Instructions for PhD thesis writing

Every university will have its own guidelines for writing and submitting the dissertation. And if your university is large and has multiple major and schools within it, each one may have its own variances too. A dissertation for law school looks different than one for education and a thesis for literature studies is vastly different than one written for a psychology major. Despite the wide variety you could see in the instructions, there are some key elements that will be included in just about any dissertation or thesis that you begin to work on.

  1. Presentation- You will be given instructions on how you are to package and present your final paper. You may be asked t have it bound in a notebook or to have it as loose leaf papers stapled together. Make sure you know how the committee wants your paper to look when it is finished. Simple things like spaces and margins and page layout can make a big difference in how successful your thesis is.
  2. Introduction- Most papers of this magnitude will want a title page, abstract, and a introduction page. The title page will have the title of your thesis, your name and other information that the committee will ask for. The abstract is a brief summary of what your focus is within the paper and serves as a way for the committee to see in a few paragraphs what your entire thesis will be discussing. The introduction page sets the stage for your paper and introduces the brief history of your topic and why you chose it.
  3. Table of Contents- This is the listing that shows the outline and organization of the paper. Every subheading and section of your thesis will be included in the table of contents. Everything mention in the table of contents should appear in your paper- nothing should be in one place that is not in the other. This table serves as a quick reference so the committee can refer back to certain parts of your paper quickly and easily during the review process.
  4. Citation Page- You will be using other sources and materials to write your thesis and everything that you use needs to be cited. Credit must be given for everything that is not your own so the citation page is a very important part of the thesis paper. It shows that you can take information and data and incorporate it into your paper and that you give credit where credit is due.

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