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Researching and Writing a Masters Dissertation

How does supervision work for a Masters dissertation?

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This will involve proving that you are not just capable of analysing and critiquing original data or primary source material, but are also aware of the existing body of scholarship relating to your topic and can situate your work as an original contribution to or reflection upon this. So, if you'll excuse the pun, a 'Master's' degree really is about achieving 'mastery' of your particular specialism and the dissertation is where you'll demonstrate this: As a Masters student at the dissertation stage you'll usually be matched with an academic within your institution who will be tasked with guiding your work.

This might be someone who has already taught you, or it may be another scholar whose particular research interests and expertise align well with what you want to do. You may be able to request particular supervision, but taught postgraduates are more likely to be assigned supervisors by their department. Specific arrangements with your supervisor will vary depending on your institution and subject area, but they will usually meet with you at the beginning of the dissertation period to discuss your project and agree a suitable timetable for its undertaking.

This timetable will probably set dates for subsequent discussions and progress checks, including the submission of draft chapters or sections and the receipt of feedback. Though your supervisor is there to help and advise you, it is important to remember that your dissertation is a personal research project with associated expectations of you as an independent scholar.

As a rule of thumb, you can expect your supervisor to read each part of your dissertation once at the draft stage and to offer feedback. Most will not have time to look at lots of subsequent revisions, but may respond favourably to polite requests for exceptions provided their own workload permits it. Inundating your supervisor with emails or multiple iterations of draft material is best avoided; they will have their own research to manage as well as other supervision assignments and will be able to offer better quality feedback if you stick to an agreed schedule.

On most courses your dissertation will be assessed by an external examiner as well as additional members of faculty within your university who haven't been responsible for supervising you , but these will read and critique the work you submit without personally questioning and testing you on it.

Though this examination process is not as challenging as the oral defence or 'viva voce' required for a PhD thesis, the grading of your Masters dissertation is still a fundamental component of your degree. It will usually be worth around 60 credits - a third of the total credit value for a UK Masters - and will therefore play a key role in determining your final result. On some programmes the result awarded to a student's dissertation may also determine the upper grade-band that can be awarded to their degree.

You can find more information on the dissertation requirements for individual Masters programmes by looking at the entries for courses in the FindAMasters database. For some extra help and advice on the Masters dissertation experience and help with managing your research, see our selection of useful tips.

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To read our privacy policy click here. Enter our scholarship competition. The department should also be consulted regarding its policies or preferences in matters of format and style. If publication of the thesis is anticipated, the medium of publication likely to be used should be considered when preparing the manuscript. If it is known in advance that the thesis will be published by a particular publisher or journal, the editorial practices of that publisher or journal should be followed.

The form of footnotes and bibliography, in particular, may vary with different publishers and journals. Typefaces set to print at , , or point font are acceptable. Typing or printing should be double-spaced, except for footnotes single-space footnotes, with double spacing to separate one note from the next. Either put all page numbers both Roman and Arabic at the top of the page, or put all page numbers both Roman and Arabic at the bottom of the page.

Page numbers may be placed closer to the edge of the paper than the text itself. Most theses consist of preliminary pages which are numbered using Roman numerals, and the thesis proper, which is numbered using Arabic numerals. Should any element of the preliminary pages be longer than one page, number the pages consecutively. The preliminary pages should appear in this order but not necessarily with the page numbers shown above.

The thesis proper including introduction, main body of the text, illustrations, appendices, and bibliography is numbered using Arabic numerals. The numbering begins with 1 and runs consecutively to the end. Do not include date or location of birth or phone numbers. Because degrees are conferred only at the end of the academic year, the title page of theses completed during the summer or during any month of an academic year must be dated the following May.

For example, if you complete your thesis in August of , the date on your submission should be May The Abstract If it is appropriate for the thesis to be accompanied by an abstract, it will be published in Dissertation Abstracts International. The abstract should, in a concise manner, present the problem of the dissertation, discuss the materials and procedure or methods used, and state the results or conclusions.

Mathematical formulas, diagrams, and other illustrative materials should be avoided. The abstract should not be part of the thesis itself nor should it be included in the table of contents. It should be headed as follows:.


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A masters degree thesis is typically over pages. However, the dissertation is usually at least double and sometimes triple the length of a thesis. To determine the length of your thesis or dissertation, remember you .

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The thesis is a project that marks the end of a master’s program, while the dissertation occurs during doctoral study. The two are actually quite different in their purpose, as well. A thesis is a compilation of research that proves you are knowledgeable about the information learn throughout your graduate program.

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Aug 28,  · How to Write a Master's Thesis. Students learning how to write a Master's Thesis will first learn that a central thesis question must be presented and subsequently answered. A Master's Thesis will be the most prominent piece of your 86%(52). All Masters programmes include some form of extended individual project or dissertation. Research-focussed programmes, such as an MRes, may include multiple independent research components, whilst taught courses usually culminate with a substantial research task, referred to as the Masters dissertation or thesis.

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A master’s student with a thesis requirement will submit the file through Brown's electronic theses and dissertation (ETD) mihtorg.ga system is designed to collect and archive the thesis or dissertation as a text-based PDF file. A master’s thesis is a piece of original scholarship written under the direction of a faculty advisor. A master’s thesis is similar to a doctoral dissertation, but it is generally shorter.