Even if you don’t have the contents of your PhD specified, you surely know from the very beginning that it is a formal piece of document that has to be created in alignment with the rules and regulations that have been set up by the university. Know that you would only be awarded a PhD if and when you have convinced your examiners that the thesis you have created is a research that is quality research and deserves a pass because of its novelty and worthiness and in addition it also complies with the other formal requirements of the university.
Complying with the regulations of the university isn’t just about the research related issues but small but important aspects such as binding, page layout, font , line spacing and recommended referencing style. The university has certain standards that it expects you to fulfil and you got to ensure that your thesis lives up to them. The strength of your thesis is the content and its quality, however you need to support it with other factors and you must ensure that you don’t fail in those aspects while trying to just focus on the quality of the content. The other compliances are intricate surely but mostly straight forward and failing in your PhD or even a delay in its acceptance because of these factors can get very frustrating and more so if you have a thesis that produces a great argument and very high quality research.
When you begin your PhD, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with the formal requirements from the very beginning itself so that you can determine all those things that need to be included and you can efficiently and smoothly incorporate them while working on the other aspects of the PhD. The standard checklist for PhD components is:
- Review of Literature
- Research methodology: it may or may not be a separate chapter but surely is an integral part
- Analysis and interpretation: more so if your research is empirical and you have used primary data analysis, it becomes an exclusive and lengthy chapter
- Conclusion: this chapter may also include suggestions and recommendation with emphasis on also future scope of research.
- The front material: title page/content page/declaration/acknowledgements/ table of illustration/ other tables and other pages that may be specific to some thesis
- The end material: the bibliography of course and other than that appendices may be required in some thesis in case any material needs to be attached