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University Thesis and Dissertation Templates

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Theses and dissertations are already intensive, long-term projects that require a lot of effort and time from their authors. Formatting for submission to the university is often the last thing that graduate students do, and may delay earning the relevant degree if done incorrectly.

Below are some strategies graduate students can use to deal with institutional formatting requirements to earn their degrees on time.

Disciplinary conventions are still paramount.

Scholars in your own discipline are the most common readers of your dissertation; your committee, too, will expect your work to match with their expectations as members of your field. The style guide your field uses most commonly is always the one you should follow, and if your field uses conventions such as including all figures and illustrations at the end of the document, you should do so. After these considerations are met, move on to university formatting. Almost always, university formatting only deals with things like margins, font, numbering of chapters and sections, and illustrations; disciplinary style conventions in content such as APA's directive to use only last names of authors in-text are not interfered with by university formatting at all.

Use your university's formatting guidelines and templates to your advantage.

If your institution has a template for formatting your thesis or dissertation that you can use, do so. Don't look at another student's document and try to replicate it yourself. These templates typically have the necessary section breaks and styles already in the document, and you can copy in your work from your existing draft using the style pane in MS Word to ensure you're using the correct formatting (similarly with software such as Overleaf when writing in LaTeX, templates do a lot of the work for you). It's also often easier for workers in the offices that deal with theses and dissertations to help you with your work if you're using their template — they are familiar with these templates and can often navigate them more proficiently.

These templates also include placeholders for all front matter you will need to include in your thesis or dissertation, and may include guidelines for how to write these. Front matter includes your table of contents, acknowledgements, abstract, abbreviation list, figure list, committee page, and (sometimes) academic history or CV; everything before your introduction is front matter. Since front matter pages such as the author's academic history and dissertation committee are usually for the graduate school and not for your department, your advisor might not remember to have you include them. Knowing about them well before your deposit date means you won't be scrambling to fill in placeholders at the last minute or getting your work returned for revision from the graduate school.

Consider institutional formatting early and often.

Many graduate students leave this aspect of submitting their projects until it's almost too late to work on it, causing delays in obtaining their degree. Simply being aware that this is a task you'll have to complete and making sure you know where templates are, who you can ask for help in your graduate office or your department, and what your institution's guidelines are can help alleviate this issue. Once you know what you'll be expected to do to convert to university formatting, you can set regular check-in times for yourself to do this work in pieces rather than all at once (for instance, when you've completed a chapter and had it approved by your chair). 

Consider fair use for images and other third-party content.

Most theses and dissertations are published through ProQuest or another publisher (Harvard, for instance, uses their own open publishing service). For this reason, it may be the case that your institution requires all images or other content obtained from other sources to fall under fair use rules or, if an image is not considered under fair use, you'll have to obtain permission to print it in your dissertation. Your institution should have more guidance on their specific expectations for fair use content; knowing what these guidelines are well in advance of your deposit date means you won't have to make last-minute changes or removals to deposit your work.

/images/cornell/logo35pt_cornell_white.svg" alt="theses for dissertation"> Cornell University --> Graduate School

Guide to writing your thesis/dissertation, definition of dissertation and thesis.

The dissertation or thesis is a scholarly treatise that substantiates a specific point of view as a result of original research that is conducted by students during their graduate study. At Cornell, the thesis is a requirement for the receipt of the M.A. and M.S. degrees and some professional master’s degrees. The dissertation is a requirement of the Ph.D. degree.

Formatting Requirement and Standards

The Graduate School sets the minimum format for your thesis or dissertation, while you, your special committee, and your advisor/chair decide upon the content and length. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, and other mechanical issues are your sole responsibility. Generally, the thesis and dissertation should conform to the standards of leading academic journals in your field. The Graduate School does not monitor the thesis or dissertation for mechanics, content, or style.

“Papers Option” Dissertation or Thesis

A “papers option” is available only to students in certain fields, which are listed on the Fields Permitting the Use of Papers Option page , or by approved petition. If you choose the papers option, your dissertation or thesis is organized as a series of relatively independent chapters or papers that you have submitted or will be submitting to journals in the field. You must be the only author or the first author of the papers to be used in the dissertation. The papers-option dissertation or thesis must meet all format and submission requirements, and a singular referencing convention must be used throughout.

ProQuest Electronic Submissions

The dissertation and thesis become permanent records of your original research, and in the case of doctoral research, the Graduate School requires publication of the dissertation and abstract in its original form. All Cornell master’s theses and doctoral dissertations require an electronic submission through ProQuest, which fills orders for paper or digital copies of the thesis and dissertation and makes a digital version available online via their subscription database, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses . For master’s theses, only the abstract is available. ProQuest provides worldwide distribution of your work from the master copy. You retain control over your dissertation and are free to grant publishing rights as you see fit. The formatting requirements contained in this guide meet all ProQuest specifications.

Copies of Dissertation and Thesis

Copies of Ph.D. dissertations and master’s theses are also uploaded in PDF format to the Cornell Library Repository, eCommons . A print copy of each master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation is submitted to Cornell University Library by ProQuest.

How to find resources by format

Why use a dissertation or a thesis.

A dissertation is the final large research paper, based on original research, for many disciplines to be able to complete a PhD degree. The thesis is the same idea but for a masters degree.

They are often considered scholarly sources since they are closely supervised by a committee, are directed at an academic audience, are extensively researched, follow research methodology, and are cited in other scholarly work. Often the research is newer or answering questions that are more recent, and can help push scholarship in new directions. 

Search for dissertations and theses

Locating dissertations and theses.

The Proquest Dissertations and Theses Global database includes doctoral dissertations and selected masters theses from major universities worldwide.

  • Searchable by subject, author, advisor, title, school, date, etc.
  • More information about full text access and requesting through Interlibrary Loan

NDLTD – Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations provides free online access to a over a million theses and dissertations from all over the world.

WorldCat Dissertations and Theses searches library catalogs from across the U.S. and worldwide.

Locating University of Minnesota Dissertations and Theses

Use  Libraries search  and search by title or author and add the word "thesis" in the search box. Write down the library and call number and find it on the shelf. They can be checked out.

Check the  University Digital Conservancy  for online access to dissertations and theses from 2007 to present as well as historic, scanned theses from 1887-1923.

Other Sources for Dissertations and Theses

  • Center for Research Libraries
  • DART-Europe E-Thesis Portal
  • Theses Canada
  • Ethos (Great Britain)
  • Australasian Digital Theses in Trove
  • DiVA (Sweden)
  • E-Thesis at the University of Helsinki
  • DissOnline (Germany)
  • List of libraries worldwide - to search for a thesis when you know the institution and cannot find in the larger collections

University of Minnesota Dissertations and Theses FAQs

What dissertations and theses are available.

With minor exceptions, all doctoral dissertations and all "Plan A" master's theses accepted by the University of Minnesota are available in the University Libraries system. In some cases (see below) only a non-circulating copy in University Archives exists, but for doctoral dissertations from 1940 to date, and for master's theses from 1925 to date, a circulating copy should almost always be available.

"Plan B" papers, accepted in the place of a thesis in many master's degree programs, are not received by the University Libraries and are generally not available. (The only real exceptions are a number of old library school Plan B papers on publishing history, which have been separately cataloged.) In a few cases individual departments may have maintained files of such papers.

In what libraries are U of M dissertations and theses located?

Circulating copies of doctoral dissertations:.

  • Use Libraries Search to look for the author or title of the work desired to determine location and call number of a specific dissertation. Circulating copies of U of M doctoral dissertations can be in one of several locations in the library system, depending upon the date and the department for which the dissertation was done. The following are the general rules:
  • Dissertations prior to 1940 Circulating copies of U of M dissertations prior to 1940 do not exist (with rare exceptions): for these, only the archival copy (see below) is available. Also, most dissertations prior to 1940 are not cataloged in MNCAT and can only be identified by the departmental listings described below.  
  • Dissertations from 1940-1979 Circulating copies of U of M dissertations from 1940 to 1979 will in most cases be held within the Elmer L. Andersen Library, with three major classes of exceptions: dissertations accepted by biological, medical, and related departments are housed in the Health Science Library; science/engineering dissertations from 1970 to date will be located in the Science and Engineering Library (in Walter); and dissertations accepted by agricultural and related departments are available at the Magrath Library or one of the other libraries on the St. Paul campus (the Magrath Library maintains records of locations for such dissertations).  
  • Dissertations from 1980-date Circulating copies of U of M dissertations from 1980 to date at present may be located either in Wilson Library (see below) or in storage; consult Libraries Search for location of specific items. Again, exceptions noted above apply here also; dissertations in their respective departments will instead be in Health Science Library or in one of the St. Paul campus libraries.

Circulating copies of master's theses:

  • Theses prior to 1925 Circulating copies of U of M master's theses prior to 1925 do not exist (with rare exceptions); for these, only the archival copy (see below) is available.  
  • Theses from 1925-1996 Circulating copies of U of M master's theses from 1925 to 1996 may be held in storage; consult Libraries search in specific instances. Once again, there are exceptions and theses in their respective departments will be housed in the Health Science Library or in one of the St. Paul campus libraries.  
  • Theses from 1997-date Circulating copies of U of M master's theses from 1997 to date will be located in Wilson Library (see below), except for the same exceptions for Health Science  and St. Paul theses. There is also an exception to the exception: MHA (Masters in Health Administration) theses through 1998 are in the Health Science Library, but those from 1999 on are in Wilson Library.

Archival copies (non-circulating)

Archival (non-circulating) copies of virtually all U of M doctoral dissertations from 1888-1952, and of U of M master's theses from all years up to the present, are maintained by University Archives (located in the Elmer L. Andersen Library). These copies must be consulted on the premises, and it is highly recommended for the present that users make an appointment in advance to ensure that the desired works can be retrieved for them from storage. For dissertations accepted prior to 1940 and for master's theses accepted prior to 1925, University Archives is generally the only option (e.g., there usually will be no circulating copy). Archival copies of U of M doctoral dissertations from 1953 to the present are maintained by Bell and Howell Corporation (formerly University Microfilms Inc.), which produces print or filmed copies from our originals upon request. (There are a very few post-1952 U of M dissertations not available from Bell and Howell; these include such things as music manuscripts and works with color illustrations or extremely large pages that will not photocopy well; in these few cases, our archival copy is retained in University Archives.)

Where is a specific dissertation of thesis located?

To locate a specific dissertation or thesis it is necessary to have its call number. Use Libraries Search for the author or title of the item, just as you would for any other book. Depending on date of acceptance and cataloging, a typical call number for such materials should look something like one of the following:

Dissertations: Plan"A" Theses MnU-D or 378.7M66 MnU-M or 378.7M66 78-342 ODR7617 83-67 OL6156 Libraries Search will also tell the library location (MLAC, Health Science Library, Magrath or another St. Paul campus library, Science and Engineering, Business Reference, Wilson Annex or Wilson Library). Those doctoral dissertations still in Wilson Library (which in all cases should be 1980 or later and will have "MnU-D" numbers) are located in the central section of the third floor. Those master's theses in Wilson (which in all cases will be 1997 or later and will have "MnU-M" numbers) are also located in the central section of the third floor. Both dissertations and theses circulate and can be checked out, like any other books, at the Wilson Circulation desk on the first floor.

How can dissertations and theses accepted by a specific department be located?

Wilson Library contains a series of bound and loose-leaf notebooks, arranged by department and within each department by date, listing dissertations and theses. Information given for each entry includes name of author, title, and date (but not call number, which must be looked up individually). These notebooks are no longer current, but they do cover listings by department from the nineteenth century up to approximately 1992. Many pre-1940 U of M dissertations and pre-1925 U of M master's theses are not cataloged (and exist only as archival copies). Such dissertations can be identified only with these volumes. The books and notebooks are shelved in the general collection under these call numbers: Wilson Ref LD3337 .A5 and Wilson Ref quarto LD3337 .U9x. Major departments of individual degree candidates are also listed under their names in the GRADUATE SCHOOL COMMENCEMENT programs of the U of M, available in University Archives and (for recent years) also in Wilson stacks (LD3361 .U55x).

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Dissertations and Theses

Dissertations and theses as a research tool.

  • Graduate dissertations and theses
  • Senior Honors Theses
  • Resources for writing & submitting a thesis or dissertation

Obtaining theses & dissertations written at other institutions

Citing dissertations and theses, databases focused on dissertations and theses, sources indexing dissertations and theses, print dissertation indexes and bibliographies.

Theses and dissertations can be a valuable source of information for research.  They can offer the following benefits:

  • Just like journal articles, conference proceedings, and other forms of literature, they present original research. Recently completed theses can provide "sneak previews" of ideas and findings that have yet to reach the public via other publication formats.
  • They may be the only publicly-available work by authors who do not otherwise publish for general audiences or through commercial publishers.
  • They contain extensive bibliographies.
  • They provide inspiration for the formatting and presentation of ideas, graphs, charts, and other components of a document.
  • They provide insight into the early work of a particular person and have value for historical and biographical purposes.

Want to borrow a thesis or dissertation written at another institution that isn't available in  full text online ? Request it via  ILLIAD , Tufts' interlibrary loan service. Choose the "Thesis" request form and provide as much descriptive information as you can. Not all theses or dissertations are available or loanable, but we'll try to find you a copy!

Some other ways you might be able to find a copy of an older dissertation:

If you can identify the author's institutional affiliation, visit that institution's webpage to see if they catalog or archive students' dissertations. 

Contact the author.  Some authors will post all or some of their dissertation on their website or have journal articles or other publications which draw heavily on this work.

Search the author's name and/or thesis title in full-text journal databases which include article references. These citations may provide clues as to how to locate the document.

Contact your  subject librarian  for assistance.

As with journal articles, books, and other sources, theses and dissertations must be properly cited in any document that references them.  Most citation styles, including APA, Chicago, and MLA, provide specific instructions for formatting these citations.  Citation Management tools, such as EndNote and Zotero, automatically format references for these sources in your selected citation style.  More information is in the Citing Sources guide.

Although requirements for citing dissertations vary according by style, they generally seek to convey the following information:  that the item is a dissertation (rather than an article or a book); the type of degree it resulted in (master's, PhD, etc); whether it was published; and which institution granted the degree.  An example of a citation for a dissertation is presented here in four major citation styles:

  • APA:   Miaoulis, I. N. (1987). Experimental investigation of turbulence spectra of charge density fluctuations in the equilibrium range. Unpublished Ph.D., Tufts University, United States -- Massachusetts.
  • Chicago:   Miaoulis, Ioannis Nikolaos. "Experimental Investigation of Turbulence Spectra of Charge Density Fluctuations in the Equilibrium Range." Ph.D., Tufts University, 1987.
  • IEEE:   [1]    I. N. Miaoulis, "Experimental investigation of turbulence spectra of charge density fluctuations in the equilibrium range,"  United States -- Massachusetts: Tufts University, 1987, p. 98.
  • MLA:   Miaoulis, Ioannis Nikolaos. "Experimental Investigation of Turbulence Spectra of Charge Density Fluctuations in the Equilibrium Range." Ph.D. Tufts University, 1987.

The following sources focus primarily or exclusively on theses and dissertations; some provide direct access to full-text.

  • DART-Europe E-theses Portal "A partnership of research libraries and library consortia who are working together to improve global access to European research theses."
  • Dissertations & Theses: Full Text Comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses worldwide. Of the over 2 million titles in the database, more than 930,000 are available in PDF format for free download. Those that aren't freely available can be ordered from within the database.
  • DSpace@MIT Over 25,000 theses and dissertations from all MIT departments completed as far back as the mid 1800's. Note that this is NOT a complete collection of MIT theses.
  • Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) Search engine for graduate papers completed at universities both in America and abroad.
  • Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD) Open access (OA) theses and dissertations from institutions worldwide.
  • Ethos Service from the British Library for reading and ordering theses produced by students in the United Kingdom.
  • Theses Canada Theses from over 60 Canadian universities, going back to 1965.
  • Shodhganga@INFLIBNET Centre Digital repository of theses and dissertations from universities in India.

In the following subject-specific databases, the Advance Search option enables filtering by dissertation as the document type.

  • American Bibliography of Slavic and East European Studies Sources on East-Central Europe and the former Soviet Union.
  • ARTbibliographies Modern Sources on all forms of modern and contemporary art.
  • EconLit Economic literature.
  • Engineering Village For literature on all engineering disciplines.
  • PsycInfo Sources on psychology and related disciplines.
  • Sociological Abstracts For the literature on sociology.
  • SPORTDiscus with Full Text Sources on sport, physical fitness, and physical education.
  • World Shakespeare Bibliography Sources on materials published since 1971 related to Shakespeare.

A number of indexes and bibliographies of dissertations have been published, primarily in print format.  These often focus on specific historical eras, geographic regions, or topics.

  • Dissertation Indexes in the Tufts Catalog
  • Dissertation Indexes in WorldCat
  • Dissertation Indexes in Google Books
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  • Last Updated: Nov 6, 2023 12:01 PM
  • URL: https://researchguides.library.tufts.edu/theses

Theses and Dissertations

Check Cornell’s library catalog , which lists the dissertations available in our library collection.

The print thesis collection in Uris Library is currently shelved on Level 3B before the Q to QA regular-sized volumes. Check with the library staff for the thesis shelving locations in other libraries (Mann, Catherwood, Fine Arts, etc.).

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

According to ProQuest, coverage begins with 1637. With more than 2.4 million entries,  ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global  is the starting point for finding citations to doctoral dissertations and master’s theses. Dissertations published from 1980 forward include 350-word abstracts written by the author. Master’s theses published from 1988 forward include 150-word abstracts. UMI also offers over 1.8 million titles for purchase in microfilm or paper formats. The full text of more than 930,000 are available in PDF format for immediate free download. Use  Interlibrary Loan  for the titles not available as full text online.

Foreign Dissertations at the Center for Research Libraries

To search for titles and verify holdings of dissertations at the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), use the CRL catalog . CRL seeks to provide comprehensive access to doctoral dissertations submitted to institutions outside the U. S. and Canada (currently more than 750,000 titles). One hundred European universities maintain exchange or deposit agreements with CRL. Russian dissertation abstracts in the social sciences are obtained on microfiche from INION.  More detailed information about CRL’s dissertation holdings .

Please see our resource guide on dissertations and theses for additional resources and support.

  • Harvard Library
  • Research Guides
  • Faculty of Arts & Sciences Libraries

Research Guide for CES Visiting Scholars

  • Dissertations & Theses
  • HOLLIS (and other) Catalogs
  • Finding Primary Sources Online
  • Outline of Primary Sources for History
  • Periodicals/Articles
  • Policy Reports
  • Foreign Government & International Organization Documents
  • News Sources


General sources, german, dutch, and scandinavian dissertations, electronic dissertations.

  • Statistics/Data
  • Archives and Manuscripts
  • Visual Resources
  • Other Collections at Harvard
  • Research Centers
  • Citing Sources & Organizing Research

This page lists resources for dissertations (general and RLL-related) along with information on electronic dissertations. In general, Harvard's Interlibrary Loan service cannot obtain dissertations; in many cases you'll need to acquire directly from the institution where the work was submitted. 

To find doctoral dissertations from North American universities and some European institutions, search:

Dissertations and Theses Full Text

This is the largest database with 2.7 million citations for Masters and PhD dissertations. Full text for most dissertations from 1997 on (at this writing, 1.2 million full text dissertations available for download in PDF format). Hosted by ProQuest. Use Harvard's Get It Interlibrary Loan link to request print dissertations.

  Harvard dissertations and theses

As above, most of these from 1997 are available via ProQuest.

Havard dissertations and theses since 2012 are also available in our online repository, DASH , and in HOLLIS. If a dissertation from 2012 forward is not available in full text, the author has placed an embargo on it (up to 5 years) and the library won't be able to obtain it, but you may be able to ask the author.

Use Harvard's Interlibrary Loan to obtain any theses and dissertations found by searching

Center for Research Libraries Catalog: Dissertations

Request item through Get It (ILL link)

To find print sources, search HOLLIS Classic: Subject beginning with... e.g. Dissertations, Academic--France--Bibliography.

dissonline.de Search for German and Swiss electronic dissertations and "Habilitationen." For dissertations that have not been digitized, search the catalog of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek .

Gegnir (IS) Click on "Námsritgerðir" (Icelandic interface) or "Thesis search" (English interface) to limit to dissertations.

HELKA (FI) Select the Advanced Search and "Väitöskirja/Dissertation or Thesis" from the search box.

Det Kongelige Bibliotek/The Danish Royal Library (DK) Search on "thesis," "dissertation," or "afhandling" (the latter if you want dissertations in Danish) together with your search terms.

Libris (SE) Select "Dissertations" under "Type of publication" box to limit your search to dissertations.

Nasjonalbiblioteket (NO) Select "Post graduate theses" in the search box to limit your search to dissertations.

National Academic Research and Collaborations Information System (NARCIS): Promise of Science   (NL) The "Promise of Science" provides access to over 21,000 full-text doctoral e-theses from all Dutch universities. It is a subset of NARCIS and DAREnet. Dates of coverage vary, but dissertations are mostly from recent years.

Österreichische Dissertationsdatenbank (AU) This database references over 55,000 dissertations and theses held at Austrian Universities; select dissertations are available online.

Ongoing research and development in the e-sphere:

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) , an inter national organization dedicated to promoting the adoption, creation, use, dissemination, and preservation of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs).

The Guide for Electronic Theses and Dissertations A wiki maintained by the NDLTD ETD Revision Team. Addresses issues for submission and administration of e-dissertations, whether born-digital or digital versions of print documents.

The European Working Group of the NDLTD is the DART-Europe E-theses Portal (DEEP). Intended to be the single European portal for dissertations, DART-Europe is a collaboration of research libraries and library consortia, endorsed by LIBER (Ligue des Bibliothèques Européennes de Recherche).

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  • Last Updated: Dec 22, 2023 4:11 PM
  • URL: https://guides.library.harvard.edu/ces

Harvard University Digital Accessibility Policy


ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global

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E-Learning Modules

Webinar recordings, powerpoint presentations, additional resources, support center articles.

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Product Access & Information

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ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global   is a wealth of unique global scholarship, which is a credible and quality source to Uncover the Undiscovered research insights and intelligence in easiest and most effective ways. The equitable discoverability of more than 5 million dissertations and theses with coverage from year 1637, allows researchers to amplify diverse voices and place their research in a global context. The database offers nearly 3 million full texts for most of the dissertations added since 1997.

By leveraging the rich citation data found in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global and with new citation insight tool, researchers can benefit from focused pathways of discovery to build foundational knowledge on various research topics. Over 200,000 new dissertations and theses are added to the database each year to enrich the citation data continuously.

For more information about the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global , navigate to the Content Page .

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global   Database  is also part of ProQuest One Academic .  ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global resides on the ProQuest Platform. For more information about the ProQuest Platform search and display features, see the  ProQuest Platform LibGuide .

The Dissertations Bootcamp eLearning Modules are a free resource that help support graduate student planning, writing, and research.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses for the Student, Citation Connections

Here you can have a preview of the new features just launched for the Cited Reference documents in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.

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ProQuest Dissertations and Theses for the Librarian

Intended for Librarians who want to learn how to use the database's advanced search to support subject area research at their institution. Duration: 2 minutes.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses for the Student, Searching Titles and Languages

This session reviews how Students, both Masters or PhD, can use the database's advanced search to identify known dissertations by title and search/analyze by languages other than English. Duration: 3 minutes.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses for the Student, Searching Names

This session reviews how Students, both Masters or Ph, can use the database's advanced search to identify dissertations of known Authors or Advisors and further refine/analyze them. Duration: 4 minutes.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses for the Student, Cited References

This session reviews how Students, both Masters or PhD, can use the dissertations to retrieve and explore further the Cited References. Duration: 4 minutes.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses for the Student, Supplemental Files

This session reviews how Students, both Masters or PhD, can identify dissertations with Supplemental files which may contain useful materials for their graduate work. Duration: 3.5 minutes.

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses for the Student, Subject Searching

This session will show Students, both Masters or PhD, some Search techniques both Basic and Advanced to locate dissertations on a certain topic. Duration: 5.5 minutes.

Webinar Title : Best Practices for Searching ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global

This session demonstrates how users can utilize the best practices of searching the " ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global  database" to connect with relevant information for their academic work. Duration:  52 minutes.

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Materials in English - Figures (Database size) and Platform features images now updated as of March 2023

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About Theses and Dissertations

A dissertation or thesis is a document submitted in support of candidature for a degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings.  (International Standard ISO 7144: Documentation — Presentation of theses and similar documents ).

For most universities in the U.S., dissertation is the term for the required submission for the PhD, and thesis refers only to the master's degree requirement.

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon theses are now ONLINE and can be searched through the ProQuest database Dissertations & Theses @ Carnegie Mellon University that enables access to citations and abstracts of all dissertations and theses, as well as the full text in PDF format.  Scroll down and select Dissertations & Theses, then do a regular search. Print versions are also available in the libraries' collection.

PRIMO ,  the Carnegie Mellon Library catalog, uses the term THESIS to denote both masters' theses and dissertations.  However, the number of master's theses is limited.  Within the libraries, theses are located in designated areas and are shelved in alphabetical order by the author's last name.  The catalog treats theses and dissertations like books, and they can be borrowed as such. Theses may be in print, microfiche, or microform.

  • In catalog use the Advanced Search :  search by author, title, or keyword limiting to type THESIS.
  • For a list of theses from a specific department, use Advanced Search to combine a keyword search for the name of the department with location THESES.  E.g., search for "Dept. of Computer Science" with THESES as the location.
  • For a complete list of theses at Carnegie Mellon, use Advanced Search to search Carnegie Mellon University Dissertations in the Subject line.  

Other Universities

T he best source to find theses is ProQuest Dissertations & Thesis Global .  Policies regarding theses and dissertation collections largely vary between universities.  So check the library website of the university of interest.

Other Countries

Center for Research Libraries:  Foreign Doctoral Dissertations CRL has more than 800,000 cataloged foreign doctoral dissertations from more than 90 countries and over 1200 institutions.

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EBSCO Open Dissertations

EBSCO Open Dissertations makes electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) more accessible to researchers worldwide. The free portal is designed to benefit universities and their students and make ETDs more discoverable. 

Increasing Discovery & Usage of ETD Research

EBSCO Open Dissertations is a collaboration between EBSCO and BiblioLabs to increase traffic and discoverability of ETD research. You can join the movement and add your theses and dissertations to the database, making them freely available to researchers everywhere while increasing traffic to your institutional repository. 

EBSCO Open Dissertations extends the work started in 2014, when EBSCO and the H.W. Wilson Foundation created American Doctoral Dissertations which contained indexing from the H.W. Wilson print publication, Doctoral Dissertations Accepted by American Universities, 1933-1955. In 2015, the H.W. Wilson Foundation agreed to support the expansion of the scope of the American Doctoral Dissertations database to include records for dissertations and theses from 1955 to the present.

How Does EBSCO Open Dissertations Work?

Your ETD metadata is harvested via OAI and integrated into EBSCO’s platform, where pointers send traffic to your IR.

EBSCO integrates this data into their current subscriber environments and makes the data available on the open web via opendissertations.org .

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  • Knowledge Base
  • Dissertation

How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

Published on September 7, 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes. Revised on November 21, 2023.

The introduction is the first section of your thesis or dissertation , appearing right after the table of contents . Your introduction draws your reader in, setting the stage for your research with a clear focus, purpose, and direction on a relevant topic .

Your introduction should include:

  • Your topic, in context: what does your reader need to know to understand your thesis dissertation?
  • Your focus and scope: what specific aspect of the topic will you address?
  • The relevance of your research: how does your work fit into existing studies on your topic?
  • Your questions and objectives: what does your research aim to find out, and how?
  • An overview of your structure: what does each section contribute to the overall aim?

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Table of contents

How to start your introduction, topic and context, focus and scope, relevance and importance, questions and objectives, overview of the structure, thesis introduction example, introduction checklist, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about introductions.

Although your introduction kicks off your dissertation, it doesn’t have to be the first thing you write — in fact, it’s often one of the very last parts to be completed (just before your abstract ).

It’s a good idea to write a rough draft of your introduction as you begin your research, to help guide you. If you wrote a research proposal , consider using this as a template, as it contains many of the same elements. However, be sure to revise your introduction throughout the writing process, making sure it matches the content of your ensuing sections.

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Begin by introducing your dissertation topic and giving any necessary background information. It’s important to contextualize your research and generate interest. Aim to show why your topic is timely or important. You may want to mention a relevant news item, academic debate, or practical problem.

After a brief introduction to your general area of interest, narrow your focus and define the scope of your research.

You can narrow this down in many ways, such as by:

  • Geographical area
  • Time period
  • Demographics or communities
  • Themes or aspects of the topic

It’s essential to share your motivation for doing this research, as well as how it relates to existing work on your topic. Further, you should also mention what new insights you expect it will contribute.

Start by giving a brief overview of the current state of research. You should definitely cite the most relevant literature, but remember that you will conduct a more in-depth survey of relevant sources in the literature review section, so there’s no need to go too in-depth in the introduction.

Depending on your field, the importance of your research might focus on its practical application (e.g., in policy or management) or on advancing scholarly understanding of the topic (e.g., by developing theories or adding new empirical data). In many cases, it will do both.

Ultimately, your introduction should explain how your thesis or dissertation:

  • Helps solve a practical or theoretical problem
  • Addresses a gap in the literature
  • Builds on existing research
  • Proposes a new understanding of your topic

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Perhaps the most important part of your introduction is your questions and objectives, as it sets up the expectations for the rest of your thesis or dissertation. How you formulate your research questions and research objectives will depend on your discipline, topic, and focus, but you should always clearly state the central aim of your research.

If your research aims to test hypotheses , you can formulate them here. Your introduction is also a good place for a conceptual framework that suggests relationships between variables .

  • Conduct surveys to collect data on students’ levels of knowledge, understanding, and positive/negative perceptions of government policy.
  • Determine whether attitudes to climate policy are associated with variables such as age, gender, region, and social class.
  • Conduct interviews to gain qualitative insights into students’ perspectives and actions in relation to climate policy.

To help guide your reader, end your introduction with an outline  of the structure of the thesis or dissertation to follow. Share a brief summary of each chapter, clearly showing how each contributes to your central aims. However, be careful to keep this overview concise: 1-2 sentences should be enough.

I. Introduction

Human language consists of a set of vowels and consonants which are combined to form words. During the speech production process, thoughts are converted into spoken utterances to convey a message. The appropriate words and their meanings are selected in the mental lexicon (Dell & Burger, 1997). This pre-verbal message is then grammatically coded, during which a syntactic representation of the utterance is built.

Speech, language, and voice disorders affect the vocal cords, nerves, muscles, and brain structures, which result in a distorted language reception or speech production (Sataloff & Hawkshaw, 2014). The symptoms vary from adding superfluous words and taking pauses to hoarseness of the voice, depending on the type of disorder (Dodd, 2005). However, distortions of the speech may also occur as a result of a disease that seems unrelated to speech, such as multiple sclerosis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

This study aims to determine which acoustic parameters are suitable for the automatic detection of exacerbations in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by investigating which aspects of speech differ between COPD patients and healthy speakers and which aspects differ between COPD patients in exacerbation and stable COPD patients.

Checklist: Introduction

I have introduced my research topic in an engaging way.

I have provided necessary context to help the reader understand my topic.

I have clearly specified the focus of my research.

I have shown the relevance and importance of the dissertation topic .

I have clearly stated the problem or question that my research addresses.

I have outlined the specific objectives of the research .

I have provided an overview of the dissertation’s structure .

You've written a strong introduction for your thesis or dissertation. Use the other checklists to continue improving your dissertation.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or research bias, make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

Research bias

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The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:

  • A hook to catch the reader’s interest
  • Relevant background on the topic
  • Details of your research problem

and your problem statement

  • A thesis statement or research question
  • Sometimes an overview of the paper

Don’t feel that you have to write the introduction first. The introduction is often one of the last parts of the research paper you’ll write, along with the conclusion.

This is because it can be easier to introduce your paper once you’ve already written the body ; you may not have the clearest idea of your arguments until you’ve written them, and things can change during the writing process .

Research objectives describe what you intend your research project to accomplish.

They summarize the approach and purpose of the project and help to focus your research.

Your objectives should appear in the introduction of your research paper , at the end of your problem statement .

Scope of research is determined at the beginning of your research process , prior to the data collection stage. Sometimes called “scope of study,” your scope delineates what will and will not be covered in your project. It helps you focus your work and your time, ensuring that you’ll be able to achieve your goals and outcomes.

Defining a scope can be very useful in any research project, from a research proposal to a thesis or dissertation . A scope is needed for all types of research: quantitative , qualitative , and mixed methods .

To define your scope of research, consider the following:

  • Budget constraints or any specifics of grant funding
  • Your proposed timeline and duration
  • Specifics about your population of study, your proposed sample size , and the research methodology you’ll pursue
  • Any inclusion and exclusion criteria
  • Any anticipated control , extraneous , or confounding variables that could bias your research if not accounted for properly.

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  • Boston University Libraries

Theses & Dissertations: Resources for Locating

Proquest dissertations & theses, ethos: electronic theses online service.

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations

Theses Canada

Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation to the Library

Proquest Dissertations & Theses

The world’s most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses. PQDT — Full Text includes millions of searchable citations to dissertation and theses from around the world from 1861 to the present day together with over a million full text dissertations that are available for download in PDF format. Over 2.1 million titles are available for purchase as printed copies. The database offers full text for most of the dissertations added since 1997 and strong retrospective full text coverage for older graduate works.  All materials in full text are available to currently-registered students, faculty and staff for free.

More than 70,000 new full text dissertations and theses are added to the database each year through dissertations publishing partnerships with 700 leading academic institutions worldwide and collaborative retrospective digitization of dissertations through UMI’s Digital Archiving and Access Program.

Each dissertation published since July 1980 includes a 350-word abstract written by the author. Master’s theses published since 1988 include 150-word abstracts. Simple bibliographic citations are available for dissertations dating from 1637. Where available, PQDT — Full Text provides 24-page previews of dissertations and theses.

EThOS (Electronic Theses Online Service)

The aim of EThOS is to offer a ‘single point of access’ where researchers the world over can access ALL theses produced by UK Higher Education

Many UK institutions support Open Access to their theses, so download of their digital and digitized theses is free to the researcher. A small number of participating institutions may not be able to offer Open Access and in this case the researcher may have to pay for the digitization.

EThOS can only offer the theses of participating institutions. While we expect a large number of institutions to take part, we cannot supply from an institution which chooses not to. In this case, you should approach the institution’s library directly to gain access to a thesis. http://ethos.bl.uk/

The Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) is an international organization that promotes the adoption, creation, use, dissemination and preservation of electronic theses and dissertations. The NDLTD Union Catalog contains more than one million records. http://www.ndltd.org/resources/find-etds

The mission of Theses Canada is to acquire and preserve a comprehensive collection of Canadian theses at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), to provide access to this valuable research within Canada and throughout the world. Its mission to preserve this portion of Canada’s bibliographic heritage is achieved through collaboration with the many Canadian universities who participate in the program. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/thesescanada

Please consult the Research Guide:   Guide for Writers of Theses & Dissertations  for information about how to submit your thesis or dissertation to Boston University Libraries.

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Theses and dissertations

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To show Stanford work only, refine by Stanford student work or by Stanford school or department .

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How to write a masters dissertation or thesis: top tips.

How to write a masters dissertation

It is completely normal to find the idea of writing a masters thesis or dissertation slightly daunting, even for students who have written one before at undergraduate level. Though, don’t feel put off by the idea. You’ll have plenty of time to complete it, and plenty of support from your supervisor and peers.

One of the main challenges that students face is putting their ideas and findings into words. Writing is a skill in itself, but with the right advice, you’ll find it much easier to get into the flow of writing your masters thesis or dissertation.

We’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to write a dissertation or thesis for your masters degree, with top tips to consider at each stage in the process.

1. Understand your dissertation (or thesis) topic

There are slight differences between theses and dissertations , although both require a high standard of writing skill and knowledge in your topic. They are also formatted very similarly.

At first, writing a masters thesis can feel like running a 100m race – the course feels very quick and like there is not as much time for thinking! However, you’ll usually have a summer semester dedicated to completing your dissertation – giving plenty of time and space to write a strong academic piece.

By comparison, writing a PhD thesis can feel like running a marathon, working on the same topic for 3-4 years can be laborious. But in many ways, the approach to both of these tasks is quite similar.

Before writing your masters dissertation, get to know your research topic inside out. Not only will understanding your topic help you conduct better research, it will also help you write better dissertation content.

Also consider the main purpose of your dissertation. You are writing to put forward a theory or unique research angle – so make your purpose clear in your writing.

Top writing tip: when researching your topic, look out for specific terms and writing patterns used by other academics. It is likely that there will be a lot of jargon and important themes across research papers in your chosen dissertation topic. 

2. Structure your dissertation or thesis

Writing a thesis is a unique experience and there is no general consensus on what the best way to structure it is. 

As a postgraduate student , you’ll probably decide what kind of structure suits your research project best after consultation with your supervisor. You’ll also have a chance to look at previous masters students’ theses in your university library.

To some extent, all postgraduate dissertations are unique. Though they almost always consist of chapters. The number of chapters you cover will vary depending on the research. 

A masters dissertation or thesis organised into chapters would typically look like this: 

Write down your structure and use these as headings that you’ll write for later on.

Top writing tip : ease each chapter together with a paragraph that links the end of a chapter to the start of a new chapter. For example, you could say something along the lines of “in the next section, these findings are evaluated in more detail”. This makes it easier for the reader to understand each chapter and helps your writing flow better.

3. Write up your literature review

One of the best places to start when writing your masters dissertation is with the literature review. This involves researching and evaluating existing academic literature in order to identify any gaps for your own research.

Many students prefer to write the literature review chapter first, as this is where several of the underpinning theories and concepts exist. This section helps set the stage for the rest of your dissertation, and will help inform the writing of your other dissertation chapters.

What to include in your literature review

The literature review chapter is more than just a summary of existing research, it is an evaluation of how this research has informed your own unique research.

Demonstrate how the different pieces of research fit together. Are there overlapping theories? Are there disagreements between researchers?

Highlight the gap in the research. This is key, as a dissertation is mostly about developing your own unique research. Is there an unexplored avenue of research? Has existing research failed to disprove a particular theory?

Back up your methodology. Demonstrate why your methodology is appropriate by discussing where it has been used successfully in other research.

4. Write up your research

Your research is the heart and soul of your dissertation. Conducting your actual research is a whole other topic in itself, but it’s important to consider that your research design will heavily influence the way you write your final dissertation.

For instance, a more theoretical-based research topic might encompass more writing from a philosophical perspective. Qualitative data might require a lot more evaluation and discussion than quantitative research. 

Methodology chapter

The methodology chapter is all about how you carried out your research and which specific techniques you used to gather data. You should write about broader methodological approaches (e.g. qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods), and then go into more detail about your chosen data collection strategy. 

Data collection strategies include things like interviews, questionnaires, surveys, content analyses, discourse analyses and many more.

Data analysis and findings chapters

The data analysis or findings chapter should cover what you actually discovered during your research project. It should be detailed, specific and objective (don’t worry, you’ll have time for evaluation later on in your dissertation)

Write up your findings in a way that is easy to understand. For example, if you have a lot of numerical data, this could be easier to digest in tables.

This will make it easier for you to dive into some deeper analysis in later chapters. Remember, the reader will refer back to your data analysis section to cross-reference your later evaluations against your actual findings – so presenting your data in a simple manner is beneficial.

Think about how you can segment your data into categories. For instance, it can be useful to segment interview transcripts by interviewee. 

Top writing tip : write up notes on how you might phrase a certain part of the research. This will help bring the best out of your writing. There is nothing worse than when you think of the perfect way to phrase something and then you completely forget it.

5. Discuss and evaluate

Once you’ve presented your findings, it’s time to evaluate and discuss them.

It might feel difficult to differentiate between your findings and discussion sections, because you are essentially talking about the same data. The easiest way to remember the difference is that your findings simply present the data, whereas your discussion tells the story of this data.

Your evaluation breaks the story down, explaining the key findings, what went well and what didn’t go so well.

In your discussion chapter, you’ll have chance to expand on the results from your findings section. For example, explain what certain numbers mean and draw relationships between different pieces of data.

Top writing tip: don’t be afraid to point out the shortcomings of your research. You will receive higher marks for writing objectively. For example, if you didn’t receive as many interview responses as expected, evaluate how this has impacted your research and findings. Don’t let your ego get in the way!

6. Write your introduction

Your introduction sets the scene for the rest of your masters dissertation. You might be wondering why writing an introduction isn't at the start of our step-by-step list, and that’s because many students write this chapter last.

Here’s what your introduction chapter should cover:

Problem statement

Research question

Significance of your research

This tells the reader what you’ll be researching as well as its importance. You’ll have a good idea of what to include here from your original dissertation proposal , though it’s fairly common for research to change once it gets started.

Writing or at least revisiting this section last can be really helpful, since you’ll have a more well-rounded view of what your research actually covers once it has been completed and written up.

How to write a masters dissertation

Masters dissertation writing tips

When to start writing your thesis or dissertation.

When you should start writing your masters thesis or dissertation depends on the scope of the research project and the duration of your course. In some cases, your research project may be relatively short and you may not be able to write much of your thesis before completing the project. 

But regardless of the nature of your research project and of the scope of your course, you should start writing your thesis or at least some of its sections as early as possible, and there are a number of good reasons for this:

Academic writing is about practice, not talent. The first steps of writing your dissertation will help you get into the swing of your project. Write early to help you prepare in good time.

Write things as you do them. This is a good way to keep your dissertation full of fresh ideas and ensure that you don’t forget valuable information.

The first draft is never perfect. Give yourself time to edit and improve your dissertation. It’s likely that you’ll need to make at least one or two more drafts before your final submission.

Writing early on will help you stay motivated when writing all subsequent drafts.

Thinking and writing are very connected. As you write, new ideas and concepts will come to mind. So writing early on is a great way to generate new ideas.

How to improve your writing skills

The best way of improving your dissertation or thesis writing skills is to:

 Finish the first draft of your masters thesis as early as possible and send it to your supervisor for revision. Your supervisor will correct your draft and point out any writing errors. This process will be repeated a few times which will help you recognise and correct writing mistakes yourself as time progresses.

If you are not a native English speaker, it may be useful to ask your English friends to read a part of your thesis and warn you about any recurring writing mistakes. Read our section on English language support for more advice. 

Most universities have writing centres that offer writing courses and other kinds of support for postgraduate students. Attending these courses may help you improve your writing and meet other postgraduate students with whom you will be able to discuss what constitutes a well-written thesis.

Read academic articles and search for writing resources on the internet. This will help you adopt an academic writing style, which will eventually become effortless with practice.

Keep track of your bibliography 

When studying for your masters dissertation, you will need to develop an efficient way of organising your bibliography – this will prevent you from getting lost in large piles of data that you’ll need to write your dissertation. 

The easiest way to keep the track of all the articles you have read for your research is to create a database where you can summarise each article/chapter into a few most important bullet points to help you remember their content. 

Another useful tool for doing this effectively is to learn how to use specific reference management software (RMS) such as EndNote. RMS is relatively simple to use and saves a lot of time when it comes to organising your bibliography. This may come in very handy, especially if your reference section is suspiciously missing two hours before you need to submit your dissertation! 

Avoid accidental plagiarism

Plagiarism may cost you your postgraduate degree and it is important that you consciously avoid it when writing your thesis or dissertation. 

Occasionally, postgraduate students commit plagiarism unintentionally. This can happen when sections are copy and pasted from journal articles they are citing instead of simply rephrasing them. Whenever you are presenting information from another academic source, make sure you reference the source and avoid writing the statement exactly as it is written in the original paper.

What kind of format should your thesis have?

How to write a masters dissertation

Read your university’s guidelines before you actually start writing your thesis so you don’t have to waste time changing the format further down the line. However in general, most universities will require you to use 1.5-2 line spacing, font size 12 for text, and to print your thesis on A4 paper. These formatting guidelines may not necessarily result in the most aesthetically appealing thesis, however beauty is not always practical, and a nice looking thesis can be a more tiring reading experience for your postgrad examiner .

When should I submit my thesis?

The length of time it takes to complete your MSc or MA thesis will vary from student to student. This is because people work at different speeds, projects vary in difficulty, and some projects encounter more problems than others. 

Obviously, you should submit your MSc thesis or MA thesis when it is finished! Every university will say in its regulations that it is the student who must decide when it is ready to submit. 

However, your supervisor will advise you whether your work is ready and you should take their advice on this. If your supervisor says that your work is not ready, then it is probably unwise to submit it. Usually your supervisor will read your final thesis or dissertation draft and will let you know what’s required before submitting your final draft.

Set yourself a target for completion. This will help you stay on track and avoid falling behind. You may also only have funding for the year, so it is important to ensure you submit your dissertation before the deadline – and also ensure you don’t miss out on your graduation ceremony ! 

To set your target date, work backwards from the final completion and submission date, and aim to have your final draft completed at least three months before that final date.

Don’t leave your submission until the last minute – submit your work in good time before the final deadline. Consider what else you’ll have going on around that time. Are you moving back home? Do you have a holiday? Do you have other plans?

If you need to have finished by the end of June to be able to go to a graduation ceremony in July, then you should leave a suitable amount of time for this. You can build this into your dissertation project planning at the start of your research.

It is important to remember that handing in your thesis or dissertation is not the end of your masters program . There will be a period of time of one to three months between the time you submit and your final day. Some courses may even require a viva to discuss your research project, though this is more common at PhD level . 

If you have passed, you will need to make arrangements for the thesis to be properly bound and resubmitted, which will take a week or two. You may also have minor corrections to make to the work, which could take up to a month or so. This means that you need to allow a period of at least three months between submitting your thesis and the time when your program will be completely finished. Of course, it is also possible you may be asked after the viva to do more work on your thesis and resubmit it before the examiners will agree to award the degree – so there may be an even longer time period before you have finished.

How do I submit the MA or MSc dissertation?

Most universities will have a clear procedure for submitting a masters dissertation. Some universities require your ‘intention to submit’. This notifies them that you are ready to submit and allows the university to appoint an external examiner.

This normally has to be completed at least three months before the date on which you think you will be ready to submit.

When your MA or MSc dissertation is ready, you will have to print several copies and have them bound. The number of copies varies between universities, but the university usually requires three – one for each of the examiners and one for your supervisor.

However, you will need one more copy – for yourself! These copies must be softbound, not hardbound. The theses you see on the library shelves will be bound in an impressive hardback cover, but you can only get your work bound like this once you have passed. 

You should submit your dissertation or thesis for examination in soft paper or card covers, and your university will give you detailed guidance on how it should be bound. They will also recommend places where you can get the work done.

The next stage is to hand in your work, in the way and to the place that is indicated in your university’s regulations. All you can do then is sit and wait for the examination – but submitting your thesis is often a time of great relief and celebration!

Some universities only require a digital submission, where you upload your dissertation as a file through their online submission system.

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Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Crystal to crustal scale seismic anisotropy: implications for continental tectonism public deposited, downloadable content.

theses for dissertation

Much of what we know about continents comes from rocks exposed on Earth’s surface; where we live, travel, and observe. However, this is just the outermost crust of our immense planet—the rest is buried. Understanding Earth’s interior, the roots of deep mountains, and the origin of continents relies on remote analytical methods. Just as telescopes are used to study distant galaxies via light waves, we use geophysics and seismic waves to investigate deep Earth structure.

This thesis examines the seismic properties of rocks at various scales to understand the fabric and formation of continents. In three main chapters, this study focuses on the directionally varying velocities (seismic anisotropy) of waves as they propagate through Earth materials from the crystal to crustal scales. Chapter Two investigates the seismic properties of rocks with magmatic fabrics (e.g., granite), complementing what is already understood about rocks with solid-state deformation fabrics (e.g., layered gneiss). Chapter Three scales up these calculated seismic properties of rock samples from the centimeter scale to the kilometer scale via geologic map data and seismic station data in Colorado to examine links between surface and subsurface geology. Chapter Four applies these properties in the Southern Appalachians; using observed crustal seismic anisotropy measured from seismic stations on Earth’s surface to interpret subsurface rock fabrics and structures (e.g., the Appalachian Décollement) that facilitate the collision of continents. This thesis diversifies what scientists know about rock seismic properties, outlines how to scale these properties for various tectonic interpretations, and demonstrates how interdisciplinary geophysical and structural collaborations can inform on the origin of mountains.

  • Frothingham, Michael Geoffrey
  • Geological Sciences
  • Schulte-Pelkum, Vera
  • Mahan, Kevin H.
  • Ritzwoller, Michael H.
  • Caine, Jonathan S.
  • Flowers, Rebecca M.
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • Seismic anisotropy
  • Plate tectonics
  • Dissertation
  • In Copyright
  • English [eng]


The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal

Bill Ackman’s Wife, Neri Oxman, Apologizes for Plagiarism in Her 2010 Dissertation

Posted: January 6, 2024 | Last updated: January 6, 2024

Neri Oxman, an architect and the wife of billionaire investor Bill Ackman, has apologized for instances of plagiarism in her 2010 dissertation.

A Business Insider article Thursday said she didn’t use quotation marks when quoting another work in several instances and paraphrased from a book without a citation.

Ackman had pushed to oust Harvard University President Claudine Gay, who resigned Tuesday, in part because of allegations of plagiarism in her academic work.

Oxman, who started New York-based design and technology company Oxman in 2020, wrote the dissertation when she was a doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was a professor at MIT’s Media Lab for about a decade, starting in 2010, before leaving to focus on her firm.

“I regret and apologize for these errors,” Oxman said in a post on X Thursday.

Ackman was at the forefront of the effort to push out Gay because of her response to antisemitism at the school, as well as the plagiarism allegations. The Harvard Corporation, the university’s governing body, said in December that reviews of Gay’s work uncovered some instances of “inadequate citation,” but that the omissions didn’t meet the bar of outright research misconduct.

Gay acknowledged some missteps. She requested four corrections on two academic papers and is updating her dissertation in three spots, according to the school.

Gay, the first Black person to lead the university, is a scholar of race and politics. She became the second university president, after Liz Magill at the University of Pennsylvania, to resign following an appearance in front of Congress to discuss antisemitism on campus. Many of Gay’s supporters said she was targeted in part because of her race.

Members of Congress tried to take credit Tuesday for Gay’s resignation, as did conservative activists who amplified the plagiarism accusations.

Ackman remains focused on pressing for change at Harvard. He said this week that members of the Harvard Corporation should step down, and called for disbanding the school’s office focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion.

“You know that you struck a chord when they go after your wife,” Ackman posted on X after the Business Insider article was published.

“Part of what makes her human,” Ackman said of Oxman, “is that she makes mistakes, owns them, and apologizes when appropriate.”

Ackman took to X again Friday evening to address a new article from Business Insider alleging additional instances of Oxman copying material without attribution, including entire paragraphs, in some of her academic writings.

“It is unfortunate that my actions to address problems in higher education have led to these attacks on my family,” he wrote on X. Ackman also said he would launch a review of work by MIT’s faculty, president and board members for signs of plagiarism.

Before the publication of Business Insider’s second article, Oxman and Ackman declined to comment beyond their Thursday posts. Neither responded to additional requests for comment late Friday after the latest article was published.

MIT leaders are focusing on the institute’s work, a spokesperson said late Friday.

Write to Joseph Pisani at [email protected]

Bill Ackman’s Wife, Neri Oxman, Apologizes for Plagiarism in Her 2010 Dissertation

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  • Main content

Neri Oxman admits to plagiarizing in her doctoral dissertation after BI report

  • Neri Oxman, a former tenured professor at MIT, apologized for parts of her dissertation.
  • Business Insider found that Oxman, the wife of Bill Ackman, had multiple instances of plagiarism.
  • "I regret and apologize for these errors," she wrote on X, and said she would update her work.

Insider Today

Neri Oxman , the wife of billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman , admitted to failing to properly credit sources in portions of her doctoral dissertation after Business Insider published an article finding that Oxman engaged in a pattern of plagiarism similar to that of former Harvard president Claudine Gay .

BI identified four instances in Oxman's dissertation in which she lifted paragraphs from other scholars' work without including them in quotation marks. In those instances, Oxman wrote in a post on X , using quotation marks would have been "the proper approach for crediting the work. I regret and apologize for these errors."

Ackman has been on a crusade to force Gay to resign , which she did this week. Revelations that she had plagiarized portions of academic articles, publicized by far-right activist Christopher Rufo, added fuel to his calls for Gay to step down after protests against Israel's war in Gaza rocked Harvard's campus.

Ackman said Gay had mishandled the student protests and created a culture of antisemitism at the elite Cambridge institution. Gay's plagiarism underscored her lack of fitness to lead the institution, or even to teach at Harvard, Ackman wrote on X, calling Gay's plagiarism "very serious."

Oxman, an architect and artist, received her Ph.D. from MIT in 2010 and became a tenured professor there in 2017 before leaving the university in June 2021, an MIT spokesperson said. Her failure to use quotation marks to identify passages of text from other sources meets the definition of plagiarism as spelled out in MIT's academic integrity handbook.

Oxman wrote on X that after she has reviewed the original sources, she plans to "request that MIT make any necessary corrections."

"As I have dedicated my career to advancing science and innovation, I have always recognized the profound importance of the contributions of my peers and those who came before me. I hope that my work is helpful to the generations to come," she wrote.

Oxman now leads an eponymous company, Oxman , focused on "innovation in product, architectural, and urban design," she wrote on X. "OXMAN has been in stealth mode. I look forward to sharing more about OXMAN later this year."

Her husband, Ackman, lauded her transparency in his own post on X following the publication of Business Insider's article.

"​​Part of what makes her human is that she makes mistakes, owns them, and apologizes when appropriate," he wrote .

theses for dissertation

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theses for dissertation


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  3. Thesis Meaning

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  1. Dissertations & Theses

    ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (PQDT Global), continues to grow its repository of 5 million graduate works each year, thanks to the continued contribution from the world's universities, creating an ever-growing resource of emerging research to fuel innovation and new insights.

  2. OATD

    OATD.org aims to be the best possible resource for finding open access graduate theses and dissertations published around the world. Metadata (information about the theses) comes from over 1100 colleges, universities, and research institutions . OATD currently indexes 6,874,263 theses and dissertations. About OATD (our FAQ).

  3. What Is a Thesis?

    A thesis is a type of research paper based on your original research. It is usually submitted as the final step of a master's program or a capstone to a bachelor's degree. Writing a thesis can be a daunting experience. Other than a dissertation, it is one of the longest pieces of writing students typically complete.

  4. Thesis and Dissertation: Getting Started

    The resources in this section are designed to provide guidance for the first steps of the thesis or dissertation writing process. They offer tools to support the planning and managing of your project, including writing out your weekly schedule, outlining your goals, and organzing the various working elements of your project.

  5. Prize-Winning Thesis and Dissertation Examples

    Author: Julien Saint Reiman Award: 2018 Charles A. Beard Senior Thesis Prize Title: "A Starving Man Helping Another Starving Man": UNRRA, India, and the Genesis of Global Relief, 1943-1947 University: University College London Faculty: Geography Author: Anna Knowles-Smith Award: 2017 Royal Geographical Society Undergraduate Dissertation Prize

  6. Dissertation & Thesis Outline

    Dissertation & Thesis Outline | Example & Free Templates. Published on June 7, 2022 by Tegan George.Revised on November 21, 2023. A thesis or dissertation outline is one of the most critical early steps in your writing process.It helps you to lay out and organize your ideas and can provide you with a roadmap for deciding the specifics of your dissertation topic and showcasing its relevance to ...

  7. University Thesis and Dissertation Templates

    Most theses and dissertations are published through ProQuest or another publisher (Harvard, for instance, uses their own open publishing service). For this reason, it may be the case that your institution requires all images or other content obtained from other sources to fall under fair use rules or, if an image is not considered under fair ...

  8. Guide to Writing Your Thesis/Dissertation : Graduate School

    The dissertation or thesis is a scholarly treatise that substantiates a specific point of view as a result of original research that is conducted by students during their graduate study. At Cornell, the thesis is a requirement for the receipt of the M.A. and M.S. degrees and some professional master's degrees.

  9. Dissertations and theses

    Why use a dissertation or a thesis? A dissertation is the final large research paper, based on original research, for many disciplines to be able to complete a PhD degree. The thesis is the same idea but for a masters degree.

  10. Dissertations and theses as a research tool

    Want to borrow a thesis or dissertation written at another institution that isn't available in full text online ? Request it via ILLIAD, Tufts' interlibrary loan service. Choose the "Thesis" request form and provide as much descriptive information as you can.

  11. Theses and Dissertations

    ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. According to ProQuest, coverage begins with 1637. With more than 2.4 million entries, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global is the starting point for finding citations to doctoral dissertations and master's theses. Dissertations published from 1980 forward include 350-word abstracts written by the author.

  12. Dissertations & Theses

    To find doctoral dissertations from North American universities and some European institutions, search: Dissertations and Theses Full Text. This is the largest database with 2.7 million citations for Masters and PhD dissertations.

  13. What Is a Dissertation?

    "Thesis" and "dissertation" are sometimes used interchangeably, but their definitions differ per country. In the US, a dissertation generally refers to the collection of research you conducted to obtain a PhD. In other countries (such as the UK), a dissertation often refers to the research you conduct to obtain your bachelor's or master's degree.

  14. LibGuides: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global: Home

    ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global is a wealth of unique global scholarship, which is a credible and quality source to Uncover the Undiscovered research insights and intelligence in easiest and most effective ways. The equitable discoverability of more than 5 million dissertations and theses with coverage from year 1637, allows researchers to amplify diverse voices and place their research ...

  15. Theses and Dissertations

    A dissertation or thesis is a document submitted in support of candidature for a degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings. (International Standard ISO 7144: Documentation — Presentation of theses and similar documents).

  16. EBSCO Open Dissertations

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  17. How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

    How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction. Published on September 7, 2022 by Tegan George and Shona McCombes. Revised on November 21, 2023. The introduction is the first section of your thesis or dissertation, appearing right after the table of contents.Your introduction draws your reader in, setting the stage for your research with a clear focus, purpose, and direction on a relevant ...

  18. Research: Theses & Dissertations: Resources for Locating: Home

    Submitting a Thesis or Dissertation to the Library Please consult the Research Guide: Guide for Writers of Theses & Dissertations for information about how to submit your thesis or dissertation to Boston University Libraries. Librarian

  19. Harvard University Theses, Dissertations, and Prize Papers

    Spanning from the 'theses and quaestiones' of the 17th and 18th centuries to the current yearly output of student research, they include both the first Harvard Ph.D. dissertation (by William Byerly, Ph.D. 1873) and the dissertation of the first woman to earn a doctorate from Harvard (Lorna Myrtle Hodgkinson, Ed.D. 1922).. Other highlights include:

  20. Dissertation theses in SearchWorks catalog

    The dissertation simultaneously recuperates the agency of constituent power, especially in moments of public assembly. Specifically, it frames constitutional text as corporeal by exposing the body's aporetic disappearance: from French legal codes of the 17th century that structured race, to the contemporary elision of the freedom of assembly ...

  21. How to Write a Dissertation or Masters Thesis

    Writing a masters dissertation or thesis is a sizable task. It takes a considerable amount of research, studying and writing. Usually, students need to write around 10,000 to 15,000 words. It is completely normal to find the idea of writing a masters thesis or dissertation slightly daunting, even for students who have written one before at ...

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  23. PDF A Complete Dissertation

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  24. PDF Guidelines for Dissertations, Theses, and Doctoral Projects

    A dissertation, thesis, or doctoral project is one of the most important pieces of work a student will accomplish during his or her graduate career. The quality of the document is a reflection of the student and The University of Southern Mississippi. Therefore, the Graduate School is committed to helping students produce the best document ...

  25. Dissertations & Theses

    Access to 5 million citations to dissertations and theses from around the world from 1637 to the present day together with over 2.7 million full text dissertations that are available for download in PDF format. The database offers full text for most of the dissertations added since 1997 and strong retrospective full text coverage for older ...

  26. Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

    This thesis diversifies what scientists know about rock seismic properties, outlines how to scale these properties for various tectonic interpretations, and demonstrates how interdisciplinary geophysical and structural collaborations can inform on the origin of mountains. Creator. Frothingham, Michael Geoffrey; Date Issued. 2023-04-06; Academic ...

  27. Bill Ackman's Wife, Neri Oxman, Apologizes for Plagiarism in ...

    Neri Oxman, an architect and the wife of billionaire investor Bill Ackman, has apologized for instances of plagiarism in her 2010 dissertation. A Business Insider article Thursday said she didn ...

  28. Neri Oxman Admits to Plagiarizing in Her Doctoral Dissertation

    Neri Oxman, a former tenured professor at MIT, apologized for parts of her dissertation. Business Insider found that Oxman, the wife of Bill Ackman, had multiple instances of plagiarism.