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Glossary in a Dissertation

Dissertation glossary list

A list of glossary contains all those terms that were used in your dissertation but the meanings of which may not be obvious to the readers. Here is all you need to know about glossary in a dissertation.

Do You Need Glossary in Your Dissertation?

You may or may not be required to have a separate list of glossary in your dissertation. The decision whether to have a list of glossary in a dissertation depends on whether it will improve the readability of your paper. For example, if you are writing a dissertation for an engineering degree and have used several technical terms that readers may not be familiar then it is advised to add glossary in a dissertation.

Listing the Terms Alphabetically

A recommended practice of adding glossary in a dissertation is to sort the terms alphabetically and provide a definition or an explanations for each of those terms. Having the terms listed in an alphabetical order will help the readers to easily location the information they are interested in.

Where to Place the Glossary in Dissertation?

The glossary list is generally placed at the beginning of the dissertation paper, just after the list of tables and figures or the list of abbreviations. However, if your paper does not have a list of abbreviations or a list of tables and figures, you can place the glossary right after the table of contents. This gives readers the opportunity to understand the meanings of key terms they are not familiar even before they start to read the main content of the paper.

However, if you haven’t used a lot of technical terms in your dissertation you can choose to provide explanation and meanings of the few terms that you has used in a footnote.

There is a Difference Between Abbreviations and the Glossary

It is important not to confuse glossary in dissertation with the abbreviations, which are put in the list of abbreviations.

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Example of a Glossary in Dissertation

If you haven’t created a list of glossary before then you will find the below example of a glossary in dissertation particularly useful;

Dissertation Glossary

Other Lists You Can Have in Your Dissertation

You might also want to have a list of tables and figures as well as a list of abbreviations in your dissertation particularly if you are writing a Master’s or PhD dissertation. However, make sure to keep the following order;

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