An academic guide: how to structure your PhD thesis

No one can ever express enough the importance, of this work. Your success or failure will be made largely by the quality of this work. Many have succeeded just to fail because of their PhD. Thesis. So do not take this as a light issue.

A Universal Outline

  1. Title and Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Discussion
  4. Literature Review

These four points are standard on all types of PhD. Theses. Other types you will want to talk to your Councilor about. In some fields like the Arts (visual and performing), it is better to discuss what type you should do in the first place.

Title and Abstract

Title should always be original and catchy. Do not go for the logically intellectual type of title. You want someone to want to read it, grab their attention, so to speak. It must also give enough information of what it is about, and what you are doing.

The Abstract, is just that, and abstract cover of the thesis. In this you want around 300 words, and give the research question. The abstract should also tell why the study had value, offer your hypothesis if one is needed. It should also let the reader know how you did it, and what tools you used in working on the thesis.


Treat the introduction as you would a Thesis Paragraph. Except this is going to be more expansive than a paragraph. Depending on the type of Doctorial Thesis you are doing, check with your Councilor on what you should cover. A Visual Arts major would not need to cover the same areas as a Geology Major.


The Discussion will cover a few chapters. Make sure to discuss why you feel the value of your topic exists. Let the reader know of your interest and how you believe the value is important. Do not exaggerate these points, just make them solid and well-founded.

Literature Review

The Library will be your home for a while. Get used to it. Look for any books on your topic, tighten your searches so they will benefit you. Review and make notes on the references that work for your thesis. Use two notepads, and record the notes on one, while the references on the other. Document your references in accordance to the style you are going to write the thesis. This way it will be easier to transfer your bibliography.

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