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Guide to Writing a Masters Dissertation

A Masters Dissertation is an important aspect of your degree. It can be defined as extended research on a particular subject. As Masters courses are generally one year long, the Masters dissertation is usually the final, and most important project of the course.

  1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TOPIC - Students who are pursuing the degree have the freedom to choose the topic that they wish to research on. Choosing the right topic is one of the most important aspects of your Masters dissertation and you must do this extremely carefully. If you are unsure about the right topic for you, then you could also seek the help of others such as your professor. 
  2. REMEMBER THE WORD COUNT - Postgraduate dissertations are generally longer than Undergraduate ones. Some undergraduate dissertations can be as little as 6,000 words, wheras Masters dissertations can be up to 20,000 words in some cases. Given the large volume of writing required, students must understand that they need to put in a lot of effort and do a lot of planning and organising to ensure they can complete enough words whilst keeping concise and to the point. 
  3. CARRY OUT PRELIMINARY RESEARCH - Once the chosen topic has been selected, students will need to carry out preliminary research. This research can include assessing the volume of literature available on the topic and the quality of journals. Once the preliminary research is complete, the students must create a research proposal. This proposal can act as a summary of the actual dissertation. It needs to include a brief about all the chapters, and yet it should be concise. Once the research proposal has been finalised in association with your professor, you are ready to take the first step towards completing the actual dissertation.
  4. FOCUS ON MARKING CRITERIA - In addition to the above, students also need to be fully aware of the other aspects of a Masters dissertation. Firstly, they must review the Universities requirements. Most universities have set guidelines when it comes to dissertations, of which can vary course by course. Students must be completely clear and familiar about these guidelines. Secondly, students must be aware of the submission timelines and any interim deadlines set by professors, to manage their workload appropriately. Finally, students should be fully aware of the structure of the dissertation. The chapters should be interlinked with each other, and there should be a logical flow to the dissertation.

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