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How to Write a Master's Thesis

How to Write a Master's Thesis

  • Yvonne N. Bui - San Francisco State University, USA
  • Description

See what’s new to this edition by selecting the Features tab on this page. Should you need additional information or have questions regarding the HEOA information provided for this title, including what is new to this edition, please email [email protected] . Please include your name, contact information, and the name of the title for which you would like more information. For information on the HEOA, please go to http://ed.gov/policy/highered/leg/hea08/index.html .

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“Yvonne Bui’s How to Write a Master’s Thesis should be mandatory for all thesis track master’s students.  It steers students away from the shortcuts students may be tempted to use that would be costly in the long run. The step by step intentional approach is what I like best about this book.”

“This is the best textbook about writing an M.A. thesis available in the market.” 

“This is the type of textbook that students keep and refer to after the class.”

Excellent book. Thorough, yet concise, information for students writing their Master's Thesis who may not have had a strong background in research.

Clear, Concise, easy for students to access and understand. Contains all the elements for a successful thesis.

I loved the ease of this book. It was clear without extra nonsense that would just confuse the students.

Clear, concise, easily accessible. Students find it of great value.

NEW TO THIS EDITION:             

  • Concrete instruction and guides for conceptualizing the literature review help students navigate through the most challenging topics.        
  • Step-by-step instructions and more screenshots give students the guidance they need to write the foundational chapter, along with the latest online resources and general library information.          
  • Additional coverage of single case designs and mixed methods help students gain a more comprehensive understanding of research methods.           
  • Expanded explanation of unintentional plagiarism within the ethics chapter shows students the path to successful and professional writing.       
  • Detailed information on conference presentation as a way to disseminate research , in addition to getting published, help students understand all of the tools needed to write a master’s thesis.    


  • An advanced chapter organizer provides an up-front checklist of what to expect in the chapter and serves as a project planner, so that students can immediately prepare and work alongside the chapter as they begin to develop their thesis.
  • Full guidance on conducting successful literature reviews includes up-to-date information on electronic databases and Internet tools complete with numerous figures and captured screen shots from relevant web sites, electronic databases, and SPSS software, all integrated with the text.
  • Excerpts from research articles and samples from exemplary students' master's theses relate specifically to the content of each chapter and provide the reader with a real-world context.
  • Detailed explanations of the various components of the master's thesis and concrete strategies on how to conduct a literature review help students write each chapter of the master's thesis, and apply the American Psychological Association (APA) editorial style.
  • A comprehensive Resources section features "Try It!" boxes which lead students through a sample problem or writing exercise based on a piece of the thesis to reinforce prior course learning and the writing objectives at hand. Reflection/discussion questions in the same section are designed to help students work through the thesis process.

Sample Materials & Chapters

1: Overview of the Master's Degree and Thesis

3: Using the Literature to Research Your Problem

Writing a Graduate Thesis or Dissertation

  • © 2016
  • Lorrie Blair 0

Concordia University, Canada

You can also search for this author in PubMed   Google Scholar

  • Filled with practical advice, this book covers the basics including differentiating between the various thesis formats, preparing the proposal, writing the literature review, choosing a methodology, collecting and analyzing data, and defending the thesis
  • This guide, written in accessible language, provides practical insider knowledge that demystifies the graduate school experience and supplies graduate students with the formula for writing a successful thesis
  • This book includes information rarely addressed in other guides, including information related to selecting and working with supervisors and alternative forms of research methodologies and format styles

Part of the book series: Teaching Writing (WRIT)

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  • graduate research
  • thesis supervisors
  • research methods
  • methodology
  • literature reviews
  • thesis defense
  • academic writing
  • academic integrity

Table of contents (12 chapters)

Front matter, what is a thesis.

Lorrie Blair

Finding the Right Supervisor

Writing the proposal, conducting and writing literature reviews, maintaining academic integrity, choosing a methodology, conducting ethical research, collecting and analyzing data, establishing an academic track record, finding support for writing the thesis, dealing with student-supervisor problems, defending the thesis, back matter, authors and affiliations, bibliographic information.

Book Title : Writing a Graduate Thesis or Dissertation

Authors : Lorrie Blair

Series Title : Teaching Writing

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6300-426-8

Publisher : SensePublishers Rotterdam

eBook Packages : Education , Education (R0)

Copyright Information : SensePublishers-Rotterdam, The Netherlands 2016

eBook ISBN : 978-94-6300-426-8 Published: 10 February 2016

Edition Number : 1

Number of Pages : XX, 146

Topics : Education, general

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What’s Included: The Dissertation Template

If you’re preparing to write your dissertation, thesis or research project, our free dissertation template is the perfect starting point. In the template, we cover every section step by step, with clear, straightforward explanations and examples .

The template’s structure is based on the tried and trusted best-practice format for formal academic research projects such as dissertations and theses. The template structure reflects the overall research process, ensuring your dissertation or thesis will have a smooth, logical flow from chapter to chapter.

The dissertation template covers the following core sections:

  • The title page/cover page
  • Abstract (sometimes also called the executive summary)
  • Table of contents
  • List of figures /list of tables
  • Chapter 1: Introduction  (also available: in-depth introduction template )
  • Chapter 2: Literature review  (also available: in-depth LR template )
  • Chapter 3: Methodology (also available: in-depth methodology template )
  • Chapter 4: Research findings /results (also available: results template )
  • Chapter 5: Discussion /analysis of findings (also available: discussion template )
  • Chapter 6: Conclusion (also available: in-depth conclusion template )
  • Reference list

Each section is explained in plain, straightforward language , followed by an overview of the key elements that you need to cover within each section. We’ve also included practical examples to help you understand exactly what’s required in each section.

The cleanly-formatted Google Doc can be downloaded as a fully editable MS Word Document (DOCX format), so you can use it as-is or convert it to LaTeX.

FAQs: Dissertation Template

What format is the template (doc, pdf, ppt, etc.).

The dissertation template is provided as a Google Doc. You can download it in MS Word format or make a copy to your Google Drive. You’re also welcome to convert it to whatever format works best for you, such as LaTeX or PDF.

What types of dissertations/theses can this template be used for?

The template follows the standard best-practice structure for formal academic research projects such as dissertations or theses, so it is suitable for the vast majority of degrees, particularly those within the sciences.

Some universities may have some additional requirements, but these are typically minor, with the core structure remaining the same. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to double-check your university’s requirements before you finalise your structure.

Will this work for a research paper?

A research paper follows a similar format, but there are a few differences. You can find our research paper template here .

Is this template for an undergrad, Masters or PhD-level thesis?

This template can be used for a dissertation, thesis or research project at any level of study. It may be slight overkill for an undergraduate-level study, but it certainly won’t be missing anything.

How long should my dissertation/thesis be?

This depends entirely on your university’s specific requirements, so it’s best to check with them. As a general ballpark, Masters-level projects are usually 15,000 – 20,000 words in length, while Doctoral-level projects are often in excess of 60,000 words.

What about the research proposal?

If you’re still working on your research proposal, we’ve got a template for that here .

We’ve also got loads of proposal-related guides and videos over on the Grad Coach blog .

How do I write a literature review?

We have a wealth of free resources on the Grad Coach Blog that unpack how to write a literature review from scratch. You can check out the literature review section of the blog here.

How do I create a research methodology?

We have a wealth of free resources on the Grad Coach Blog that unpack research methodology, both qualitative and quantitative. You can check out the methodology section of the blog here.

Can I share this dissertation template with my friends/colleagues?

Yes, you’re welcome to share this template. If you want to post about it on your blog or social media, all we ask is that you reference this page as your source.

Can Grad Coach help me with my dissertation/thesis?

Within the template, you’ll find plain-language explanations of each section, which should give you a fair amount of guidance. However, you’re also welcome to consider our dissertation and thesis coaching services .

Free Webinar: Literature Review 101

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Thesis Book.pdf

Profile image of Yasmeen Abdi

High poverty rates, unemployment, illegal immigration, etc. are the causes of low economy growth in Somaliland. Among the reasons of low economy is corruption. In the thesis, the researchers will examine the relationship between corruption and economy in order to analyze the impact of corruption on the economy and create practical solutions to solve it. The topic of the thesis will be based on “The impact of corruption on economic growth of Somaliland (with reference to Good Governance And Anti-Corruption Commission).Many young people are leaving the country due to lack of job because of low economy, there is nothing done to solve the poverty as Somaliland is dependent on foreign countries economically, these factors caused me to write about this factor in order for Somaliland to improve its economic competence.

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Corruption tops common problems for state-building and economic development for most of the nations in the world1. The contemporary anti-corruption measures led by the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, Transparency International, and many other international and regional bodies, approach corruption from an upright interpretation, address it with a legal view, highlight its deleterious effect on state-building, and judge its negative consequences on development2. This article focuses on the government expenditure side of annual budgets, but it does not cover corruption related to any particular problems arising from budget planning, projection and auditing. Using both primary and secondary data, the article ropes the Pritchett et al.3 led argument on the institution focused anti-corruption fights led by the international development interventions which remain under-valued and under-researched, and proposes a repositioning of the current approach to the local context. This argument establishes two views, the strategic actions and the tools we need for local fit anti-corruption reform, and dwindling the knowledge gaps among public on corruption effects.

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Social, political and institutional factors play a major role in the retarding of development and economic growth in many developing and developed countries. Corruption, which is a symptom of deep institutional weaknesses, is blamed for reducing investments and expenditures (for education and health), inereasing income inequality, reducing foreign direct investments, distorting markets, and allocation of resources. Some writers argue that corruption is also responsible for a low economic growth rate. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of corruption on economic growth across 54 developing and developed countries for the period of 1960-1995. Based on the theoretical framework of Barro (1991) and Mauro (1995, 1997), the ernpirical evidence presented suggests that there is a statistic aııy significant negative relationship between corruption and economic growth. The relationship is directly related to inclusion of other determinants of economic growth. 2 • Ankara Ünivers...


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This study was conducted with the objective of assessing the impacts of corruption on socio-economic development in Shambu town, Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia. To this end, Cross sectional descriptive survey research design, and mixed approach were used. And, questionnaire was distributed among 142 respondents, and an interview was conducted with 18 key informants to collect data. Besides, secondary data were used. The data collected through questionnaire were analyzed using SPSS software (Statistical Package for Social Science) version 20 while the data collected through interview were analyzed qualitatively. The study reveals that corruption is highly affecting the socio-economic development of the study area. In this respect, some of its specific impacts are include negatively affect the social relation of the society, lack of provision for infrastructure among society, affecting equality rights of using resources, making the gap between the rich and the poor wider, affects standard of living, unnecessary conflicts among the society, decreasing the town investment, highly reducing taxes and revenues, negatively affecting the total economic growth of the municipality and etc. are some of the problems of corruption and its impacts. Thus, corruption is highly prevailing in Shambu town that affects socio economic development in the study area. It also a serious problem that Shambu Town are suffering from and a setback to the development efforts of a town. Thus, the study recommends that commitment is needed from the concerned bodies like the government, the anti-corruption commission, the woreda court and the civic association to provide strong policy of controlling mechanism especially on the office holders, to set systems and structures that can reduce corruption and ensure efficient delivery of services to the community, to impose strong responsibility on the town administration offices and should be to make a Learnable punishments and establish good governance and democratic leaders in the town and strongly work to minimize the corruption on socio-economic development. Keywords: Corruption, Social Development, Economic Development, Shambu Town.

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  1. FREE 7+ Thesis Writing Samples & Templates in PDF

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  2. master thesis examples free pdf

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  3. Chapter 2 Thesis Sample Review Of Related Literature

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  1. Thesis Book Formatting Tutorial Video

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  1. PDF A Practical Guide to Dissertation and Thesis Writing

    A Practical Guide to Dissertation and Thesis Writing By Mark Stephan Felix and Ian Smith This book first published 2019 Cambridge Scholars Publishing Lady Stephenson Library, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 2PA, UK British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library


    minimum of ten days for all members of the thesis committee to review the thesis. Step 1: Prepare the content of your presentation. The content of your presentation is the mirror of your thesis ...

  3. (PDF) Practical Handbook to Dissertation and Thesis Writing

    provides a step by step direction in creating a. comprehensive dissertation or thesis. The follow ing are. the some of the topics included in the book. - Chapter One which provides the background ...

  4. How to Write a Better Thesis

    Download book PDF. Download book EPUB. Overview Authors: David Evans 0, Paul Gruba 1, Justin Zobel 2; ... "I have been using this book whilst writing my thesis and I want to express my sincere thanks to the authors as it has provided me with an excellent source of guidance and has made my life a lot easier over the past five months. I've ...

  5. PDF How to Write a BA Thesis

    How to Read This Book 3 1 Introduction to How to Write a BA Thesis, Second Edition 9 2 Useful Nuts and Bolts 13 3 More Nuts and Bolts 22 II. FRAMING YOUR TOPIC 4 Taking Effective Notes and Avoiding Plagiarism 41 5 How to Build a Reading List 70 6 Refining Your Topic, Writing a Proposal, and Beginning Research 76 III. CONDUCTING YOUR RESEARCH

  6. How to Write a Master's Thesis

    "This is the best textbook about writing an M.A. thesis available in the market." -Hsin-I Liu, University of the Incarnate Word The Third Edition of How to Write a Master's Thesis is a comprehensive manual on how to plan and write a five-chapter master's thesis, and a great resource for graduate students looking for concrete, applied guidance on how to successfully complete their ...

  7. PDF Thesis

    Thesis Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is arguable, which means a thoughtful reader could disagree with it and therefore needs

  8. PDF How To Write Your First Thesis

    minor thesis—typically, the first thesis that a student ever writes—and set out the various tasks that you need to complete in order to finish the work successfully. This isn't our first book on thesis writing; we are also the authors of the compa-nion volume, How to Write a Better Thesis, originally written by David Evans and

  9. How To Write Your First Thesis

    Download book PDF. Download book EPUB. Overview Authors: Paul Gruba 0, Justin Zobel 1; Paul Gruba ... Many courses and degrees require that students write a short thesis. This book guides students through their first experience of producing a thesis and undertaking original research. Written by experienced researchers and advisors, the book ...

  10. How to Write a Master's Thesis

    Books. How to Write a Master's Thesis. Yvonne N. Bui. SAGE, 2014 - Education - 313 pages. A step-by-step guidebook that demystifies a process that can often prove to be overwhelming and confusing to graduate students. The tone and format of this applied book is reader-friendly and includes practical suggestions that go beyond informing what ...

  11. PDF A Complete Dissertation

    further along in the book. • For each key element, explain reason for inclusion, quality markers, and frequent or common errors. Objectives. 4 PART I. TAKING CHARGE OF YOURSELF AND YOUR WORK the author's full name; the degree to be con-ferred; the university, department, and col-

  12. (PDF) How to write a Thesis: A step by Step Guide

    PDF | On Mar 1, 2022, Abid Hussain and others published How to write a Thesis: A step by Step Guide | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate


    The steps to writing a thesis. The process of writing a thesis is generally characterized by the following. main steps: Choose a topic of your interest and a possible supervisor. Collect, gather, study, analyze and synthesize the relevant academic. literature regarding the topic, to delineate the state-of-the-art and.

  14. PDF Sample Thesis Pages

    the PDF thesis file. Use of Adobe Reader to open and fill in the form is strongly recommended (form fields may not function as intended when used with a preview app). Title must match title found on title page. Include UIN . Degree must be correct Number of signatures required for doctoral students = director of research (adviser) + all voting

  15. PDF Master's Thesis Handbook

    thesis is reviewed by the student's thesis committee and must meet that committee's standards of quality and quantity. Results of a thesis should be publishable in a peer-reviewed journal. Objectives of a Thesis A thesis gives students the opportunity to develop their creative abilities in one or more of the following activities:

  16. The Thesis and the Book: A Guide for First-Time Academic ...

    The Thesis and the Book: A Guide for First-Time AcademicAuthors, revised and expanded in this second edition, willcontinue to provide the best overview of the p...

  17. Writing a Graduate Thesis or Dissertation

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  18. PDF Welcome to CaltechTHESIS

    Welcome to CaltechTHESIS - CaltechTHESIS

  19. (PDF) How to Write a Research Proposal and a Thesis: A Manual for

    The book explains the structure of a thesis and proposal including title, abstract, introduction, literature review, materials and methods, results, discussion, biography and appendix (if there is ...

  20. Free Dissertation & Thesis Template (Word Doc & PDF)

    The cleanly-formatted Google Doc can be downloaded as a fully editable MS Word Document (DOCX format), so you can use it as-is or convert it to LaTeX. Download The Dissertation Template. Download Grad Coach's comprehensive dissertation and thesis template for free. Fully editable - includes detailed instructions and examples.

  21. PDF A Sample Research Paper/Thesis/Dissertation on Aspects of Elementary

    A special thanks also to Howard Anton [1], from whose book many of the examples used in this sample research paper have been quoted. Another special thanks to Prof. Ronald Grimmer who provided the previous thesis template upon which much of this is based and for help with graphics packages. v

  22. (PDF) Thesis Book.pdf

    Download PDF. Yasmeen Abdi. High poverty rates, unemployment, illegal immigration, etc. are the causes of low economy growth in Somaliland. Among the reasons of low economy is corruption. In the thesis, the researchers will examine the relationship between corruption and economy in order to analyze the impact of corruption on the economy and ...

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    Pitrolo_Undergrad_Thesis.pdf Public File Details. Depositor roseeli. Date Uploaded 2023-04-28. Date Modified 2023-04-28. Fixity Check Fixity checks have not yet been run on this object. Characterization. ... If you would like to deposit a peer-reviewed article or book chapter, use the "Scholarly Articles and Book Chapters" deposit option. ...

  24. (PDF) Thesis-Book 2018

    PDF | On Sep 11, 2019, Khondoker Istiak Ahmad Ayon and others published Thesis-Book 2018 | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate