Appropriate Style for a PhD Thesis

The experts at have been thinking about how a thesis should be structured and how you can develop originality with the use of analysis and quotations. Another thing we have been thinking about is how language should be used in its entirety throughout a thesis in order to show off your ideas in the best way possible.

Tips How to Choose a Style of Thesis 

  • One of the first things to bear in mind when working on a thesis is that it is permissible to write from the first person perspective. In fact, this is expected.
  • In a number of respects this contradicts many of the other style rules you have been taught over the years where the notion of objectivity would be evident in the style you used e.g. saying something “might be considered” instead of stating an outright opinion.
  • When deciding the style for a PhD project, you regain some independence insofar as you are permitted to again write from the first person viewpoint. However, in some ways, this is a mixed blessing because you need to control the techniques, methods, and evidence used in your paper while simultaneously offering your own opinion through the strength and solidness of any argument you put forward.
  • Your choice of language should be extremely high quality so it is advisable for you to relook at your writing style or indeed how you construct various sentences and indeed paragraphs, particularly if your field of study does not demand a lot of writing from you.
  • Look closely at the way you give expression to ideas and ask these questions of yourself:
    • Have you expressed each idea in both a clear and coherent way?
    • Have you used language that is appropriate to the particular idea or section?
    • Is there any way you could sharpen your argument if you were to change parts of your language?
    • Are you being as straightforward and direct as possible or is your point being obscured by your choice of language?
    • Are you in complete control of your sentences?
    • Have you made effective use of punctuation?
    • Are any of your paragraphs getting too unwieldy or long?
  • You should never think that language is better because it is obscure. It is a frequent mistake to think that short words are less effective than long ones. In truth, the best English is the type that is clearly expressed. Therefore, that should be the factor that motivates you when choosing and structuring the language for your all-important thesis.