How do you write your PhD thesis? What PhD examples will help you? In this article, you will learn how to structure your PhD thesis and also get some PhD dissertation examples.

PhD Thesis Outline

  1. The Title Page

Although this is a full-page, its only content is the title of your thesis. While a title may seem easy to craft, a good title should be specific, straight to the point and linked to your research questions.

  1. The Abstract/Overview

Although this chapter will come first before your chapters, it is always advisable to write last. This is because the abstract is a summary of your chapters. It lets the reader know what to expect from your thesis. As such, you must put these into consideration. Write out your research questions, methodology, findings, and conclusion. In your abstract, do not use verbose words — go straight to the point. The abstract usually does not exceed one page.

  1. Acknowledgement

On this page of your PhD example, you show your appreciation to people who were helpful to you during your research. Your acknowledgement should not exceed one page so you have to make sure the names you put are those who were important to your research. Basically, this should include your thesis supervisor or the committee, any lecturer, professor, or senior who helped you, and any other researcher who helped you. You should also include your family and friends in your acknowledgements.

  1. Table of Contents

The table of contents is a list of all the pages and their page numbers in your thesis. This helps a reader to easily identify which page a chapter or a section is in your thesis. You can use a Word processor to automatically create one for you. Make sure that the content of your table of content is in order according to the way they appear in your entire thesis.

  1. Chapter One: Introduction

The introduction is where you will introduce your topic, a background story to the topic, why you have chosen your topic and the aims or research questions of your thesis. Also, in this chapter, you will introduce your other chapters to this reader. These chapters include your chapter two to chapter five or chapter six. Now, it is important to note that your reader must be able to have a clear understanding of your thesis from your introduction. So, when writing your introduction, you must put some things into consideration. First of all, what are you researching? Secondly, why is it important for you to research your chosen topic? Thirdly, how important is your research to your course of study? Is your thesis original research?

  1. Chapter Two: Literature Review

In this chapter, you will talk about other literature that you used during your research. You will analyze this literature and point out the research gaps in them. Furthermore, you will show how although they helped you, your thesis differs from them.

  1. Chapter Three: Methodology

This chapter is where you will discuss how exactly you carried out your research and why you chose your research design. You may need to use charts, graphs, or tables to demonstrate this. You will also show any problems/challenges that you may have experienced during your research.

  1. Chapter Four: Analysis, Results, and Discussion

For some students, this chapter may be in two chapters, four and five. Also, analysis, results, and discussion may be called the personal reflection chapter. In this chapter, you will present the raw data of your findings and also their interpretation.

  1. Chapter Five: Conclusion

This may also be chapter six for some students. In this PhD dissertation example, you will give a summary of all you have done and show if your research aims have been achieved. Also, you will leave recommendations/suggestions for future researchers who may want to use your thesis for their research.

  1. Write the Last Pages

These comprise your bibliography/references, appendices, and ethical form. Your bibliography/references is a list of all the sources you cited in your thesis and you should list them in alphabetical order. After that, add your appendices which could be questionnaires, and then your ethical form.


Writing a PhD thesis example does not have to be difficult as long as you have an outline. So, follow the guide in this article to help you as you write yours.

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