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Please Read the article about dissertation structure for better understanding: The structure of the degree thesis is a fundamental aspect to take into consideration for the drafting of your work.
If you are worried about how to write a thesis, it means that you have almost reached the end of your studies and you are only missing the discussion.
As you will have understood, writing a thesis can be a rather long and complex job, which requires a lot of effort and dedication in searching for sources, drafting paragraphs, and finding the material.
In this guide, we want to help you in this so important task by talking about the structure of a degree thesis, that is, the composition and the parts that absolutely must not be missing in this paper.
If you're ready, let's get started right away.
How to write a thesis starting from the structure
What is meant by the layout of the degree thesis ? How to write an example of a bachelor's or master's degree thesis ?
Thesis: what is it?
Before discussing the actual structure of a degree thesis, let's take a step back and answer a fundamental question: what is the thesis?
Wanting to quote the Encyclopedia Treccani , the degree thesis is:
Written argumentative text that a candidate presents and discusses in front of a teaching committee at the end of a university degree course. The thesis is based on an enunciation, on an affirmation, relating to a philosophical, scientific or artistic argument, the validity of which one tries to prove with certain arguments
From this first definition, we can deduce that the thesis is an in-depth study of a specific theme that aims to give answers, to seek new developments or to experiment with new research systems.
Types of thesis
There are essentially two types of thesis:
- Compilation degree thesis
- Experimental or research thesis .
The compilation degree thesis consists in the analysis and elaboration of a large collection of sources and bibliography. In this case, you will have to collect information about a certain topic and summarize the texts with an alternative interpretation.
This type of thesis is considered (by mistake) simpler than research ones, but in reality, it all depends on the topic dealt with and its variations.
The research thesis, on the other hand, consists of a real study and research work on the chosen topic, in order to provide a new point of view or bring out original and innovative aspects.
Parts of the thesis
Let's now talk about the structure of the degree thesis itself, which provides for the presence of various elements, essential for the correct execution of the work.
Whether you choose a compilation or research thesis, the structure of your work and the parts of the thesis will be almost the same, even if they will change in content.
The elements that make up a thesis are:
- Introduction of the thesis , possibly accompanied by an abstract;
- Thesis index (in some cases it is placed at the end of the thesis, after the conclusions);
- Body of the thesis , possibly divided into chapters, paragraphs and subparagraphs;
- Conclusions ;
- Any attachments and appendices ;
- Bibliography .
Now let's see in detail all the parts that make up the structure of the degree thesis, from the index to the bibliography.
Introduction of the thesis
The introduction of the thesis is a fundamental part of your work. This aims to illustrate all the reasons that have moved your research and the goals to be achieved.
In this part of the text, it is necessary to provide some essential information on the critical literature on the subject and to present the tools, methodology and organization adopted in the degree thesis.
It is also good to present the hypotheses from which the thesis takes its cue, which will then be explored in the body of the text.
Do not underestimate the importance of the introduction: it is the first part of your thesis and the one that the members of the Commission will surely read during the discussion.
When to write the introduction? We advise you to do it at the end, when you have written the whole thesis. This way you will have an overview of the content of your work which will make it easier for you to introduce it.
Regarding the index of the thesis, it should be emphasized that there can be different types of indexes within a paper.
In general, the function of the index is to summarize the contents at an almost schematic level according to a specific criterion. In a degree thesis there may be, for example:
- Summary , that is the most "classic" index that we always find in theses. Here you will have to indicate the titles of the various chapters or paragraphs, the attachments and the bibliography, associating a page number;
- Index of the authors , ie the indication in alphabetical order of the authors cited in the text and in the notes of the thesis, with the page or pages and the number of the note or notes in which their surnames occur;
- Index of sources, which consists of an indication of the sources, divided by type, and of the pages of the thesis in which they are cited.
Body of the text
The structure of the central part of "body" of the thesis will obviously change according to the topic you will deal with.
In general, there are some general indications that can help you understand what the essential information to enter is.
The body of the text must not be missing:
- A detailed analysis of the central theme of your thesis, without falling into the description of too broad subtopics. It is essential to keep the focus and, for secondary issues, to refer the reader to a deepening in the critical literature;
- Inform the reader on the thought expressed in the critical literature examined, explaining the positions and theses of the authors that can bring added value to your research;
- Illustrate the theoretical model or the interpretative scheme on which the degree thesis was set up;
- Prospect the empirical context within which the degree thesis is inserted;
- Explain the research methodology in detail and the tools used;
- Discuss the results achieved.
Now let's see one of the most important parts that make up the structure of a degree thesis: the conclusions.
Conclusions of the thesis
The conclusions of a thesis do not have the function of summarizing what is illustrated in the body of the text. Rather, it is a way to define the results achieved in the research, the conclusions that your work has led you to.
The conclusion will help you answer the questions you asked yourself in the introduction and elaborate on possible future developments of the topic you covered.
Bibliography of the thesis and sitography
We close our study dedicated to the structure of the degree thesis with a very important part: the bibliography.
The bibliography is the set of sources you have consulted for your thesis. Next to the bibliography, there is also the sitography, that is the set of online sources you have taken into consideration.
The texts and documents indicated in the bibliography must necessarily contain this information:
- Name and surname of the author (in the case of multiple authors, arrange the names in alphabetical order);
- Title and any subtitle of the work, in italics;
- Place of publication and publishing house;
- Publication date;
- Any volume number.
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