How to write a PhD thesis: stylistic requirements

The end of one’s educational journey is frequently marked by the completion of a PhD. This grand accomplishment is one of the greatest achievements that anyone could obtain. However, to complete this degree and be recognized as a doctor of any discipline it is necessary to construct a thesis. This paper is of the up most importance and therefore needs to be perfect in every way. This includes the stylistic requirements. It can be quite confusing to start a thesis. Questions arise such as is my topic too broad? Is it too narrow? Do you write a thesis in APA or MLA or some other specialized format? All of these questions can quickly pile up and create the sensation that you are drowning. Worst of all this feeling can encourage you to lay down and quit before you ever get started. In this article I will help you navigate the terrors that are the stylistic requirements for writing a PhD thesis.

When writing your thesis you will need to take into consideration that your composition is going to be chapters of research instead of the mere pages that term papers require. Because of this the format for writing a PhD thesis differs from the formats used for other compositions. Below I will list the sections of a PhD formatted thesis and explain what to include in each section.

  • Title page (This will include your title, name, advisor, major field of study, and date).
  • Abstract (This should be labeled in fourteen point Times New Roman font and will be the summary of the contents of your paper).
  • Table of contents.
  • Introduction (This will be a statement about your research and how it is relevant to current practices or innovations in your field of study).
  • Body of text (This is the largest part of your thesis. It will contain all of your research, experiments, observations, and studies done on this topic. It must be written in Times New Roman twelve point font, the first line of a new paragraph should be indented, there should be two spaces after the ending punctuation mark to every sentence, and the spacing should be 1.5 unless it is a block quotation or footnote which should be single spaced. Another thing to note is that each chapter title should be formatted the same as the abstract.
  • References index (This is much like a reference page but will be more thorough and comprehensive. It will list all of the sources that you used in research which should be listed in alphabetical and chronological order if two sources share an author.
  • These are the main formatting rules to get you started composing your thesis. For more in depth information there is a university in England that provides a free online comprehensive guide to constructing a PhD thesis.