Master’s Dissertation Writing Guidelines

How To Write A Master’s Dissertation

Writing a dissertation is the last step for a Master’s degree and offers a student a chance to showcase the knowledge and skills for organizing and conducting a research project. It is an opportunity for students to identify the area suitable to conduct research, develop research objectives, identify, manage and analyze appropriate authoritative literature and secondary data, come up with convenient research methods, analyze primary data, and identify literature in the study area.  

Dissertation structure

Aims of the dissertation: Dissertation aims include:

  • Show evidence of investigation
  • Join appropriate theories and offer alternatives
  • Do an in-depth study of a topic

Writing styles: Thesis writing needs to show understanding and knowledge beyond the undergraduate level of study and must go beyond the depth and scope of what gets taught in class.

Major milestones: Here, you need to highlight the critical steps in your dissertation proposal writing.

Supporting documents: You must have supporting documents such as:

  • Template for front dissertation page
  • Template for acknowledgment page
  • Supervision form
  • Submission form
  • Proposal form

Supervision of the dissertation

Supervision: Throughout the dissertation writing, academic staff at will offer you guidance and help ensure that you do the right thing.

Academic supervisor’s responsibilities: An academic supervisor does several functions, and his or her presence is to facilitate the student and not lead the student.

Roles of a student: Students responsibilities include the following:

  • Have contact with an academic supervisor. Regular visits to your supervisor, gives you the opportunity to identify you weak areas and how to deal with them.
  • To write a dissertation according to the university rules and regulations

The dissertation

The process of writing a dissertation is time-bound, and your school or department will offer guidance to that effect.

Research proposal: This is an essential document that the student will work on to become a dissertation. The key sections resemble the structure of the final thesis. A research proposal is the road map towards writing a concise thesis. The research proposal includes the following areas:

  • A title
  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Research methodology
  • Schedule

Style, layout, and writing suggestions

The formatting: The dissertation formatting covers the following aspects. You will find that these formats differ from institution to institution:

  • Word count
  • Paper Size
  • Margin Settings
  • Line spacing
  • Page Numbering
  • Text
  • Font
  • Alignment

The writing style: Since a dissertation is a formal academic document, it is essential to follow a particular format or style.

Making use of introduction and conclusions in chapters: Each chapter needs both an ending and an introduction. Findings provide a concise summary, while the introduction offers an outline of what is to come.

References and citations

All universities have policies that cover both postgraduate and honors students concerning the citation and reference system. As a master student, ensures that you have your reference and citations correctly. Always cite your information source, or else your work will be subject to suspicion or plagiarism.

Within text citations: For any formal mention of someone else in your dissertation, you have to cite it. All citations should reference the contents mentioned with details to enable readers to follow up on the citations.

Plagiarism and attribution

Plagiarism happens when students try to own someone’s work as theirs. A student who takes a section of text verbatim from someone’s work without giving due attribution is plagiarism. Plagiarism is a kind of cheating, and ordinarily, universities take it seriously. To mitigate plagiarism, universities prescribe severe penalties. Anti-plagiarism software packages are useful in detecting plagiarized work. When you use other authors’ work, you must acknowledge them in the reference list and the text.


If, by any chance, the content of your dissertation is confidential, then mark it as personal from the cover page as you submit it. Such dissertations will get an audience by a board of examiners and administrative staff and then kept securely from public scrutiny. It means that only the board of examiners and administrative staff will have full access to the dissertation. Anyone else will not have access to the document unless they have documented permission from the author or school director.


All postgraduate students need to fill ethics form together with the academic supervisor. It is the supervisor’s role to make sure that the form gets filled correctly before fieldwork begins. For example, a dissertation seeking primary research amongst the underage or vulnerable group is ethically wrong.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *