Thesis writing

A thesis is an argument or proposition declaring a discovery or insight, based on research, which is relevant to others. It is intended to contribute to scholarly debate.

How should you approach the management and writing of your thesis?

Theses are presented according to academic regulations. Refer to the Guidelines in the regulations for detailed requirements on the presentation of print and/or electronic versions of the examination thesis. Topics covered are length, presentation, content, figures and tables, binding, and lodgement with the University. 

The Research Induction Plan and Statement of Agreement will determine:

  • your supervisors' involvement in elements of the thesis writing
  • agreement on the important matters of plagiarism, intellectual property (IP) and authorship on publications.

You will need to clarify with your supervisors expectations around:

  • drafting of the research project
  • arrangement of chapters
  • reading of the first and subsequent drafts
  • reading of the final draft
  • editing of the thesis.

Why use a thesis template?

Using a template saves time, reduces errors in layout formats and maintains consistency of style throughout a large document such as a thesis. As a result, you can focus more closely on the content of your thesis and leave the template to deal with the formatting.

What template?

Microsoft Word

Many students will use Microsoft Word to write their thesis. Word has a Styles tool you can use to create, manage, change or modify styles. The workshop Word for thesis writing (student ID and password required) provides a Word template that meets UniSA requirements and clear instructions for working with the template. A discussion area offers troubleshooting advice to answer your queries.


If you are a Mathematics and/or Statistics student, LaTeX software may be your best choice for a thesis template. You may be able to find a template that you can adapt to meet UniSA requirements (refer to the academic regulations), or your local area may provide you with a template. Talk to your supervisors about your options.

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