Title page, abstract, foreword, abbreviations, table of contents

Title page

A title page provides the reader with practical information about your thesis:

  • Authors name(s)
  • Department name
  • Name of programme/study line
  • Name of supervisor
  • Date and place of submission
  • Illustration – optional

And the title: A good title reflects as briefly and precisely as possible, what the thesis is about including, when relevant, the type of participants and/or country of study. Keep in mind that people interested in your topic may have a better chance of finding your thesis through their literature search, if your title contains keywords that describe your research field. The title may contain a subtitle that amplifies or explains the title.

The purpose of the abstract is to help the reader to quickly ascertain the purpose and conclusions of your thesis or in other words to understand why your thesis is important. An abstract presents your problem formulation, methods and main results and describes how the thesis makes a difference in your field. Some abstracts may include perspectives or recommendations as well. An abstract is rarely more than half to one page long.

The foreword is optional and can be used to acknowledge those who have contributed to your work as well as to explain why you have chosen this particular topic; what was your motivation and how did you get interested? Typically, the foreword is from a half to one page in length.

A list of abbreviations is usually optional, but of great help to the reader. It contains all the significant abbreviations used in your thesis.

Table of contents
Table of contents gives the reader a quick overview of your work. The index shows first level headings and page numbers for each section. It may also display second and third level headings (subheadings) if used within each section. It is usually up to you to decide whether second and third level headings contribute to the overview or not.

Learn how to write your introduction and method sections in the following.

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