Synopsis Format

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Whereas it is essential to encourage and expand Ph.D. research to make it a more active part of the academic life of the University of the Punjab, it is also important to ensure that a reasonable standard of research is maintained. The University regulates through its bodies like the Board of Studies and Advanced Studies and Research Board that the Ph.D. research programs are properly planned and executed to maintain the standards.

A research proposal for Ph.D. registration, whether the area of study belongs to natural sciences, social sciences, languages, medicine or engineering, should include certain basic components, in which a number of questions need to be addressed. Why research on the proposed topic should be undertaken and what gains are likely to be achieved? What has been done previously in this or related areas? What are the objectives of this study and how these will be achieved? Are the facilities required for doing the proposed research available? An extensive initial exercise should help in designing a sound research project, which is likely to make a significant contribution in successful completion of Ph.D. research.


Components of a Synopsis

The following components should be provided in a synopsis of a Ph.D. research project. The details may, however, vary according to the field of study. Any alteration to the following format may be made in a specific discipline only with good justification.

1.             Title Page

A title page of the synopsis should include title of the research project, name of the student (with qualifications), name of the supervisor(s), place of work and date (month and year) of submission.

2.             Topic     

The topic for research should be selected carefully. It should be specific and worded to show the nature of work involved as far as possible.

3.             Introduction

It should provide a brief description to introduce the area of the proposed research work.

4.             Review of Literature

A review of the relevant literature showing the work done previously in the area of proposed research is essential to plan further research effectively. The information given in the review should be supported by references.

5.                     Justification and Likely Benefits

It is important to provide justification for undertaking the proposed research, perhaps in the light of previous work done. It should be possible in most cases to anticipate the specific and general benefits likely to be achieved as a result of completion of the proposed research.

6.             Objectives

Broad objectives as visualized to be achieved should be clearly outlined and these should be itemized. These objectives will indicate the major aspects of the study to be undertaken.

7.             Plan of Work and Methodology

A plan of work describing the various aspects of the study in a logical sequence along with the methodologies to be employed, are the most important aspects of any research plan. Sufficient details to demonstrate that the researcher  has a fairly good idea about the nature of work likely to be involved should be provided. In the case of experimental sciences, e.g., which equipments and experimental procedures will be used to obtain the results; in the case of social sciences what resource materials will be used; whether the required information will be obtained from primary or secondary sources, etc. A time schedule for the various aspects of the proposed research may be provided wherever possible.

8.             Place of Work and Facilities Available

In order to complete the proposed research some specialized facilities may be required. For example in case of experimental sciences different equipments may be involved or in the case of, may be, a study on a scholar, the relevant literature may be available in a foreign country. Therefore it is important to identify the place where the research work will be undertaken and whether the resources and facilities required for doing the research are available.

9.             References and Bibliography

Synopsis should contain at the end a list of references, and a bibliography if required. These should be written on a standard pattern.


It will be difficult to define an overall length for a synopsis for Ph.D. research in such varied fields of study. Whereas it should be concise as far as possible and avoid repetitions, it should also provide sufficient details on the various aspects mentioned above to show that the research involved has been well understood and planned, and it is of an acceptable academic merit. The total length of a synopsis may run from 1,500 to a few thousand words.




All theses presented in typescript for the degree of Ph.D should comply with the following specifications unless permission to do otherwise is obtained from the relevant authority / body



A4 size be used, no restriction is placed on drawings and maps.



Six copies on good quality paper (minimum 80 gsm) be submitted.



The text must be typewritten in acceptable type face and the original typescript (or copy of equal quality) must normally be submitted as the first copy. The second and subsequent copies may be produced by means of other acceptable copying methods.



Typescript should appear on one side only, lines; at least one-and-a-half spaced. Footnotes, quotations, references and photographic captions may be single spaced. Where appropriate, these should contain lists giving the locations of figures and illustrations.



Title Page                                             18-22

Headings / subheadings             14-20

Text                                                     10-12

Footnotes                                             8-10
Footnotes be given on the same page where reference is quoted



Times New Roman / Arial / Courier New / Univers



At least 1¼ -1½ inches (3.17-3.81cm) on the left-hand side, 3/4 – 1 inch (2 -2.54cm) at the top and bottom of the page, and about ½ – 0.75 inches (1.27 – 1.90cm) at the outer edge. The best position for the page number is at top-centre or top right ½ inch (1.27 cm) below the edge. Pages containing figures and illustration should be suitable paginated.



o       Title Page

o       Abstract / Summery

o       Acknowledgements

o        Abbreviations not described in the text

o       Contents

o       List of Tables (where applicable)

o       List of Figures (where applicable)


o       Introduction (including literature review) or

§         Introduction

§         Review of Literature

As separate chapters as per requisite of the subject


o       Material and Methods


o       Results

May comprised of one chapter or a number of chapters depending upon the subject matter/ requirements


o       Discussion (including Conclusion/s, Recommendation/s where applicable)


o       References / Bibliography / Literature Cited

o       Appendices (where applicable)

o       Any other information specific to the respective discipline



All theses must contain a title page giving the title of the thesis, the author’s name, the name of the degree for which it is presented, the department in which the author has worked or the Faculty to which the work is being presented, and the month and year of submission.



Whilst the regulations do not contain a clause relating to the maximum length of theses, it is expected that work presented for the degree of Ph.D should normally between 40,000 – 120,000 words of text. Candidates wishing to greatly exceed these sizes should discuss the matter with their supervisors



Published work from the theses be included as appendix (Reprints/ proof / preprint).



All final theses and published work presented for higher degrees must be bound in a permanent form or in a temporary (hard binding will be provided after defense of the thesis) form approved by the Advanced Studies and Research Board; where printed pamphlets or off-prints are submitted in support of a thesis, they must be bound in with the thesis, or bound in such manner as Binderies may advise. Front cover should give title of the thesis, name of the candidate and the name of the Institute/ Department/ Centre/ College through which submitted, in the same order from top to bottom. The lettering may be in boldface and properly spaced. Their sizes should be: title 24 pt., name of the candidate 18 pt. and the name of the department/ institute/ centre/ college 18 pt. The colour of binding for different degrees in the Science subjects and Social Sciences is as follows:






Dark Maroon/ Dark Gray

Light Maroon/ Light Gray


Dark green/ Black

Light Green/ Black



Spine of the thesis should show “Ph.D thesis” on top across the width of spine, name of the candidate in the middle along the length oi’ spine, and the year of submission across the width at the bottom. Lettering on spine should be in 18 pt. and may be in boldface.


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