Electronic Theses & Dissertations (ETD)

Arrangement of Contents - Body of Thesis

The recommended length of the main body of a Master's thesis is between 50 and 150 pages. The recommended length of the main body of a Ph.D. thesis is between 150 and 300 pages. The main body of a thesis should normally contain:

  • a statement of objectives;
  • a critical review of the relevant literature;
  • a theoretical framework;
  • an analytical framework;
  • results;
  • discussion of results;
  • conclusions.

The nature, relative size, and the placement of each one of these components will be determined by the problem under investigation and by the current practices in the discipline involved.

The method chosen to organize the body of the thesis should be discussed with your research supervisor. The number and title of each chapter or section must be given in the same form as it appears in the table of contents.

It is in the body of the thesis that the author presents and develops in an orderly fashion all relevant aspects of the research project for which the degree is to be granted. The research reported must be verified for accuracy. It should be presented in an effective manner using correct, scholarly language. Appropriately credited references to other works may form an integral part of this presentation and are likely to take several forms. The idea may be written in the student's own words with the original author referenced.

A direct quotation of less than three lines may be incorporated into the text using quotation marks. If the quotation is more than three lines it should be arranged in the following format: indented one and one half (1.5) centimetres from the left margin and typed in a single space format without quotation marks. Any borrowed thoughts or expressions, or use of non-original material, must be acknowledged and documented.