Thesis Format

A Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Thesis

It takes a lot of time and effort to complete a dissertation or thesis. PhD, master’s, and even bachelor’s degree students are required to complete a dissertation as part of their coursework.

Starting a dissertation is daunting since it’s probably the most lengthy piece of writing you’ve ever done. The information in this article will assist you in determining what information to include and where it should be located.

This dissertation template is also available in docx and Google Docs formats. There is a table of contents included in the template that offers instructions on what to include in each chapter. You may tailor it to suit your needs.

The following is the table of contents for this article.

Choosing a structure for your dissertation

It’s impossible to write a dissertation that’s precisely the same regardless of location, discipline, topic, or technique.

A humanities dissertation could be formatted more like a long essay, with chapters based on several themes or case studies to support a primary thesis.

In contrast, if you’re conducting empirical research in the sciences or social sciences, your dissertation should typically include the following aspects: As a rule, each chapter will be a stand-alone piece, although you may choose to mix them at anytime. Certain sorts of qualitative social research, for example, will not segregate the results and debate.

Sections can be arranged in different ways depending on the field and the country. Some colleges, for example, recommend that the conclusion be presented first, while others prefer the discussion to follow.

If you’re unsure about the structure of your thesis or dissertation, speak with your department and/or your advisor.

Page title

On the opening page of your dissertation, the title of your work, your name, department, institution, degree program, and submission date are all included, as well as any other relevant information. It may also include a student number, the name of your supervisor, and the emblem of your university. Dissertation title pages must be formatted according to rigorous guidelines in many programs.

The language, structure, and formatting of your writing will be critiqued and improved upon.

Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by concentrating on the following:

style in the classroom.

Sentences that aren’t specific


Consistency of design


It allows you to appreciate everyone who assisted you in the composition of your dissertation. Participants in your study, supervisors, and family and friends who helped you along the way are all examples of people you might thank for their help and support.


An abstract is a brief description of your dissertation, often between 150 and 300 words. The conclusion should be written at the very end, when the remainder of the dissertation has been completed. Make sure that you do the following:

Outline your study’s primary focus and objectives.

Describe the techniques you employed.

The most important findings should be summarized.

Conclusions should be stated.

Even though the abstract is only a few sentences long, it is the first and, in some cases, the only section of your dissertation that readers will see. If you’re having trouble getting started, read our how-to tutorial on writing an abstract.

The following is the table of contents for this article.

List all of your chapters and subheadings, along with page numbers, in the table of contents. If you have a lot of information in your dissertation, you may want to include a table of contents.

The appendices should also be included in your dissertation’s table of contents. If you utilize heading styles in Word, you may automatically construct a table of contents.

Figures and tables are listed here.

It’s important to include a numbered list of tables and figures in your dissertation if you’ve used a lot of them. Using Word’s Insert Caption tool, you can easily create this list.

This document contains abbreviations.

If your dissertation has a large number of abbreviations, you may want to organize them alphabetically so that the reader can quickly determine what they imply.


If you’ve used a lot of technical jargon that your audience won’t understand, consider including a glossary. Briefly define and describe each phrase in the alphabetical listing.


It’s important to tell the reader what to expect from the rest of your dissertation in the beginning by introducing your subject, purpose, and relevance. When writing the introduction, keep these things in mind:

Give background material to contextualize your study subject.

Defining and narrowing the scope of the study

Show how your study relates to a larger issue or debate in the field of research.

Your study questions and goals should be stated in plain language.

The framework of your dissertation should be described in detail.

In the opening, make sure that all of your points are well-explained and relevant to your field of study. It’s important for the reader to grasp why and how you conducted your research towards the conclusion of your paper. Check out our article on how to write a dissertation introduction for additional information.

Theoretical foundation/literature review:

For the most full grasp of your issue, undertake a thorough literature study before you begin your research. To put it another way,

Identifying and evaluating relevant sources (e.g., books and journal articles)

Criticizing and scrutinizing each piece of information.

Identifying similarities and differences among numerous elements and drawing conclusions about how they relate to one another

Rather than merely summarizing prior research, you should construct an argument and a framework for your own study in the dissertation literature review chapter or section. As an example, it may illustrate how your study is progressing:

It provides a solution to a problem in the field.

approaches the subject from a fresh theoretical or methodological perspective.

It offers a remedy to an issue that has yet to be addressed.

Discussion on theoretical issues is raised.

expands and enhances current knowledge by incorporating new information.

As part of your theoretical framework, you define and examine significant ideas, concepts, and models that are relevant to your study in your literature review. These questions are designed to help you understand the connection between ideas and variables.


In the methodology chapter or section, you explain how you carried out your study, allowing the reader to judge its credibility. In general, you should include:

Methodology and kind of study (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, experimental, ethnographic)

How you acquire data is a matter of debate (e.g., interviews, surveys, archives).

Details on where, when, and with whom the study was conducted are below.

Your data analysis procedures (e.g., statistical analysis, discourse analysis)

Materials and tools you employed (e.g., computer programs, lab equipment)

This is a discussion of the challenges you experienced and the solutions you came up with throughout the research.

An analysis or defense of your procedures:

You want to persuade the reader that this was the best technique to address your research questions or objectives by correctly reporting what you did in the methodology.


You’ll then provide the findings of your investigation in the form of a conclusion. Sub-questions, hypotheses, or themes might be used to organize this section.

Some disciplines keep the findings and discussion sections distinct, whereas others blend both. Qualitative approaches, such as ethnography, generally combine data display with analysis and debate.

When conducting quantitative or experimental research, you should show your findings before discussing their significance.

Include any relevant descriptive statistics (e.g. mean, standard deviation) as well as inferential statistics (e.g. p-values) in your results (e.g. test statistics, p-values).

In a few sentences, explain how the answer connects to the question or if the hypothesis was correct.

If tables and figures assist the reader in grasping your findings, they should be included.

It is important to report all findings, even if they do not meet your expectations.

Don’t add your own personal interpretations or speculations to your answers.

Additional data (such as raw figures, surveys in their entirety, or transcripts of interviews) might be added as an appendix.


Discussing your findings is an opportunity to examine how they relate to your research topic. There are a number of things you need to consider here, such as how well the results fit within the framework you established in prior chapters.

Let us know what you think the findings signify to you.

Take a step back and think about what the results mean.

Consider the limitations: what can’t we learn from the data?

Provide reasons for any findings that were unexpected. It’s a good idea to think about what your data may mean in other contexts. In order to demonstrate how your findings align with previously held beliefs, references to relevant sources should be included in the discussion.


Conclusions in dissertations must simply address the primary research question, providing the reader with a clear understanding of your major argument and underlining the value of what you’ve learned from your study.

While the conclusion may refer to a brief segment preceding the debate, in certain academic traditions it refers to a brief section that precedes the discussion.

In other cases, the term “conclusion” refers to the final chapter of your dissertation, in which you summarize your findings and offer a final perspective. In addition to the findings and conclusions, this form of conclusion also offers suggestions for more study or practice.

Make sure the reader understands why your study is significant in this chapter. What new information do you bring to the table?

For a list of sources, click here.

A reference list must contain all of the citation information for the sources you’ve used (sometimes also called a works-cited list or bibliography). It’s critical to use a standardized citation format. For each style, there are stringent and particular formatting requirements for your sources.

To be safe, your program may have its own standards for citation styles. If you’re confused about what you should be using, double-check with your supervisor or program director.


In order to address your research topic, you should only include information that is relevant to your dissertation. The appendices of your dissertation can include any materials you’ve utilized that don’t fit into the main body of the document (such as transcripts of interviews, survey questions, or tables with full figures).

a final check for precision and completeness

The first step to a well-written dissertation is to make sure that all of the parts are in the appropriate position. Allow lots of time to revise and proofread. The quality of your work might be affected if it contains grammatical and formatting problems.

Prior to focusing on grammar, spelling, and consistency issues, you should write and rewrite numerous drafts of your thesis or dissertation. In order to ensure that your dissertation is error-free, you could consider using a professional dissertation editing service.

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