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Masters Thesis Format


Masters thesis formats vary depending on the fields and departments to which they belong, but students may generally plan on including several elements.

The primary masters thesis format consideration is how to manage the length of the written work. Because masters theses usually fill fifty pages or more, thesis writers divide the work into chapters, which the reader will find more easily manageable than a great length of unbroken text. The student may divide the thesis into chapters based on major changes in the discussion, such as when he or she exhausts the planned material for the first point and shifts to the next point in support of the thesis idea. Depending on the masters thesis format that the department requires, the student may begin the new chapter several inches from the top of a new page, or he or she may skip several lines and begin the new chapter on the current page. In most theses, as is common in all academic writing, students will give each chapter its own title.

Second, once the student has broken the text into chapters, he or she should then create a table of contents. The table of contents should list the title of each chapter, as well as any subheadings included in within the chapters, and it should show the page number on which each chapter begins.

Third, masters thesis formats often require an index, which lists each important word in the text and the pages on which it appears; these indices help readers manage the often heavy reading of a thesis by letting them skip to the parts that are of particular interest. Indices should contain words that relate directly to the concept that the thesis expresses, but they should not contain superfluous words. For example, the index of a mathematics thesis may include the name "Pythagoras" but would probably not include non-conceptual words such as "pencil" or "shoe." In creating the index, the student should aim for conceptual thoroughness but not an exhaustive recitation of each word that appears in the text.


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