There is a question about the correct order for thesis front matter. If I have those sections and some order, what of them is usually placed into the table of contents? While the main chapters surely have their entries in the table of contents, what do I do with abstract, list of supervisors, declaration of non-plagiarism, epigraph, preface, acknowledgements, dedication, preamble, ... ?

My institution does not have regulations regarding this, my advisor does not answer questions, and different publications handle things differently. I would like to know how it is done in English publications, of which I do not have a significant number. (I'm neither a native speaker nor located in a country with English as official language, but we are required to write in English.)

  • Ok, you've already found that question. Now, why don't you do what the answers suggest? And no, it is not something different, because the answers apply marvelously to your question too. Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 15:26
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    @JohnSmithers - No need to be rude. The linked question doesn't answer this one, unless I'm missing something? (Definitely related, though.) Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 16:12
  • Then you are missing something, @NeilFein. The answers say ask your advisor and/or pick up books and look it up how it was done before. Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 21:51
  • Then that's not an answer, merely a directive to ask elsewhere; but... in this case, this is the sort of question that probably needs to be checked against prior examples. Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 23:36
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    @Burgmeister - Does your department follow a style manual like APA? Do they have a local style guide that overrides it in any way? Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 23:40

1 Answer 1


As I understand it, the contents for an academic thesis would normally include the main work and appendices only, everything else being additional to the core work that others may wish to refer to.

If you look at the list in the previous question, the contents lists everything after itself. The items before are important, but mainly for the university - abstracts, declarations, acknowledgements etc are for the purpose of verifying and referencing the main work.

And if your supervisor doesn't answer questions then kick them. That is what they are there for, to help you prepare your thesis in the way that your examiners require.


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