Glossary of a thesis

The glossary is a list of all the terms used in your undergraduate or graduate thesis which may not be immediately clear to the average reader.

When is the glossary used?

A glossary is added to increase and improve the readability of the paper. If, for example, many technical terms are used, we recommend adding a glossary.

Alphabetical order

Enter the terms in alphabetical order and provide a brief explanation or definition for each item. This will allow the reader to search and find terms more easily.

Where to insert the glossary in a thesis?

The glossary must be inserted at the beginning of the paper, immediately after the table of contents (or, if there were, after the index of the figures or the index of abbreviations). In this way, the reader will be able to familiarize himself with the key terms used in the paper before going further into the reading.

In case only a few words need an explanation, you can decide to add the explanation using the footnotes. This will prevent the reader from having to stop reading and go back to consult the glossary.

The abbreviations do not belong to the glossary

Do not explain the abbreviations in the glossary. If there are many abbreviations, create an index of abbreviations. Are there few abbreviations in the three-year or master’s thesis? Also in this case you can explain them directly in the text.

Additional lists in the thesis

In addition to the table of contents you can also use an index of figures and tables and an index of abbreviations. In this case, be sure to follow this order:

  • Table of contents
  • Index of figures and tables
  • Index of abbreviations
  • Glossary