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Dissertation & Thesis Structure & Parts

Parts of a Thesis/Dissertation

Title Page
The form and contents of the title page must follow the examples in this guide. Scientific formulas and abbreviations should be avoided in titles whenever possible. The year listed on the title page is the year in which one’s degree is conferred. It may or may not be the same as the year the manuscript is submitted. Choose your title carefully as scholars and researchers will use keywords to search databases for published works. The title should represent the content of your thesis/dissertation as accurately as possible.
All text on the title page should be centered both horizontally and vertically, so that there is a reasonable amount of space between written sections on the page. One good way to achieve the exact format is to use the electronic version of the sample page as a template, replacing the information on it with your own.
Copyright Page 
The copyright notation should be single-spaced and centered, just below the middle of the page. Please note capitalization on the sample page and the fact that there is no period after “All rights reserved….” There should be NO page number on the copyright page. 
Signature Page
Abstract Title Page
The abstract should give a succinct account of the work so that readers can quickly decide if he/she wants to read the complete thesis/dissertation. It should contain a clear statement of the problem/issue, the procedure and/or method followed, the results, and the conclusions. Although 350 words is the maximum length allowed for a master’s thesis and 500 words for the doctoral dissertation, all abstracts should be shorter if possible. Diagrams and illustrations are not appropriate for the printed abstract. Remember that the abstract is published for the convenience of potential readers who are doing research in your field. Tell them what they can learn from reading your thesis/dissertation. Have a friend not in your field read the abstract. If they can understand it, then all of your potential readers will probably also be able to do so.
An acknowledgement page is optional. On this page you would note professional and personal thanks to specific individuals for special assistance and/or permission to use previously copyrighted material. Use care to express yourself professionally and to be consistent in your use of first or third person references.
Table of Contents
The table of contents should list all parts of the manuscript other than the Title Page, Abstract, and Acknowledgments, indicated in the preceding sections of the “sequence of the traditional and multi- monograph formats” and should include the major divisions and first level of subdivisions of the thesis. Page numbers for each heading are to be shown in a column at the right margin, headed “Page”. It is therefore obviously not possible to prepare the Table of Contents until after the rest of the thesis/dissertation has been typed. As with the rest of your manuscript, be consistent. Make sure the numbering format, headings, and capitalization match exactly.
List of Tables
This should be a complete list of all tables and the respective page number on which they appear.
List of Illustrations
This should give a complete list of all figures and the respective page numbers of all illustrations, including photographs, maps, and charts.
This should give a statement of the problem, the motivation for the research, and its importance and relevance. The history and literature should be reviewed with appropriate comments. It is essential to reference all material thoroughly to avoid plagiarism.
This section should describe the work done in enough detail so that another person in the same academic discipline could repeat the work by following the description. Any apparatus or equipment specially designed for the thesis/dissertation work should be described in complete detail. All materials should be described and identified carefully. Techniques should be described thoroughly.
This section will normally contain all data collected, examples of any calculations required, and results from the data and calculations. Wherever appropriate, graphical analysis is very beneficial.
The material covered and the method of presentation in this section will vary with the nature of the thesis/dissertation. In general, there should be an exhaustive explanation and interpretation of all results presented which should be related to the previously published literature in the field.
This section should give a concise narrative of the significant conclusions drawn from the thesis/dissertation.
This section should include suggestions for future work on the thesis/dissertation topic or analogous problems.
The notes or footnotes may be at the bottom of pages, at the end of each chapter or at the end of the main body of the text immediately preceding the literature cited. Use a consistent style throughout your thesis/dissertation.
Literature Cited

Warning about PLAGIARISM

All ideas and concepts that do not represent your original thoughts must be referenced. Direct use of someone else’s words must be set off with quotation marks and properly referenced. Use of another person’s ideas, even if paraphrased, or word-for-word copying of all or part of the work of another without due acknowledgment constitutes plagiarism and is strictly prohibited. 
The format for references must include: complete authorship (last name and initial of first name), journal abbreviation, full title of the article, beginning and ending page numbers, as well as the volume of the journal and the year when the article was published. References to books must include the author and/or editor, the name of the book, date of publication, publisher, city of publication, and inclusive page numbers. References to unpublished technical reports should explain as fully as possible where the document can be found. In all cases, use appropriate abbreviations for journal names consisting of multiple words. Never abbreviate single title journals such as Science or Nature. It is essential that all text references appear in the section titled “LITERATURE CITED” and that all references listed are cited in the text. 
The numerical referencing system is recommended for your thesis/dissertation. Cite the first reference [1] or multiple references [1-4] at the end of sentence within parentheses. Abstracts do not contain references. Subsequent references are listed as [2], [3], [4], etc. in numerical order throughout the remainder of the text. Compile your references in numerical order at the end of your thesis/dissertation under the heading “LITERATURE CITED.” Each reference should be single- spaced with a double-space between references. Only materials actually cited in the text are to be listed under the, “Literature Cited.” Additional sources used but not cited should be added under the heading “Additional References Used But Not Cited.”

Examples of acceptable format for journal and book citations listed below.
1.   Devenyi, P., Robinson, G.M. and Roncari, D.A.K. 1980.
Alcohol and high-density lipoproteins. J. Can. Med. Assoc.
2.   Packard, C.J. and Shepard, J. 1983. Low density lipoprotein levels.
In: Gotto, A.M. and Paoletti, R., eds., Atherosclerosis reviews. Raven Press, New York, Vol. 11, pp.29-63
3.   Jones, Janice. 1987. Thermodynamics. Raven Press, New York, pp.35-48

Appendices are not always necessary in a thesis/dissertation. Its inclusion is largely a matter of judgment on the part of the author and his or her advisor. It is generally used when there are materials such as extensive data, involved derivations, and the like, which do not conveniently fit into the main body of the thesis/dissertation. Each appendix should be a self-contained document.
Biographical Sketch of Author
The required brief biographical sketch should include the names of schools attended, the exact designation of diplomas and degrees awarded, the title and nature of any post-collegiate employment, together with the name and location of the employing organization, and a description of any previous graduate study or related research, publications, or special professional interests.

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