Many students find it difficult with how to start writing a master’s thesis. In this article, you will be given a master’s thesis outline example which will guide you through. So, keep reading.
Master’s Thesis Outline Example
Chapter One: Introduction
The introduction of your topic is the first chapter of your master’s thesis. As the term implies, this is where you let your reader know what your topic is about and why you chose that topic.
For example, “How To Write A Scientific Thesis“
Depending on your stipulated word count, your introduction can be between 1000 – 2500 words. Some students find it difficult to write their introduction but this does not have to be you. If you are unsure, you can start with a short story showing the problem of your chosen topic. Next, break down what you would like to uncover in your research through either Research Questions or the Aims of the Thesis. These questions or aims should be listed and numbered and then put in a block form, separate from the rest of your texts. Finally, you should introduce your topic again to the reader.
Now, through your introduction, your reader should be able to have a clear understanding of the intent of your topic. To make sure, read your introduction twice over. You can also give it to a senior or an expert researcher to read and give you their feedback.
However, it is important to note that you do not have to go into full details in your introduction chapter. Any information that requires an expansion, make sure you tell the reader that they will find it in the appropriate chapter.
For example, “This will be fully discussed in the methodology chapter of this study.”
Chapter Two: Review of Literature
In academic writing, you must research previously published works that relate to your study. This will help you with a clearer understanding of your chosen topic and how to write it. Furthermore, previous literature will provide you with more important information that you can use in your study as well. Besides gaining more knowledge from previous literature, you will need to cite the information you got from these works of literature. The citation style you will use depends on what reference style your supervisor asks you to use. There are different reference styles which include Chicago, Modern Language Association (MLA), Harvard, American Psychological Association (APA), among others.
Usually, you only need to use the author’s name and year of publication in parentheses. You can put this at the beginning or the end of the extracted information.
For example, “Dodworth (2021) opined that people fall ill due to a dirty environment.“
“People fall ill due to a dirty environment, Dodworth (2021).”
Your literature review should contain three major areas. First of all, use select information from relevant works and show how they have helped you during research. Next, critique the gaps in those works, that is, areas that the work failed to explore, bias in the work, etc. Finally, write why your research differs from previous literature. This final part shows your reader that your study is not copy-and-paste or work that has already been done.
You may also choose to tell your reader here which theoretical framework that you are using for your study.
Chapter Three: Methodology
As the term implies, this discusses the methods you employed in your research. Here, you will tell the reader what methods you have chosen to use and why. Whatever method you use must be recognized, this means that it must have been developed by previous researchers. Also, you will discuss the sources you chose to gather data and why. If you eliminated any source that you initially chose in your thesis proposal, then you must write it out. If you added new sources, then you must write it out as well. Furthermore, you will discuss the challenges you faced in the course of research. For some students, their studies may require that they use interviews or questionnaires. Depending on the type of study, some people may be unwilling to grant interviews or fill their questionnaires. Thus, the student has to discuss these challenges in their methodology chapter.
Also in the methodology chapter, the student has to discuss the consent of their participants. Did they participate voluntarily? Did they participate voluntarily only to withdraw later on? Will their identity be coded? Etc.
Some studies require intense research so much that a student can ask for the help of another researcher. If you do this, you have to state that in your methodology.
Chapter Four: Analysis and Discussion
For some students, this may be one chapter while it may be two chapters for other students. This usually depends on the type of research that you are undertaking. Here, the student will analyze the data they have gathered. You may choose to use tables, charts, graphs, and even pictures to give visual aid to your written texts. Remember to label these visual aids accordingly, e. g. “Fig. 1. The table shows the number of news articles published in October 2020.”
After analyzing, you will then discuss what you have analyzed. It is in this chapter you will be able to show whether or not you have answered your Research Questions or Aims of the Thesis. You will also discuss if your study is open to further research.
Chapter Five: Conclusion
The conclusion is a summary of the work you have done. Here, you will recap your topic, why you chose it, and the aims of your thesis. You will also recap the methodology you used and the data and information you got from your findings. Finally, you can make recommendations on what other researchers can do to solve the problem of your work.
Here, you will give more information on the cited works used in your study. This information includes the author’s name, publication year, publication title, page number, and name and location of publisher. Remember, you should reference according to the provided reference style.
With these, you know how to write master thesis. There is just one step to successful writing: simply follow the recommendations provided below and your written piece will be flawless.