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  • Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates

Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates

Published on June 7, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on November 21, 2023.

A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical early steps in your writing process . It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding the specifics of your dissertation topic and showcasing its relevance to your field.

Generally, an outline contains information on the different sections included in your thesis or dissertation , such as:

  • Your anticipated title
  • Your abstract
  • Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review, research methods, avenues for future research, etc.)

In the final product, you can also provide a chapter outline for your readers. This is a short paragraph at the end of your introduction to inform readers about the organizational structure of your thesis or dissertation. This chapter outline is also known as a reading guide or summary outline.

Table of contents

How to outline your thesis or dissertation, dissertation and thesis outline templates, chapter outline example, sample sentences for your chapter outline, sample verbs for variation in your chapter outline, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis and dissertation outlines.

While there are some inter-institutional differences, many outlines proceed in a fairly similar fashion.

  • Working Title
  • “Elevator pitch” of your work (often written last).
  • Introduce your area of study, sharing details about your research question, problem statement , and hypotheses . Situate your research within an existing paradigm or conceptual or theoretical framework .
  • Subdivide as you see fit into main topics and sub-topics.
  • Describe your research methods (e.g., your scope , population , and data collection ).
  • Present your research findings and share about your data analysis methods.
  • Answer the research question in a concise way.
  • Interpret your findings, discuss potential limitations of your own research and speculate about future implications or related opportunities.

For a more detailed overview of chapters and other elements, be sure to check out our article on the structure of a dissertation or download our template .

To help you get started, we’ve created a full thesis or dissertation template in Word or Google Docs format. It’s easy adapt it to your own requirements.

 Download Word template    Download Google Docs template

Chapter outline example American English

It can be easy to fall into a pattern of overusing the same words or sentence constructions, which can make your work monotonous and repetitive for your readers. Consider utilizing some of the alternative constructions presented below.

Example 1: Passive construction

The passive voice is a common choice for outlines and overviews because the context makes it clear who is carrying out the action (e.g., you are conducting the research ). However, overuse of the passive voice can make your text vague and imprecise.

Example 2: IS-AV construction

You can also present your information using the “IS-AV” (inanimate subject with an active verb ) construction.

A chapter is an inanimate object, so it is not capable of taking an action itself (e.g., presenting or discussing). However, the meaning of the sentence is still easily understandable, so the IS-AV construction can be a good way to add variety to your text.

Example 3: The “I” construction

Another option is to use the “I” construction, which is often recommended by style manuals (e.g., APA Style and Chicago style ). However, depending on your field of study, this construction is not always considered professional or academic. Ask your supervisor if you’re not sure.

Example 4: Mix-and-match

To truly make the most of these options, consider mixing and matching the passive voice , IS-AV construction , and “I” construction .This can help the flow of your argument and improve the readability of your text.

As you draft the chapter outline, you may also find yourself frequently repeating the same words, such as “discuss,” “present,” “prove,” or “show.” Consider branching out to add richness and nuance to your writing. Here are some examples of synonyms you can use.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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When you mention different chapters within your text, it’s considered best to use Roman numerals for most citation styles. However, the most important thing here is to remain consistent whenever using numbers in your dissertation .

The title page of your thesis or dissertation goes first, before all other content or lists that you may choose to include.

A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical first steps in your writing process. It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding what kind of research you’d like to undertake.

  • Your chapters (sometimes subdivided into further topics like literature review , research methods , avenues for future research, etc.)

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

George, T. (2023, November 21). Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates. Scribbr. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from https://www.scribbr.com/dissertation/dissertation-thesis-outline/

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a game played by two or more children in which one child chases the others and tries to touch one of them. This child then becomes the one who does the chasing.

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Synonyms of theses

  • as in arguments
  • as in hypotheses
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Thesaurus Definition of theses

Synonyms & Similar Words

  • contentions
  • assumptions
  • propositions
  • speculations
  • conjectures
  • presuppositions
  • explanations
  • suppositions
  • suggestions
  • impressions
  • presumptions
  • generalizations
  • concessions
  • conceptions
  • abstractions

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

  • certainties

Thesaurus Entries Near theses

Cite this entry.

“Theses.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/theses. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on theses

Nglish: Translation of theses for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of theses for Arabic Speakers

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noun as in undertaking, work

Strongest matches

Strong matches

  • proposition

verb as in plan

  • contemplate
  • extrapolate
  • predetermine

verb as in bulge, hang out

Strongest match

  • protuberate

Weak matches

  • be conspicuous
  • be prominent
  • stretch out

verb as in throw, discharge

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Related words.

Words related to project are not direct synonyms, but are associated with the word project . Browse related words to learn more about word associations.

noun as in special interest or pursuit

  • entertainment
  • undertaking

noun as in matter or business to be taken care of; happening activity

  • circumstance
  • office function
  • responsibility
  • transaction

verb as in make plans, often involving agreement

  • come to terms
  • get act together
  • hammer out a deal
  • make a connection
  • pull a wire
  • pull things together
  • quarterback
  • work out a deal

Viewing 5 / 114 related words

Example Sentences

Interviews were conducted in Arizona, Florida and North Carolina as part of a joint project by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Cook Political Report.

The project took data on the soil and slopes across California and then included wildfire risk and climate projections, and used that to show which roadways were vulnerable to post-fire debris flows.

Launching a project to grow more palm oil on less land was the easy part, he knew.

We urge more investors to invest capital into high-impact projects where everyone succeeds as a result.

That project began in 2018 with Kerri Evelyn Harris's campaign, and the vote patterns today will reveal whether the left can make more gains with suburbanites.

I started just writing these songs, at first it felt like a project or something.

Thus begins an episode of The Mindy Project centered around a guy trying to have butt sex with his girlfriend.

Riots broke out in 1994, after Iranian authorities replaced a Sunni mosque in Mashad with a development project.

Gurley was gunned down on Nov. 20, when a pair of cops was patrolling the rough housing project.

Opechatesgays.com is one project of a much larger organization, EthicalOil.org—and here is where things get really interesting.

The worthy knight not being now alive to veto the project, a figure of him has been placed opposite the College in Edmund Street.

Her black eyes were fixed intently on his face, but she was thinking, weighing in her mind some suddenly-formed project.

Very soon I induced my directors to adopt the view that the railway company must encourage and help the project.

New York is like one of those nightmares a certain class of writers project and label 'Earth in the Year 2000.'

The project of a congress was accordingly abandoned, and everywhere recrimination gave place to rejoicing.

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On this page you'll find 228 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to project, such as: activity, business, deal, design, enterprise, and job.

From Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


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  1. 48 Synonyms & Antonyms for THESIS

    Find 48 different ways to say THESIS, along with antonyms, related words, and example sentences at Thesaurus.com.

  2. THESIS Synonyms: 44 Similar and Opposite Words

    Synonyms for THESIS: argument, contention, assertion, hypothesis, theory, guess, assumption, hunch; Antonyms of THESIS: fact, knowledge, assurance, certainty

  3. Thesis Project synonyms

    application project. creative project. culmination project. design project. development project. dissertation. doctoral assignment. Another way to say Thesis Project? Synonyms for Thesis Project (other words and phrases for Thesis Project).

  4. What is another word for thesis?

    Synonyms for thesis include hypothesis, supposition, theory, belief, assumption, opinion, argument, surmise, notion and postulation. Find more similar words at ...

  5. THESIS PROJECT in Thesaurus: 58 Synonyms & Antonyms for THESIS PROJECT

    Most related words/phrases with sentence examples define Thesis project meaning and usage. ... Related terms for thesis project- synonyms, antonyms and sentences with thesis project. Lists. synonyms. antonyms. definitions. sentences. thesaurus. Synonyms Similar meaning. View all. capstone project. dissertation project. final project. research ...

  6. What is the difference between project and thesis?

    1 Answer. Sorted by: 3. It differs by school. Technically, a thesis is a claim that can be proven or disproven, but, in practice, the term "thesis" is often used for a project (for undergraduate or Master's degrees). On the other hand, a PhD thesis is not just a project; it should advance the state of knowledge in a field in a way that can only ...

  7. What Is a Thesis?

    A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master's program or a capstone to a bachelor's degree. Writing a thesis can be a daunting experience. Other than a dissertation, it is one of the longest pieces of writing students typically complete.

  8. PROJECT Synonyms: 117 Similar and Opposite Words

    Synonyms for PROJECT: plan, blueprint, strategy, program, design, scheme, system, proposal; Antonyms of PROJECT: contract, shrink, compress, condense, constrict

  9. Dissertation & Thesis Outline

    Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates. Published on June 7, 2022 by Tegan George.Revised on November 21, 2023. A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical early steps in your writing process.It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding the specifics of your dissertation topic and showcasing its relevance to ...

  10. THESIS Synonyms

    Synonyms for THESIS in English: proposition, theory, hypothesis, idea, view, opinion, proposal, contention, line of argument, dissertation, …

  11. THESIS

    THESIS - Synonyms, related words and examples | Cambridge English Thesaurus

  12. Thesis synonyms

    Another way to say Thesis? Synonyms for Thesis (other words and phrases for Thesis). Synonyms for Thesis. 1 128 other terms for thesis- words and phrases with similar meaning. Lists. synonyms. antonyms. definitions. sentences. thesaurus. words. phrases. idioms. Parts of speech. nouns. verbs.

  13. Thesis vs Project

    In lang=en terms the difference between thesis and project is that thesis is the accented part of the measure, expressed by the downward beat; the opposite of arsis while project is an idle scheme; an impracticable design. As nouns the difference between thesis and project is that thesis is a statement supported by arguments while project is a planned endeavor, usually with a specific goal and ...

  14. THESES Synonyms: 44 Similar and Opposite Words

    Synonyms for THESES: arguments, contentions, assertions, hypotheses, theories, assumptions, guesses, proposals; Antonyms of THESES: facts, assurances, certainties ...

  15. Academic Project synonyms

    Synonyms for Academic Project (other words and phrases for Academic Project). Synonyms for Academic project. 96 other terms for academic project- words and phrases with similar meaning. ... minor thesis. project for school. project to study. scientific project. n. scientific task. serious project. n. their thesis. theoretical plan. n. thesis ...

  16. Synonyms and antonyms for Thesis project

    APA: Classic Thesaurus. (-0001). Synonyms for Thesis project.Retrieved May 2, 2023, from https://www.classicthesaurus.com/thesis_project/synonyms

  17. What is another word for project?

    Synonyms for project include plan, scheme, agenda, initiative, activity, design, enterprise, programme, venture and idea. Find more similar words at wordhippo.com!

  18. 120 Synonyms & Antonyms for PROJECT

    Find 120 different ways to say PROJECT, along with antonyms, related words, and example sentences at Thesaurus.com.

  19. Research Project synonyms

    153 other terms for research project - words and phrases with similar meaning. Another way to say Research Project? Synonyms for Research Project (other words and phrases for Research Project).

  20. project

    project - WordReference thesaurus: synonyms, discussion and more. All Free.

  21. Thesis Statement synonyms

    Synonyms for Thesis Statement (other words and phrases for Thesis Statement). Synonyms for Thesis statement. 56 other terms for thesis statement- words and phrases with similar meaning. Lists. synonyms. antonyms. ... defence of the graduate project. n.

  22. project thesis

    Check out the pronunciation, synonyms and grammar. Browse the use examples 'project thesis' in the great English corpus. ... A PhD candidate must submit a project, thesis, or dissertation often consisting of a body of original academic research, which is in principle worthy of publication in a peer-reviewed journal. In many countries, a ...

  23. Course Project synonyms

    Another way to say Course Project? Synonyms for Course Project (other words and phrases for Course Project). ... thesis project. application project. development project. experimental project. implementation project. innovation project. Ad-free experience & advanced Chrome extension.