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Tuesday, 25 November 2014 00:00

How to Write a PhD Thesis

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You are studying and researching for your PhD., when your advisor wants you to start thinking about your PhD. thesis. The process in formulating a thesis can be long, depending upon your advisor. Depending upon your guide book, many specific formats exist for your thesis. One is APA. APA (American Psychological Association) is a format used in psychology, education and social sciences.

The first step in your thesis is to conduct research in books, articles, and scholarly journals. . Make notes of important concepts found in the book or article. Paraphrase the notes on note cards or on a separate sheet of paper. Be sure to write down the source where you received the information, in order to put on your reference page.

When you have completely finished researching for your PhD. thesis paper, begin writing for your rough draft. The paper you should use for your rough draft is 8.5” by 11” with 1” margins on all sides. The paper needs to be double spaced. Type in 12-point Times New Roman or Courier (serif typeface). Figure labels are typed in 12-point Arial, Helvetica, or any sans serif typeface.

Beginning with the title page, number each page. Figures and artwork are not numbered. Page numbers need to be located in the upper right corner of the thesis. The title’s first words should be in the right corner of every page, except for pages with figures and artwork.

Located at the top of every page is the running header. The running head should be 50 characters and in all capital letters. Order your PhD. thesis paper in this way: Title Page, Abstract, Introduction, Thesis (Research), References, and Appendices.

Your thesis’s title should be short, and not more than ten to twelve words. Center the title on the top of the page and put the title in sentence case. On the new line, center your first name, middle initial, and last name. If you have a suffix in your name (like Jr. or III), put a space between the last name and the suffix. The name of your college or university should be listed on a new line. List the city or state, if the place where you conducted research is not at a college or a university. If you are located outside the United States, list the city, state or province, and the country.

The abstract is a clear, short summary of your thesis. Starting at page two, the paragraph should be at most 120 words. In this section, the most important details of your paper should be highlighted. Abbreviations and special terms (except units of measurement) should be labeled in this section. If you have previous research on your topic, it needs to be cited here.

The introduction is listed on the third page of your PhD. thesis paper. You put the background information and purpose of your thesis, present your problem, explain why the problem is important, and identify works which are applicable to the paper. You also put your hypothesis and your variables in this section as well.

In the research portion, which is the bulk of your PhD. thesis paper, first begin with a paragraph which contains your thesis statement. Your thesis statement can be one of three methods: analytical, expository, and argumentative. First, an analytical PhD. thesis paper goes step by step in evaluating an idea or a topic to an audience. Second, an expository PhD. thesis paper, discusses a topic to the audience. Third, an argumentative PhD. thesis paper gives a claim about a topic and provides evidence proving that the viewpoint is convincing and true. The thesis statement should be located at the end of the first paragraph.

As you write your PhD. thesis paper, introduce the paragraphs through topic sentence. Sentences in the paragraph need to be evidence to help support the viewpoint of the topic sentence. This is where you integrate your material from your research into your PhD. thesis paper. You make an internal citation by using (Author, page number) of the source that you are referencing.

In your conclusion, you can state that your thesis statement has been supported by presenting ample evidence. Remind the reader of the points that you have made in the thesis and ways that these points are connected.

For your reference page, you list the sources of your research paper.

To properly cite your references, go to the Purdue OWL Writing Lab (

The appendices provide information that would not be appropriate to include in the main body of your research paper. If you have appendices, name them with “Appendix A,” “Appendix B,” et. cetera.

A PhD. thesis paper is an important research paper of your career. Your grade should not suffer because your thesis is not written correctly in APA format. 

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