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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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 .

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While Sandel argues that pursuing perfection through genetic engineering would decrease our sense of humility, he claims that the sense of solidarity we would lose is also important.

This thesis summarizes several points in Sandel’s argument, but it does not make a claim about how we should understand his argument. A reader who read Sandel’s argument would not also need to read an essay based on this descriptive thesis.  

Broad thesis (arguable, but difficult to support with evidence) 

Michael Sandel’s arguments about genetic engineering do not take into consideration all the relevant issues.

This is an arguable claim because it would be possible to argue against it by saying that Michael Sandel’s arguments do take all of the relevant issues into consideration. But the claim is too broad. Because the thesis does not specify which “issues” it is focused on—or why it matters if they are considered—readers won’t know what the rest of the essay will argue, and the writer won’t know what to focus on. If there is a particular issue that Sandel does not address, then a more specific version of the thesis would include that issue—hand an explanation of why it is important.  

Arguable thesis with analytical claim 

While Sandel argues persuasively that our instinct to “remake” (54) ourselves into something ever more perfect is a problem, his belief that we can always draw a line between what is medically necessary and what makes us simply “better than well” (51) is less convincing.

This is an arguable analytical claim. To argue for this claim, the essay writer will need to show how evidence from the article itself points to this interpretation. It’s also a reasonable scope for a thesis because it can be supported with evidence available in the text and is neither too broad nor too narrow.  

Arguable thesis with normative claim 

Given Sandel’s argument against genetic enhancement, we should not allow parents to decide on using Human Growth Hormone for their children.

This thesis tells us what we should do about a particular issue discussed in Sandel’s article, but it does not tell us how we should understand Sandel’s argument.  

Questions to ask about your thesis 

  • Is the thesis truly arguable? Does it speak to a genuine dilemma in the source, or would most readers automatically agree with it?  
  • Is the thesis too obvious? Again, would most or all readers agree with it without needing to see your argument?  
  • Is the thesis complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of argument?  
  • Is the thesis supportable with evidence from the text rather than with generalizations or outside research?  
  • Would anyone want to read a paper in which this thesis was developed? That is, can you explain what this paper is adding to our understanding of a problem, question, or topic?
  • picture_as_pdf Thesis

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How to Write a Master's Thesis: A Guide to Planning Your Thesis, Pursuing It, and Avoiding Pitfalls


Part 1: Initial Considerations

Who needs to write a master’s thesis.

Thesis writing is one of the more daunting challenges of higher education. That being said, not all master's students have to write a thesis. For example, fields that place a stronger emphasis on applied knowledge, such as nursing, business, and education, tend to have projects and exams to test students on the skills and abilities associated with those fields. Conversely, in disciplines that require in-depth research or highly polished creative abilities, students are usually expected to prove their understanding and independence with a thesis.

What's Your Goal?

Do you want to write a thesis? The process is a long one, often spanning years. It's best to know exactly what you want before you begin. Many people are motivated by career goals. For example, hiring managers may see a master's degree as proof that the candidate is an expert within their field and can lead, motivate, and demonstrate initiative for themselves and others. Others dream of earning their doctorate, and they see a master's degree as a stepping stone toward their Ph.D .

how to find a master thesis

No matter what your desired goal is, you should have one before you start your thesis. With your goal in mind, your work will have a purpose, which will allow you to measure your progress more easily.

Major Types of Theses

Once you've carefully researched or even enrolled in a master's program—a feat that involves its own planning and resources —you should know if you are expected to produce a quantitative (which occurs in many math and science programs), qualitative (which occurs in many humanities programs), or creative (which occurs in many creative writing, music, or fine arts programs) thesis.

Time and Energy Considerations

Advanced degrees are notoriously time and energy consuming. If you have a job, thesis writing will become your second job. If you have a family, they will need to know that your thesis will take a great deal of your attention, energy, and focus.

how to find a master thesis

Your studies should not consume you, but they also should not take a back seat to everything else. You will be expected to attend classes, conduct research, source relevant literature, and schedule meetings with various people as you pursue your master's, so it's important to let those you care about know what's going on.

As a general note, most master's programs expect students to finish within a two-year period but are willing to grant extra time if requested, especially if that time is needed to deal with unexpected life events (more on those later).

Part 2: Form an Initial Thesis Question, and Find a Supervisor

When to begin forming your initial thesis question.

Some fields, such as history, may require you to have already formed your thesis question and to have used it to create a statement of intent (outlining the nature of your research) prior to applying to a master’s program. Others may require this information only after you've been accepted. Most of the time, you will be expected to come up with your topic yourself. However, in some disciplines, your supervisor may assign a general research topic to you.

Overall, requirements vary immensely from program to program, so it's best to confirm the exact requirements of your specific program.

What to Say to Your Supervisor

You will have a supervisor during your master's studies. Have you identified who that person will be? If yes, have you introduced yourself via email or phone and obtained information on the processes and procedures that are in place for your master's program? Once you've established contact, request an in-person meeting with him or her, and take a page of questions along with you. Your questions might include:

  • Is there a research subject you can recommend in my field?
  • I would like to pursue [target research subject] for my thesis. Can you help me narrow my focus?
  • Can you give me an example of a properly formatted thesis proposal for my program?

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help (to a Degree)

Procedures and expectations vary from program to program, and your supervisor is there to help remove doubt and provide encouragement so you can follow the right path when you embark on writing your thesis. Since your supervisor has almost certainly worked with other graduate students (and was one at some point), take advantage of their experience, and ask questions to put your mind at ease about how to write a master’s thesis.

That being said, do not rely too heavily on your supervisor. As a graduate student, you are also expected to be able to work independently. Proving your independent initiative and capacity is part of what will earn you your master's degree.

Part 3: Revise Your Thesis

Read everything you can get your hands on.

Whether you have a question or need to create one, your next step is simple and applies to all kinds of theses: read.

how to find a master thesis

Seek Out Knowledge or Research Gaps

Read everything you can that relates to the question or the field you are studying. The only way you will be able to determine where you can go is to see where everyone else has been. After you have read some published material, you will start to spot gaps in current research or notice things that could be developed further with an alternative approach. Things that are known but not understood or understood but not explained clearly or consistently are great potential thesis subjects. Addressing something already known from a new perspective or with a different style could also be a potentially valuable project. Whichever way you choose to do it, keep in mind that your project should make a valuable contribution to your field.

how to find a master thesis

Talk with Experts in Your Field (and Don't Be Afraid to Revise Your Thesis)

To help narrow down your thesis topic, talk to your supervisor. Your supervisor will have an idea of what is current in your field and what can be left alone because others are already working on it. Additionally, the school you are attending will have programs and faculty with particular areas of interest within your chosen field.

On a similar note, don't be surprised if your thesis question changes as you study. Other students and researchers are out there, and as they publish, what you are working on can change. You might also discover that your question is too vague, not substantial enough, or even no longer relevant. Do not lose heart! Take what you know and adjust the question to address these concerns as they arise. The freedom to adapt is part of the power you hold as a graduate student.

Part 4: Select a Proposal Committee

What proposal committees are and why they're useful.

When you have a solid question or set of questions, draft a proposal.

how to find a master thesis

You'll need an original stance and a clear justification for asking, and answering, your thesis question. To ensure this, a committee will review your thesis proposal. Thankfully, that committee will consist of people assigned by your supervisor or department head or handpicked by you. These people will be experts who understand your field of study and will do everything in their power to ensure that you are pursuing something worthwhile. And yes, it is okay to put your supervisor on your committee. Some programs even require that your supervisor be on your committee.

Just remember that the committee will expect you to schedule meetings with them, present your proposal, respond to any questions they might have for you, and ultimately present your findings and thesis when all the work is done. Choose those who are willing to support you, give constructive feedback, and help address issues with your proposal. And don't forget to give your proposal a good, thorough edit and proofread before you present it.

How to Prepare for Committee Meetings

Be ready for committee meetings with synopses of your material for committee members, answers for expected questions, and a calm attitude. To prepare for those meetings, sit in on proposal and thesis defenses so you can watch how other graduate students handle them and see what your committee might ask of you. You can even hold rehearsals with friends and fellow students acting as your committee to help you build confidence for your presentation.

how to find a master thesis

Part 5: Write Your Thesis

What to do once your proposal is approved.

After you have written your thesis proposal and received feedback from your committee, the fun part starts: doing the work. This is where you will take your proposal and carry it out. If you drafted a qualitative or quantitative proposal, your experimentation or will begin here. If you wrote a creative proposal, you will now start working on your material. Your proposal should be strong enough to give you direction when you perform your experiments, conduct interviews, or craft your work. Take note that you will have to check in with your supervisor from time to time to give progress updates.

how to find a master thesis

Thesis Writing: It's Important to Pace Yourself and Take Breaks

Do not expect the work to go quickly. You will need to pace yourself and make sure you record your progress meticulously. You can always discard information you don't need, but you cannot go back and grab a crucial fact that you can't quite remember. When in doubt, write it down. When drawing from a source, always create a citation for the information to save your future self time and stress. In the same sense, you may also find journaling to be a helpful process.

Additionally, take breaks and allow yourself to step away from your thesis, even if you're having fun (and especially if you're not). Ideally, your proposal should have milestones in it— points where you can stop and assess what you've already completed and what's left to do. When you reach a milestone, celebrate. Take a day off and relax. Better yet, give yourself a week's vacation! The rest will help you regain your focus and ensure that you function at your best.

How to Become More Comfortable with Presenting Your Work

Once you start reaching your milestones, you should be able to start sharing what you have. Just about everyone in a graduate program has experience giving a presentation at the front of the class, attending a seminar, or watching an interview. If you haven't (or even if you have), look for conferences and clubs that will give you the opportunity to learn about presenting your work and become comfortable with the idea of public speaking. The more you practice talking about what you are studying, the more comfortable you'll be with the information, which will make your committee defenses and other official meetings easier.

Published authors can be called upon to present at conferences, and if your thesis is strong, you may receive an email or a phone call asking if you would share your findings onstage.

Presenting at conferences is also a great way to boost your CV and network within your field. Make presenting part of your education, and it will become something you look forward to instead of fear.

What to Do If Your Relationship with Your Supervisor Sours

A small aside: If it isn't already obvious, you will be communicating extensively with others as you pursue your thesis. That also means that others will need to communicate with you, and if you've been noticing things getting quiet, you will need to be the one to speak up. Your supervisor should speak to you at least once a term and preferably once a week in the more active parts of your research and writing. If you give written work to your supervisor, you should have feedback within three weeks.

If your supervisor does not provide feedback, frequently misses appointments, or is consistently discouraging of your work, contact your graduate program advisor and ask for a new supervisor. The relationship with your supervisor is crucial to your success, especially if she or he is on your committee, and while your supervisor does not have to be friendly, there should at least be professional respect between you.

What to Do If a Crisis Strikes

If something happens in your life that disrupts everything (e.g., emotional strain, the birth of a child, or the death of a family member), ask for help. You are a human being, and personal lives can and do change without warning. Do not wait until you are falling apart before asking for help, either. Learn what resources exist for crises before you have one, so you can head off trauma before it hits. That being said, if you get blindsided, don't refuse help. Seek it out, and take the time you need to recover. Your degree is supposed to help you become a stronger and smarter person, not break you.

Part 6: Polish and Defend Your Master's Thesis

How to write a master’s thesis: the final stages.

After your work is done and everything is written down, you will have to give your thesis a good, thorough polishing. This is where you will have to organize the information, draft it into a paper format with an abstract, and abbreviate things to help meet your word-count limit. This is also where your final editing and proofreading passes will occur, after which you will face your final hurdle: presenting your thesis defense to your committee. If they approve your thesis, then congratulations! You are now a master of your chosen field.

Conclusion and Parting Thoughts

Remember that you do not (and should not) have to learn how to write a master’s thesis on your own. Thesis writing is collaborative, as is practically any kind of research.

how to find a master thesis

While you will be expected to develop your thesis using your own initiative, pursue it with your own ambition, and complete it with your own abilities, you will also be expected to use all available resources to do so. The purpose of a master's thesis is to help you develop your own independent abilities, ensuring that you can drive your own career forward without constantly looking to others to provide direction. Leaders get master's degrees. That's why many business professionals in leadership roles have graduate degree initials after their last names. If you already have the skills necessary to motivate yourself, lead others, and drive change, you may only need your master's as an acknowledgement of your abilities. If you do not, but you apply yourself carefully and thoroughly to the pursuit of your thesis, you should come away from your studies with those skills in place.

A final thought regarding collaboration: all theses have a section for acknowledgements. Be sure to say thank you to those who helped you become a master. One day, someone might be doing the same for you.

Image source: Falkenpost/ 

We’re Masters at Master’s Theses! Make Yours Shine.

Let our expert academic editors perfect your writing, or get a free sample, about the author.

Anthony Granziol

A Scribendi in-house editor, Anthony is happily putting his BA in English from Western University to good use with thoughtful feedback and incisive editing. An avid reader and gamer, he can be found during his off hours enjoying narrative-driven games and obscure and amusing texts, as well as cooking for his family.

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Start with  HOLLIS  (HarvardKey login required for some full text, including theses & dissertations)

  • Those presented for graduate degrees 
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  • “View Online” button links out to full text.
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  • Under certain circumstances dissertations may be embargoed by the author; DASH may be the only place this information is given.

If the work hasn't been digitized:

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  • Find & cite a thesis / dissertation
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What's a thesis? What's a dissertation? What's the difference?

Finding theses and dissertations, citing theses & dissertations.

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In the United States, both theses and dissertations:

  • Are usually written about original research done by the author 
  • Tend to be lengthier than most scholarly articles
  • Must be completed to finish a graduate degree

A  thesis  is sometimes required for a master's degree, but not all master's programs require one. (I have two master's degrees and neither required a thesis.) 

A  dissertation  is almost always required for a doctoral degree. Since most doctoral degrees take several years, the research project for a doctoral degree may have a bigger scope than research done for a master's degree. Not surprisingly, then, a dissertation is likely to be much longer than a thesis. 

Theses & dissertations used to be harder to find

In the past, theses and dissertations were only been available at the college or university that granted the author's degree. (It's very different from books - most books can be found at several different libraries around the world.) Lucky for us, this model is changing! 

Nowadays, more and more schools are requiring their students to submit their theses or dissertations to something called an  institutional repository . Institutional repositories are online, and everything in them is freely available to anyone. That said, you don't have time to go to each and every college's institutional repository - and there are better ways you can search for theses and dissertations. 

There are two main ways you can find freely available theses and dissertations: 

1. Search online repositories

Most institutional repositories are hosted by individual colleges and universities. It would take way too much time for you to search every single school's repository, so I would recommend searching some of these "aggregator" sites below. They'll search any institutional repository they can find - so you'll be able to more easily find all the dissertations or theses on your topic.

  • Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD)
  • ProQuest Digital Theses & Dissertations Open (PQDT Open)
  • Open Access Theses & Dissertations

2. Search ERIC

Although the library provides database access to ERIC, you can also search ERIC directly from their website. It's a bit easier to find theses and dissertations from the website instead of the library database:

Go to the ERIC website .

Enter your search terms and check the box that says Full text available on ERIC .

how to find a master thesis

Scroll down the results page until you see a box on the left that says Publication Type . You will likely have to click More  to see Dissertations/Theses  as an option.

how to find a master thesis

That's it! All your search results should be available as PDFs.

how to find a master thesis

Let's look at a few example citations, and then review their format.

Jackson, P.P. (2016). Teachers' perceptions of English language learners and reading instruction (Doctoral dissertation, Walden University). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies.

Lezama, S.M. (2014). Equal education: School leaders support of English language learners' academic success (Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Fullerton). PQDT Open.

Mandell, E. (2018). Three art teaching strategies to support language acquisition and communication skill development in English language learners (Master's thesis, Moore College of Art & Design). ERIC.

Riddle, S.A. (2017). Orthographic skills in English language learners and stuents with learning disabilities (Doctoral dissertation, Temple University). Temple University Electronic Theses and Dissertations.

You can see all the citations have the following elements in common:

They begin with author's last name, followed by first initial and middle initial (if they use one).

The year of publication, in parentheses, followed by a period.

The dissertation or thesis title, in italics. As with articles, everything should be lowercase except:

  • The first letter of the first word
  • The first letter of the first word after a colon
  • Proper nouns

NOTE : Do not put a period right after the title - the period comes later.

In parentheses, and not in italics, either the phrase "Master's thesis" or "Doctoral dissertation", followed by a comma, and then the name of the school that granted the degree. After the parentheses, add a period.

What comes next depends on where you found the thesis or dissertation.

If you found it using OATD or NDLTD , you would follow the link in the description. For example, this is a search result from NDLTD, and you can see it includes a link to Walden University's website at the bottom.

how to find a master thesis

In this case, you'd link to Walden University's website. You'll also use the name of their site in your citation - see examples #1 and #4 above.

If you found the thesis or dissertation using ERIC or PQDT Open , you will put the site name, since you can access the PDFs directly from those sites.

See examples #2 & #3 above.

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How to search for Harvard dissertations

  • DASH , Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard, is the university's central, open-access repository for the scholarly output of faculty and the broader research community at Harvard.  Most Ph.D. dissertations submitted from  March 2012 forward  are available online in DASH.
  • Check HOLLIS, the Library Catalog, and refine your results by using the   Advanced Search   and limiting Resource  Type   to Dissertations
  • Search the database  ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global Don't hesitate to  Ask a Librarian  for assistance.

How to search for Non-Harvard dissertations

Library Database:

  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global

Free Resources:

  • Many  universities  provide full-text access to their dissertations via a digital repository.  If you know the title of a particular dissertation or thesis, try doing a Google search.  

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Q. How can I find Johns Hopkins University dissertations and theses?

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Answered By: Heidi Herr Last Updated: Jul 10, 2023     Views: 29884

From 2013 on: Dissertations and many theses produced by JHU students are available in our repository JScholarship.   Because the library does not keep paper copies of these submissions, you must search within JScholarship , not Catalyst. (Info on how to search JScholarship is below.)

Before 2013: Dissertations and theses submitted before 2013 should have paper copies available and can be requested through Catalyst, the library catalog. They may be consulted in the Special Collections department. Embargos: Unless the student has chosen an embargo, dissertations and theses should be available within two months of degree conferral. Students may elect to embargo publication of their thesis or dissertation for up to four years. During this time, the title and abstract of the dissertation will be available in JScholarship.

Also in ProQuest: In addition, JHU doctoral dissertations may be findable within the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database .

  • The full text is available from 1997 to the present; before that, only abstracts are available online. For those older JHU dissertations, consult the staff in Special Collections . Or, if you know the title or author, look it up in the library catalog .
  • Since the library switched to electronic copies only in 2013, not all dissertation authors have elected to send their dissertation to ProQuest. Instead, try JScholarship .

Master’s Theses : Master's theses (also called "essays") are also included in JScholarship . This has been optional since 2013.

  •  Master's theses are not included in the ProQuest database, so they are not available in any form from ProQuest.  
  • JHU Master’s theses that are available in print form can be requested . You will need to know either the author or title or both.
  • If you need help identifying the names of students who graduated in specific years, please refer to our digital commencement programs  
  • Master’s theses written for the Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) departments are also discoverable through Catalyst, our online catalog.  
  • Please note that not all programs require writing and submission of a Master's thesis.

How To Find Dissertations and Masters' Essays in JScholarship:

  •   Go to this page .
  • You will see "Collections in This Community" at the center of the page.
  • NOTE:  It is not possible to search by department or program name.

Now you have two options:


You can enter search words in the box at the top of the page.

(You can try to find a department or program name that is somewhat distinctive. Enter the entire name and put it in quotation marks, such as “history of art” or “earth and planetary science.”) Narrow your search by:

A. Clicking “Show Advanced Filters” (under search box) OR

OPTION 2:  USE FILTERS UNDER “THIS COLLECTION” (on the right of the page)

Those options under "This Collection" will search either all of ETD (Electronic Theses and Dissertations) or one of the smaller communities (e.g., Doctoral Dissertations).

You can filter by issue date, authors, titles, or subjects. (Results do not appear in any particular order.) Again, make sure that you use the options under "This Collection" and not under "All of JScholarship”:

  • Practicum and capstone projects have not been collected by the Archives, with some exceptions; e.g., real estate practicums produced by Carey Business School Real Estate program master’s degree students are now being collected, although not cataloged.
  • Some schools or programs may keep an uncataloged collection of practicums, capstone projects, or dissertations  on-site. Contact the specific program or school to ask if they have such a collection.

If you have questions, please contact:

  • Electronic Theses & Dissertation Staff (for dissertations and theses from September 2013 to the present)
  • Special Collections and Archives Staff  for older dissertations.
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Finding theses and dissertations

Search online in library databases.

You can search the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global Database to find theses and dissertations from institutions around the world. This database offers full text for most dissertations added since 1997 and strong retrospective full-text coverage for older graduate works. You can do a basic keyword search or search for a specific title, author, or institution.

Search for works for University of Nevada, Reno authors

There is no single search method that will find every thesis and dissertation by a University of Nevada, Reno author. These are your best options:

  • Search  ProQuest Dissertations & Theses @ University of Nevada, Reno to find online versions where available. You can limit by author, advisor, department, degree type, etc.
  • Use the Advanced Library Search tool to narrow your search by the name of the department in which the degree is granted. In the “Any field” dropdown menu, select Author/Creator. In the “Enter a search term” field, type the University name and department granting the degree. For example, to find dissertations/theses from the Department of Computer Science & Engineering, type “University of Nevada, Reno Department of Computer Science and Engineering.”

The “Author/Creator” and “is (exact)” fields are enclosed in a red rectangle to indicate these fields have been selected. “University of Nevada, Reno Department of” is written in the search box next to the selected fields.

Search more comprehensively

If you need a more comprehensive search, including materials other than theses and dissertations (articles, books, videos, etc.), or if you are looking for physical copies of theses and dissertations, use Library Search from the library homepage. Search for a keyword, author, date, and/or title. Use the filters on the left-hand side of the screen under “Resource Type” to narrow to “Dissertations” (although not indicated, the search will include theses).

The "Dissertations" filter is enclosed in a red rectangle to indicate its location on the Library Search results page.

If you use the filters to limit by Library Location and select libraries at University of Nevada, Reno (Knowledge Center, Special Collections & Archives, DeLaMare Library), you can limit to physical copies of dissertations or theses only . You can also use the “Held by library” filter under “Availability” to find physical copies.

Need more help?

Find more detailed information in the University Libraries' guide to Finding Dissertations & Theses .

  • Library Home
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How do I find dissertations and theses?

  • Finding University of Chicago Master's Theses
  • Finding University of Chicago Dissertations and Theses
  • Finding Dissertations and Theses from Other Institutions

Quick Links


  • University of Chicago Library Catalog This link opens in a new window & more less... Find items in all campus libraries, including books, periodicals, sound recordings, videos, DVDs and more.
  • ProQuest Dissertations & Theses This link opens in a new window & more less... Includes citations for materials from the first U.S. dissertation (1861) to those accepted as recently as last semester. Starting in 1997 full-text is often available. If full-text is not available information about ordering the document is provided.
  • WorldCat (OCLC) This link opens in a new window & more less... WorldCat is a database that allows researchers to search the combined catalogs of hundreds of libraries around the world. It contains more than 52 million records for books, journals, audiovisual materials and more. This source can help researchers find items, verify citations, and identify which libraries hold a particular title.

University of Chicago Convocation Programs

University of Chicago authors are welcome to add their theses to Knowledge@UChicago . They may embargo their work or limit it to the UChicago community.

Researchers can find master's and bachelor's theses in the repository by selecting Thesis . In Spring 2021, some programs in the Social Sciences Division began requiring that students add their MA theses. These appear in the MA Thesis Archive .

Browse collections to find records by division or school.

Library Catalog

Researchers can find records for many master's theses in the University of Chicago Library Catalog . The Library's print copies of theses circulate and may be borrowed like a book (usually from Mansueto ). Researchers may visit the Library to see a thesis, and they may place an interlibrary loan request through their local library if they do not have borrowing privileges at the University of Chicago Library.

Most master's theses filed before 1990 were deposited in the Library. Requirements were similar to the requirements for doctoral dissertations, but a distinction was made between master's theses and master's papers. Master's papers had different requirements and were not made available through the Library. By 1980 or so, most programs were accepting more master's papers than theses. By 1990 or so, the Library no longer received either master's papers or master's theses. Currently, most master's programs call these works theses, but print copies are not deposited in the Library.

Subject specialists can help with exceptions for their disciplines, and there are always some exceptions. For example, see the database for Masters' Papers in Art History & Visual Arts .

The University of Chicago Library filmed many master's theses filed before 1994. When the University of Chicago Library's Photoduplication Department closed, this microfilm was sent to UMI, now ProQuest.

Researchers my find the record for a thesis in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses . Full text may be available online, or a researcher may need to purchase a copy from ProQuest . The Publication Number for a master's thesis usually begins with TM.

Researchers who do not have access to ProQuest Dissertations & Theses may be able to use this subscription database at a nearby university.

If the University of Chicago Library does not hold a master's thesis, there may be a copy at another library. Check WorldCat or .

Check University of Chicago Convocation Programs  to see when a student received a degree and to confirm the department or academic program. The thesis title may appear, and sometimes a program includes handwritten annotations.

If the Library does not have the thesis, perhaps it is held by the author's department.

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How to Write a Master's Thesis

Last Updated: June 1, 2023 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 608,025 times.

Students learning how to write a Master's Thesis will first learn that a central thesis question must be presented and subsequently answered. A Master's Thesis will be the most prominent piece of your graduate work up to this point, and a pertinent thesis question that forms the spine of this work elevates it from the prosaic to the significant.

Choosing a Topic

Step 1 Think about the objectives of writing a thesis.

  • To get a degree - topic should be difficult enough, but manageable too.
  • To enjoy the work - topic that you are truly interested in, something that you will not grow bored of after a short period of time.
  • To get a job afterward - if you know what specifically you want to do after your studies and/or for which company, it might be useful to choose a topic, that will help with this goal.
  • To be useful - thesis might actually be useful to help to make the world a little better place.
  • Try thinking about your favorite subject of study - it may be a particular author, theory, time period, etc. Imagine how you might further the study of that subject.
  • You might consider skimming through papers you wrote for your graduate courses and see if there is any apparent topic that you tend to gravitate towards.
  • Consult with faculty members, favorite professors. They might have some good suggestions to write about. Generally, you'll be required to meet with your thesis advisor at least once before you start working.
  • Consider consulting with industry partners. Your favorite company might have some work to do which might be done as a master's thesis. This might also help you get a job within the company afterward and maybe even some money for the thesis.
  • If you want to help the world to be a better place, you might want to consult with your local non-profits and charities or check the Internet for possible thesis topics to write about.
  • 3 Choose the right topic. From the possible topics generated in the previous step, find the one which best fits the objectives from the first step, especially the objectives most important to you. Make sure that you have a clear, specific, and organized plan on how to write a master's thesis which you will be able to then defend.

Step 4 Choose your thesis question.

  • Make sure that your question and the answers provided will provide original content to the body of research in existence. A judicious question will also keep research focused, organized, and interesting.
  • Once you've formulated your topic and direction of inquiry, try formulating 5-10 different questions around your intended research. This forces you to think flexibly about your topic and visualize how small changes in wording can change the trajectory of your research.

Step 5 Conduct your research.

  • Usually, your committee chair will be in place before you formally start your thesis. They can help guide you and provide input into your project, so the earlier you can get their commitment, the better.
  • Nothing is more frustrating than your thesis progress being held up by a professor who has too many obligations to make time to meet with you.

Selecting Your Texts

Step 1 Complete a literature review.

  • For example, a novel written by Ernest Hemingway or a scientific journal article in which new results are documented for the first time would both be considered primary sources.

Step 3 Choose your secondary sources.

  • For example, a book written about Ernest Hemingway's novel or a scientific journal article examining the findings of someone else's experiment would both be considered secondary sources.

Step 4 Manage your citations.

  • Use the in-text citation format appropriate to your discipline. [3] X Research source The most common formats are MLA, APA, and Chicago.
  • Create a coordinating works cited or reference entry for each source you cite in the text of your document or in a footnote.
  • Consider using a citation management software such as EndNote, Mendeley, or Zotero. These will enable you to insert and move citations within your word processor program and will automatically populate a works cited or reference page for you.

Planning an Outline

Step 1 Know the requirements for your field/department.

  • Qualitative. This type of thesis involves completing a project that is exploratory, analytical, or creative in some way. Usually, students in the humanities will complete this kind of thesis.
  • Quantitative. This type of thesis involves conducting experiments, measuring data, and recording results. Students in the sciences usually complete this kind of thesis.

Step 2 Nail down your thesis idea.

  • Signature page (with the completed signatures of your advising committee - usually attained at the defense, or after the project is deemed complete )
  • Abstract - this is a short (one paragraph or so) description/summary of the work completed in your thesis
  • Table of Contents (with page numbers)
  • Introduction
  • Body of paper
  • Works Cited or Bibliography
  • Any necessary appendices or endnotes

Moving through the Writing Process

Step 1 Make a schedule.

  • If you do not already have a review of literature written, it’s time to do your research! The review of literature is essentially a summary of all of the existing scholarship about your topic with plenty of direct quotations from the primary and secondary sources that you’re referencing.

Step 8 Contextualize your work.

Finalizing Your Thesis

Step 1 Compare your draft with your university's requirements.

  • Many departments or programs provide a document template for theses and dissertations. If you have one of these, it may be easiest to use such a template from the beginning of your work (rather than copying and pasting your writing into it).

Step 2 Re-read the entire thesis for correctness.

  • Alternatively, ask a trusted colleague or friend to read over your thesis to help you catch any minor grammar/spelling/punctuation errors and typos.

Step 3 Follow all printing guidelines according to your department's policies.

  • Some institutions require you to submit your thesis for a formatting check prior to uploading the document to ProQuest. Be sure to check with your department’s Director of Graduate Studies for specific instructions.
  • Be aware of thesis submission deadlines, which are often well in advance of your graduation date. Late submission of your thesis may force you to push back your graduation date, which may affect your employment or continuing graduate studies.

Masters Thesis Outline

how to find a master thesis

Expert Q&A

Christopher Taylor, PhD

  • Remember why you are writing a Master's thesis and who will want to read and use the material. You write a Master's thesis for members of your community, so keep in mind that they will have extensive knowledge and experience before reading your work. Don't bore them with unnecessary material. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
  • Choosing the perfect question before starting research will prevent frustration and save time. Rigorous effort on finding the perfect question is probably the most important task when learning how to write a Master's thesis. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
  • Consult other people who have completed a Master's thesis and obtained a Master's degree. It can be a long, grueling process, and having the support and advice of someone who has already done it can be very valuable. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0

how to find a master thesis

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About This Article

Christopher Taylor, PhD

To write a master's thesis, make it a goal to write 500 words every day, which will help you meet your deadline without having to rush at the last minute. It's also helpful if you work in 25-minute increments and take a 5-minute break in between, which will make your work sessions less overwhelming. Also, figure out a writing time that works best for you, whether it's in the morning or at night, and stick with it so you're more productive. For more help writing your master's thesis, like how to make an outline, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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What is a Master’s Thesis: A Guide for Students 

masters thesis

A master’s thesis is an academic research output that is expected to showcase a student’s competence in a higher level of research as compared to an undergraduate one. The primary objective of a master’s thesis is to assess a student on the depth of their understanding, knowledge, and competence on the subject of their choice. It provides a scholarly and research foundation for students to build on if they are interested in pursuing higher academic degrees and professional work. 

Benefits of Writing a Master’s Thesis  

Undertaking a master’s thesis program enhances your career and academic prospects. In the academic sphere, those who have completed a master’s thesis program are in a more advantageous position when they seek admission to a PhD program. Research-focused disciplines, in particular, usually favour students who have completed their master’s thesis. Opting for a master’s thesis program also gives researchers the opportunity to pursue their interest area through study and research. Further, through the process of thesis writing, students also develop their skills in writing, putting forth an informed argument and developing research questions. A well-developed thesis can also be published as a research paper in peer-reviewed journals, thereby enhancing future academic and career prospects.  

Thesis Masters and Non-thesis Masters Program: Differences   

It is critical to note that all master’s programs do not have a thesis requirement. At the same time, some programs allow students to choose between a thesis and a non-thesis master’s program. In a thesis Master’s program, you are required to prepare a comprehensive scholarly paper under the advice of a faculty member that demonstrates the knowledge, skills, and critical thinking that you have developed during the program. Hence, it is a mandatory requirement for the completion of your degree. However, in a non-thesis master’s program, you are not expected to write a thesis. You are nevertheless required to take additional classes and, by the end of the program, complete a Capstone project, a comprehensive exam, or a summary project. 

Master’s thesis and PhD Dissertation: Differences  

A Master’s thesis is very different from a PhD dissertation, though often, the words thesis and dissertation are used interchangeably not only by students but also by the wider academic community and publishers.   

  • A PhD dissertation is an original research by the doctoral candidate that contributes something new to the existing body of knowledge in the field, such as new theories and information. This should not have been published previously. In contrast, a master’s thesis is a scholarly paper that involves original testing of ideas and demonstrates the knowledge and skills the student has acquired and built during the master’s program.  
  • A master’s thesis deals or engages more with existing research or secondary knowledge, though depending on the subject, there can be research of primary sources as well. Here, the student certainly has to bring in their critical and analytical skills. The sources of data will generally be research papers, scholarly books, journal articles, government reports, statistics, and so on. However, in a PhD dissertation, the focus is on generating new and novel data, resulting in an original piece of work that external subject experts will evaluate. Hence, apart from the sources of data mentioned for the Master’s thesis, the significant component of sources of data for PhD dissertation will be generated from interviews, focus groups, surveys, laboratory experiments and so on. 
  • A master’s thesis is presented at the end of the master’s program, which is about one or two years. The thesis is a critical part of completing the degree. A PhD dissertation takes a considerable amount of time, ranging from 4 to 7 years. By this time, the candidate should have completed, apart from their dissertation, other requirements such as fulfilling a set of coursework, attending seminars/ conferences, presenting papers at seminars and publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals. 
  • The master’s thesis is completed and submitted at the end of the master’s program. The PhD dissertation is presented to earn the PhD degree. 
  • Another major difference between the two is the length. While a master’s thesis may be between 50 and 100 pages, the Ph.D. dissertation is more detailed, in-depth, and comprehensive, with a length of up to 400 pages. 

While all Master’s programs do not have a thesis requirement, completing a thesis provides a scholarly and research foundation for students to pursue higher academic degrees and professional work. A master’s thesis program can be a valuable experience for students interested in pursuing higher academic degrees and professional work in research-focused disciplines.

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Finding Theses and Dissertations

  • International Theses
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  • Borrowing & Purchasing Copies of Theses

International Theses: Search Tools

Proquest dissertations and theses.

A comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world from 1861-present. Full text  since 1997. Abstracts  since 1980 for doctoral dissertations and 1988 for masters' theses. Citations  since 1861.

Citations are indexed in Web of Science in the  ProQuest ™ Dissertations & Theses Citation Index  collection. 

Center for Research Libraries

CRL holds more than 800,000 doctoral dissertations outside of the U.S. and Canada. Search dissertations in the dissertations section of the CRL catalogue. Digitized dissertations can be searched in the catalogue's e-resources section.

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations

A collection of more than 800,000 international full text theses and dissertations.

Google Scholar

Try searching Google Scholar for theses posted on institutional digital repositories or on personal web pages.


A web search engine devoted to Science and Technology.

Search for dissertations, theses and published material based on theses catalogued in WorldCat by OCLC member libraries worldwide. In Advanced Search, you can search by author, title, subject, year, and keyword. Under Subtype Limits, select Theses/Dissertation from the Any Content menu

International Theses: By Country

Österreichische Dissertationsdatenbank

The Austrian dissertation database contains the bibliographical data of dissertations approved in Austria from 1990 on, and in most cases the relevant abstracts. (This website is hosted by the National Library of Austria).

National Library of Australia’s Trove Service

Search for full text digital theses from Australian universities.  On the Advanced search screen under Format, select Thesis.

DART-Europe :  Access to full text theses and dissertations from many countries in Europe.

Europeana : Additional electronic dissertations from other European libraries.

Système universitaire de documentation  (Sudoc): Provides access to records and some electronic theses and dissertations published at French research institutions.

Fichier central des thèses

DissOnline provides information on the subject of electronic university publications. It can be used to find out directly all about online dissertations and post-doctoral theses. Sample documents can be downloaded to provide help in the creation of electronic university publications. For more information about the portal, please go to  German National Library  website  (DNB) .


TESIUNAM: Tesis del Sistema Bibliotecario de la Unam

(Theses from the National University of Mexico / Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México). To search for electronic theses, click on “tesis electrónicas (REDUNAM).”

Middle East

The Center for Research Libraries and the British Library have made available online 400 UK doctoral theses focusing on the Middle East, Islamic studies, and related subjects.  More information .

The Netherlands

Some Dutch e-theses are available through NARCIS.

South America 

  • Some electronic theses from Bolivia, Brasil, Chile and Peru can be found at  Cybertesis.NET , a portal created by the University of Chile (Information Services & Library System) that provides an easily accessible tool to full text electronic theses published in different universities of the world.

For more university/national library catalogues, search for the word University/Universidad and the country (Argentina, Peru, etc.) in Google. Find the link to the library ( biblioteca ) and search the catalogue for theses ( tesis ). You may need to click on the advanced search function ( búsqueda guíada  or  búsqueda avanzada ) and select tesis as a format or type. ​

There are several portals/catalogues in Spain for theses and dissertations. Here are some examples listed on Spain’s  National Library  website:

Spain’s Ministry of Education thesis database (TESEO)

Biblioteca Virtual del Español (on the Biblioteca Virtual, Miguel de Cervantes website)

Universidad Complutense de Madrid’s catalogue

TDX (Tesis Doctorals en Xarxa)

This is a cooperative repository of digital theses from the University of Cataluña and other autonomous communities (such as Murcia, Cantabria, Barcelona, and Oviedo)


For print and electronic dissertations, please consult the  Swiss National Library  website.

  • NDLTD: National Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations in Taiwan is an open full-text permanent archive of scholarly research in Taiwan.

EThOS : Access to doctoral dissertations (paper and electronic) from UK institutions of higher education.

  • << Previous: United States Theses
  • Next: Borrowing & Purchasing Copies of Theses >>
  • Last Updated: Oct 18, 2023 3:58 PM

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  • How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .

Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.

You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:

  • Start with a question
  • Write your initial answer
  • Develop your answer
  • Refine your thesis statement

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Table of contents

What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.

The best thesis statements are:

  • Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
  • Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
  • Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.

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The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.

You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.

You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?

For example, you might ask:

After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .

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Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.

In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.

The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.

In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.

The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.

A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:

  • Why you hold this position
  • What they’ll learn from your essay
  • The key points of your argument or narrative

The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.

These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.

Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:

  • In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
  • In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

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Camella pham, guarini '23, wins american comparative literature associations's top thesis honor.

Camella Pham

Camella Pham, Guarini '23, has been awarded the American Comparative Literature Association's Presidential Master's Prize for Best Master's Thesis for "Colonial Translation Turned Vietnamization: Pham Quỳnh and the Discourse of Transculturation".

The award honors comparative work broadly construed at the level of a master's thesis. The work is judged on theoretical rigor, comparative breadth, and lucidity of exposition with an emphasis on work that is engaged in comparison across linguistic boundaries.   

"The ACLA Presidential Master's Prize is undeniably the most prestigious award I have received since embarking on my higher education journey in the U.S. Personally, this award serves as a testament to the exceptional support and mentorship I have received at both my undergraduate institutions and Dartmouth," said Pham.

Growing up in Vietnam immersed in multiple languages, including Vietnamese, French, English, and Chinese, Pham often pondered the abstract nature of language and its emotive power. Vietnam, with its many languages, was a perfect place to study how the interplay of languages created a "complex nexus of negotiations and transformations." Pham's thesis examines how "translation in colonial Vietnam played a pivotal role in the colonial and post-colonial periods as various factions "weaponized languages and scripts to serve their divergent aims."

Pham chose Dartmouth because of the breadth of faculty research specialization and their strong mentorship. "Dartmouth has all the faculty mentors whose research specializations are invaluable for the development of my intended project on colonial Vietnamese literature, which is marked by linguistic contestations and ideological interactions among various parties," said Pham. 

She credits the unwavering encouragement and tireless mentorship of her professors with her success winning the prestigious award. In the future, Pham hopes to enroll in a doctoral program in comparative literature with a focus on critical translation studies in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. 

Read the complete interview.

Aalto Thesis Day 2024

Students meeting companies in a networking event.

Event language(s)

  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web Outlook
  • Google Calendar

What: Networking event for companies and Aalto's international students

Where: Aalto University, Computer Science Building, Konemiehentie 2

When: Wednesday 2 October 2024 at 12.30-16.00

Why: Meet Master’s students who are looking for thesis placements and find a thesis worker for your company's research or development project.

For whom: Research managers, team leaders and supervisors, recruiters

How: Registration opens in May 2024. Event is free of charge for companies and employer organisations.

Aalto Thesis Day 2.10.2024

For many international students, the Master's thesis is the gateway to Finnish working life. International students who do their thesis in cooperation with a company or research organization are more likely to stay working in Finland after graduation, which benefits both companies and the whole Finnish society.

Aalto Thesis Day supports international Master's students to find thesis opportunities in English at companies and employer organizations. Participating organizations can either have an open thesis position on offer, or a foreseen opening for a thesis worker within their focus area. The event is best suited for organizational representatives working in research and development, as well as supervisors and recruiters who are familiar with the organization's ongoing research projects and topics.

Aalto Thesis Day 2024 combines two previous events, Aalto Thesis Fair and Aalto-EIT Matchmaking Event, to bring together more companies and organizations from the diverse study fields of Aalto University. Organizations are also invited to join the European Institute of Information & Technology (EIT) Master Programs Track as a prelude to the joint networking session with all students. At the networking session, companies will have stands where they can meet students and talk about research topics with them.

People networking at a career event inside a lobby area.

The first Aalto Thesis Fair brought together 13 companies and over 200 international students

The aim of the first Thesis Fair was to help international students find master’s thesis positions and open doors to the Finnish labour market.

The Aalto-EIT Matchmaking kicks-off after introductory presentations.

Aalto-EIT Masters Matchmaking Event 2023

“Aalto-EIT Masters Matchmaking” event was organized to support international top talents find industrial thesis positions in Finland.

Event program (preliminary, subject to changes)

12.00 - 13.30  Preparation time for company stands

12.30 - 13.30  EIT Master Programs Track (separate registration for companies)

13.30 - 14.00  Coffee and snacks, opening of the networking session

14.00 - 16.00  Networking session: students visit company stands to discuss thesis topics

Company registration

Registration for Aalto Thesis Day will open in May 2024 and is free of charge for companies and other employer organisations.

Ideally we hope that company representatives are people working in the research fields, so that they are able to discuss research and thesis topics with students. Recruiters and HR managers are also welcome to join. Several people from the same company or organisation may attend the event.

We hope that participating companies have either open or upcoming thesis positions, or at least preliminary plans to recruit a thesis worker for spring 2025.

Note! Students' event page and registration for Aalto Thesis Day will open later in the Aalto JobTeaser portal.

Opiskelija työskentelemässä tietokoneen ääressä

Teetä opinnäytetyö

Maisterivaiheen opinnäytetyö on yritykselle tehokas tapa hyödyntää akateemista tutkimusta oman liiketoiminnan kehittämiseen.

For more information, please contact:

Niina Malkamäki, Talent Boost Specialist, Aalto Career Design Lab, niina.malkamaki(at)

Ingrid Schembri, Project Manager, Aalto EIT Services, ingrid.schembri(at)

Recruitment fairs at Aalto University

If your company does not have a need for Master's thesis workers, but you want to meet Aalto University students for other recruitment purposes, we recommend participating in the Aalto Talent Expo in November or the Summer Job Day in January.

Aalto Talent Expo main illustration. black and white. Designer Babi Brasileiro 10

Talent Expo

Aalto University’s contact and recruitment event brings together students and employers of arts, business, design and technology.

Red background with text Summer Job Day

Summer Job Day -event

In this event arts, design, tech and business students meet employers offering summer jobs.

  • Published: 20.3.2024
  • Updated: 22.3.2024

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Max Addae wins first place in the 2024 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition

by Amanda Diehl

March 12, 2024

  • #performance
  • #creativity
  • Max Addae Former Research Assistant
  • VocalCords: Exploring Tactile Interaction with the Singing Voice
  • Media Lab Research Theme: Cultivating Creativity

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VocalCords : Exploring Tactile Interaction with the Singing Voice , by alum  Max Addae  of the Opera of the Future research group,  received first place  at the 2024 Guthman Musical Instrument Competition at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  VocalCords  was recently featured in Professor Tod Machover's  2023  VALIS  production .

"I am so grateful for my time at the Media Lab, where VocalCords was first conceived in Joe Paradiso's 'Sensors for Interactive Environments' course, and developed further for my master's thesis. This achievement would not have been possible without the support of Tod Machover, the Opera of the Future group, Nina Masuelli (previous UROP and incoming MAS student!), my thesis committee members Joe Paradiso and Akito van Troyer (MAS '18), and the Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT)," Addae said.

Professor Machover, head of the Opera of the Future research group, added, "From the very first time that Max showed me the initial concept for VocalCords , I could see that he had found a uniquely powerful and personal way to combine his singing, composing, computing, and performing skills. The mature system is so effective because it unleashes both the expressivity and the fragility of the human voice in ways that are simultaneously simple and profound. I am so proud of Max for winning first prize in the prestigious Guthman Competition, the only award in the world for visionary musical instrument design, and can’t wait to see how he continues to develop VocalCords for his own artistic purposes and also so that others—and especially young people—can experience the joy of vocal creativity and discovery.”

The Guthman Musical Instrument Competition was originally designed to identify the next generation of musical instrumentalists and to expose new technologies and novel ideas to a community of musicians who are natural experimenters. 

IN TENSE DIMENSIONS: A Song Cycle for Voice & Live Electronics by Max Addae

In Tense Dimensions is the premiere live performance of VocalCords, a stretch-sensor based voice controller/processor I have been deve…

how to find a master thesis

An AI opera from 1987 reboots for a new generation

At MIT, Tod Machover’s ‘VALIS’ receives its first staged production in over two decades

Reimagining the Opera of the Future

The iconic sci-fi opera VALIS reboots for a new generation

VALIS: An Opera by Tod Machover

This brand-new production will give audiences the first opportunity in almost 30 years to experience a live performance of this seminal work


  1. What Is a Master's Thesis & How to Write It: Best Tips

    how to find a master thesis

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    how to find a master thesis

  3. Master Thesis Structure

    how to find a master thesis

  4. How to Write a Master's Thesis

    how to find a master thesis

  5. What Is a Master's Thesis & How to Write It: Best Tips

    how to find a master thesis

  6. How to Write a Master's Thesis (eBook Rental)

    how to find a master thesis


  1. The Thesis

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  3. Dissertation Writing 101: Why You Have To Let Go #shorts

  4. How to write dissertation for M.Ed

  5. Thesis Guidelines Part One(Thesis guidelines for Master level students)

  6. Structure Of A Master Thesis


  1. OATD

    Visual We're happy to present several to give an overall sense of the collection by county of publication, language, and field of study. You may also want to consult these sites to search for other theses: Google Scholar. search engine for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), whether they are open access or not.

  2. Dissertations

    Over the last 80 years, ProQuest has built the world's most comprehensive and renowned dissertations program. 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.

  3. 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 ...

  4. EBSCO Open Dissertations

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Developing A Thesis

    Developing A Thesis. Think of yourself as a member of a jury, listening to a lawyer who is presenting an opening argument. You'll want to know very soon whether the lawyer believes the accused to be guilty or not guilty, and how the lawyer plans to convince you. Readers of academic essays are like jury members: before they have read too far ...

  7. How can I find theses and dissertations?

    The Center for Research Libraries ' Dissertations database includes many non-US theses. WorldCat describes many masters' & PhD theses. Use "Advanced Search" and limit to subtype "thesis/dissertation." No full text; it just tells you what libraries have reported having copies. There are several excellent guides out there with international ...

  8. The Ultimate Guide on How to Write a Master's Thesis

    A thesis could consist of an average of 70 to 100 pages, including a bibliography, citations, and various sections. It is written under the guidance of a faculty advisor and should be publishable as an article. Your master's thesis reflects the literature in your field, challenges, evidence, and arguments around your writing topics.

  9. Thesis

    Thesis. Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is arguable, which means a thoughtful reader could disagree with it and therefore ...

  10. How to Write a Master's Thesis: A Guide to Planning Your Thesis

    Part 2: Form an Initial Thesis Question, and Find a Supervisor When to Begin Forming Your Initial Thesis Question Some fields, such as history, may require you to have already formed your thesis question and to have used it to create a statement of intent (outlining the nature of your research) prior to applying to a master's program.

  11. Prize-Winning Thesis and Dissertation Examples

    Prize-Winning Thesis and Dissertation Examples. Published on September 9, 2022 by Tegan George.Revised on July 18, 2023. It can be difficult to know where to start when writing your thesis or dissertation.One way to come up with some ideas or maybe even combat writer's block is to check out previous work done by other students on a similar thesis or dissertation topic to yours.

  12. How can I find a Harvard thesis or dissertation?

    Contact Imaging Services staff directly for additional information at 617/495-3995 or [email protected] (M-F, 9-5 Eastern) For Extension School ALM theses check out our Library Guide for Harvard Extension School theses page. Want to view a dissertation or thesis at the library? Check with the archival collection location listed in HOLLIS.

  13. Find & cite a thesis / dissertation

    A thesis is sometimes required for a master's degree, but not all master's programs require one. (I have two master's degrees and neither required a thesis.) A dissertation is almost always required for a doctoral degree. Since most doctoral degrees take several years, the research project for a doctoral degree may have a bigger scope than ...

  14. Find Dissertations and Theses

    How to search for Non-Harvard dissertations. Library Database: ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global; Free Resources: Many universities provide full-text access to their dissertations via a digital repository. If you know the title of a particular dissertation or thesis, try doing a Google search.

  15. Harvard University Theses, Dissertations, and Prize Papers

    View Details. The Harvard University Archives ' collection of theses, dissertations, and prize papers document the wide range of academic research undertaken by Harvard students over the course of the University's history. Beyond their value as pieces of original research, these collections document the history of American higher education ...

  16. How to select a Master's thesis topic if your advisor won't suggest one

    But yes, as Dave Clarke suggested in the comments, Step 1 is to get a new advisor. I agree, for a PhD thesis it would be to important who is the supervisor and I guess you can make the same consideration for a master's thesis. This is summary of what i got from a blog i read. The link will be provided below.

  17. How can I find Johns Hopkins University dissertations and theses?

    Master's theses written for the Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) departments are also discoverable through Catalyst, our online catalog. Please note that not all programs require writing and submission of a Master's thesis. How To Find Dissertations and Masters' Essays in JScholarship: Go to this page.

  18. Finding theses and dissertations

    Use the Advanced Library Search tool to narrow your search by the name of the department in which the degree is granted. In the "Any field" dropdown menu, select Author/Creator. In the "Enter a search term" field, type the University name and department granting the degree. For example, to find dissertations/theses from the Department ...

  19. Choose master thesis topic

    14. My advice would be to go visit not one professor, but a few. Don't ask them specifically for a thesis topic, but tell them you are looking around and ask them to talk to you about their research. Ask about weekly seminars at your department, and go listen to a few of those. Get a broad view of the different topics that groups around you are ...

  20. Finding University of Chicago Master's Theses

    Researchers can find records for many master's theses in the University of Chicago Library Catalog.The Library's print copies of theses circulate and may be borrowed like a book (usually from Mansueto).Researchers may visit the Library to see a thesis, and they may place an interlibrary loan request through their local library if they do not have borrowing privileges at the University of ...

  21. How to Write a Master's Thesis (with Pictures)

    First, you need to find a topic (or "thesis question"), often with the help and/or approval of your faculty-led thesis committee. Next comes the process of research, which is often the most time-intensive. Then, you must take the time to analyze your research. Lastly, you outline and write the actual thesis. Thanks!

  22. What is a Master's Thesis: A Guide for Students

    Undertaking a master's thesis program enhances your career and academic prospects. In the academic sphere, those who have completed a master's thesis program are in a more advantageous position when they seek admission to a PhD program. Research-focused disciplines, in particular, usually favour students who have completed their master's ...

  23. International Theses

    ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. A comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world from 1861-present. Full text since 1997. Abstracts since 1980 for doctoral dissertations and 1988 for masters' theses. Citations since 1861.. Citations are indexed in Web of Science in the ProQuest ™ Dissertations & Theses Citation Index collection.

  24. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Placement of the thesis statement. Step 1: Start with a question. Step 2: Write your initial answer. Step 3: Develop your answer. Step 4: Refine your thesis statement. Types of thesis statements. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

  25. Camella Pham, Guarini '23, Wins American Comparative Literature

    Camella Pham, Guarini '23, has been awarded the American Comparative Literature Association's Presidential Master's Prize for Best Master's Thesis for "Colonial Translation Turned Vietnamization: Pham Quỳnh and the Discourse of Transculturation". The award honors comparative work broadly construed at the level of a master's thesis. The work is judged on theoretical rigor, comparative breadth ...

  26. Aalto Thesis Day 2024

    What: Networking event for companies and Aalto's international students Where: Aalto University, Computer Science Building, Konemiehentie 2 When: Wednesday 2 October 2024 at 12.30-16.00 Why: Meet Master's students who are looking for thesis placements and find a thesis worker for your company's research or development project. For whom: Research managers, team leaders and supervisors, recruiters

  27. Master's Thesis Defense of Sabrina Uva / UConn Calendar

    Master's Thesis Defense: "Exploring Staff Perceptions of SEL in the School-Based Diversion Initiative" Human Development and Family Sciences. ... Find Events Manage Events If you are a calendar editor, you can log in to create events and manage your calendar(s). ...

  28. Max Addae wins first place in the 2024 Guthman Musical Instrument

    "I am so grateful for my time at the Media Lab, where VocalCords was first conceived in Joe Paradiso's 'Sensors for Interactive Environments' course, and developed further for my master's thesis. This achievement would not have been possible without the support of Tod Machover, the Opera of the Future group, Nina Masuelli (previous UROP and ...