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What is a PhD Thesis: Understanding the Structure


A PhD thesis is actually just a long document that answers pertinent questions about a topic. Understanding this concept of questions will help you write a better thesis, because you will work better at answering all the questions that are important in your paper as a whole.

  • What’s it called? - Title
  • The title tells your reader a lot about the nature of your Thesis. By now, you’re probably well versed in what a proper title should look like. A PhD thesis title is no different to others you’ve done before. It should encompass as much as possible to draw in your reader with information about the subject matter.

  • What’s it about? - Abstract
  • Your abstract will be short and explain the crux of what your paper is about. Abstracts are short for a reason. Only pertinent facts need to be addressed so try not to go over 10 lines when writing yours.

  • Where is it going? - Introduction
  • A good introduction always gives your reader a detailed explanation of the direct you are taking with your PhD Thesis.

  • A note on defining your circles:
  • Another section you will need to add is a literary review section. This gives the reader an idea of the community you are working within. It also gives him or her further reading material if they wish to expand on or confirm your analysis.

  • How is it done? - Method
  • This is where you explain the process of discovery to your reader. Experiments, interviews, research, and anything else that will lead you to the information you’re looking for, should be documented here.

  • What was the outcome? – Results
  • Here you will explain and discuss what you found out during your fact finding process. Your reader wants to know what the implications are of what you discovered and how they affect the subject as a whole.

  • What more is there to say? – Conclusion and recommendations
  • You can conclude by mentioning a quick word on how everything you’ve written is connected. Go back to your abstract and your introduction and remind your reader about what was said before, and how it relates to what you have discovered by your analysis.

  • Where did the information come from? - References
  • A list of references comes right at the end and is crucial in any PhD thesis structure. Be sure to stick to the correct format and style when writing yours.

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