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Humak's Thesis Manual, Bachelor's degree

Structure of the thesis

The structure of the thesis should be kept simple. A good number of main chapters is about 6 to 7. 1 to 2 chapters of background information, one chapter about methods used, 1 to 2 analysis chapters and a chapter to end the thesis. The introduction stirs the reader’s interest and introduces the topic of the thesis. The introduction explains why the operations of the commissioner should be developed, what are the objectives of the project, and what is the concrete output the project will produce. The introduction should not be confused with the abstract: the role of the introduction is to justify the importance of the development task and the thesis and to present the objectives of the final project. A good introduction is clear, concise and logical. 

The content of the knowledge base is discussed in Chapter 3.1 of this guide. In between the knowledge base and the content chapters, a chapter describing how the methods for the development work were applied in practice in the work may be place. Thesis material is introduced and applied in the analysis chapter of the thesis.The chapters that describe the operations should be sufficiently detailed to enable the reader to see how the author has arrived at the results. All matters discussed should be examined in light of the available materials, the practical professional experiences and the perspective provided by the professional literature. 

In the conclusion chapter the results of the work are compiled, and the final result of the work is presented. The final result can be applied as an attachment to the thesis, if it can be applied directly to the text because of its form or length. In this case the student needs to clearly describe the relation between the actual thesis and the separate product/result. How has the knowledge base and material affected the end product/result. 

The final chapter assesses the success of the development work and describes how the results of the project work were applied and implemented in the commissioner's operations. Finally, the perspective presented in the beginning should be revisited and the general significance of the development work should be described. Justified ideas and bold, original operational experiments can even challenge an earlier understanding, or at least bring more complex perspectives to it. Therefore, the final chapter should not be considered as a summary, which merely recapitulates the topics discussed in the content chapters. 

The structure of the titles should be reader-friendly. The two heading-level structure is significantly better than headings on three levels. The fourth heading level should not even be considered. The chapters should not be too short. Sections should include at least three paragraphs, and each of them should contain at least three sentences. Sections are only used if at least two are needed.  

A thesis is not just any written assignment comprised of isolated sections. Headings should not only relate to the content of the chapter, but also to each other. In practice, however, it is wise to think of the chapters as relatively independent entities – after all, it is easier to eat an elephant one bite at a time. The thread of the thesis can and should be clarified at later stages of the process. Although writing is usually started with the introduction, it can also be started at any section which feels easier. However, it is often sensible to return to the introduction once more and to re-write it, once the conclusion and development suggestions of the final project have been written.