How should you start when you need to write a good thesis? This helpful review shares important information on what students should include in their theses and covers every section and background details. Save yourself from possible academic headaches by first structuring this important paper. The right thesis structure will make the entire writing process smooth and simple, no matter if you write a discussion section or other chapters.
What is this paper?
It’s a paper that all candidates for professional qualifications and academic degrees must submit to present their findings, research, and conclusions. Its basic aim is to produce your original piece of research work on a well-defined topic within the assigned limit of words. A thesis is a very substantial piece of writing. It takes a lot of time and hard work from students to complete it, so study effective methods to answer research questions. Learn to structure this paper correctly.
The main sections
What is a thesis structure? It consists of the following:
- Separate title page;
- Special information page;
- Your abstract or summary;
- Table of contents;
- List of all tables and figures;
- List of all used abbreviations;
- Introductory chapter;
- Literature review or your theoretical framework;
- Research methodology and results;
- Discussions and conclusions;
- Your advisory plan or recommendations;
- Evaluation, reflection, or afterword;
- List of all references;
- Different appendices.
The structure of your thesis
Every educational program may have different or unique requirements on the right structure of a thesis. Note the requirements of your program. All theses have a number of common elements.
A title page is the front page and eye catcher of your thesis that contains a title and good illustrations that fits your study. Feel free to place your educational program, full name, and student administration number in this section to come up with a good title page.
What are information pages?
They provide more information that readers can see on title pages:
- Your title again;
- Data about your supervisors;
- Information about yourself (your name, email, and student administration number);
- Education program details;
- Date of submitting your paper.
Writing your preface
It’s your personal note that provides readers with more information about personal backgrounds of your thesis. Don’t forget to include it in your structure. You can also use it to thank other people who helped you with this academic project, so check specific program requirements.
This section gives some space to thank others who helped you with thesis writing, so it seems similar to your preface, reflection report, or afterword. What is the difference? The main difference is that you shouldn’t mention any other information or your personal backgrounds in this thesis section. If you need to use a lot of space to thank many people who contributed to your research, acknowledgements will come in handy.
Your abstract or summary
What are its basic functions? An abstract helps other people decide if the content of your thesis is really interesting to keep reading more details. In this section, answer these questions:
- What is the main problem and what was done?
- What do your findings mean and what was discovered?
Table of contents and glossary
When you structure this section, be sure to list all chapters with their page numbers to ensure that readers get a better overview because they should see where a specific chapter begins to navigate your thesis with ease. Put all parts in your table of contents. A glossary is a list of all the terms that you use in your thesis if they require a brief explanation.
List of all tables, figures, and abbreviations
Itemize all figures and tables in a special list, and include the abbreviations of all key terms. This alphabetized list helps readers a lot.
Introduce a topic and program statement and describe how you structure your thesis to readers to write the best starting paragraph. If you write it strongly and clearly, you win readers and force them to read the rest of your paper.
What to do in this chapter? Answer all research questions by conducting your literature study because you should use different sources of information to either support or reject your hypothesis. Use your literature review to formulate it.
Research design and results
Describe your study design to explain when, where, and how you will do your future research. Determine your research methods or methodology and apply them before you describe how your research went and analyze its results.
Discussions and conclusions
Give your answer to a problem statement. Research results can be open to multiple interpretations, and that’s why you should make your conclusions in this section. Give different possible views, interpretations, or suggestions for future research. You can also structure these personal recommendations in your advisory plan if thesis requirements and your professors allow that.
Your list of references
What is it? When you structure this section, you need to list all the sources of information that you use during the entire process. Include every article that you checked for strong facts. Your education program specifies the style that you should use for this list.
Your thesis must contain only core matters or issues, and you need to add many documents as its appendices if they contribute to your research. This is how you let the targeted audience learn and see how you conducted it and on what you based it.
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