Understanding the basic thesis structure

Introduction to thesis structure

To ensure clarity and a systematic presentation of your research, adhering to a good thesis structure is imperative. One widely accepted and effective approach is the IMRaD format, an acronym that stands for Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion.

An effective approach of structuring your thesis is the IMRaD format

IMRaD thesis structure


This is where you set the stage for your research. Begin with a hook – a compelling statement or question that grabs the reader’s attention. Then, provide background information to contextualize your study, clearly stating the research problem/gap or research question. Highlight the significance of your work and conclude this section with a concise thesis statement, outlining your study’s main objectives and scope.


Here, you need to provide a detailed and transparent account of how you conducted your research. Describe the design, participants (if applicable), materials, and procedures, ensuring that your description is thorough enough to allow for replication. Highlight any modifications made during the research process and justify your choices of methods, discussing their reliability and validity.


Present your findings in a clear and logical manner, using tables, graphs, or charts to enhance the readability. Ensure that you’re presenting the data, not interpreting it – analysis and interpretation belong in the next section. Be honest and comprehensive, reporting both positive and negative results to maintain integrity.


This is the heart of your thesis, where you interpret your results, draw conclusions, and discuss their implications. Start by summarizing your main findings, then delve into a critical analysis, comparing your results with previous studies. Discuss any limitations of your study and suggest areas for future research. End with a strong conclusion that ties back to your thesis statement, leaving a lasting impression on your reader.

What about the Theory?

If you are writing in the social science, you will commonly find a section between the Introduction and Methods, the Theoretical Background. In this section, you would normally find definitions of key concepts, their relationships, and models or hypotheses you will test, etc.

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