This question is piggybacking on this old post because there doesn't seem to be a question for the undergraduate level.

Should the aim of the undergraduate thesis be different than the PhD thesis? Specifically, should it be more accessible to the average reader? At the end of the day, I share the same concerns as the PhD student from the other question:

I don't want to look lazy by not including material, but at the same time I don't want to waffle on.

  • "there doesn't seem to be a question for the undergraduate level" - that may be related to, as per the help center, "Undergraduate-specific issues that could not apply to graduate or post-graduate academicians" are off-topic for this site. With that said, I will not vote to close this question for now, as (1) it is somewhat relevant for post-undergrads in that Bachelor theses are often closely supervised by said post-undergrads, who might thus benefit from the answer, and (2), because depending on the university/system, Master theses ... Sep 11, 2016 at 21:42
  • ... are similar enough to Bachelor theses so this question would apply, as well, while Master students may be counted as graduate students. Sep 11, 2016 at 21:43
  • Assume you are writing for the average graduate from the same major as you. Sep 12, 2016 at 0:03
  • Don't be afraid to write an appendix where you explain some basic things that might get in the way of your main exposition. Sep 14, 2016 at 0:51

1 Answer 1


My rule of thumb -- whether for Bachelor, Master, or PhD theses -- is to assume precisely the level of knowledge the student had when starting to work on this topic. (I.e., "How would you like to have had this explained to you?")

  • This is the right answer! It would apply equally well to writing nearly all form of written work.
    – Ébe Isaac
    Sep 12, 2016 at 19:53

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