Do All Graduate Students Do a Thesis?

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Prior to entering graduate school, many students might wonder if all graduate students do a thesis. Despite what you might hear, a thesis isn't always a requirement for completing all graduate school programs. It often depends on the type of subject you study, but some schools offer both a thesis and a non-thesis route that lets students take more classes in lieu of doing a thesis. Once you learn more about the alternatives to a thesis, you can better decide which option is right for you.

What is a Thesis?

A thesis is a complex paper that you write during the last year of graduate school. Students generally want to take a topic that they studied in class and look at ways to research and build a paper around that topic. According to  U.S. News and World Report , students should pick a topic that relates to their past experience. Students will submit your topic to their advisor and meet with their advisor as they research and begin writing their paper. A team of professors will later read their paper and determine if it meets the requirements necessary for graduating.

Capstone or Research Project

Those looking for an answer to the question of do all graduate students do a thesis should know that some schools allow students to complete a final research or capstone project in lieu of doing a thesis. This is often the best option for those who prefer hands on experience rather than doing even more classroom work. For example, a computer science major might create a new piece of software or a computer program instead of writing about recent innovations in the technology field.

Field Experience

Did you know that some graduate schools remove the thesis requirement for students who complete field experience? If you think this sounds like an easier option, keep in mind that your school may require that you complete 300 hours or more of supervised fieldwork after finishing your studies. This may also mean that it takes you three or more years to finish your degree. Students who do a thesis often finish within two years or less. Schools that offer fieldwork in lieu of a thesis often require that students complete detailed logs of the work they do and present those logs to the department before graduating.

Choosing the Right Option

As a student entering grad school, you need to know which option is right for you. Some want an answer to the question of do all graduate students do a thesis, because they dislike research and the idea of spending long hours in the library. A non-thesis route is great for those who want to learn more about their chosen field and take more classes without writing a separate paper. The research project option is best for those who want to create a detailed project without doing any research, and field experience programs appeal to those who don't mind spending extra time working before getting a degree.

Related Resource:  Dissertation

Though some students assume that all graduate students require that students write a thesis, this isn't always true. The answer to the question of do all graduate students do a thesis is that it depends on the program and that some schools offer alternatives like fieldwork or a research project.

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Choosing Between a Thesis or Non-thesis Master's Degree

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  •       Resources       Choosing Between a Thesis or Non-thesis Master's Degree

As of 2015, approximately 25.4 million Americans held advanced degrees , with more citizens joining these ranks each year. As studies continue to show the career advancement and salary benefits of completing a master's degree, more and more students elect to pursue advanced educations. When considering their options, many question whether to enroll in a master's requiring a thesis or not. The following guide examines some of the reasons degree seekers may want to write a thesis while also highlighting why they might not. Students on the fence about this important decision can find expert advice, actionable tips, and relevant guidance to help them make an informed choice in the guide that follows.

Understanding the Master's Thesis

What is the difference between a thesis & non-thesis master's program, the decision not to do a thesis.

As students research various master's programs in their chosen discipline, it's common to find that many degrees require a thesis – especially if they want to enter a research-heavy field. While this word gets thrown around a lot in academia, some learners may want more information regarding what it entails in order to make an informed decision.

What is a Master's Thesis?

The master's thesis is an original piece of scholarship allowing the student to dig into a topic and produce an expanded document that demonstrates how their knowledge has grown throughout the degree program. These documents require significant independent research of primary and secondary sources and, depending on the subject, may require interviews and/or surveys to support the overarching argument.

Individual schools and departments dictate the length of these documents, but they typically range between 60 and 100 pages – or approximately 20,000 to 40,000 words. While tackling a document of such heft may seem overwhelming at first, learners need not fret. Each master's candidate receives a faculty advisor early in their tenure to provide support, feedback, and guidance throughout the process. Because the final thesis is expected to be of a publishable quality, learners seeking the highest marks typically send their supervisor excerpts of the document as they write to ensure they are on the right track.

When picking a thesis topic, no magical formula exists. Students should consider their interests and read extensively on that topic to get a better sense of existing scholarship. They should also speak to other academics working in that sphere to familiarize themselves with ongoing projects. Only after they feel reasonably well-read should they begin looking for uncovered angles or interesting ways of using emerging methodologies to bring new light to the topic.

When considering formatting, degree seekers should check with their specific schools and departments, as they may have unique requirements. To get a general understanding of what to expect, learners can review Simon Fraser University's guidelines on thesis formatting. After completing the thesis, some programs require an oral defense before a committee while others read the document and provide a grade. Check with your prospective schools to get a better sense of procedure.

Format & Components of a Master's Thesis

While this guide attempts to provide helpful and actionable information about the process of deciding whether to follow a thesis or non-thesis track in a master's program, readers should remember that specific components and requirements of a thesis vary according to discipline, university, and department. That being said, some commonalities exist across all these – especially when it comes to what students must include in their final drafts.

As the first section a reader encounters after moving through the table of contents and other anterior text, the introductory allows the writer to firmly establish what they want to accomplish. Sometimes also called the "research question" section, the introductory must clearly state the goals of the paper and the overarching hypothesis guiding the argument. This should be written in a professional yet accessible tone that allows individuals without specializations in the field to understand the text.

This section allows learners to demonstrate their deep knowledge of the field by providing context to existing texts within their chosen discipline Learners review the main bodies of work, highlighting any issues they find within each. Constructive criticism often centers around shortcomings, blind spots, or outdated hypotheses.

Students use this section to explain how they went about their work. While scientists may point to a specific method used to reach conclusions, historians may reference the use of an emerging framework for understanding history to bring new light to a topic. The point of this section is to demonstrate the thought processes that led to your findings.

This section allows for learners to show what they learned during the research process in a non-biased way. Students should simply state what information they gathered by utilizing a specific framework or methodology and arrange those findings, without interpretation, in an easy-to-read fashion.

After providing readers with all the necessary information, the discussion section exists for candidates to interpret the raw data and demonstrate how their research led to a new understanding or contributed a unique perspective to the field. This section should directly connect to the introduction by reinforcing the hypothesis and showing how you answered the questions posed.

Even though the previous sections give prospective degree seekers a better sense of what to expect if they decide to write a thesis during their master's program, they don't necessarily help learners decide whether to pursue a thesis or non-thesis track. The following section highlights some of the reasons students frequently choose to complete a thesis or bypass the process altogether by providing a pros and cons list.

Why a Thesis Program

  • Especially when entering a research-heavy discipline, completing a thesis shows prospective schools and employers that you possess the skills needed for researching and writing long-form reports.
  • Students hoping to pursue a Ph.D. stand in better stead with admissions panels if they wrote a thesis during a master's program.
  • Individuals hoping to enter a field that values syntax and grammar often better their writing skills by completing a thesis.
  • Students who write a thesis can submit the final product to various academic journals, increasing their chances of getting published.
  • Theses expand students' understanding of what they're capable of, deepen their ability to carry out an argument, and develop their skills in making connections between ideas.

Why a Non-thesis Program

  • Because they don't require a significant written product, non-thesis master's tend to take less time to complete.
  • Often mirrors a bachelor's program in terms of structure, allowing learners to complete classes and take exams without a great deal of research or writing.
  • Students who excel in project-based assignments can continue building skills in this arena rather than focusing on skills they don't plan to use (e.g. research)
  • Provides learners the opportunity to work more closely and more frequently with faculty on real-world projects since they don't spend hundreds of hours researching/writing.
  • Allows learners to take more classes and gain hands-on skills to fill the time they would have spent researching and writing a thesis.

How to Choose a Master's Program: FAQs

Within some academic disciplines and professional fields, research and writing plays a key role in work done on a daily basis. Because of this, master's programs in these fields require learners to complete theses to compete against peers and be seen as competent in their work. Other disciplines, conversely, rely on other tools to accomplish work and progress ideas – making theses less important.

Yes. Master's programs focused more on application than research typically don't require a thesis – although they may still give students the option. Examples of common non-thesis master's programs include nursing, business, and education.

Even though non-thesis students won't be writing a 100-page paper, that doesn't mean they avoid completing a significant project. In place of a thesis, most applied master's programs require students to take part in at least one internship or complete a culminating project. These projects typically ask learners to take what they learned throughout coursework and create an expansive final project – examples include case studies, creative works, or portfolios.

While students who followed a non-thesis path routinely receive acceptance to Ph.D. programs, those with theses often find the process easier. Even if a learner pursues a Ph.D. in a discipline that isn't research-heavy, admissions panels still want to get a sense of your academic interests and ability to engage in independent, nuanced thought. Students with theses can provide solid proof of these skills, while those without may struggle to demonstrate preparedness as thoroughly.

The answer to this question depends on many factors, but typically it is okay not to do a thesis if you plan to enter a field that doesn't depend heavily on research or writing, or if you don't plan to complete a Ph.D.

Students wanting to work in academic, research, or writing should always opt for the thesis track. They should also follow this path if they have any doctoral degree aspirations.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to complete a thesis rests with the individual student. Figuring out how to proceed on this front requires lots of careful consideration, and learners should ensure they consider various aspects before coming to a final decision. The following section helps students consider how they should and should not come to a conclusion.

Dos and Don'ts of Choosing a Thesis or Non-thesis Program

  • Consider the longevity of your decision: will you feel the same in 5-10 years or are you making a decision based on current desires?
  • Talk to others who with experience in this area. Ask them questions about their decision-making process and if they regret their choice.
  • Research potential thesis topics before starting a program. Going in with a game plan can help you feel more confident and settled about the process than if you're scrambling for a topic while in school.
  • Reach out to prospective schools to speak with faculty and/or current students following both tracks. This will provide knowledge specific to the school while also expanding your network if you choose to attend there.
  • Research Ph.D. entrance requirements to ascertain if the majority expect learners to possess a thesis when applying. This will give you a sense of whether you may experience issues later on if you do not complete one.
  • Decide not to complete a thesis simply because you have never taken on such a task and feel overwhelmed or fearful that you will fail.
  • Complete a thesis simply because you think it will look good on your resume. Theses require intense devotion over an extended amount of time; learners who complete them without conviction often find the process miserable.
  • Forget to research alternatives to writing a thesis. Just because you don't complete a research paper doesn't mean a non-thesis track lacks rigor or challenging coursework.
  • Forget to read examples of theses by previous students. If you feel overwhelmed by the task, reading work other people have done can often make the task at hand feel less scary.
  • Let yourself off easy by taking the non-thesis path. If you find you have extra time in the program, talk to your advisor about taking more classes, develop meaningful projects for yourself, or see about presenting at an academic conference.

From the Expert

Sudiksha Joshi

Sudiksha Joshi, Ph.D. is a learning advocate. Her mission is to empower our youth to think bigger, bolder thoughts and forge a career path that will change the world. She taps into her natural curiosity and ability to identify strengths to help students and those in transition find their path from feeling lost in the traditional ways of achieving success to charting their own path. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Medium and LinkedIn.

Why might a student decide to follow a thesis track? Why might they follow a non-thesis track?

A student might decide to take a thesis track if she/he wants to pursue a Ph.D. Also, if the students want to focus on careers where research and writing have a strong focus, the students opt for the thesis option. Research assistantships at the graduate level are also more often available to students who opt for the thesis option.

A student who might feel that writing is not one of their strengths might choose to go the non-thesis track. Likewise, a student who has other work commitments may find a non-thesis option more convenient.

Do you have any tips for deciding on a program?

I chose a thesis option because being able to conduct independent research was a big reason to go to graduate school. Also, showing the ability that I could do research was what afforded me research assistantships which meant that my tuition was paid for and I got a stipend that paid for expenses while I was in graduate school. This also allowed me the opportunity to work closely with the faculty mentor that provided me with the support and the accountability I wanted.

I would not recommend taking a non-thesis option if all the degree requires is for you to take courses. You have little to show in terms of your learning other than your grades unless you are already working on something on the side that does that for you and all you need is a certificate.

Opt for a non-thesis option if you can still work closely with a professor or on a project and if you'd rather be involved in multiple projects rather than focus on a single project. If you already have a good (informed) reason for choosing one over the other, go for it.

What's the most important thing to consider when choosing a program?

The most important thing to consider when choosing a program is getting excited about the projects that at least one of the faculty members are involved in. Do some research and see why you are excited about a particular work that at least one of the faculty members have been involved in.

Who should students talk to when considering options?

Students should talk to other students and also reach out directly to the graduate coordinator and even individual faculty members. This means that students should have done prior homework and have some good questions ready. Asking good questions will get you at least halfway through to make the right decision.

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Masters Thesis vs. PhD Dissertation: Key Differences

grad school thesis necessary

Whether you are a graduate student just starting out in academia or a professor advising a student, making the distinction between a dissertation and a thesis is critically important to writing a strong dissertation and becoming a stronger writer. Unfortunately, the difference remains unclear since the terms are used interchangeably by graduate students, doctoral researchers, academic publishers & universities.

If you’re not sure whether you’re writing a thesis or a dissertation, this article will help you understand the differences between the two whether you’re a PhD or master’s degree student.

Main Differences Between a Dissertation and a Thesis

While theses and dissertations share many similarities (they are both advanced graduate research papers), they actually refer to two different types of academic writing, and their differences include important concepts such as scope, purpose, length, and research requirements.

Most importantly, the difference between a thesis and a dissertation depends on the level of education. Far beyond being a simple essay, a thesis is for graduate students pursuing a master’s degree while a dissertation is written by doctoral students, also referred to as PhD candidates.

There are a few key differences between a thesis versus a dissertation.

The biggest difference between a thesis and a dissertation is that a thesis makes arguments based on existing research. Meanwhile, a dissertation often requires the PhD candidate to conduct research and then perform an analysis.

More specifically, a thesis often takes the form of a literature review , which is a compilation of research knowledge in a particular field of study that proves one is competent in that subject. On the other hand, a dissertation is a more specific type of research paper written by those working toward a specific doctorate degree that contributes knowledge, theory, or methods to a field of study.

What is a master’s thesis?

A master’s thesis is an academic research paper that requires a greater degree of research than an undergraduate thesis or term paper. It is marked by a higher standard of writing, and students are expected to demonstrate competence, literacy, and mastery of a subject. It usually takes two or three years to complete. Finally, a master’s degree thesis is usually written in order to obtain a research degree and is not intended to be published separately.

What is a PhD dissertation?

A PhD dissertation is a substantial piece of independent research that is required of all students who are pursuing a doctorate degree. It is a piece of original work that has not been published elsewhere and, most importantly, makes a new contribution to the field. This contribution may be a new way of thinking about an existing topic or even a novel theory. The research performed for a dissertation is usually conducted over a period of several years to half a decade.

Features of a Master’s Thesis vs PhD Dissertation

Content and structural differences.

So how is dissertation writing different from thesis writing?

Now that you know the definitions of a dissertation and thesis, let’s dive into some clear ways in which they differ in structure and other main characteristics.

How long is a thesis vs dissertation?

Length is the most obvious factor in differentiating between writing a thesis or dissertation. 

Generally, a doctoral dissertation has greater breadth, depth, and intention than a master’s thesis since it is based on original research. While the standard length of a master’s thesis is around 100 pages , a doctoral dissertation can be upwards of 400-500 pages. 

While most students can finish their PhD dissertation or thesis in as little as 1-2 years, it can take as long as 7 years depending on the school, program, and dissertation topic. As doctoral programs have their own formatting requirements, check with your school or university to find out what you need for your own dissertation or thesis. Most dissertations are organized into chapters, but the number of chapters varies as well.

Differences in research methods

A thesis and dissertation are both graduate-level research reports. This means they require students to investigate and report on a specific topic. But what is the difference in the scale of research between a master’s versus doctoral degree? The answer comes down to how much and what type of data you collect .

Data sources for a thesis vs dissertation

A master’s thesis is limited to secondary or reported knowledge . This knowledge has already been published, analyzed, and scrutinized in the literature. A thesis does not typically offer anything new in that regard. Your purpose is usually to write a comprehensive literature review on a novel or underreported topic using already-reported data.

On the other hand, a doctoral dissertation reports on  novel data  and is published so it can be scrutinized by others. It culminates in your dissertation defense.

The above lists clearly show that a PhD researcher and dissertation writer must have specific hands-on experience about not only the result of others’ research but also how the researchers obtained the data. A dissertation must venture into criticism of how other studies performed their experiments, whereas a master’s student will only report on and evaluate the results.

Differences in research scope 

As mentioned above, a thesis is more of a literature review written to demonstrate competence and mastery of a field of study. In short, you are a reliable “reporter” of information related to that subject. A thesis shows that you know the technical jargon, understand the subject, are familiar with industry tools, and can translate that information to a general audience. This is why a master’s degree is sufficient and often preferred for industry jobs.

In contrast, a doctoral dissertation goes beyond simply using the building blocks of your subject and actually creates new tools, knowledge, and theories to advance the subject as a whole. If a master’s degree holder is like a seasoned Rolling Stone journalist, then a doctorate is the band/musician who actually makes the music.

dissertation vs thesis comparison chart

So should you pursue a thesis or a dissertation?

The benefits of earning a graduate degree are huge. According to the US Census Bureau , those with an advanced degree earn 3.7 times as much as a high school dropout, and 13.1% hold a master’s, professional, or doctorate degree. If you’re a curious undergraduate student thinking of applying to graduate school, which is the right choice?

In short, a dissertation is more focused and in-depth than a thesis. While a doctoral dissertation is based on original research, a thesis is often an extension or review of others’ research in order to demonstrate literacy. Further, a dissertation can be used as the basis or subject of a thesis, but not vice versa.

Editing a Dissertation vs Thesis

So far, we’ve focused a lot on differences such as research and purpose, but in the end, a thesis or dissertation is a written document that requires skill, focus, discipline, subject knowledge, organization, and scheduling. 

For non-native English speakers, the challenge is especially difficult since English is the lingua franca of academia and research. 

How does an editing service improve your dissertation or thesis ?

From body spacing and pagination, to font size and citation formatting, the dissertation guidelines are exhaustive. Even worse, they vary by school. So besides the actual English writing and grammar, graduate students must worry about consistency, formatting, nomenclature, and terminology. That’s quite the burden!

This is why it’s very common for graduate students, especially ESL and foreign ones, to seek out dissertation editing services that specifically cater to the academic needs of researchers and students.

Here are just a few reasons why dissertation proofreading is so helpful and what these editors do:

  • Correct grammar, punctuation, syntax, and structural errors
  • Offer suggestions to rewrite, remove, and revise writing
  • Ensure formatting and nomenclature are consistent
  • Knowledgeable academic editors with master’s and PhD degrees
  • Free up your time to focus on research, revisions, and content instead of looking for mistakes
  • Provide a  language editing certificate , which may be necessary for non-native English-speaking students

Lastly, most PhD advisors recommend that students seek out professional editing services , specifically thesis editing or dissertation editing , since professors prefer to assess the actual research content of a dissertation, not mundane writing errors. Any graduate student reading this knows professors don’t like their time to be wasted! 

Be sure to check out other academic resources on how to improve your academic manuscript and the benefits of proofreading and editing.

And try the Wordvice FREE Citation Generator, which provides citations for four academic formatting styles:  APA Citation Generator , MLA Citation Generator , Chicago Citation Generator , and Vancouver Citation Generator .

Academia Insider

Is writing a masters thesis hard? Tips on how to write a thesis

Graduate school quite often requires its students to create a thesis showcasing the research work they have done throughout their course.

It’s funny that quite often students do not have any practical guidance on how to complete a thesis with the least amount of stress.

Writing a master’s thesis can be incredibly difficult if you try to write it without any structure or knowledge of the process. However, by focusing on structure and story first you’ll be able to significantly cut down the effort required to produce a Masters thesis.

I was able to write my master’s thesis in a couple of months due to the fact I had all of my data already collected and readily available for interpretation.

This article will go through everything you need to know about writing a Masters thesis and how to make it as easy as possible.

What is a master’s thesis?

A master’s thesis is an academic document that is produced in a postgraduate masters degree that demonstrates the student’s ability to conduct independent research within a specific field of study.

It is written and submitted to the University as evidence that the candidate can provide a deeper analysis into the chosen topic than what is expected from undergraduate studies.

It is typically between 30 and 100 pages or 25,000 to 50,000 words in length. However, the exact length can be very different depending on the field of study.

The thesis can include:

  • research and findings from previous studies – in order to provide a background and justification for the current study.
  • original work developed by the student – highlighting the student’s ability to formulate a research question, develop methodology to answer that question, create data and analysis, and present the work in a clear and logical fashion.

A faculty member or academic supervisor typically guides the student throughout the entire Masters process, providing feedback on ideas and drafts and ensuring academic robustness.

In some cases, students may be required to present their thesis to a panel of faculty members for review and evaluation before graduation. For example, when I finish my masters in chemistry I was required to present my computational chemistry research project to my peers and faculty members who then questioned and critiqued my work.

Having their work critiqued in front of others can be quite confronting process for many students, however, this is a normal part of academia and learning to navigate this process will help you in your future career.

Why is writing a thesis or a dissertation hard? Thesis writing tips

There is no doubt that writing a thesis or dissertation is a difficult challenge for many graduate students. That is because they have, quite simply, not done anything quite like this before.

Not only are they required to conduct research, but they must also use their technical writing skills in order to organize their thoughts and turn them into an effective paper. Not something that is explicitly taught in universities.

Quite often we hope that students will absorb the thesis writing skills by a process of osmosis and by doing.

Writing your thesis requires a large amount of time and effort, as it involves:

  • researching and gathering relevant data,
  • formulating an argument,
  • conducting analysis and evaluation, and finally
  • organizing the results into a report.

All of these tasks can be daunting for someone who may not have had much experience with academic writing before.

Most graduate students will also need to learn how to correctly cite sources in order to avoid plagiarism. As such, this is not a task that should be taken lightly and requires significant dedication from the student in order to complete successfully.

In order to complete your thesis successfully this is the order in which I go through tasks:

How is a Masters thesis assessed and examined? Submit a thesis successfully

A Masters thesis is typically submitted to the University for review by an internal review panel or is sent out to experts in the field for a more thorough peer-review.

Exactly what process is used is dependent on the University policy and guidelines.

For example, my chemistry master’s thesis was reviewed internally whereas my friend who went to another UK institution for his masters had his thesis sent out for peer review in other institutions.

Understanding exactly what would happen to your thesis before you submit is important part of having your thesis passed.

Institutions may require different criteria for assessment and examination, such as originality of content and how well it meets the objectives set out in the initial proposal.

Universities may also require submission of supporting evidence if needed by the examiners.

The examiners can:

  • pass the thesis with no corrections
  • pass the thesis with minor corrections – common in academia
  • suggest a major rewrite of the thesis – this happens if there are major scientific or research-based mistakes throughout the thesis
  • rejected the thesis – if the examiners are not confident that the thesis provides enough evidence for submission into the degree the reviewers may outright reject and suggest that it gets downgraded.

Your supervisor should do everything in their power to ensure that you are passing with minor or no corrections.

If you want to know more about a Masters’s thesis you can check out my other articles:

  • How Long is a Masters Thesis? [Your writing guide]
  • How to write a masters thesis in 2 months [Easy steps to start writing]

How long should a thesis or a dissertation be? Effective tips 

A Masters thesis should be an original work of research and writing, typically between 30 and 100 pages in length.

Whereas a PhD thesis can be anywhere between 50 and 450 pages and between 60,000 and 80,000 words.

The exact length will vary significantly depending on the subject and specific requirements set by your university or department.

While a thesis may be shorter than a dissertation, it will still require a significant amount of research and analysis. And sometimes it is easier to write words than to try and condense what you are trying to say into a smaller thesis.

If you want to know more about how long a thesis or dissertation as you can check out my other article – click here – it will give you all of the juicy data.

It is important to thoroughly develop your argument and provide sufficient detail to support your claims. To ensure that you have covered all necessary information, it is best to consult with faculty members or colleagues who have gone through the dissertation or thesis process before.

How long should a master’s thesis be? Tips on how to write

A master’s thesis can be a huge undertaking and should not be taken lightly.

It is important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all answer for how long a Masters thesis should be. My thesis is 60 pages long however a more theoretical thesis may be much shorter.

It is much better to break down the thesis into sections and make sure that you provide enough information to satisfy a reviewer. That focus on length rather focus on making pass peer-review for your subject.

It should include:

  • a title page,
  • table of contents,
  • introduction, including a literature review
  • main body, presenting all of your results and findings in a logical fashion
  • conclusion and discussions
  • references.
  • Appendices (optional)

Depending on the subject matter and the research methodology used, some theses may be longer than others.

As a general rule of thumb, most master’s theses are between 50 and 100 pages in length including citations.

Writing a master’s thesis can be an intimidating task but it doesn’t have to be too daunting if you start writing early and break down your project into smaller chunks.

I always start with the heading outline and you can check out my exact process in my YouTube video, below.

Make sure you review all guidelines given by your supervisor or instructor before starting your thesis so that you will have an idea of what needs to be included in order to fulfill all criteria successfully.

What is writing a masters thesis like? 

From experience I can tell you that writing a master’s thesis can be both exciting and daunting.

That is because the skills to complete a thesis without losing your mind are not specifically taught in undergraduate.

It requires dedication, focus, and hard work to complete a successful thesis. Many students find themselves combating imposter syndrome as they write because there are many stages where you feel like your writing is rubbish and you are not clever enough.

However, with continual improvements and feedback from your supervisor, you’ll be able to overcome this hurdle and if it is good enough you supervisor – it is good enough for you.

The general steps of a Masters means that you’ll need to identify your research topic, develop an outline of your project, write drafts of each chapter, edit your work thoroughly, and potentially defend the final product in front of a panel of experts.

During this process it is important to stay organized, keep track of deadlines, and remember to take time for yourself while also staying focused on your studies.

With determination and effort you can successfully complete a master’s thesis that will be rewarding not only academically but also personally as you reflect on all the hard work that went into it.

Can I finish masters thesis in 2 months? Your advisor will be the road block

Completing a master’s thesis in two months is an ambitious goal, but it is not impossible.

As long as you are able to work continuously little by little breaking up the big goal into small achievable chance you can get there.

I wrote my master’s thesis in two months by locking myself in the University library and fuelling myself with chocolate and V (caffeine energy drink).

I’m not saying that this is the best way to do it – I just needed to get it done and this was how I survived.

No matter what the path you choose writing a Masters thesis in two months requires determination, organization, and dedication to make it happen.

You will need to create a detailed plan which incorporates the research process, writing style and pace, and any necessary revisions.

It’s very important that you also set aside time for self-care so you don’t become overwhelmed or exhausted with the task and it remains manageable. 

Additionally, enlisting the help of friends, and any other academic that you trust (even outside of your field) to provide feedback on your drafts can be very beneficial in ensuring that your final product meets your expectations.

With careful planning and hard work it is possible to finish a master’s thesis in two months.

Wrapping up

This article has been through everything you need to know about how hard it is to write a Masters thesis.

The skills required to complete your thesis are not explicitly taught in universities, but following a process of setting out the headings and chapters, placing bullet points under each heading and chapter with data, turning the bullet points into words and sentences, seems to be the only way to ensure that you complete your thesis without going insane.

Remember to factor in some time for self-care so you don’t become overwhelmed.

grad school thesis necessary

Dr Andrew Stapleton has a Masters and PhD in Chemistry from the UK and Australia. He has many years of research experience and has worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Associate at a number of Universities. Although having secured funding for his own research, he left academia to help others with his YouTube channel all about the inner workings of academia and how to make it work for you.

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/images/cornell/logo35pt_cornell_white.svg" alt="grad school thesis necessary"> Cornell University --> Graduate School

Guide to writing your thesis/dissertation, definition of dissertation and thesis.

The dissertation or thesis is a scholarly treatise that substantiates a specific point of view as a result of original research that is conducted by students during their graduate study. At Cornell, the thesis is a requirement for the receipt of the M.A. and M.S. degrees and some professional master’s degrees. The dissertation is a requirement of the Ph.D. degree.

Formatting Requirement and Standards

The Graduate School sets the minimum format for your thesis or dissertation, while you, your special committee, and your advisor/chair decide upon the content and length. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, and other mechanical issues are your sole responsibility. Generally, the thesis and dissertation should conform to the standards of leading academic journals in your field. The Graduate School does not monitor the thesis or dissertation for mechanics, content, or style.

“Papers Option” Dissertation or Thesis

A “papers option” is available only to students in certain fields, which are listed on the Fields Permitting the Use of Papers Option page , or by approved petition. If you choose the papers option, your dissertation or thesis is organized as a series of relatively independent chapters or papers that you have submitted or will be submitting to journals in the field. You must be the only author or the first author of the papers to be used in the dissertation. The papers-option dissertation or thesis must meet all format and submission requirements, and a singular referencing convention must be used throughout.

ProQuest Electronic Submissions

The dissertation and thesis become permanent records of your original research, and in the case of doctoral research, the Graduate School requires publication of the dissertation and abstract in its original form. All Cornell master’s theses and doctoral dissertations require an electronic submission through ProQuest, which fills orders for paper or digital copies of the thesis and dissertation and makes a digital version available online via their subscription database, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses . For master’s theses, only the abstract is available. ProQuest provides worldwide distribution of your work from the master copy. You retain control over your dissertation and are free to grant publishing rights as you see fit. The formatting requirements contained in this guide meet all ProQuest specifications.

Copies of Dissertation and Thesis

Copies of Ph.D. dissertations and master’s theses are also uploaded in PDF format to the Cornell Library Repository, eCommons . A print copy of each master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation is submitted to Cornell University Library by ProQuest.

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Q: Is it possible to write a thesis and obtain a doctoral degree without going to graduate school?

I quit my university (master course) 15 years ago, just before completion (graduation). I am presently working at a research institution (since about a year). I think getting a master or doctoral degree would be good for growth and promotion in my work. However, I am hesitating to go to school as I assume doing so while working would be difficult. In the meantime, I have come to know that there is a ‘doctoral degree by thesis only.’ Is it possible to write a thesis and get a degree without going to graduate school?

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Asked by Mayu Aizawa on 02 Apr, 2020

It is commendable that you are considering getting a master’s or doctoral degree while working. You seem to have some concerns about this though, but your concerns are understandable.

However, before responding to your query and discussing your options, I would like to discuss two other points.

  • Completing your master’s : Before starting off on your PhD, it might help to go back and complete your master’s. This is for multiple reasons. As you have written, you were close to completing it. So, if your university allows, it might take you only a short while to do so. Completing your master’s would improve your credentials and confidence for pursuing a PhD. Additionally, it would help you assess if the PhD path, especially mid-career, would be suitable for you. Of course, you may also pursue your PhD without obtaining your master’s, but completing your master’s would really help. And don’t worry, there are others who have been in a similar situation. You may read of one such researcher here: It took me 7 years to earn my master's degree
  • Discussing with your present institution : You have been working with your present institution for about a year, in perhaps a research-based role, and now possibly see opportunities for growing here. It might then help to discuss with a supervisor or senior whether doing your master’s or PhD would help you grow here, and if so, how. Your supervisor or senior is likely to offer more practical advice, rooted in the realities of your present role and future possibilities. Additionally, they may be able to guide or even help you with the financial requirements of pursuing a higher education degree, along with offering options for leave necessary to complete the degree(s). Finally, they may also be able to suggest alternatives if needed.

Coming to your query, here are some options that might be available.

  • PhD by thesis only : It is possible nowadays to acquire a PhD by submitting only a thesis. You may research to find out which institutes offer such a program. While this might be more suited to your present circumstances, note that there may be some disadvantages to this compared with a PhD by coursework. A course-based PhD offers a better preparation ground for a life in research. Additionally, you gain from interactions with colleagues and supervisors. However, your present institution too could help address both these gaps.
  • Online/Distance PhD : This is an option for busy academics, those with limited access to PhD programs in their location, or those with special circumstances (such as yourself). Some of these require at least some physical attendance, whereas others are completely online. You may find out more about these through a web search.
  • PhD by publication : Through this, you need to publish papers in journals, which you then collate into a single thesis for your PhD. This is known as a paper-based thesis . Again, you can find out about such programs through an online search.
  • Master of Research (MRes) : If, for some reason, you are not permitted to go back to your former university and completer your master’s, you may consider doing an MRes. This typically is a one-year program that leads into a PhD. This allows you to do the master’s more by yourself, going to university once in a while or so. Similar to a regular master’s, this allows you to assess if the research life is meant for you. However, for the same reasons, this requires you to take more of the initiative, which actually is the case with all the options discussed above.

A PhD of any kind can be fulfilling and rewarding, personally and professionally, but also requires a significant amount of commitment. Also, there are many stories of people taking a break to complete their PhD and also of obtaining their PhD later in life, while managing challenges of family life and work pressure. Here is one such story, shared through a webinar we organized some time ago: How I juggled a full-time profession and a PhD at 55

Here are some other resources that you may find helpful:

  • The life of a PhD: Responses from a live Q&A with researchers
  • 15 Career paths for PhDs and postdocs
  • How to manage work life balance as a postdoc scientist

Hope this helps. Again, do consider discussing with someone at your present institution to determine what is the best way of proceeding.

Wish you the very best for whatever you decide – and for the future!

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Answered by Editage Insights on 06 Apr, 2020

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The Graduate School

University information technology (uit), main navigation, thesis frequently asked questions, formatting & manuscript requirements, how do i produce the format required by the university of utah.

The Handbook for Theses and Dissertations provides detailed information about process and formatting.

Templates, guides, and sample pages are also available .

How do I know if my manuscript meets University of Utah requirements?

You will be notified by the Thesis Office if revisions are needed. Manuscripts with the following problems will NOT be reviewed for Format Approval:

  • Unacceptable font style and size
  • Incorrect margins (correct margins are 1 1/4 inches on the left and right and 1 inch on the top and bottom)
  • Inconsistent spacing of headings and subheadings
  • Large gaps in the text
  • Incorrect placement of tables and/or figures
  • Serious typographical and grammatical errors (evidence that the manuscript has not been proofread by the committee)

If the manuscript has these errors, it will be returned to the student as well as the student’s committee chair and department chair. The processing timeline will start over when the student resubmits a correctly formatted manuscript. New signatures do not need to be collected.

I’m using LaTeX, I found a template on another website/my friend gave me a copy of their template, can I use this?

You can only use this if it matches our handbook requirements and if you are competent enough in LaTeX to ensure that if there are formatting issues that you can fix them.

Using the template does not guarantee that your manuscript is free of formatting errors, you must consult the handbook so that you know what the formatting should look like and that the template is creating the correct formatting. Check your PDF for errors after compiling.

LaTeX templates

  • math.utah.edu
  • Overleaf - created and uploaded by a student

How can I get a preliminary format review of my thesis or dissertation?

Any time prior to your defense, you may submit a PDF copy of the thesis or dissertation.

You should have at least one chapter finished; we do not need to see the entire thing. In order to maximize the helpfulness of the preliminary review, it is helpful if the chapter you send us contains elements you are not certain you formatted correctly, such as tables, figures, and equations.

We do not conduct preliminary reviews during the reading period between the submission target date and the ProQuest upload deadline.

Where can I obtain information about U.S. copyright law?

The Handbook for Theses and Dissertations contains a general description of U.S. copyright law .

For more detailed information, see the Marriott Library's Copyright Overview and Resources information.

If you've used content protected by copyright, you must obtain permission to quote that material.

  • For material owned by individuals and small presses who do not have a permissions department, submit the Permission to Quote Copyrighted Material form .
  • For larger publishers, check their websites for permission to reprint and/or copyright.com .

The form to collect Multiple Author Releases is located at the bottom of the manuscript submission page on the Thesis Office website.

May I request a delayed release of my thesis or dissertation due to patent or copyright/journal publication concerns?

Yes, you may request a delayed release of your manuscript from ProQuest of up to 3 years when you create an account after receiving Format Approval.

Under publishing options, you can select a delay of 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years. If you require the full 3 years, contact the website administrator, Kelly Harward , to request that option.

You may also request an embargo in OnBase on the Uspace permission form after you receive Format Approval.

Submission & Target Dates

When do i submit my thesis or dissertation for format approval.

You may submit your thesis or dissertation for Format Approval by the Thesis Office only after the defense and after the final version is approved by the committee chair and department chair. The manuscript should be submitted to the Thesis Office within 2 weeks after the defense.

Manuscripts submitted without departmental approval will be routed into a pending queue and will remain there until signatures come in. The Supervisory Committee Approval form and Final Reading Approval form must be filled out and signed electronically by the appropriate people before the manuscript will move into the working queue for processing.

Please specify the style guide  you followed to the Thesis Office. Manuscripts will be reviewed in the order in which they are received and according to the date the last necessary signatures is received.

What are the target dates for submission?

The Thesis Office calendar on The Graduate School website provides the target dates for submission for each semester.

How do I get my document into PDF format in order to submit it through the online portal?

You may use any of the campus or departmental converters.

The University of Utah’s Software Licensing Department offers licenses of Adobe for use in creating PDFs. Adobe is the best software for creating manuscripts accessible to those readers who are vision impaired and others who utilize screen and document readers.

I submitted my manuscript a day after the target date for graduation in the semester, is there any chance I’ll get thesis release in time to graduate for the semester?

After the target date we are busy working on processing and editing those manuscripts that were turned in on time. Manuscripts turned in after the target date will be processed on a best-effort basis, after the on-time manuscripts are processed.

If the manuscript is free from errors, it may be possible to receive clearance within a few days and thesis release for graduation would then be possible, though you should expect the possibility that you will graduate the following semester.

If you turn in your manuscript during the second half of finals week you will graduate in the following semester as we must finish all thesis releases by the final day of the semester.

What if I’m missing a committee member’s signature?

We cannot read a manuscript for format approval until we are certain that there will be no further changes to the text required by the committee.

You must have a majority of signatures from the members of your committee, including the committee chair on file with the Thesis Office before we will begin working on your manuscript.

  • Master’s students : you must have 2 committee signatures AND the signatures of your committee and department chairs.
  • Doctoral students : you must have 3 signatures AND the signatures of your committee and department chairs.

Review Process

How long does this whole process take.

How long it takes to get a manuscript from first submission through Thesis Release is dependent in part on how available the student is to participate in the editing process.

You should expect to receive a review of the manuscript within 1-2 business days after submission of your manuscript depending on the volume of manuscripts we are processing at that time. The closer to the target date for the semester the higher a volume of manuscripts our office is processing.

If everything is acceptable, you may proceed to upload to ProQuest. The ProQuest document upload check, and review of copyright and reprint permission documents will take an additional 1-2 business days after the student successfully uploads the document ProQuest.

The Thesis Log says I received a Format Review, what does that mean?

Before the editors read a manuscript, they check the manuscript for major formatting errors. If major formatting errors are found, those errors are noted on the manuscript pages. The document is then marked as a Format Review in the Thesis Tracking Log and returned to the student to correct the formatting errors.

If you see this note in the tracking log, check your email for a message from your editor (check spam if you can’t find it in the main email box). If you can’t find the email, email your thesis editor for further instruction.

For what constitutes a major formatting error, see the question “How do I know if my manuscript meets University of Utah requirements?”

What is the difference between Format Approval and Thesis Release?

Format approval is granted after the editors have determined that the manuscript is formatted correctly, adheres to the chosen style guide, and has been checked for grammar and spelling errors. When you receive format approval you have permission to upload your manuscript to ProQuest.

Thesis release is issued after the document has been uploaded to ProQuest, checked to make sure that it is the approved version and that it has not been corrupted by the .pdf converter or upload, and that all required signed forms and permissions have been received by the Thesis Office.

How do I expedite the thesis format approval process to meet a specific deadline?

Students can speed up their manuscript review time by simplifying the format of their manuscript. A minimal format manuscript style can be helpful if you need a very fast time frame for writing and approval, as our editors can more quickly get through your manuscript, and you will have an easier time making any needed corrections. See Expediting Your Manuscript for details.

I have a job that depends on my having graduated/met all the requirements for graduation. Can you expedite Thesis Release?

The speed a manuscript moves through our office depends in large part on how well the graduate student has prepared their manuscript, and how available they are to make any required corrections.

Students that

  • read the handbook carefully,
  • submit their manuscript for a preliminary review to identify issues early,
  • attend what workshops and consultations and open office hours that are available to them,
  • and make corrections in a timely fashion

can move through our office in two days once the required signatures are received.

The more errors within the manuscript the longer it will take to get through the process to thesis release. Using a minimal formatting template can help you create your manuscript and get it approved faster. See Expediting Your Manuscript for details.

Before receiving Thesis Release

If you have an urgent need to prove your degree status, the Dean of The Graduate School can provide a signed letter certifying that you have completed all Departmental and University requirements for your degree except for thesis release. To request a letter from the Dean, contact Darci Rollins .

After receiving Thesis Release

Once you have been given thesis release you can request an official statement of completion pending conferral. See Statement of Degree Completion for details.

I’ve received Format Approval and uploaded to ProQuest! I’m graduated now, right?

You’re almost there. Once you’ve uploaded to ProQuest, the Thesis Editor will check your upload to make sure that the manuscript is the approved version and has not been corrupted by the .pdf converter or upload. The Thesis Editor will issue a thesis release after approving your upload.

After receiving thesis release you may or may not be ready for graduation depending on whether or not you’ve met your other requirements, but you’re finished as far as the publication requirement for graduation.

The Graduate Records Office in the Graduate School is responsible for reviewing your entire academic record (thesis approval, program of study, GPA, exams, departmental and university requirements) and issues the approval for Graduation to the Registrar within a few days after the thesis release.

When do I need to defend in order to graduate in a specific semester?

The earlier you defend in a given semester, the more likely you are to be able to graduate that same semester. Check the Thesis Calendar to see when the submission target date is. You need to defend far enough ahead of that target date that you can make any changes to the text required by your committee and ensure that the manuscript adheres to your chosen style guide and Thesis Office requirements by the target date.

Be aware that if you submit your manuscript on the target date and there are major formatting errors, you may not have sufficient time to make all the necessary changes to the documents to resubmit before the ProQuest deadline. The sooner you turn your manuscript in the more likely you are to graduate in that semester.

As a general rule of thumb, plan to defend at least 3 weeks before the end of the semester to ensure you can graduate that semester. A dissertation with no changes required by the committee may be able to be defended closer to the end of the semester and still have sufficient time to complete the thesis clearance and graduation process. The closer you submit to the target date the tighter the revision turn-around deadlines will be and the likelihood of not graduating in your chosen semester grows.

How may I verify that I have completed all requirements for graduation?

After the Thesis Office notifies you that the electronic thesis and dissertation was approved, you may monitor your graduation status by logging into the Campus Information System and clicking on the personal graduation information link.

Publishing: Electronic and Hard Copies

Will the marriott library continue to produce a bound hard copy for the departments.

No. Departments may produce their own hard copies or require that students provide a bound hard copy for them.

What are my options for producing bound hard copies for me and my department?

The University Press has options for binding. There are also several online options. ProQuest sells bound copies of your dissertation or thesis, as well, though these are not mailed to students until the manuscript has been published, which might take a semester or so after graduation.

How do I locate the published version of my electronic thesis or dissertation?

After your graduation, your thesis or dissertation will be available electronically at:

  • USpace (if permission has been granted)
  • ProQuest Digital Dissertations

Still have questions? Ask the Thesis Office.

How to Survive and Complete a Thesis or a Dissertation

Writing a thesis or a dissertation can be a challenging process for many graduate students. There are so many chapters to complete, and writing each individual chapter requires an immense amount of hard work and a strong motivation.

On top of that, every time you are ready to write, you have to deal with an intimidating blank page. That blank page can make you feel very anxious. You might start thinking your mentor will dislike what you are going to convey on it. You might also feel like you are unable to come up with a perfect paragraph—or even one perfect sentence. Oftentimes, when you stumble during this inconvenient dilemma, you just want to give up and walk away from it.

Writing a thesis or a dissertation also takes a significant amount of your time. To complete all the chapters, you are likely to have to sacrifice your social life, family time, personal time, or more importantly, your sleep time.

For many students, this process is equivalent to a long marathon. To finish a race, an athlete must keep running mile after mile to cross the finish line. Likewise, after finishing all your research experiments, it takes a few more steps to get to that finish line—you must complete, defend and submit a thesis or a dissertation to the graduate school.

Unfortunately, if you want to graduate, there are no shortcuts to avoid this tedious path. The only way to make this process less painful is by planning and executing good strategies to survive and complete it.

Why is writing a thesis or a dissertation hard?

For many graduate students, writing a thesis or a dissertation can be hard for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Technical writing can be long, daunting and tedious, particularly when you are uncomfortable with it.
  • Reading and understanding many scientific papers associated with your study is another hurdle to tackle before writing your thesis.
  • It takes significant time and efforts to write your research work and summarize them into one coherent document.
  • It’s hard to motivate yourself to keep writing.
  • You feel that your writing will never be good enough for the professors in your advisory committee.

What exactly is a thesis or a dissertation?

A thesis or a dissertation is a comprehensive document containing a graduate student’s research projects during graduate school. The purpose of a thesis or a dissertation is to communicate the research findings to other researchers.

In addition, this document is evidence of a graduate student’s research skills; such as identifying research problems, conducting a literature study, performing logical and critical thinking, managing and completing the research projects, and reporting all the findings.

What is the main difference between a thesis and a dissertation?

In the U.S., a thesis is a required document marking the completion of a Master’s degree, whereas a dissertation is a necessary document for completing a Ph.D. program. In the UK or other countries based on the British academic systems, a dissertation refers to a document at the end of an undergraduate or Master’s degree, whereas a thesis is essential for finishing a Ph.D program. For simplicity, we will refer to the U.S. definitions for this article.

The differences between a Thesis and a Dissertation

What are the common structures of a thesis or a dissertation?

In general, the main body of a thesis or a dissertation includes these sections:

  • Abstract : a brief summary of your study in a limited number of words.
  • Introduction : this section contains an introduction to your study—what it is about and why it is important.
  • Literature review : this section has an overview of key information, particularly from previous research, which guides and leads you to your study. The main purpose of this section is to establish a foundation for your study.
  • Chapter introduction : this should have an introduction specific for each research experiment.
  • Methodology : it should have detailed experimental procedures for each experiment.
  • Results and discussion: it contains all findings and discussion for each experiment.
  • Conclusion : this section has the summary, significance of the study, and future direction of the study.

Each graduate school has specific guidelines on how to shape a graduate thesis. Before you start writing your graduate thesis, familiarize yourself with the thesis structures, format and style required by your graduate school.

What to include in a thesis or a dissertation

When writing the main body of your graduate thesis, consider including these following pieces of information:

1.Introduction

  • The purpose of your study
  • The significance of your study
  • The research questions
  • The hypothesis
  • The expected outcome

2.Literature Review

  • The background of your research
  • Descriptions of previous studies
  • Comparisons and limitations of previous studies
  • The gaps in the previous studies
  • The explanation on how previous studies guided you to your study

3.Methodology

  • The materials you used in your study
  • The methods you performed to collect your data
  • Descriptions on how you analyzed your data
  • Illustrations of your data in graphs, tables and figures
  • Results of your study
  • The reliability of your findings
  • The significance of your analyses

5.Discussion

  • The interpretations and explanations of your results
  • The answers to your research questions
  • The significance and implications of your findings

How long should a thesis or a dissertation be?

Depending on the requirements of the university, a dissertation can range from 125 to 175 pages ( Pain, 2018 ), whereas a thesis can have fewer than 100 pages. However, the length of a thesis or a dissertation really depends on the writing style, chapters, and research projects. In fact, some dissertations may reach 200 pages due to the number of projects a Ph.D. candidate has.

How long does it take to write a graduate thesis?

Writing a thesis or a dissertation can range from two to six months. However, the process can be much quicker if a graduate student starts writing some sections before the final year. The following section will lay out some ideas on how you can start your writing early.

When to write a thesis or dissertation

For many graduate students, writing a thesis or a dissertation is commonly started during the final year of the graduate school. During that final year, most of the lab work should have been completed. Therefore, students can focus only on writing, without having to deal with too many interruptions from their experiments.

But actually, it’s possible to write a thesis or dissertation much earlier than that! As you prepare yourself for the qualifying exam, the literature review section is a good place to initiate your writing. For example, you can start a word file and fill it with important notes from scientific articles, which are relevant to your study. You can also include the references, so you can find them again later.

The methodology section is also a possible section to start as you run your experiments, write and organize your lab notebook. You can also organize, analyze your data and put them together into a graph or a table every time you complete an experiment. Doing this as you go along with make it far easier to piece together rather than trying to remember an experimental plan from 9-12 months ago.

How to complete a thesis or dissertation

  • Make a clear plan, set reasonable goals, and draw a timeline.
  • Divide and conquer—break your big goal (for example, finishing a methodology chapter) into smaller and more manageable tasks, such as writing materials and methods for each subsection. Otherwise, you can use the pieces of information to include in your chapters as a guide for your smaller tasks.
  • Focus on finishing your smaller tasks and avoid distractions.
  • Start smaller: write for at least for 15 minutes a day and then add more minutes when you become more comfortable with writing.
  • Write a certain number of lines or words every day, for example 5-10 lines or 100-200 words in a day.
  • Avoid procrastination—finish your daily writing before jumping into another task, particularly if it is unrelated to your writing. Working on small goals also helps avoid being overwhelmed and reduces procrastination.
  • Take a break and reward yourself after finishing each small task.
  • Keep track of your progress, so you can see how close you are to your goal.

Timeline for a thesis or a dissertation

  • Motivate yourself frequently (for example, by imagining your graduation day) and find support from your mentor, family, friends and fellow graduate students.
  • Recover quickly and move on when you hit a setback or meet an interruption during your writing. When you feel stuck in one section, you can work on another section first, and then come back to it later.
  • Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect thesis or dissertation, so just keep writing!

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Gould, J. (2016). What’s the point of the PhD thesis? Nature, 535(7610), 26–28. https://doi.org/10.1038/535026a.

GUIDELINES FOR WRITING A THESIS OR DISSERTATION. (n.d.). https://www.jou.ufl.edu/grad/forms/Guidelines-for-...

Guide to Writing Your Thesis/Dissertation : Graduate School. (n.d.). Gradschool.cornell.edu. Retrieved March 11, 2021, from https://gradschool.cornell.edu/academic-progress/t...

Pain, E. Apr. 30, 2018, & Pm, 3:00. (2018, April 30). How to write your Ph.D. thesis. Science | AAAS. https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2018/04/how-write-your-phd-thesis.

Theses and Dissertations. (n.d.). Www.lancaster.ac.uk. Retrieved March 17, 2021, from https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/library/resources/thes...

Thesis and Purpose Statements. (2019). Thesis and Purpose Statements. The Writing Center. https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/process/thesis_o...

What is a Ph.D. Dissertation? (2019). Purdue.edu. https://spaf.cerias.purdue.edu/StudentInfo/spaf.ht...

Writing a Dissertation | Biology. (n.d.). Bio.as.uky.edu. Retrieved March 15, 2021, from https://bio.as.uky.edu/writing-dissertation

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grad school thesis necessary

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  1. The Answer (Senior Thesis Film)

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COMMENTS

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