Step-by-Step Guide on How to Structure a Thesis

thesis structure example

At some point in your academic pursuit, you must have done some form of academic writing. Therefore, writing a thesis should not be entirely new to you if you pursue a master’s and possibly a doctorate. However, writing a thesis is not as easy as it sounds. It takes more than just your time, commitment, energy, and willpower to finish it; you also have to make your claims or solutions succinct enough concerning the problem(s) you are addressing.

All these may seem like a daunting and complex process to you, especially if you have no clue about thesis structure, organization, or parts of a thesis paper. However, it does not have to be an agonizing process if you have a clear picture of the structure of a thesis paper. Luckily, you are reading this post; it will guide you to structure a thesis paper.

Deciding On the Thesis Structure to Follow

All thesis papers are not structured the same; there are many thesis paper formats. The structure of thesis papers is usually dictated by factors such as; the form your research takes, your location, discipline, topic, approach, and of course, the way your professor wants it.

The order of sections may also determine how to structure a thesis paper. For example, some colleges will recommend that your discussion come before your conclusion, and others may want the conclusion before discussion and many others. But, if you are confused about the thesis structure format to use, you can always look for a thesis structure template related to your work, check your department’s guidelines or consult with your professor.

A Good Thesis Structure Example You Can Follow

Regardless of how a thesis paper is structured in your institution, location, or discipline, all these have in common a basic thesis structure. You should, however, bear in mind that this thesis structure example may be different from a master thesis structure in some cases. The basic structure of a thesis paper contains the following:

1.     Preliminary Pages

Whenever you open any book, you are bound to come across a couple of pages before the book’s main content(s). This is the same for a thesis paper, too; preliminary pages are to start the structure of a thesis paper.

The preliminary pages consist of a title page, acknowledgments (optional), abstract (a summary of your work usually written last after your main work has been completed), table of contents, list of figures and tables, list of abbreviations (optional), and glossary (optional).

2.     Introduction

The next part of the thesis paper is the introduction. In this part, you are expected to communicate clearly and engagingly what to expect in the thesis paper. Your thesis organization introduction should contain the following:

  • Background of the study – which establishes your topic with relevant information and importance to the society
  • A thesis statement structure that will best explain to your readers the problem your thesis wants to solve
  • Your research aims and objectives
  • The significance of your research – how your findings will be important to society.

3.     The main work

The main work is an important part of thesis papers. In this section, you get to communicate to the readers the actual work you have done while taking them through the process that made you arrive at your results.

The main work includes the following, divided into different chapters; the literature review, methodology, research results, summary, and conclusion.

  • The Literature Review

This is the most voluminous part of a thesis paper. This is because it shows a literature review about the problem you are addressing while displaying how thorough your understanding of the problem is.

A good literature review should critically evaluate and analyze sources, draw connections between them and identify the gaps between what is being contained in these sources (literature gap). At this point, you can now project your research as a solution to an unresolved problem.

  • Methodology

This section gives your readers a description of how you conducted your research. It also contains information like the research design, population, area, sampling procedure, tools and materials used, method of data analysis, and many others.

This part of the thesis paper aims to report the research process accurately. Therefore, you should structure this section in the best way to achieve this concerning your discipline.

  • Research Results and Discussion

These are usually grouped into two different sections. The section for results should report all the results of your research. The section for discussion should also thoroughly explain the meaning and implications of your results to your research concept.

  • Summary, Conclusion, and Recommendations

These sections are usually the last parts of the main work of a thesis paper. As such, they should leave the reader with a clear understanding of the knowledge your paper has contributed while suggesting recommendations.

4.     Reference and Appendices

These two sections are usually the last parts of a thesis paper. In the reference section, you must include all the sources you have mentioned in your work. It must also follow a constant referencing style dictated by your discipline, institution, or supervisor.

The appendix section should contain reference materials and data you may not deem fit to be included in the main work.

Final words

Writing a thesis does not have to be an agonizing process, especially if you follow the structure of a thesis paper given above. However, you can contact our professional thesis writers if you are still confused and need a thesis structure template or want your thesis paper done well.

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