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This article explores the extent to which published advice on the organisation and structure of theses and dissertations concurs with what happens in actual practice. The study examines guides and handbooks which focus on thesis and dissertation writing and postgraduate research. The sample texts examined were master’s and doctoral theses written in a number of different study areas at a major research university. The study found that only a few of the books examined devoted a substantial amount of space to this topic. It also found a wider range of thesis types than the guides and handbooks would suggest occurs. The study identified four main kinds of thesis: ‘traditional: simple’, ‘traditional: complex’, ‘topic-based’ and ‘compilations of research articles’. The article argues for teaching materials which show students the range of thesis options they might have, highlight the kind of variation that occurs in actual texts, and consider the rationale for the various choices they might make.


  • The Library will accept either the signed & unsigned Approval Page and Supervisor Revision memo OR the Results, Approval, & Degree Recommendation (RAD).
  • For further assistance, please contact the Assistant for Theses: [email protected].

For Summer 2020 submissions:

  • grammar and sentence structure correction
  • suggestions for clarity and readability
  • plagiarism and citation checks
  • individualized writing feedback

The Graduate School has purchased a Grammarly Premium subscription for graduate students currently enrolled at the University of Utah.

Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197
A thesis is the documentation of your original research or scholarship that serves as partial completion of graduation requirements for a master’s degree.

These pages provide all the resources you need to prepare and submit your thesis or dissertation according to Graduate School requirements. Should you need further assistance, you may contact the Thesis Office by email, phone or in person. Here are some of the ways we can help you:

  • Fully explain and demonstrate all document format requirements and technical specifications in the context of your unique document.
  • Review your documentation style and citation format.
  • Describe the electronic submission process step by step.
  • Point you to sources of additional help when needed.

All candidates must have good grades, a strong command of English, and good familiarity with MS Office. Candidates should also be highly responsible, motivated, and capable of working independently. Ideally, you should have some workplace experience.
Are you looking for an interesting and meaningful topic for your degree thesis? Do you hope to receive support during the research and writing process? Then you should take a look at our current postings for thesis topics. Maybe you’ll find just the right topic for you. Alternatively, feel free to suggest your own topic – we’d be happy to consider it.