it. The following things should be included:
- Analyse the existing literature on the chosen topic
- Identify gaps in the literature using books and journal articles
- Explain how your study fits into the existing literature
- What will your study contribute?
- What novel theoretical or methodological approach have you added in your study?
- Do not summarize the existing literature
- Develop cohesive arguments to verify your research
This section responds to the following critical questions:
- What method will you use to conduct your research?
- How will you do your research?
- Why did you choose this study design in particular?
You give the raw results in this section after gathering your data either through qualitative or quantitative methods. It should include the following:
- Questionnaire data based on a Likert scale or open-ended questions
- Demographic data
- Statistical data
- Data visualization in the form of flowcharts or pie charts
This section addresses how your findings relate to your study topics. It contains the following things:
- Detailed interpretation of the data
- Discussion of the meaning and relevance of the results in relation to your research questions
- The potential ramifications of your findings
- The limitations of your findings
The following points must be included in this section:
- Make a clear connection between your conclusion and the original research questions
- Recommendations for future research
- Inform the reader about the relevance of your research
- Inform the reader about the consequences of your significant findings on the relevant field
- Wrap up the thesis and reflect on the key discoveries and conclusions
In this section, you cite all the sources you used in your thesis. This section should be formatted in the following manner:
- Cite all of the sources you used in your dissertation in detail
- Use the citation style your university recommends
- Common styles include APA, MLA, and Harvard
- The References tool in MS Word allows you to insert citations and references automatically.
In this section, you can attach the material and documents you used for your thesis. You can insert questionnaires and interview transcripts if you have used any for your research.
- Use a Times New Roman font size of 10 or 12.
- Margins should be 1.5 inches on the left, 1 inch on the top, bottom, and right for each chapter
- Appropriate paragraphs for each chapter, double-spaced, first-line indentation 0.5 inches, left justified or full justified
- For Block quotes: indent the left margin of your paragraph
- Tables and figures should be in respectable margins
- Chapter heading styles should be consistent
- References/Bibliography should be single-spaced with a blank line between entries
This article has highlighted the general format of thesis writing for all academic levels. The general organization, structure, and format of thesis writing are similar across all academic levels. We hope that this article will help you in understanding the overall format of thesis writing.