How to Write a Master’s Thesis: Tips from Experts
How to write a Master’s thesis is a question that you should find the answer to before you start writing your paper. Read on and find out how to succeed.
What Is a Master’s Thesis Paper?
There are different types of thesis paper writing depending on the academic level or subject area. For example, undergraduate thesis papers are relatively short in length and less extensive in their scope of research. A Master’s thesis, on the other hand, requires in-depth research, where you have to investigate a topic inside out. Also, it takes more time to handle because such a paper is usually long.
The key to how to write a Master’s thesis well is to show theoretical and practical skills you have acquired over the course of study and the way you have improved in your knowledge and experience. For example, if you major in Psychology and are writing a Master’s thesis, you may investigate how certain music impacts emotional state or mood. For you, the focus of this Master’s paper would be to demonstrate how well you can apply knowledge and skills in practice when investigating this research topic.
No matter what topic or research field you specialize in, make sure your dissertation does the following:
helps prove that there is a research problem;
provides a roadmap for the readers to follow;
structures and develops the central argument.
Upon completion, you will defend the thesis in front of the committee and faculty members who you will choose.
Keep in mind that if you cannot handle the paper on your own or doubt you can do it well enough, it is always a prudent decision to buy Master’s thesis from professional custom writers. If you intend to work on the thesis on your own, check out professional tips on dealing with such kind of papers.
Keep in mind that the process of working on your dissertation involves far more than writing. So, you need to start preparing well in advance. The volume of work that lies in front of you should not surprise you closer to the deadline. So, set aside enough time to investigate the topic and gather information. Also, make sure you understand all thesis writing requirements – if not, always ask your professor or academic supervisor for clarifications. Find the necessary number of scholarly sources that you will further use for supporting and illustrating your research. Last but not the least, motivate yourself to make the process of writing consistent: create a plan and manage your time wisely.
Pick a Topic
If your professor or academic supervisor has not assigned a specific topic to you, you need to pick a topic on your own. Here, make sure that you choose the one that is interesting to you. To make the process of researching and writing enjoyable, you should choose those topics that you are passionate about. At the same time, maintain a balance between too broad and too narrow topics. If you have difficulties formulating a topic, you can turn to your academic supervisor for a piece of advice. If you are stuck with the topic ideas, you can consult with someone. If this approach does not help either, you can browse the Internet and find some articles on adjacent topics – you will thus be able to gather ideas for inspiration and monitor the areas that are topical.
Plan the thesis paper structure
Not all thesis papers and dissertations are the same – the mode of organization depends on the institutional affiliation, topic of the research, discipline, and the very approach. If you take a thesis project in humanities, they would normally take the form of a long essay, where you formulate the central argument in the thesis statement and then develop it throughout body chapters or paragraphs. However, if the thesis paper you are working on relates to some empirical research or work in social science, the structure will be different.
Choose members of the committee
The committee in front of whom you defend the thesis normally comprises three professors: the head of the committee and two readers from the faculty members. Choose committee members out of those professors who you know and get on with well. Besides, it is essential that they have time in their schedule to get actively involved in your defense process. Last but not the least, they should specialize in your area of research and have sufficient expertise in the topic you plan to elaborate on.
The head of the committee is available from the moment you formally start work on your thesis project. You can thus contact them when you have any questions or difficulties concerning choosing the topic or structuring the paper. Choose those professors for committee membership who can dedicate time and efforts to your thesis writing process. If the professors are too busy to fulfill their obligations, you may be really frustrated to work on the thesis paper.
Jot down any idea that comes to your mind within the research process
When working on your thesis, you will have to process a lot of literature. It is strongly recommended taking notes and jot down everything that you find important. By the time you look through all sources, you will forget those ideas that you found important before. Apart from information and facts taken from literature, it is crucial to note some pieces of advice you come across or just some planning tips. Finally, keep a piece of paper or a small notebook close to you to write down any fresh ideas that may come to your mind unexpectedly.
Make the reading process easier
There are a few challenges you may come across in the process of reading and reviewing sources for your research. First of all, it is easy to get distracted, especially if you need to process some scholarly works that are rather long and complicated for understanding. In such instances, you need to divide these long-reads into smaller chunks and make a break after finishing each of them. Try to devote at least 15 minutes to reading without distraction. Second, when you have dozens of sources to read, it may seem to you that you will waste the whole day will on it. Try to plan reading small portions every day. Set aside one or two hours (or even less) each day to stay tuned with reading. Such division of time will help you manage the process and stay focused.
Complete the review of literature
After you have investigated the needed number of sources and taken down notes, you need to summarize the main points and analyze them. These are the basics of performing a literature review. When reviewing the literature, make sure that you rely only on scholarly and peer-reviewed sources. You should also evaluate how significant and beneficial the sources are for the given topic. Moreover, the sources should be up-to-date and related to the focus of your research. You are required to use sources that can provide ample background information on the topic and those that are more specific. When reviewing the materials, make sure that you identify gaps in research and also provide recommendations how to bridge them. Therefore, you may come up with a list of future implications and recommendations from what other perspectives you could analyze the topic.