A Guide to a Complete Master’s Thesis: Step by Step

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A complete master’s thesis is a piece of original scholarship written under the direction of a faculty advisor. It is very important in student’s life as it helps them explore and discover some aspects in their field of study that they would like to work on as they grow on their career path..

How to write a Complete Master’s thesis

How long should it be?

A complete Master’s Thesis is usually 40- 80 pages (or more) in length. However, the length may vary due to different methods of analysis. If you are writing the thesis, the length should be based on your own decision as well as your committee. Since the Master’s Thesis is usually written for close to two semesters, I suggest that you start early. This will help you avoid a last-minute rush that leads to panic that will make you create a shallow Thesis.

Choosing a Topic

If you intend to write an appealing Thesis, then you should start thinking about possible topics early in your career. A thesis is very important since it comes in handy when applying for a specific job. Before you choose your topic, try to be open-minded and come up with a topic that is related to your knowledge and skills acquired during the course study. You should strive to ensure that the chosen topic is in line with your specialization in the respective field of study.

How to choose a good topic for your Master’s Thesis

  1. State your purpose for writing a thesis. To avoid getting bored or losing interest halfway, try to be creative and come up with an appealing topic for your thesis. This will be the guide as you’ll be writing. Don’t forget to set clear goals about what you want to achieve with your thesis. Your goals may revolve around; getting a degree, grabbing a certain job opportunity, helping other people in the community, and also getting a Master’s degree.
  2. Come up with interesting ideas for your Thesis. It is important to think about every stage in your thesis from beginning to end. Try to make it as interesting as possible. Make sure that what you are writing is appealing to you at each particular point. Although coming up with interesting ideas is overwhelming, you can try to think about your favorite subjects. This can help you create an amazing topic for your thesis. In addition, you can scan through any paper you have written during your study. This will help you create interesting ideas and also a wonderful topic. Moreover, don’t limit yourself from seeking help from your professors or faculty members. They might help you draft interesting ideas for your thesis.
  3. Determine the question for your Thesis. You should try to think about the possible questions for your thesis. You will have to come up with strong arguments for questions arising from your thesis. This is a very crucial factor in coming up with a topic thesis. Ensure that the questions will give you original content when writing your Master’s Thesis. The questions should be organized, well-focused and interesting. Lastly, write down 6- 10 questions in regards to your Thesis topic. They will be of importance in curving the way for the entire thesis.

Determining your Sources and Texts

 Write a Literature Review. You should try to review the literature that is relevant to your Master’s Thesis. The importance of reviewing the literature is to remove any form of redundancy in your Thesis. Make sure that your thesis idea is relevant and original to give you great results. Carry out research to determine what has been said about the topic and get a glimpse of the general opinion on your topic.

  1. Determine your primary sources. Primary resources refer to all ideas/ stories/ theories/ experiments that will act as background knowledge to your Thesis.
  2. Choose your secondary sources. These are sources that explain more about primary sources. Including secondary sources in your Thesis will ensure that you have an understanding of what has been said before about the subject with major scholars in your field of study. In addition, it is an indication that you have a solid understanding of the critical contexts of your topic.
  3. Run proper references & Citations. Keeping track of different citations you will come across is important. Most individuals tend to add the citations after they have completed the entire thesis which is not recommended. To keep track of your citations, you can use in-text citation formats such as; MLA, APA, and Chicago.

Planning an outline

  1. Be aware of your department’s requirements. Various Master Thesis have different formats and requirements. There are two types of Master’s thesis which include;
  • Quantitative– this is usually common among science students. Students are expected to, conduct experiments, measure data, and record the results.
  • Qualitative– This is usually common among humanities students. They require students to, complete a project that is exploratory, analytical, and creative in some way.
  1. Draft your thesis idea. You should come up with a central question that your entire thesis will be based on. This is a very critical part of compelling a nice Thesis. If you are having trouble trying to find a question that’ll be answered by your thesis, you should consider coming up with a new topic to avoid getting stuck along the way.
  2. Prepare an outline. An outline acts as a guide that shows your progress at each stage of your Master’s Thesis. It will show your committee members what you are planning to achieve at the end of your Thesis and how you’ll achieve your goal.
  3. Know what is required in a Master’s Thesis. Each institution is specific and strict on what must appear on your Master’s Thesis. Many Master’s thesis have; Title Page, Signature Page, Abstract, Table of contents, Introduction, Body of Paper, Conclusion, Works cited/ Bibliography, and any necessary appendices or endnotes.

Writing Process

First and foremost, you must create a writing schedule. I recommend that you use the reverse calendar method when creating a schedule. It involves creating the schedule from the Thesis’s due date to the day you are starting to write the Master’s Thesis. Moving on, try to write a little every single day. If you are writing an 80- page essay, try to write at least 1000 words every single day. Don’t forget to take regular breaks. Study reveals that regular breaks give your mind ample time to relax and come up with new quality ideas. Begin by writing the introduction, then incorporate the review of literature, contextualize your work, write your thesis, and finish with a strong conclusion. Any additional information can be added after the conclusion.

Lastly, prepare a thesis defense that you will use while presenting ideas to your committee members. Before printing, proofread your work to avoid any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes.. Take note of any printing guidelines according to your university’s department before submitting the Master’s thesis.

Final Thoughts

Writing a complete Master’s Thesis shouldn’t be a nightmare for you. Just take it as a challenge to better yourself as a person. Take your time to do proper research on topic ideas. Start early enough to avoid last-minute rushes. Believe in yourself and everything will turn out perfectly. I believe in you. All the best!!

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