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How To Write A PhD Thesis Successfully


What is a PhD thesis or PhD dissertation?


  • PhD thesis shows how a graduate student is able to do research independently to meet certain standards academically.

  • A successful PhD thesis will show that the student is able to study a certain field of study for either three years or four years.

  • The successful PhD thesis will show that the graduate student has made some new discovery in their field of study or has made a major contribution to their field of study.

  • A successful PhD thesis will demonstrate the student’s ability to compare and contrast their thesis to other thesis that were written on the same topic.

  • A successful PhD thesis will help the candidate receive their PhD because it has been reviewed and approved by the PhD committee.

How should a successful PhD thesis be formatted?

PhD thesis is normally structured the same way as a research paper.

PhD thesis general format is as follows:

  • Introduction: Gives information on the problem/topic that will be discussed in the thesis, provides the thesis question, the hypothesis question that will be proven or disproven, discusses the main points of the problem/topic, and gives an overview of the thesis.

  • Motivation: Discusses why the problem needs to be discussed and researched, how the problem will be resolved, how difficult it will be to resolve the problem, and the benefits of resolving the problem.

  • Related Work: This section gives the evidence, publications, literature reviews, experiment results, and other supporting documents used to prove or disprove the hypothesis and answer the thesis question.

  • Experiments: Normally, engineering and science thesis have an experiment section.  In this section, one explains the experimental design and methodology used to prove or disprove the hypothesis. 

  • Conclusion: This section gives a brief overview of the how the problem was researched, how the thesis question was answered, and how the hypothesis was proven or disproven.

  • Appendices: This section includes supporting material that was not included in the bibliography.

  • Bibliography: This is where all publications, literature reviews, books, journal articles, and other materials that were used in the PhD thesis are cited.

  • Index, glossary, and notation: This section is optional, but it is good to have a listing of all the quotes from cited sources, glossary of certain terminology that may not be understood by the reader, and index will let the reader know where to find certain sections in the PhD thesis.

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