Although there is no set style for writing a thesis, every dissertation should have the following components in the subsequent order: a title page, a statement of originality, acknowledgements (if any), an abstract, a table of contents, a list of tables and figures (if any), a list of abbreviations (if any), an introductory chapter, substantive chapters, a concluding chapter, a bibliography, and appendices (if any). The format of these components are as follows:
11.1 Title Page
The precise title of the thesis is to be typed in capital letters on the cover and on the first page inside the binding. Below this comes the students’ name, the title of the degree for which the thesis is submitted, and the year of presentation. There should also be no page number on the title page (see example below).
11.2 Statement of Originality
The second page the thesis should have the following statements along with the student’s written signature (in blue ink), and date (also in blue ink):
This thesis is being submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of BA.
This thesis is the result of my own investigations, except where otherwise stated. Where correction services have been used, the extent and nature of the correction is clearly marked in a footnote(s).
Other sources are acknowledged by footnotes giving explicit references. A bibliography is appended.
I hereby give consent for my thesis, if accepted, to be available for photocopying and for inter-library loan, and for the title and summary to be made available to outside organisations.
The page containing the statement of originality should not include any page numbers.
11.3 Acknowledgements (if any)
If students choose to acknowledge the help or input of anyone who has aided them during the writing of the thesis, then they may do so on the third page of the dissertation titled ‘Acknowledgements’. This page should not include any page numbers.
An abstract or synopsis of about 300-400 words must be given on the fourth page of the thesis (or third page if there are no acknowledgements). This is for the benefit of a potential user of the thesis who, having been attracted by the title, wants a brief outline of the method of approach, the coverage and the results in order to know whether it is relevant to their own work. This page should not include any page numbers.
11.5 Table of Contents
The next page of the thesis should be the ‘Table of Contents’, which lists all of the contents of the thesis and their page numbers, as well as the number and title of each chapter and the number of the page on which each chapter begins. The Table of Contents page itself should not have a page number.
11.6 List of Tables and Figures (if any)
Following the Table of Contents page, students should include a list of any tables or figures that appear in the thesis (along with the page numbers where they can be found in the thesis). The ‘List of Tables and Figures’ page should be the first page in the thesis which will be numbered, and this number ought to correspond to the order in which it appears in the thesis (so if the student dedicated one page for Acknowledgements and one page for the Table of Contents, then the ‘List of Tables and Figures’ page should be numbered 6). Every page in the thesis from this point forward ought to have a page number.
11.7 Key to Abbreviations (if any)
If the thesis features abbreviations, then these should to be listed in a separate ‘Key of Abbreviations’ section.
11.8 Introductory Chapter
This chapter will spell out the main issues addressed in the thesis and might, for example, establish the context of the thesis and provide some background to the issues examined. This may take the form of a statement of an hypothesis, or of a problem, and a general discussion of the methodology and procedures used in the study, as well as the sequence in which these are discussed in subsequent chapters.
11.9 Substantive Chapters
Each major theme ought to be presented in a separate chapter, which should be clearly supported by relevant literature, references, and other evidence as appropriate. Details of the reference system are given below. Each chapter should begin on a new page and the chapter heading should be a concise description of the contents of the chapter.
11.10 Summary and Conclusions
The final chapter will summarise the entire study and state the conclusions reached and their implications, as well as any recommendations which may come out of the thesis. As this is often the focal point of the thesis, students are advised to give this chapter particular attention.
The bibliography should include a list of all the sources referenced in the text of thesis. Guidelines for the proper referencing of sources are provided below. The content of the bibliography is not taken into consideration for the final word count of the thesis.
Appendices may include source documents, charts, tables, pictures, or other materials which might enhance the reader’s understanding of the subject matter tackled in the thesis. Each new piece of material should have its own appendix. The content of the appendices is not taken into consideration for the final word count of the thesis.