Before start writing your thesis you have to know about the requirements you need for it. Then you can move on to structuring your thesis. This article will help you in writing your thesis from basics. Each university will have different kind of requirements for doing thesis based on their discipline.
To create structures for your thesis follow these steps:
>> Try to read others thesis work from your discipline. Read thesis which got commends from their reviewers, which will be a prime example.
>> Get help from your advisors.
The thesis structure should have the sections listed below:
>> Literature review
>> Results and Findings
The abstract should entitle a brief explanation of your thesis along with the findings and results. The abstract and introduction part are not same, these sections should not over expose your thesis. It should give information to readers only to let them know about what they are going to read in this thesis.
The following questions are to be answered from your abstract:
>> What have you done?
>> How have you done?
>> Why is it so important?
>> What are the findings of it?
>> What were the advantages and disadvantages of it?
You should consider the word limit for abstract, make sure to explain the important topic only to explain all the above questions within the word limit.
Introduction and Literature Review for Thesis Presentation
The introduction and the literature review part may sometimes be incorporated with each other. You have to do literature review in some other sections of your thesis also, like methodology section.
>> Creating outline for introduction part and literature review part can be done in many ways:
>> The brief introduction chapter and a separate long literature review chapter.
>> The introduction chapter with long introduction section and then a brief literature review section.
>> The common type followed for thesis publication is: The introduction chapter with literature review for each chapter which is separately present in every chapter.
If you are asked to do introduction and literature review section, then don’t use same content in both of it.
The introduction part should explain about the significance and background of the investigation, along with:
>> General aims – What you are going to contribute to the existing knowledge of the field.
>> Specific objectives – From the topic in which area you are going to do investigation.
>> Explain about the methodology you used for proofreading.
>> This section should justify your research work; the level for detail may vary based on the research you conduct and details you collect.
While doing literature review you should gather more details based on the field after careful analysis to come out with a specific objective and research question. The literature review may vary based on the program you enrolled and your discipline.
For example: you have to do more literature review for writing PhD thesis compared to MPhil thesis. Do check the examples related to your discipline to know about the structure and content used in it. To get more knowledge about structuring and integrating literature review with thesis, get advice from your instructor.
Body of the Thesis
The thesis which is used normally has following sections:
>> Research findings
The thesis used for Manuscript has sections of:
>> Every chapter it has is a separate manuscript, which will be unique compared to manuscript of others, other than the formatting style.
>> The complete information regarding the particular topic will be included in that chapter along with images and reference list.
>> The doctoral students have to include at least two manuscripts which are already published along with the manuscript which they are going to publish.
>> The master’s students have to include more than one manuscript which is already published along with the manuscript which they are going to publish.
While including manuscripts, the students have to write up for one to three pages about how they are connected to each other.
The outlines for thesis methods include the introduction section which gives justification for the research method you choose and then moving on to next sections. The sub-sections for this chapter include:
>> Participants involved
>> proposed Design
>> Procedures performed
>> required Materials
The structure of your methods section can vary depending on your program and discipline. So, refer some other thesis from your respective disciple to get some idea. But only the structure varies not the content. The content should include:
>> Collection and analysis of data – You have to mention how you collected data just to let others know about it and follow it, not the complete tests or techniques you used.
>> The reason behind mentioning a specific data that is used in your paper.
>> How the collected data help you to resolve the research question.
>> The reason behind opting specific research method.
Results or Findings in Thesis
You have to summarize about your result in the discussion section, so here you have to give explanation about:
>> How you collected data
>> How you analyzed the specific data collected by you
>> What was the result after analyzing?
>> Give all answers in a statistical form using graph or table
Usually the graphs, tables, equation and statistics or graphical presentation are used to explain the reports in a more effective way.
In the discussion section, discuss the following:
>> Clear explanation to justify your result
>> Compare your results with the result from existing studies
>> Fill the gaps from existing study
>> Find the area which could not be resolved using your research findings
>> Explain about pros and cons of your findings
If your research ends-up in a result which you didn’t expect or went in some other direction you can use this section to explain about it.
Conclusion of the Thesis
In conclusion section you can explain about:
>> Make sure you attained the goal of your research
>> Highlighted your key findings
>> Discuss about the limitations of your research and suggestions for future research
Based on the requirements of specific universities the conclusion section and discussion section can be merged into a single chapter. Refer your university guidelines to know about it.
Font should be conventional with size of 12-point, per inch can have 12 characters and Line spacing of 1.5, and the right and left hand margin should be of 1 inch.
Using page number can be optional. You can mark page numbers or you can leave it unnumbered. The pages with images can also be optional in providing page number. If you use numbers then be careful with it and check for correct sequence.
Footnotes, references and appendices:
>> The references you use should be in a specific style preferred by your discipline.
>> You can use footnotes in the end of page for every chapter
>> You have to maintain consistency for reference and footnotes in your whole thesis.
Figures, illustrations, photographs and digital images:
>> You have to follow the preferred conventions for using tables, graphs and figures in your thesis.
>> The images which occupy full page can be given with page number or leave it unnumbered. The explanation for that long image should be given in separate page.
>> You should not use slides and tapes unless you give permission to reproduce your experiment without you.