Département Formation & Carrières

Writing the thesis

Writing the thesis

Writing tips

For thesis writing, doctoral students enrolled at the Université Paris Cité will find some information on the following link:  : https://u-paris.libguides.com/thesedoct.

For thesis writing, doctoral students enrolled at Sorbonne Université will find some information on the following link: https://www.sorbonne-universite.fr/recherche-et-innovation/le-doctorat/demarches-administratives/soutenance.

Recommandation for writing a thesis based on articles

In the case of a thesis manuscript based on articles, the following conditions must be met:

  •     The thesis is divided into standard chapters and chapters formed by a publication. For example, there will be an introduction (5-10 pages), a state of the art (20 pages), the articles and a conclusion/perspective (5-10 pages).
  • The organization of the manuscript should make it possible to appreciate the overall research approach and the PhD candidate's contribution.
  • The articles included must be presented as a coherent and original whole, not mere juxtaposition of works.
  • The doctoral student must be the first author of the articles presented. Articles in which the doctoral student is not the first author may be included, but it must be clearly stated in the preamble what part of the work is the doctoral student's and how this relates to the rest of the thesis.
  • Articles must be written in the course of study, as part of the thesis.
  • Additional material (text, table, figure) may be added for each article.
  • Co-authors' rights and distribution rights must be checked with the journal publisher. Depending on the case, a reproduction of the published article may be authorized by the publisher, otherwise it will be included in HAL format.

Language used for thesis writing

If the doctoral student wants to write the thesis in English, he.she must send a motivated request to the director of the doctoral school.

If the director agrees, the thesis can be written in English but a long summary in French (the length should reach about 10% of the total length of the manuscript, that is around 10 pages) should be included.

The doctoral student must make sure that all the members of the jury speak English. The title of the thesis must be in French.

Co-primary authorship

Two first-author articles are required for the defense.

The doctoral school disapproves of the use of "co-first-authors" for articles constituting the thesis. Indeed, a thesis is a personal publication, which cannot be shared with a co-author.

However, publishers sometimes authorize the use of "co-first" authorship.

The ED's internal regulations stipulate that a co-first authored article may exceptionally be authorized, if it can be demonstrated that the expertise and contributions of the co-first authors are in different disciplinary fields. It is therefore expected that a "co-first" author thesis paper will clearly distinguish between the contributions of the "co-first" authors, and that these contributions will correspond to what a "first" author paper would have been.

Co-first" authors with a member of one's team is not valid.

Co-first" authorship by a person carrying out analyses in the PhD student's field of expertise is not valid.