The monograph thesis is the most popular thesis form. It resembles a non-fiction book in that it deals in depth with a specific topic.
In a monograph thesis, a student presents a proposition, or “thesis”, and the research findings to support it.
The student draws on existing research, which he or she may accept or reject. The thesis usually follows a simple overall format – it begins with an introduction, which is followed by a main body or several sections, and ends with a conclusion.
Some standard components of a monograph thesis are listed below. Keep these in mind as you plan and work on your thesis, but remember that not all of these components will be required or even recommended for your particular field of study, so it is always best to check with your own academic unit and supervisor.
Every thesis must have a title page.
Table of Contents
The Table of Contents should be detailed and include everything that is included in the thesis, including the Abstract and Acknowledgements, and not just chapter titles but various levels of headings within chapters and sections. Take a look at various Tables of Contents to become familiar with what is expected in your program.
List of Tables
Provide a separate page with a list of tables used in the text. Include the table number, the full title of the table, and the page number where the table appears in the text.
List of figures
Provide a separate list of figures. The same conventions that apply to the list of tables apply to the list of figures.
List and explain all acronyms or symbols used frequently in your text.
A thesis is preceded by an abstract or summary which may include the following: a statement of the problem or a thesis statement, a summary of the methodology: a description of the approach taken in the thesis, the research, and/or the methods of investigation, the main points made in the thesis or a summary of the main findings, and general conclusions. Abstracts should be no longer than 150 words for a Master’s thesis, or 300 words for a doctorate thesis.
In the Acknowledgements section (or incorporated into a preface or foreword), mention those who helped you intellectually. Who funded your research? Who directly helped you along the way? You might have had assistance with your research, experiments, data analysis, or word processing.
If published material from other authors has been used, a copy of written permission to use these materials must be included with the thesis. This written permission usually comes from the publisher.
Introductions can take many forms, but in general, the introduction presents the hypothesis or thesis statement and a brief overview of the thesis.
Body of the Thesis
The main part of the thesis usually consists of chapters and sections within these chapters.
The conclusion sums up the content and findings of the thesis and often goes a step further, suggesting areas that require further research and investigation.
As well as materials suitable for inclusion in an appendix, any ethics and copyright permissions would be included here.
These must be prepared using the appropriate scholarly conventions of your academic unit and your discipline. Find out what the proper conventions are for your discipline, and follow them from the first draft. Ask your supervisor to recommend a style guide, and refer to it often.
Bibliographic entries must also be prepared using the appropriate scholarly conventions of your academic unit and discipline. Refer to your style guide.