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PHD Help

Tips on the Presentation of Your Thesis

It is essential that your thesis be correctly presented and that the rules regarding formatting prescribed by your academic institution be adhered to throughout. These tips should help you to present your thesis correctly, even in draft form:

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Specimen Thesis Layout

Title page
This needs to include: the title of your thesis, your name, the name of the college or university to which the degree is being submitted, the degree for which the thesis is being submitted and the date of submission of the thesis.

Contents page
This will be similar to the contents page that you submitted for your research proposal (there is a sample of one of these provided within this guide in the section on research proposals).

A preface is usually very brief, concerned principally with acknowledging the help and support you have been given during the research and writing of your thesis. This will, of course, give priority to your supervisor and your typist (if you used one) but may also include family members and others who have ‘suffered’ with you! (However, it is not an ‘Oscars speech’ so don’t go too far!)

This needs to establish the theme and methodology of your thesis (see the section in this guide on writing your introduction).

Chapters (numbered consecutively)
Or more information on the writing of the chapters themselves see the section of this guide on writing your thesis. Ensure that the page numbers for each of the chapters is listed correctly and consider giving each of the chapters an individual title rather than just a number.

This should summarise your thoughts and indicate future areas of research (see the section in this guide on writing your conclusion).

This should include an alphabetical list of all books you consult, subdivided into primary and secondary sources and other subdivisions you might care to employ (see further information in this guide regarding bibliographies and referencing).

These should include supplementary material to the main thesis.

Applying Your Methodology

This is a vital stage in your planning as you are about to apply what up until now has only been an abstract idea of how to work.

This might be a good time to consider how different methods of work can be applied to different subject areas:

The methodology you are applying, therefore, should be adapted according to the subject matter and in reassessing it now you need to ensure that you are using your ideas and the research you have compiled most effectively. Do not simply rely on your initial ideas to carry you forward now, build upon them so that your final thesis is the best that you can possibly make it.

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