What is the most common thesis writing format
When speaking about style, your professor is most probably referring to APA or MLA referencing techniques. But there is more to the format of your paper than just the way you reference your sources. Structure also plays a part and so does including certain components to your thesis. Let’s take a look at the most typical structure used in thesis writing today. Unless otherwise directed by your professor, the following is likely what you will be expected to do.
What’s on the title page?
Your first page will contain the topic title of your thesis and may also include your name and the name of your school. Other optional sections that can be added after the title are:
- A dedication of your paper to someone you admire
- A list of people you’d like to acknowledge for assisting you in the project
- A preface
A map for your thesis
An index (or table of contents) of all the components of your paper should be listed after the above sections. It must be meticulously numbered with sub-heading points and page numbers; and structured in a way that the reader will find easy to navigate.
If you’ve used any images, graphs or alternative resource material, you can list these after your index in page order of their appearance.
Body of content
Before the main content is presented, it’s advised that you write a short abstract on your thesis. Don’t exceed 300 words for this section. The abstract should contain a brief summary of where you intend to take the reader. Use original language. Don’t copy words from your main content. The actual thesis comes next. This main content is typically divided up into three main categories:
- The proposal, theory or statement. You state your case and explain how you intend to prove it.
- The research, method and argument. A section dedicated to data that supports your theory. This can be anything from images, graphs, interview dialogue, quotes from experts, etc. Make sure that your own words dominate this part of the thesis.
- The discussion or consequence. Here you will consider the implications of the research.
Your conclusion will be an afterthought of everything you’ve discussed thus far. It comes as part of the main content at the end and finishes off the discussion by satisfying the reader with a final outcome. A list of references then finishes off your paper.