Thesis Format - Detailed Guideline and Template
Writing a thesis can be a daunting task as it requires chapters 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 thesis structure format and writing style. Any deviations from the formatting guidelines may lead to the rejection of the thesis proposal.
If you are working on your thesis and need guidance about how to format a thesis. Refer to this guide to get a better idea of a good thesis format.
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Thesis Format Definition
A thesis format is a set of rules you should follow to plan, structure, and organize your main ideas. It is essential to give a logical direction to the thesis paper.
Moreover, the structure is the first thing that the supervisors notice while going through your essays, papers, or thesis. Therefore, students must follow a proper format. However, it is a stressful task for those people who are unfamiliar with the right template.
Every institution follows its 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 affect your grades. Therefore, pay close attention to this section while writing your project.
What is the Proper Thesis Format?
A thesis format usually consists of 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 paper 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.
The following 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. Furthermore, a thesis title page format must include the following elements:
- The topic of the thesis
- Student name
- Supervisor name
- Date of submission
However, never put a page number on this page.
Check out our compiled list of thesis topics to get amazing ideas for your work.
Dedication is one of the preliminary pages of your thesis. It includes the dedication of your research work to your loved ones or the people that hold it in high regard. It is an optional page but should be numbered with Roman numerals if included.
On the acknowledgment page, the writer appreciates and acknowledges the people who contributed directly or indirectly to the research. These may include the supervisor, advisors, and the parents who supported you to produce successful wor
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 supervisor’s format.
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 quickly navigate through the data on a thesis page. Moreover, it is similar to creating a table of contents 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 must consist of the figure titles and numbers. Furthermore, this section also follows the same format of thesis used in the table of contents.
Remember to use double spacing and Roman numerals for page numbers.
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.
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The text contains well-defined parts and chapters discussing 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.
1. Thesis Introduction
It is referred to as the first chapter of a thesis project. A good thesis introduction must state the following 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
2. Body of Thesis
The important parts of the main body 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 used to conduct the thesis work. Similarly, this section can also use visuals to illustrate the testing procedures.
- Findings - The findings usually present the results with the help of tables and graphs. Furthermore, you can also characterize the result patterns by estimating their accuracy.
- Discussion - This section will discuss the results and their significance in detail. You can also compare the results with the relevant theories.
3. Thesis Conclusion
The following are the major elements of a thesis conclusion.
- Summarize the Research - Provide a brief summary of the research approach and the findings. Also, review and relate the results to the problem statement.
- Assess Your Study - This section will assess your work’s success according to the success criteria mentioned in the introduction. Similarly, it will also discuss how well the results matched your expectations.
- State Your Contributions - It will state the contribution of your research to the knowledge in your field. Explain how the study helps solve the problem statement and address the gap in the existing literature.
- Recommendation - Here, discuss how the results have confirmed or challenged an existing theory and recommend future research directions.
This section contains an alphabetical list of all the sources used in the research. Follow the bibliography, footnote, and thesis reference format guidelines specified by the institution.
However, if your referencing section is longer than two pages, classify and divide it into subsections. It should be done according to the type of sources (books, journals, etc.) or time period.
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-given document to understand the format template of a thesis paper.
Thesis Format Sample
Here are some thesis format examples to get a better understanding.
Thesis Paper Formatting Tips
Here are some expert tips 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 are 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 referencing.
- Italics are used for writing books and journal titles.
- Bold text should be used within the text for headings and subheadings.
- Use short and simple words for the readers to understand easily.
- Capitalize the first letter of the important words in headings and titles.
- Do not change the all-cap style used for acronyms, e.g., AIDS.
Formatting and writing a thesis is a challenging assignment for most people as it requires a lot of time. It can be especially stressful for students who work under a limited time frame. As a result, they end up submitting a low-quality thesis.
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