- Postgraduate researchers
- Completing your doctorate
- Writing your thesis
- Getting started
- Analysing a thesis
Analysing a thesis
Gaining an insight into the format and style used in successful theses is a very critical exercise that you should do at an early point in your doctorate. Remember that your examiners will be expecting your work to ‘fit in' with work that has already been produced in your field. Get hold of a number of recently published doctorates in your discipline and ask yourself the following questions.
1. How long is it? (number of pages)
2. What is the title? Is it narrower or broader than yours?
3. Use the abstract to gain an overview of the research
- what data is it based on?
- how has it been collected/analysed?
- what conclusions have been drawn?
- how does the research intersect with practice?
- how is it structured?
4. What does the table of contents tell you?
- how many chapters?
- how long is each chapter?
- how have key sections like the introduction, literature review, methodology and conclusion been dealt with?
5. Are any tables or figures used?
- what types?
- how many?
- for what reason?
- how much information is contained in the captions?
- how have they referenced and numbered?
6. How have the references and bibliography been presented?
- what referencing style has been used?
- how long is the bibliography?
- what format is the bibliography in?
7. Are any appendices included?
- if so, what are they for?
8. What else do you notice?
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