My thesis consists of an introduction, background, literature review and a chapter for every approach I proposed. The literature chapter contains a related work subsection for every approach I proposed. These related work subsections describe the structure of the area in general (for example: computer science consists of Software Engineering and Hardware Engineering... Hardware Engineering can be divided into ..etc). They also mention and describe the tools proposed to solve theses issues.

I thought it would be better if I move the part where I mention and describe the tools from the literature into their correspondent chapters. So I will add a related work section after introducing and evaluation every approach I proposed. This allows a theoretical evaluation and for the related work to be precise and specific. It also keeps the size of the chapters balanced to some extent.

My questions: do you recommend it? (I found PhD thesis that did that) & what do you suggest I call the section where I just talk about the structure of the area not the tools? (is "overview of ... techniques", for example, a good title?).

1 Answer 1


Personally, I think what you are proposing makes better sense in your case than having a traditional separate literature review chapter. Moreover, arranging the theoretical background in close proximity to the relevant methods would probably make it easier to revise the thesis for journal article publication after you've defended the thesis. However, if you choose to do that, I recommend that your "Background" chapter have a subsection dedicated to discussing the broad literature that spans the general theme of your thesis without specifically focusing on any one theme.

That said, ultimately, you need to talk to your advisor and see what they are comfortable with. If your advisor prefers the traditional dedicated chapter, then you should go with that. Your advisor needs to be comfortable with your thesis structure, too, since that would enable them to be will be your advocate with other people, such as your committee members or outside evaluators, who might not be used to your non-traditional approach.

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