Social Sciences: Parts of the Thesis

Theses in Social Sciences typically contain the following sections:

Front matter

  • Title page (see example in the Thesis Template)
  • Blank page (or copyright page)
  • Abstract (typically one, sometimes two pages long)
  • Biographical sketch written in third person (optional)
  • Dedication (optional)
  • Acknowledgements (optional)
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables (if tables are used)
  • List of Figures (if figures are used)

Main Body

Chapter organization varies from thesis to thesis. Discuss with your Thesis Director the optimum organization for your particular thesis.

  • It’s customary to omit the page number from a page containing a new chapter heading
  • If you wish to retain the page number, center it at bottom of page (½” from edge)
  • Make sure footnotes appear on the same page as the equivalent superscript numerals in the text
  • Make sure you identify the author of quotations in your text

End matter

  • Appendices (optional)
  • Endnotes (if used instead of footnotes)
  • Bibilography (in CMS format)

Pagination details

Front Matter:

  • Use lower-case Roman numerals located in the bottom center of each page
  • Numbers should not appear until the first page after the Abstract (beginning with “iv” or “v” depending on whether the Abstract is one or two pages long, respectively)
  • Roman numerals should end on last page of front matter (i.e. on last page of Table of Contents, or the List of Tables/Figures) 

Main Body:

  • The first page of Chapter 1 begins with new numbering using Hindu-Arabic numbers starting with “1”
  • Numbering ends on last page of references (i.e. last page of thesis)