My question is about master thesis structure according to MIT Thesis Format.

I am working on a computer system that comprises of several components. The focus of the research is how to implement the components of the system. Each component can be researched separately. I've implemented all the components and made a progress in improving the performance of some components.

For each of the component I dedicate a section. The question is about an introduction and a conclusion sections. What is the best way to organize them. Should I put a single introduction (about all the components) just after Abstract or separate this big introduction by components and put them in corresponding sections.

The same problem with conclusion.

Sorry for the naive question.

1 Answer 1


Mosy probably, your thesis is not supposed to read like a collection of unrelated articles. Therefore, you will need one general introduction. It could contain information on

  • which components exist
  • how each component is connected to the whole
  • why components were separated as they are.

This does not preclude additional per-section introductions to explain more in detail what the upcoming section is about.

Proceed analogously for the conclusion and, of course, talk to your supervisor for any specifics.

  • It wasn't my choice to separate the system into components, it's well-known architecture. One big introduction would look like a several logically separated parts (introduction for each component).
    – com
    Aug 15, 2016 at 9:52
  • "it's well-known architecture" - then show that you know it well by providing the (correctly chosen part of the!) well-known rationale. Bachelor and Master theses are often different from research papers in that they do not concentrate on findings to a few central questions, but instead also extensively demonstrate your mastery of state-of-the-art techniques that is needed for professionally working in the field. Aug 15, 2016 at 10:28
  • "One big introduction would (...)" - in that case, increase the abstraction level. Certainly, those components are connected somehow, to fulfil some combined purpose. There must be a reason why they are components of one "computer system", rather than several unrelated projects. To play devil's advocate, your current stance could be interpreted as failure to think beyond your personal task and see things in context, and thus, ultimately, an inability to understand what you are doing. Doesn't your task provide a hint for a common theme across your components? Aug 15, 2016 at 10:30

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