Master’s dissertation writing is a massive undertaking, one that is based on long hours of research and submitted as part of a postgraduate degree.
It’s always a lengthy paper of between 15,000 to 20,000 words—longer than an undergraduate equivalent. The word count varies widely across countries, institutions, or courses.
A Master’s dissertation writing should give a comprehensive answer to the research question to prove various skills and understanding in a specific discipline.
It’s an opportunity for postgraduate degree students to demonstrate their skills in:
- setting research objectives
- identifying suitable research sources
- critically analyzing and organizing relevant authoritative literature and secondary data
- analyzing primary selected data and literature drawing in the field
- devising appropriate research methodology
- drawing conclusions and making necessary recommendations on further areas of research
Being a formal document, a Master’s dissertation writing follows a standard format.
The article will focus on structuring a Master’s dissertation writing project and a comprehensive guide on writing a master’s dissertation paper.
Structuring a Master’s Dissertation Writing Paper
A Master’s dissertation writing follows the below structure irrespective of the number of units which may depend on the area being examined.
- Abstract: An abstract is a dissertation summary, usually between 300 to 350 words. A good abstract should give any scholar an idea of dissertation research results without reading through the whole paper.
- Introduction: The introduction should provide a clear context of the entire dissertation, outlining the aim and scope of what the research intends to achieve. The introduction also gives a clear overview of the chapters in the dissertation.
- Literature review: Examines an already published scholarship in the same field, presenting personal views and arguments, which may be contrary. The study evaluates and analyzes different publications explaining how the dissertation will contribute to the already existing literature.
- Research Methodology: The methodology chapter aims at justifying the processes used in the research to answer the research questions.
- Results: The results are the findings based on your experiments, survey, or research questions. Depending on the nature of the project, results can be represented in charts, tables,graphs, or a written description.
- Discussion: Considered the heart of a dissertation, the discussion chapter develops critical thinking and analysis on a series of chapters progressively—each chapter building arguments from the predecessor.
- Conclusion: Draws all threads of discussion chapters together to form a concluding statement. The conclusion may also point at future research’s possible direction.
- Bibliography: Entails all the research sources of the Master’s dissertation writing project. These include paraphrasing and quotations listed in alphabetical order.
- Appendices: Appendices are not necessary for most Master’s dissertation writing projects, but supplementary material to support the arguments in the dissertation may add some value. That may include questionnaires and interviews transcripts. Consult with the supervisor before attaching such materials.
A Guide to Master’s Dissertation Writing
A proper guide for a Master’s dissertation writing should make the process less painful than many students think. That includes an early start, constant reading, good notes, and proper organization.
Below is a detailed guide to nailing a Master’s dissertation writing project.
1. Know The Purpose of the Dissertation
A Master’s dissertation writing project tests your knowledge and understanding of a research question or field of study. And since the dissertation projects vary widely, you can only prove to the supervisor your knowledge, research, and writing skills on the topic once you understand specific aspects of the project.
The Master’s dissertation writing is always a conclusion of a course of study. It allows the student to understand all aspects of the coursework to write the final research project
2. Start Preparing Early
A Master’s dissertation writing project should not be a surprise. Although you might not have the specifics in your first class, sooner or later, you can be sure to embark on a Master’s dissertation writing.
Your best bet is to start reading the heaps of research books as early as possible. That’s between the six and twelve months before starting your dissertation.
It’s an opportunity to consult the instructors for valuable research sources since different fields have different expectations and tool kits for preparing for a Masters’s dissertation writing.
3. Select a Topic
Pick an interesting topic—not too broad to portray you as an amateur and not too narrow that you lack valuable information to demonstrate your research, writing, and analytical prowess.
Gather your recent academic articles to give you an idea of an exciting topic to write about. It can be a widely discussed idea that fascinates people. Your supervisor can assist with this, but make it a general idea drawn from your coursework.
4. Read Constantly
A simple yet effective formula to successful Masters’ dissertation writing is writing a little and reading a little daily. Consistency matters a lot but with proper planning. Aim for at least a book chapter or an academic paper daily in your core area.
You may branch into other areas for interdisciplinary thinking and cross-pollination of ideas. The ultimate goal should be fertilizing and enriching your major.
5. Build Your Bibliography
Develop note-taking and bibliography-building skills in your reading process. That helps recall vital pieces of information during your Master’s dissertation writing with less struggle.
You might not use all the notes in the end but, remembering even a single idea in the appropriate format can be helpful in the final Master’s dissertation writing.
6. Write The Dissertation
A Master’s dissertation writing project is continual.Make rewriting of chapters a routine practice towards producing an excellent dissertation.
The best approach is building the dissertation in small bits—a page a day should be the minimum target.
Write down every idea you encounter, including extended discussions, without holding to anything. You can always come back and edit out what doesn’t make much sense to you.