how to structure thesis
What is considered a relevant background depends on your field and its traditions. Background information might be historical in nature, or it might refer to previous research or practical considerations. You can also focus on a specific text, thinker or problem.
Your introduction has two main purposes: 1) to give an overview of the main points of your thesis, and 2) to awaken the reader’s interest. It is recommended to rewrite the introduction one last time when the writing is done, to ensure that it connects well with your conclusion.
Making sure all the sections are in the right place is only the first step to a well-written dissertation. Leave plenty of time for editing and proofreading. Grammar mistakes and sloppy formatting errors can drag down the quality of your hard work.
A dissertation or thesis is a long piece of academic writing based on original research, submitted as part of a doctoral, master’s, or bachelor’s degree.
In answering the first question “why”, you should know what your personal interest in this topic is and if and why it is relevant in general. Why does it matter in real life? You can also give background information here. By answering these questions, you can ground your whole paper from the onset and the readers will not have to answer these questions themselves. In answering the “how”, you should briefly explain how you are going to reach your research goal. Some prefer to answer that question in the methods chapter, but you can give a quick overview here. And finally, you should explain “what” you are studying. You could put your research question in this part. It is recommended to rewrite the introduction one last time when the writing is done to make sure it connects with your conclusion. Learn more about how to write a good thesis introduction in our thesis introduction guide.
The introduction chapter is there to give an overview of your thesis’ basics or main points. It should answer the following questions:
Although the abstract is very short, it’s the first part (and sometimes the only part) of your dissertation that people will read, so it’s important that you get it right. If you’re struggling to write a strong abstract, read our guide on how to write an abstract.
Your aim in the methodology is to accurately report what you did, as well as convincing the reader that this was the best approach to answering your research questions or objectives.
If you go to your university’s library, you’ll find whole shelves of books on how to structure or write your PhD . Many of these are great, and I highly recommend you check them out, but here I want to present to you a thesis structure 101 lesson.
The literature review is the same. You use it to make the case for your research by surveying the work that’s already been done in your discipline (and sometimes beyond). It’s a bit like a family tree. You use it to trace the lineage of your study. Putting it in its place.