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Masters Dissertation:
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Masters Dissertation

The masters dissertation is a extended research paper required for the completion of a Masters Degree. It is often referred to as a masters thesis in the United States, and as a masters dissertation in the United Kingdom. In either case, a masters dissertation is one of the most important components of a Masters Degree candidate's body of work. Here are some guidelines for writing a successful masters dissertation.

Choose the topic. The masters dissertation examiners will be evaluating the student's choice of a relevant topic. Usually, the topic will be approved prior to beginning the masters dissertation. The topic should be a novel and original question suggested by the student's study of the literature in the field.

Plan and conduct the research. The masters dissertation will include a methodology section, in which a student designs and implements a research project. Research can be quantitative or qualitative, depending on the student's field of study. In the physical and social sciences, quantitative research that can be repeated should always be the student's first choice.

Outline and complete the masters dissertation. Once the research is completed, the student will report the research and results in the masters dissertation. Masters dissertations typically include an introduction, a literature review, a methodology, a discussion, and a conclusion. In the introduction, the student states the research hypothesis and briefly describes the research process. In the literature review, the student discusses relevant published papers and masters dissertations, and notes how the student's topic relates to and builds on existing research in the field. In the methodology, the student outlines the research he or she has conducted in detail and reports the findings of this research. In the discussion, the student interprets the research data and draws any conclusions reached through this interpretation. In the conclusion, the student again summarizes the entire masters dissertation and suggests new questions that it may raise as possible topics for further study.

Masters dissertations may also contain supporting sections, such as a title page, table of contents, bibliography, and index. These count toward the overall word count of the masters dissertation, which is generally 10,000 to 30,000 words.