Thesis Format - Detailed Guideline and Template
Writing a thesis can be a daunting task as it requires years of research work. However, learning from those who have tackled this task can make the process smoother. Moreover, students must also follow strict formatting requirements in thesis writing.
It is always better to consult the supervisor to determine the proper format structure and writing style. Any deviations from the formatting guidelines may lead to the rejection of the thesis proposal.
If you are planning to work on your thesis and need guidance about the format. Refer to our comprehensive guide to get a better idea of the thesis format.
Thesis Format Definition
A thesis format is a set of rules that you should follow to plan, structure, and organize your major ideas. It is essential to give a logical direction to the thesis paper.
Moreover, the structure is usually the first thing that the supervisors notice while going through your essays, research papers, or thesis. Therefore, students must follow the proper format. However, for some, it is a stressful task as they are often unfamiliar with the right template.
Every institution follows its own formatting guidelines for thesis and dissertation. It is beneficial for a student to know them before getting started with the paper. Moreover, they can also consult with the teacher to get a better understanding of the concept.
Remember, a poorly formatted thesis can highly affect your grades. Therefore, pay close attention to this section while writing your thesis project.
What Is A Proper Thesis Format?
A thesis format usually consists of the following four major sections.
Section 1 - Preliminary Pages
- Title page (required)
- Dedication (optional)
- Acknowledgment (optional)
- Abstract (required)
- Table of contents (required)
- List of tables (required)
- List of figures (required)
- List of abbreviations (optional)
Section 2 - Text
- Introduction (referred to as Chapter 1)
- Body of Thesis
Section 3 - References/ Bibliography (required)
Section 4 - Appendices (optional)
The sections of the thesis format are discussed below in detail.
Preliminary pages are the write-ups that come before the main chapters of your thesis. They are counted in sequence. Moreover, such pages are used to arrange and divide the various sections logically.
Below are the main parts of the preliminary pages.
The title page serves as a basic introduction to your thesis research. It is a meaningful description of your work and must include the following elements:
- The topic of the thesis
- Student name
- Supervisor name
- Date of submission
However, never put a page number on the title page.
Check out our compiled list of thesis topics to get amazing and unique ideas for your work.
Dedication is one of the preliminary pages of your thesis. It includes the dedication of research work to your loved ones or the people that hold high regard. Furthermore, it is an optional page but should be numbered with Roman numerals if included.
In the acknowledgment page, the writer appreciates and acknowledges the people who contributed directly or indirectly in the research. These may include the supervisor, advisors, and the parents who supported you to produce a successful work.
The abstract is a description of your work. It should briefly state the research methodology, research problem, conclusion, and results. Moreover, an abstract is of 100-150 words that roughly makes 5-10 sentences.
Table of Contents
The table of contents contains a list of headings and subheadings of the thesis with the page numbers. This section must be numbered with Roman numerals at the center bottom of each page.
Also, make sure to write the text with double spacing and follow the format specified by the supervisor.
List of Tables
Tables usually list the tabulated numerical data. Thus, a list of tables is a type of reference tool that includes table titles and numbers. It enables the readers to easily and quickly navigate to data in a thesis page. Moreover, it is similar to creating a table of content and also includes page numbers.
List of Figures
Some common types of figures include images, charts, maps, drawings, and graphs. Thus, the list of figures in a thesis paper must include the figure titles and numbers. Moreover, this section also follows the same format used in the table of contents.
Remember to use Roman numerals for page numbers along with double spacing.
List of Abbreviations
A list of abbreviations includes unfamiliar terms, symbols, acronyms, and their meaning. These can be in different fields and languages like Latin and English abbreviations.
The text contains the well-defined parts and chapters that discuss the analysis of your thesis. Also, it should start with page 1 in Arabic numerals.
The main chapters included in the text are given below.
It is referred to as the first chapter of a thesis project. Furthermore, a good thesis introduction must state the below aspects.
- The purpose of the study
- The problem being studied
- The background of the research (context and importance)
- Previous work by other scholars
- A methodological approach to carry the research
- Criteria for the success of the research
Body of Thesis
The important parts of the main body of the thesis are as follows.
- Theoretical Framework - It discusses the research problem within the framework of a theory. Moreover, it will further develop a theoretical basis for your methodology design.
- Methodological Procedures - List and describe the key methodology and designs that are used to conduct the thesis work. Similarly, this section can also use visuals to illustrate the testing procedures.
- Findings - This section usually presents the results with the help of tables and graphs. Furthermore, you can also characterize the result patterns by estimating their accuracy.
- Discussion - The discussion section will discuss the results and their significance in detail. You can also compare the results with the relevant theories.
- Thesis Conclusion - Review and relate the major findings to the problem statement in the conclusion. Also, access the success of your work according to the criteria of success mentioned in the introduction.
- Recommendation - After discussing the contribution of your study, recommend directions for future research.
This section contains an alphabetical list of all the sources used in the research work. Follow the bibliography and footnote formatting requirements specified by the institution.
However, if your referencing section is longer than two pages, classify and divide it into subsections. It should be done in accordance with the type of sources (books, journals, etc) or time periods.
A writer must provide calculations, procedures, and data in separate and detailed appendices. Moreover, give each appendix a letter (A, B, C), a title, and an introduction paragraph.
Refer to the below document to understand the complete format template of a thesis paper.
Thesis Format Template (PDF)
Thesis Paper Formatting Tips
Here are some expert tips for you to format your thesis proposal or final thesis draft.
- Use the A4 page size for a thesis paper.
- Times New Roman 12pt and Arial 11pt is the commonly used font style and size.
- There should be 1.5 line spacing for the text and single spacing for the quotations.
- The right/left margin should be set to 1.25 inches and the top/bottom margin must be set to 1 inch.
- All pages must be numbered in Roman numerals except the title page. It must be placed in the bottom center of each page.
- Use a citation style recommended by your instructor. It may include APA, MLA, and Chicago.
- Italics are used for writing books and journal titles.
- Bold text should be used within the text and for headings and subheadings.
- Use short and simple words for the readers to understand easily.
- Capitalize the first letter of words of importance in headings and titles.
- Do not change the all-cap style used for acronyms e.g. AIDS.
Thesis Format Sample
Below are some format samples for you to get a better understanding.
Thesis Format (PDF)
Baby Thesis Format (PDF)
Thesis Format APA 6th Edition (PDF)
PhD Thesis Format (PDF)
Undergraduate Thesis Format (PDF)
Thesis Format For Computer Science (PDF)
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