A Comprehensive Guide To The PhD Thesis Structure

Your thesis is such an essential part of your PhD that you have to do an absolutely amazing job of it. In order to do that, you need to make sure that you structure it correctly. If you use the wrong form, you could seriously compromise your grade. Therefore, you should have a look at this comprehensive guide to the structure of a PhD thesis.

What is a PhD thesis?

Essentially, this is a formal academic piece that documents a student’s research and research findings. It needs to be completed and submitted in order for the student to obtain their postgraduate degree. In addition to the written postgraduate dissertation, the student is often required to take an oral examination or presentation that’s called the dissertation defense.

The typical structure of a PhD thesis

The following is the typical form that a postgraduate dissertation is supposed to take, including some explanations where needed:

  1. Cover sheet
  2. Title page
  3. Abstract
  4. This is a short summary of the whole dissertation to give readers an idea about its contents.

  5. Introduction
  6. This should include the problem statement or hypothesis, as well as the basic form of the paper.

  7. Background
  8. This should include the context of the research and the motivation behind it.

  9. Related work
  10. This is a review of any work that is related to the dissertation.

  11. Study design
  12. This section describes the design of the research.

  13. Study implementation
  14. Here the implementation of the study is described.

  15. Analysis
  16. This section gives an analysis of the data collected.

  17. Interpretation of results
  18. Here the results of the research are interpreted.

  19. Critical assessment of the dissertation
  20. Here the dissertation should be critically assessed in terms of its strengths, weaknesses and contributions to the field.

  21. Further work
  22. This should contain any suggestions for further study in the field.

  23. Conclusion
  24. This should close off the dissertation and restate the contribution it made to the field.

  25. Appendices
  26. Bibliography

Something to remember

While the structure discussed in this guide is the typical form of a postgraduate dissertation, some universities or committees have their own unique requirements. So, before you start working on your postgraduate dissertation, you really should familiarise yourself with your university or committee’s guidelines and regulations with regards to the form of post graduate dissertations.



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