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Writing your thesis

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Writing a thesis is an integral part of your PhD and it must be taken into account and thought out from the outset and throughout your work: organisation, deadlines, progress report, orientation but also dissemination, publication, promotion and final submission (compulsory).

Structuring the manuscript

For ease of reading and consistency, all theses of the University of Bordeaux must be written in a specific structured manner.

This ensures a degree of consistency in presentation at national level and makes them easier to reference and consult, by generating a summary.

To find out more about the rules for writing and structuring your thesis, take a look at the guide to writing and presenting a thesis for PhD students.


To help you structure your thesis in accordance with ministerial recommendations, the Documentation Department provides a short summary of the main points and templates for the title page and front matter: standard theses or under cotutelle.

Please note: the names of the doctoral schools and their specialities are specified here. These are the names that must be used on the title page of every thesis of the University of Bordeaux.


A French thesis must be written in French (French Education Code, article L12-3). In the case of a cotutelle thesis, the manuscript can be written in English if your doctoral school has authorised you to do so. In this case, the thesis must include a substantial summary in French describing the context of the research, the approach used and the results obtained.

This summary is in addition to the summaries required for the front matter (Guide to writing and presenting a thesis for PhD students, published by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, p.6).

Managing and formatting the bibliography

The bibliography of a thesis can be extensive, this is why students are advised to use a reference management tool to collect, organise, save and format references.

To master these aspects when writing your thesis, the Documentation Department provides training for the free open-source reference management tool Zotero, (see the training courses in the library section of your ENT and the training courses run by URFIST designed specifically for PhD students ).

digital preservation

In accordance with the system put in place by the Decree of 7 August 2006, when submitting a thesis digitally, one version must be permanently archived at the Centre Informatique de l’Enseignement Supérieur (CINES). 

To implement this very long-term preservation, the deposited files must respect certain digital formats and must be declared eligible by the Facile test (http://facile.cines.fr) established by the CINES. The thesis division of the Documentation Department will ensure that your file is suitable for archiving or, if need, will carry out the necessary format changes (article §3.1.c of the distribution contract).



    Administrator - Thesis defense

    Campus Peixotto - Bât A33 – Bur. 65 - 351 cours de la Libération 33405 TALENCE Cedex


  • Christelle ROCCA

    Administrator - Thesis defense

    Campus Peixotto - Bât A33 – Bur. 65 - 351 cours de la Libération 33405 TALENCE Cedex


  • Documentation Department

    Thesis division

    Bibliothèque universitaire des sciences et techniques Allée Baudrimont, CS 70001 33405 Talence Cedex