What Is a Master's Dissertation
A Master's dissertation is traditionally the final project a graduate student must undertake to complete requirements for earning a Master's degree. A formal document to be submitted to one’s professor, advisor or academic instructor, this kind of dissertation requires thorough research and following a rigid set of guidelines established by the academic institution that the student is attending. As each academic program varies, so will each student’s topic, the research, and the style of Master's Dissertations vary. Since the main purpose of a graduate school for a student is to become proficient in a given topic or subject, the Master's Dissertation has the student completing original research and projects that, by the time he has earned his Master's degree, will have made him a sort of an expert in the given field.
Completing one involves the student setting research objectives; it takes finding, organizing and analyzing pertinent primary and secondary data, as well as scholarly, credible literature written on the subject, while devising an appropriate research methodology and drawing on published literature on the field which the student is exploring; and, ultimately, using this information to draw his own conclusions.
Writing a Master's Dissertation
While a doctoral dissertation (see dissertation) requires a student to conduct research and contribute something new and undiscovered in one’s field, the Master's Dissertation has the Master's degree candidate performing research on a specific subject to demonstrate his in-depth knowledge and understanding of a certain subject. Usually, this subject is not broad, but the product of a concentrated effort with a specific, narrowed focus on an issue, or era, subject, topic or person, etc.
The students can best understand the Masters Dissertation as an extensive research paper that is meant to incorporate all they have learned and mastered throughout their experience in the Master's program. It instructs the students to use the research of scholars on a subject to provide their own analysis on and discoveries of a topic, demonstrating to the instructor their vast assortment of intellectual, academic and real-world skills as well as their knowledge in organizing and conducting a thoroughly written and researched academic paper.
Generally, to be a success and be accepted by the professor, a paper of this sort needs to have very specific components. Its chapters should consist of an introduction, a literature review, justification of the informative data incorporated into paper for analysis, research methodology, an analysis of the data and, lastly, a conclusive section drawing it all together. Ultimately, a dissertation of this genre aims to bind together all the aforementioned elements to closely examine the bigger picture at hand; it has one seeking answers and their explanations while finding comparisons to other notions and arriving at generalizations that could potentially be used to extend a theory.
The Master's Dissertation Aims for the Student to:
1. Implement theories, concepts, and notions that one has learned while attending the program
2. Demonstrate one’s independent investigation of topic he/she has decided to study in depth
3. Blend previously understood and accepted theories and suggest alternatives to them
4. Prove the ability to define, design, produce and complete an academically rigorous research project
5. Understand and demonstrate the knowledge of the relationships between the theoretical concepts taught in the Masters-level course and their real-world applications
6. Demonstrate evidence of the critical and holistic knowledge and a thorough understanding of the chosen subject – one in which they are working to exceed
7. Prove he/she possesses the appropriate knowledge and understanding beyond the graduate level and has obtained a level of scope and depth beyond what he/she has been taught in the classroom; the Master's Dissertation should prove a student to be an expert in the given fields.
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