How to Write a Thesis Summary

Your thesis summary is the distilled essence of your thesis: a tool to underline the strengths of your research and make yourself recognizable as a competent scholar.

Renata Schiavo

The importance of writing a good thesis summary is often underestimated and it is not too difficult to understand why. Even in the cases where a student has seriously engaged in writing his thesis, the summary is usually the last thing that gets done. The typical scenario is therefore the following: the bulk of the work has finally been done, the deadline to submit the thesis is imminent. Time is running out and, consequently, when it comes to set the summary down, this is written in a very hasty way… I am pretty sure that you can relate to this situation and – trust me – you are not the only one. Yet, this is a pity! Your thesis summary deserves to be written with a certain care for several good reasons. An effective summary is the best way to impress your readers. It will be the first thing to be read and – as hard as it is to admit – the first impression is what really counts. You should therefore think of the summary as a distilled and concentrated essence of your thesis: a tool to underline the strengths of your research and make yourself recognizable as a competent scholar.

thesis-summary

Especially if your thesis is written in another language, setting down an accurate, compelling summary in English can be the first step to internationally disseminate your work. In this regard, keep also in mind that an English summary of your thesis may be required for a job application or a PhD-position. Having said that, how to proceed? Here you are some useful steps to write an effective summary.

Elaborate a thesis statement

The thesis statement . is the most important part. This is a sentence usually placed at the beginning of the summary and it is aimed at clarifying the main research questions of your work. The thesis statement must be clear and concise. MA theses, but also PhD dissertations, usually concern very narrow topics. So, avoid being vague and explain the central idea of your research as specific as possible. Let’s do some practical examples. A sentence like:

“the aim of the present study is to show how English skills can be improved in several ways” is certainly too vague.

Instead, a statement like:

“the aim of the present research is to show how the use of Ludwig can improve English writing skills, by providing reliable texts to get inspiration”

defines a narrower field of research. In addition, as the last example demonstrates, a good thesis statement can be enforced with further arguments.

For example, one could state that:

taking inspiration from a database of 300 million English sentences can indeed help a student to perfect their phrasing, by seeing words in the context of real sentences. A mere automatic correction tool, instead, carries the risk of worsening the student performance, for example by favouring the memorization of wrong phrases and expressions.

ludwig

Explain the structure of the thesis

Each thesis is usually divided into diverse chapters, such as an introduction, a section dedicated to explaining the terminology, a chapter for the methodology, the discussion of the data, the results of the research etc. A good summary must give a clear idea of how you have organized your research step by step. So be very clear and use sentences like “in the first chapter of my thesis I treated”, “while in the second…”, “the analysis of the data has shown that” etc. And, of course, do not hesitate to use Ludwig if you need examples to take inspiration from. Keep in mind, you may have made the discovery of the century… but if you are not able to explain how you achieved such a result, you will be considered a charlatan.

How to write a thesis summary: a practical example

In this regard, it is good practice to read a number of thesis summaries and to analyse how they are written. Nowadays all the most prestigious universities offer free access to their online repositories, where one can find great inspirational models. See, for example, this website by Cambridge University. Now, let's analyse the structure of one of them:

The Italian giallo film was a type of thriller that was produced in huge numbers between the early 1960s and the late 1980s. This thesis contributes to recent scholarly attempts to situate the giallo within its socio-cultural historical context but resists the critical tendency to read these films as passive and transparent reflections of social attitudes in post-war Italy. Rather, I attend concretely to the form of these films and, specifically, to their critically neglected sound designs . I argue that the giallo’s voice tracks were conditioned by the commercial imperatives of Italy’s post-war popular film industry and that these commercial imperatives were in turn shaped by wider social, economic and political phenomena. By theorising the voice as a mediator between the giallo text and its industrial and social contexts, I show that these films both registered and reified social change. Chapter 1 demonstrates that the anonymous narrator of Mario Bava’s The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) adopts a range of sonorous modes throughout the film. Each of these sonorous modes invokes a specific set of intertexts which are vital to tracing both the giallo’s cultural origins and the increasingly globalised socio- cultural landscape from which it emerged. This chapter then shows that Dario Argento’s The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970) uses the model of the cinematic voice-over to explore the subjective experience of urban space in post-war Italy. The film suggests that by 1970 the ability to vocally ‘narrate’ and thus control space had become a fundamental assumption of the modern, cosmopolitan subject. Chapter 2 analyses Lucio Fulci’s Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972) and Sergio Martino’s Torso (1973). Both films draw on longstanding Italian cultural stereotypes to pitch the silence of the rural against the vocality of the urban. The films use silence and the voice as ‘cartographic’ tools to delineate the profound socio-economic divisions between Italy’s rural South and its more urban North, but they also illustrate the giallo’s underlying affinities with its silent cinema ancestors and so challenge the assumed temporal borders between cinematic eras. Chapter 3 argues that Argento’s Tenebrae (1982) and Fulci’s The New York Ripper (1982) variously mimic the vocal aesthetics of television. These films lay bare both the increasing dominance of the Italian cultural landscape by imported commercial television in the 1980s and the neoliberal economic project that underpinned that trend. Ultimately, they question the stability of the nation itself, precisely because the voice — now fractured across a global mediascape — is unable to signal national specificity.

The sentences in bold highlight how the author carefully organized the structure of the text. He started with a well elaborate thesis statement. As you can see, the object of the research is well defined and narrow: the study focuses on Italian thrillers , produced during a specific historical period between the early 1960s and the late 1980s. Moreover, the investigation depeens a specific aspect: the use of sounds in this movie genre. Then, the scholar explains in detail how he organized his work step by step, by summarizing the content of each chapter.

Fotobusta-Non-Si-Sevizia-Un-Paperino-Dont-Torture

Ultimately, we can say that to write a theis summary is a less daunting task than one might imagine at first sight!

Keep in mind why and for whom you are writing

There is a huge difference between writing a summary for the theses database of your university and to write a summary for a more ambitious purpose. As mentioned above, a summary of your thesis may be required for a job application or to get a PhD position. So, if you are facing this kind of situation, you must “use” your summary in a smart way. Are there any points of contact between your thesis and the position you hope to get? If yes which ones? Is it the topic? Or, perhaps, in order to undertake your research, you have used a tool/method/program that could be pertinent with this position? So, tailor your summary in order to highlight what you need to stand out from the crowd and… good luck!

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How to write Master's thesis summary for PhD application

I am currently applying for several PhD programs (in mathematics) and for many of them, it is required to write a short (approx. 2 pages; no more than 10.000 characters) summary of my Master's thesis. It should contain the motivations of the thesis and research, the methods used as well as the results obtained in my research.

Now, the application commitee is probably less interested in the precise topic of my research or in the project itself, but I guess that the aim of this writing in my application is more for them to examine my ability of writing and explaining my research to others, as the latter is one of the key abilities a scientist should probably have, in my opinion.

My questions are now the following:

(1) How detailed should such a writing be? In my specific case, I am appliying for a math PhD and many things which I did in my thesis, which lied in the border of math and physics, are very abstract, so it not always easy to explain them in simple, non-technical, terms (and I guess, this applies for most of the projects done in pure mathematics). So, should I aim in writing this text in a more "popular" science way, or should I "confront" them with full technical details (the middle way is, as written above, hardly possible, as the things are kind of abstract).

(2) Should I aim in writing this stuff more formally, or more from a personal point of view? So, should I, for example, write about my personal reasons for chosing this particular problem, or should I more concentrate on the scientific reasons of why this type of questions are interesting?

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  • 2 A thesis I'd have supervised (not in math, admittedly) would have a summary/an abstract in the beginning which could be used just like it is for your purpose. Does your thesis not contain an abstract/a short summary? –  Snijderfrey Commented May 16, 2022 at 15:05
  • 1 Hi, yes my thesis does contain an abstract, but this is rather small (half a page) and really just contains the technical contents and result.... So its written similar in spirit as an abstract of a paper... –  B.Hueber Commented May 16, 2022 at 16:19
  • 1 @Snijderfrey I'm not sure that's a good advice in generality. Many job applications I see which contain the abstract of the thesis don't look very convincing - this might just be correlations, but just putting the abstract makes a very un-excited impression. And who wants to hire unexcited students? –  user151413 Commented May 17, 2022 at 19:17

2 Answers 2

Note that your essay will be read by other mathematicians, but most of them won't be in your specialty. An overly detailed presentation, such as you might present to your advisor won't be the best.

You are probably correct that they are looking for a writing sample, so focus on the writing at least as much as the math.

A personal view of "why" you chose this path is probably not the right focus, though a sentence might be fine.

First, though, what is the most important result in your thesis? It might be a theorem, but it might also be an interesting (thought provoking) proof technique. Talk about that result primarily, and situate it within the mathematical literature. Talk about why it is an important result. If possible, talk about what it might lead to, though you may not yet be sophisticated enough to understand that.

If the work gave you any special "insights" into the wider world of your specialty (or math in general) include a few words about that. Is there follow up research that is indicated?

As to the level, think about how you would explain the thesis to a good upper level undergraduate class. I'm guessing that such a level might be the best, of course, but all of your readers (various mathematicians) would be able to understand it.

The details are in the thesis, of course, and the committee will probably have access to that as well, so a higher level (or lower level, if you like) presentation is probably enough.

Buffy's user avatar

  • Thanks a lot! Yes indeed, I also uploaded the full thesis in the application. –  B.Hueber Commented May 16, 2022 at 16:23
  • I join this answer to ask If it could be a good idea to write the MSc thesis summary in the form of a scientific article. Consider the following template provided by springer as a possible example: overleaf.com/latex/templates/… –  g_don Commented Aug 13, 2023 at 19:29

Make it in 3 parts

  • Synopsis: This is what you have written at the start of your Master's thesis.
  • Brief description of your work: Describe what (and how) you did in your Master's project.
  • Results: What new goals you achieved in your work.

The whole language is slightly technical, without many complex formulas and equations.

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how to write a master's thesis summary

Reference management. Clean and simple.

How to write an excellent thesis conclusion [with examples]

Tips for writing thesis conclusion

Restate the thesis

Review or reiterate key points of your work, explain why your work is relevant, a take-away for the reader, more resources on writing thesis conclusions, frequently asked questions about writing an excellent thesis conclusion, related articles.

At this point in your writing, you have most likely finished your introduction and the body of your thesis, dissertation, or research paper . While this is a reason to celebrate, you should not underestimate the importance of your conclusion. The conclusion is the last thing that your reader will see, so it should be memorable.

A good conclusion will review the key points of the thesis and explain to the reader why the information is relevant, applicable, or related to the world as a whole. Make sure to dedicate enough of your writing time to the conclusion and do not put it off until the very last minute.

This article provides an effective technique for writing a conclusion adapted from Erika Eby’s The College Student's Guide to Writing a Good Research Paper: 101 Easy Tips & Tricks to Make Your Work Stand Out .

While the thesis introduction starts out with broad statements about the topic, and then narrows it down to the thesis statement , a thesis conclusion does the same in the opposite order.

  • Restate the thesis.
  • Review or reiterate key points of your work.
  • Explain why your work is relevant.
  • Include a core take-away message for the reader.

Tip: Don’t just copy and paste your thesis into your conclusion. Restate it in different words.

The best way to start a conclusion is simply by restating the thesis statement. That does not mean just copying and pasting it from the introduction, but putting it into different words.

You will need to change the structure and wording of it to avoid sounding repetitive. Also, be firm in your conclusion just as you were in the introduction. Try to avoid sounding apologetic by using phrases like "This paper has tried to show..."

The conclusion should address all the same parts as the thesis while making it clear that the reader has reached the end. You are telling the reader that your research is finished and what your findings are.

I have argued throughout this work that the point of critical mass for biopolitical immunity occurred during the Romantic period because of that era's unique combination of post-revolutionary politics and innovations in smallpox prevention. In particular, I demonstrated that the French Revolution and the discovery of vaccination in the 1790s triggered a reconsideration of the relationship between bodies and the state.

Tip: Try to reiterate points from your introduction in your thesis conclusion.

The next step is to review the main points of the thesis as a whole. Look back at the body of of your project and make a note of the key ideas. You can reword these ideas the same way you reworded your thesis statement and then incorporate that into the conclusion.

You can also repeat striking quotations or statistics, but do not use more than two. As the conclusion represents your own closing thoughts on the topic , it should mainly consist of your own words.

In addition, conclusions can contain recommendations to the reader or relevant questions that further the thesis. You should ask yourself:

  • What you would ideally like to see your readers do in reaction to your paper?
  • Do you want them to take a certain action or investigate further?
  • Is there a bigger issue that your paper wants to draw attention to?

Also, try to reference your introduction in your conclusion. You have already taken a first step by restating your thesis. Now, check whether there are other key words, phrases or ideas that are mentioned in your introduction that fit into your conclusion. Connecting the introduction to the conclusion in this way will help readers feel satisfied.

I explored how Mary Wollstonecraft, in both her fiction and political writings, envisions an ideal medico-political state, and how other writers like William Wordsworth and Mary Shelley increasingly imagined the body politic literally, as an incorporated political collective made up of bodies whose immunity to political and medical ills was essential to a healthy state.

Tip: Make sure to explain why your thesis is relevant to your field of research.

Although you can encourage readers to question their opinions and reflect on your topic, do not leave loose ends. You should provide a sense of resolution and make sure your conclusion wraps up your argument. Make sure you explain why your thesis is relevant to your field of research and how your research intervenes within, or substantially revises, existing scholarly debates.

This project challenged conventional ideas about the relationship among Romanticism, medicine, and politics by reading the unfolding of Romantic literature and biopolitical immunity as mutual, co-productive processes. In doing so, this thesis revises the ways in which biopolitics has been theorized by insisting on the inherent connections between Romantic literature and the forms of biopower that characterize early modernity.

Tip: If you began your thesis with an anecdote or historical example, you may want to return to that in your conclusion.

End your conclusion with something memorable, such as:

  • a call to action
  • a recommendation
  • a gesture towards future research
  • a brief explanation of how the problem or idea you covered remains relevant

Ultimately, you want readers to feel more informed, or ready to act, as they read your conclusion.

Yet, the Romantic period is only the beginning of modern thought on immunity and biopolitics. Victorian writers, doctors, and politicians upheld the Romantic idea that a "healthy state" was a literal condition that could be achieved by combining politics and medicine, but augmented that idea through legislation and widespread public health measures. While many nineteenth-century efforts to improve citizens' health were successful, the fight against disease ultimately changed course in the twentieth century as global immunological threats such as SARS occupied public consciousness. Indeed, as subsequent public health events make apparent, biopolitical immunity persists as a viable concept for thinking about the relationship between medicine and politics in modernity.

Need more advice? Read our 5 additional tips on how to write a good thesis conclusion.

The conclusion is the last thing that your reader will see, so it should be memorable. To write a great thesis conclusion you should:

The basic content of a conclusion is to review the main points from the paper. This part represents your own closing thoughts on the topic. It should mainly consist of the outcome of the research in your own words.

The length of the conclusion will depend on the length of the whole thesis. Usually, a conclusion should be around 5-7% of the overall word count.

End your conclusion with something memorable, such as a question, warning, or call to action. Depending on the topic, you can also end with a recommendation.

In Open Access: Theses and Dissertations you can find thousands of completed works. Take a look at any of the theses or dissertations for real-life examples of conclusions that were already approved.

how to write a master's thesis summary

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

How to write a masters dissertation

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

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

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

1. Understand your dissertation or thesis topic

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to write a thesis

2. Structure your dissertation or thesis

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

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

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

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

Section

Description

Title page

The opening page includes all relevant information about the project.

Abstract

A brief project summary including background, methodology and findings.

Contents

A list of chapters and figures from your project.

Chapter 1 – Background

A description of the rationale behind your project.

Chapter 2 – Literature Review

A summary and evaluation of the literature supporting your project.

Chapter 3 – Methodology

A description of the specific methodology used in your project.

Chapter 4-6 – Data analysis and Findings

An overview of the key findings and data from your research.

Chapter 7 - Discussion and Evaluation

A description of what the data means and what you can draw from the findings.

Chapter 8 - Conclusion

Main summary of your overall project and key findings.

Bibliography

A list of the references cited in your dissertation or thesis.

Appendices

Additional materials used in your research.

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

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

3. Write up your literature review

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

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

What to include in your literature review

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

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

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

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

4. Write up your research

Write up your thesis research

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

Methodology chapter

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

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

Data analysis and findings chapters

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

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

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

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

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

5. Discuss and evaluate

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

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

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

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

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

6. Write your introduction

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

Here’s what your introduction chapter should cover:

Problem statement

Research question

Significance of your research

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

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

How to write a masters dissertation

Masters dissertation writing tips

When to start writing your thesis or dissertation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to improve your writing skills

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

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

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

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

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

Keep track of your bibliography 

Keep track of your bibliography

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

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

Avoid accidental plagiarism

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

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

What kind of format should your thesis have?

How to write a masters dissertation

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

When should I submit my thesis?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do I submit the MA or MSc dissertation?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • Researching and Writing a Masters Dissertation

Written by Mark Bennett

All Masters programmes include some form of extended individual project. Research-focussed programmes, such as an MRes , may include multiple independent research components. Taught courses usually culminate with a substantial research task, referred to as the Masters dissertation or thesis.

This article talks about how long a Masters dissertation is and the structure it follows.Before you get started on your dissertation, you'll usually need to write a proposal. Read our full guide to Masters dissertation proposals for more information on what this should include!

Masters dissertation - key facts
Length 15,000 - 20,000 words
Structure

Abstract (300 words)

Introduction (1,000 words)

Literature review (1,000 words)

Research methodology (1,500 words)

Results

Discussion (12,000 words)

Conclusion (1,500 words)

References/Bibliography

Appendices

Supervision Yes, you’ll be paired with an academic from your own university
Assessment External examiner along with additional members of faculty. There is not usually a viva at Masters level.

On this page

What’s the difference between a masters dissertation and an undergraduate dissertation.

The Masters thesis is a bridge between undergraduate study and higher level postgraduate degrees such as the PhD .

A postgraduate dissertation may not look that different to its undergraduate equivalent. You’ll likely have to produce a longer piece of work but the foundations remain the same.

After all, one of the purposes of an undergraduate dissertation or final year project is to prepare you for more in-depth research work as a postgraduate. That said, there are some important differences between the two levels.

So, how long is a Masters dissertation? A Masters dissertation will be longer than the undergraduate equivalent – usually it’ll be somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000 words, but this can vary widely between courses, institutions and countries.

To answer your overall research question comprehensively, you’ll be expected to identify and examine specific areas of your topic. This can be like producing a series of shorter pieces of work, similar to those required by individual modules. However, there’s the additional requirement that they collectively support a broader set of conclusions.

This more involved Masters dissertation structure will:

  • Give you the scope to investigate your subject in greater detail than is possible at undergraduate level
  • Challenge you to be effective at organising your work so that its individual components function as stages in a coherent and persuasive overall argument
  • Allow you to develop and hone a suitable research methodology (for example, choosing between qualitative and quantitative methods)

If the individual topics within your overall project require you to access separate sources or datasets, this may also have an impact on your research process.

As a postgraduate, you’ll be expected to establish and assert your own critical voice as a member of the academic community associated with your field .

During your Masters thesis you’ll need to show that you are not just capable of analysing and critiquing original data or primary source material. You should also demonstrate awareness of the existing body of scholarship relating to your topic .

So, if you’ll excuse the pun, a ‘Masters’ degree really is about achieving ‘mastery’ of your particular specialism and the dissertation is where you’ll demonstrate this: showing off the scholarly expertise and research skills that you’ve developed across your programme.

What’s the difference between a dissertation and a thesis?

A dissertation is a long piece of (usually) written work on the same topic. A thesis is a little more specific: it usually means something that presents an original argument based on the interpretation of data, statistics or content.

So, a thesis is almost always presented as a dissertation, but not all dissertations present a thesis.

Masters dissertation structure

As you can probably imagine, no two dissertations follow the exact same structure, especially given the differences found between Masters programmes from university to university and country to country .

That said, there are several key components that make up the structure of a typical Masters dissertation

How long is a Masters dissertation?

Most dissertations will typically be between 15,000 and 20,000 words long, although this can vary significantly depending on the nature of the programme.

You should also check with your university exactly which sections of the dissertation count towards the final word count (the abstract, bibliography and appendices won’t usually be included in the total).

Usually around 300 words long, the abstract is meant to be a concise summary of your dissertation. It should briefly cover the question(s) you aim to answer, your primary argument and your conclusion.

Introduction

The purpose of the introduction is to provide context for the rest of the dissertation, setting out your aims and the scope of what you want to achieve with your research. The introduction should give a clear overview of the dissertation’s chapters and will usually be around 1,000 words long.

Literature review

This part of the dissertation should examine the scholarship that has already been published in your field, presenting various arguments and counter-arguments while situating your own research within this wider body of work.

You should analyse and evaluate other publications and explain how your dissertation will contribute to the existing literature in your subject area. The literature review sometimes forms part of the introduction or follows immediately on from it. Most literature reviews are up to 1,000 words long.

Research methodology

Not all dissertations will require a section covering research methodology (Arts and Humanities dissertations won’t normally undertake the kind of research that involves a set methodology). However, if you are using a particular method to collect information for your dissertation, you should make sure to explain the rationale behind your choice of methodology. The word count for this part of the dissertation is usually around the 1,500 mark.

Those in the Arts and Humanities will usually outline their theoretical perspectives and approaches as part of the introduction, rather than requiring a detailed explanation of the methodology for their data collection and analysis.

Results / findings

If your research involves some form of survey or experiment, this is where you’ll present the results of your work. Depending on the nature of the study, this might be in the form of graphs, tables or charts – or even just a written description of what the research entailed and what the findings were.

This section forms the bulk of your dissertation and should be carefully structured using a series of related chapters (and sub-chapters). There should be a logical progression from one chapter to the next, with each part building on the arguments of its predecessor.

It can be helpful to think of your Masters dissertation as a series of closely interlinked essays, rather than one overwhelming paper. The size of this section will depend on the overall word count for your dissertation. However, to give you a rough idea for a 15,000-word dissertation, the discussion part will generally be about 12,000 words long.

Here you should draw together the threads of the previous discussion chapters and make your final concluding statements, drawing on evidence and arguments that you’ve already explored over the course of the dissertation. Explain the significance of your findings and point towards directions that future research could follow. This section of the Masters thesis will be around 1,500 words long.

References / bibliography

While planning and writing your dissertation, you should keep an extensive, organised record of any papers, sources or books you’ve quoted (or referred to). This will be a lot easier than leaving all of it until the end and struggling to work out where a particular quotation is from!

Appendices won’t be necessary in many dissertations, but you may need to include supplementary material to support your argument. This could be interview transcripts or questionnaires. If including such content within the body of the dissertation won’t be feasible – i.e. there wouldn’t be enough space or it would break the flow of your writing – you should consult with your supervisor and consider attaching it in an appendix.

It’s worth bearing in mind that these sections won’t always be discretely labelled in every dissertation. For example, everything up to ‘discussion’ might be covered in introductory chapter (rather than as distinct sections). If you’re unsure about the structure of your Masters dissertation, your supervisor will be able to help you map it out.

How does supervision work for a Masters dissertation?

As a Masters student at the dissertation stage you’ll usually be matched with an academic within your institution who will be tasked with guiding your work. This might be someone who has already taught you, or it may be another scholar whose research interests and expertise align well with what you want to do. You may be able to request a particular supervisor, but taught postgraduates are more likely to be assigned them by their department.

Specific arrangements with your supervisor will vary depending on your institution and subject area. They will usually meet with you at the beginning of the dissertation period to discuss your project and agree a suitable schedule for its undertaking. This timetable will probably set dates for:

  • Subsequent discussions and progress checks
  • The submission of draft chapters or sections
  • Feedback appointments

Though your supervisor is there to help and advise you, it is important to remember that your dissertation is a personal research project with associated expectations of you as an independent scholar.

As a rule of thumb, you can expect your supervisor to read each part of your dissertation once at the draft stage and to offer feedback. Most will not have time to look at lots of subsequent revisions, but may respond favourably to polite requests for exceptions (provided their own workload permits it).

Inundating your supervisor with emails or multiple iterations of draft material is best avoided; they will have their own research to manage (as well as other supervision assignments) and will be able to offer better quality feedback if you stick to an agreed schedule.

How is a Masters dissertation assessed and examined?

On most courses your dissertation will be assessed by an external examiner (as well as additional members of faculty within your university who haven’t been responsible for supervising you), but these will read and critique the work you submit without personally questioning and testing you on it.

Though this examination process is not as challenging as the oral defence or ‘ viva voce ’ required for a PhD thesis, the grading of your Masters dissertation is still a fundamental component of your degree.

On some programmes the result awarded to a student’s dissertation may determine the upper grade-band that can be awarded to their degree.

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A complete guide to writing a master’s thesis

Speak right now to our live team of english staff.

If you’re reading this because you have been accepted onto a master’s programme that requires you to write a thesis – congratulations! This is a very exciting time in your life.

Hopefully what we’re about to tell you doesn’t come as too much of a surprise – as part of your master’s course you are going to be spending a considerable amount of time working on a single written submission. In fact, your master’s thesis may be the longest and most detailed piece of writing that you have ever been asked to complete.

With that in mind, getting some guidance before you begin is an important first step.

As you progress through your degree, you may have questions on exactly how to write a master’s thesis and are thus looking to obtain some thesis writing tips to help you on your way.

This post is designed to provide you with a comprehensive guide to writing a master’s thesis in the UK context. It will help you not just now, but will also be something you can refer back to throughout the duration of your master’s studies. If you haven’t already, we strongly recommend bookmarking this post so can you find it easily when you inevitably have questions during the thesis writing process.

In this post, we’ll clue you in to some strategies best suited to master’s students trying to complete a thesis. We’ll focus on what to expect at each stage, including creating a working plan, doing your reading, undertaking research, writing your master’s thesis, editing it, and leaving time to finish and proofread.

Hopefully, by the time you have finished reading, you will have the confidence and motivation to get going on a path that will lead to ultimate success in your thesis writing.

Start with a plan (and stick to it)

OK, we realise we may be teaching your grandma how to suck eggs here – starting with a plan is the obvious first step in any piece of academic writing.

And yet, as good as everyone’s intentions may be when students start writing a master’s thesis, circumstances (nearly) always arise that make sticking to the plan much more challenging.

So, first tip: when writing your thesis, make sure that your plan is flexible , and allows time for dealing with unexpected circumstances.

Next, reconsider your research proposal. It is likely you had to write one before you were accepted onto your master’s programme. If this was your first time producing a research proposal, you may read it back now and find it’s a little over-ambitious in its claims about what you planned to do. It’s a common trap to fall into, so don’t despair! Book some time with your research supervisor to determine whether your research proposal is actually realistic for your master’s thesis. If you claimed that you were going to do qualitative interviews of 200 participants across the UK, and you only have a year to complete your master’s, you might want to rethink your project and scale it to something that is achievable and not setting you up for failure.

Another tip on supervisors: make sure that you ask them questions about their expectations throughout the thesis writing process. Will they want to see drafts of your chapters as they’re written? If the answer is yes, finding out these dates will help you to develop a plan to achieve this without scrambling at the last minute.

Another tip for planning how to write your master’s thesis is to set yourself a goal of doing a little bit each day. Framing your thesis in your mind as a long-term project with a deadline very far away in the future will only encourage you to put off writing it. Then ‘far away in the future’ will all of a sudden be ‘next month’ and major panic will set in, and the lack of time at your disposal will make for rushed, compromised writing.

Set yourself milestones: a realistic plan for writing certain chapters by certain dates. Then within these milestones, commit to writing an amount of words per day, or per week. Then be disciplined and stick to your plan. Avoiding procrastination isn’t easy, but will very much work in your favour in the long run.

A final tip when devising your plan: it is easy to go back and delete words that you do not need during the editing process. Conversely, having to add thousands of words at the last minute will be stressful and sometimes impossible. Plan to start writing early, and budget for, say, 1000-2000 words every day. Not only will you then reach the full word count of your master’s thesis quickly, but you’ll leave yourself plenty of time to edit it, remove sections that aren’t working, and add more words that strengthen the overall assignment, all long before the deadline arrives.

Do your reading

The trick here is to find a balance between reading enough and not spending too much time doing so. There is so much reading to do and it can be easy to drift off topic.

Doing your reading and producing the final literature review are important components of a master’s thesis, but if you spend too much time reading there won’t be ample time for the data collection process and the writing up phase.

Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your reading process is both effective and efficient.

Step 1 – Understand your research questions

The first step in the reading phase of your master’s thesis is knowing what research questions you are trying to answer. Hopefully you have identified these questions with your supervisor before you started to work on your thesis. If you do not have a clear research question, your reading strategies will be severely hindered.

There are certain databases that are going to be more relevant to your area of study. Getting research from these databases is going to streamline the writing process for you to ensure that your project is focused within the context that it needs to be. A research librarian can likely help you focus this search, making the process significantly easier.

Step 2 – Make reading easier

There are several challenges associated with reading. First, it is easy to get distracted, especially if your reading material is lengthy and complex. So you want to keep your reading blocks short and sweet. ‘Chunk’ your reading. Spend 20 to 25 minutes reading without distraction (it hurts we know, but putting your phone on flight mode and leaving it in another room will ultimately help) and then take a 5 to 10 minute break (on your phone, if you must!) before starting up again.

Furthermore, whilst there is a lot of reading to do, it is unrealistic to spend your whole day doing it. Earmark just a portion of the day for reading, then make sure that you have other things that you can do with the rest of your time (like completing your ethics forms, or starting to create your research instruments). By dividing up your time, you are going to be able to keep your focus for longer, making you more productive and efficient overall.

Step 3 – Take good notes

It’s always worth remembering the forgetting curve – ah that’s a paradox if we ever saw one. The forgetting curve is the amount of information you will forget as time passes. It can be quite steep, and after a month passes you likely won’t remember much about what you have previously read. This could lead to disaster when writing up your literature review, so make sure that you take good, thorough notes throughout the reading process.

A good idea is to build out an excel spreadsheet or other list that documents your reading in a detailed and organised manner. You can keep track of key information, such as:

  • Location of research
  • Sample size
  • Research methods
  • Main findings

Not only will this help slow the curve of your inevitable forgetfulness, but crucially, it will also make referring back to your reading much easier when you move on to writing your overall literature review.

A note to remember: not everything that you read will end up in your literature review. The purpose of reading is to make sure that you, as a researcher, understand how your project is positioned within your area of study. The literature review explains this to the reader but in much simpler terms. So to reiterate, the reading process is for your own benefit, not solely to find studies to include in your literature review.

Do your research

Even if you did research as part of your undergraduate work, research for a master’s thesis is a whole different story. As an undergraduate, your project was likely quite small or it was significantly guided by a faculty member; as a master’s student, this is typically your first opportunity to do research on a topic that you have chosen to pursue. While this is an exciting step, it also means that you are accountable for your actions.

Your research type and tools

The first step in the research process is deciding on what type of research you will do. Is it going to be qualitative or quantitative? Maybe it will be a combination of the two. You have likely documented this in your research proposal, but your answer to this question will have implications about how you will organise and analyse your data once it is collected.

Regardless of what route you choose, you will need software to help you manage your data. Many universities have free data management software tools available, and if that is the case for your institution then use them –tools available otherwise can rack up quite a hefty bill.

The most common tools are SPSS, which deals primarily with quantitative data, or NVivo which focuses more on qualitative measures. There are numerous other software packages available, and your supervisor may have suggestions about which management tool is most suitable for your project.

Planning ahead for better outcomes

The second step in the process is to think about timing and distribution. If you are planning a qualitative study, perhaps using interviews, remember that you will need to transcribe all of the words that are contained in the interview. While some programmes allow speech-to-text translation, it is not always accurate. The process of transcription takes considerable time, and therefore, as a researcher, you should consider how many participants you are looking to have in your project.

While a quantitative project may not have the same level of detail in the data input process, there are likely to be more participants and a wider range of outcomes. As a researcher, you must recruit these participants and ensure that they meet the criteria for inclusion. Finding people who are willing to participate in this type of project (often volunteering their time for free) can be challenging, and so as a researcher, it can be useful to have a minimum number of participants that you believe (based on past research) will give you findings that can be reliable and valid within your context.

It is also worth mentioning that you will likely end up with a lot of data, much more than can actually be presented in your master’s thesis.

One of the challenging pieces of the research process is deciding which findings make the cut for your thesis and which get saved for a later date. While your data are probably very interesting to you, it is important that you do not overwhelm the reader or deviate from the research questions that you set out to answer.

To sum up, the process of actually carrying out research and distilling it for the writing part of your thesis takes time. You need to carefully plan your research steps to ensure not only that you cover everything you intend to, but that you also do it in good time, leaving yourself ample space in your schedule to write up your thesis.

Write your Master’s thesis: the right structure

It’s helpful to start here by going over the structure of a master’s thesis. The precise way that different master’s theses are structured is largely going to depend on the discipline area. But most of the time, empirical dissertations follow a format including:

  • Table of contents
  • List of tables/figures
  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methodology

Before you start writing

Before you start to write, draft an outline of your approach to each section including the word count you expect to have (total word counts also vary by discipline).

Within each section you should also include all the major subheadings that you plan to include in the final version.

Before writing any of the sections, meet with your supervisor to ensure that your outline generally conforms to their expectations. Supervisors are the experts in the field and have likely seen many master’s theses, so they will be able to tell you if you are on the right track.

Beginning to write

It’s worth noting here that the order in which you write all the sections of your master’s thesis can vary depending on your process and preferences.

Once you have a detailed outline, there is no rule that says you have to start with the introduction and end with the conclusion. While the reader will inevitably read your thesis this way, you are free to write the ‘easy’ sections first and then move on to ones that you find more challenging.

For many students, beginning with the methodology chapter makes the most sense, as this allows the project to be framed around the steps that you, as a researcher, will take. The methodology usually includes:

  • The research question(s).
  • Any hypotheses that you might have.
  • Your theoretical framework, and the methods that you will use to collect your data.
  • Often, but not always, it includes ethical considerations, especially if you are working with human participants.

For many writers, the methodology chapter is written prior to the collection of data, whereas other chapters may be written after the data have been collected and analysed.

The same can be said for writing the literature review . For some writers, the literature review begins to take shape early in the project, but others choose to leave the writing until after data collection has occurred.

Both strategies have value. Writing the literature review early can give a researcher a clear indication of what data already exists and how this could relate to the potential project. The downside is that if the findings from the current project do not match the historical findings from the literature, the whole chapter may need to be revised to better align with the current findings.

Leaving the literature review until after the data collection means a bigger gap between when the reading was actually done for the project and the writing up period, meaning that the sources may need to be consulted repeatedly. In addition, leaving all the writing to the end of the project may seem tedious for some writers.

Another element that you will need to consider is how to present your findings . For some researchers, combining the findings and discussion sections makes logical sense, whereas for others, this presentation makes the chapter unwieldy and difficult to read.

Staying on track

There is no universal approach to writing a master’s thesis, but there are a lot of people out there who are willing to help you along the way. You will put yourself in a really good place if you seek advice at multiple stages in the process and from multiple different sources.

Your university library is going to be a useful source for research and reference, whereas your supervisor can give more discipline-specific advice on writing. Your university will likely have a writing centre too that can offer suggestions on how to improve your writing and make sure that you are staying on track. Making appointments at your writing centre can also help with accountability, as you will have to actually complete parts of your writing in order to discuss them with others.

writing a master's thesis

Finishing and proofreading

When you write those last few words of your conclusion and you have made it to the end of your thesis (hopefully in one piece – you, not the thesis), there may be a sense of finality. It’s a huge feat you’ve just overcome and for that, you deserve a pat on the back.

But finishing writing your master’s thesis is a little like reaching Camp 4 on an Everest summit trek. Without wanting to sound too ominous, there is still a considerable amount of work to do – chiefly, putting the finishing touches on your thesis through editing and proofreading .

Hopefully, during the process of writing your thesis, you sent drafts to your supervisor for review. These drafts may have included individual chapters or various sections within the data set that required clarification. Your supervisor would have provided feedback on these drafts either through written or verbal comments. It is essential that you keep track of these comments, as they will become crucial for the final stages prior to submission.

There are two ways that you can approach the editing of your master’s thesis. Both have value and it depends on how you view the process of writing. These are:

  • Individually edit sections as they are returned from the supervisor.
  • Edit at the very end, so that the editing can be consistent across sections.

With the first strategy, the editing process is broken up into manageable chunks, but at the end you will have to go back and re-edit sections to improve the clarity and flow.

With the second strategy, you may be able to achieve better flow, but the number of edits at the end may seem overwhelming and take up considerable time.

These challenges bring us back to the importance of a timeline. Leaving several weeks for the editing process is necessary because editing can take longer than you think . Also, once you have made these necessary edits, you will need to go through and proofread your document to make sure that the fine details are consistent across chapters. This includes things like making sure acronyms are clearly defined, tables are appropriately numbered/titled, that punctuation and syntax are accurate, and that formatting and alignment is consistent.

Something you may find challenging during the finishing process is knowing when to stop. With writing there are always changes that can be made – ideas or sentences that can be written just a little bit better or slightly more clearly. You could spend years (really!) refining your work – writing and rewriting sections to make them exactly how you want them – but the simple fact is: you do not have time for that.

Use the time that you do have for editing your thesis to the best of your ability, but also be willing to say “this is good enough” and submit your work.

Handing something in that you have worked diligently on for a long time is a truly satisfying feeling, so try to cherish that moment when it comes.

Also, it goes without saying but is always worth the reminder: the expert editors we have on board here at Oxbridge Editing can not only relieve a phenomenal amount of effort in this final hurdle of your assignment, but, thanks to their experience and skill, they will also ensure your thesis is flawless and truly ready for submission. You can find out more about thesis editing here .

Final words

Hopefully, by reading this post you have identified some tips for writing your master’s thesis that you can apply in your own context.

While the finished product will vary by discipline, the strategies listed above can apply across a wide range of contexts.

Above all else: start early and stick to the plan.

There are many examples of master’s dissertations that you can refer to for guidance so that you can identify the appropriate thesis structure for your project. By doing a little bit each day and by keeping track of your reading, you can ensure that you remain organised and efficient with your work.

Remember that writing your master’s thesis is your first opportunity to demonstrate to the academic community that you are a proficient scholar in your field. A UK master’s dissertation is no easy task, but there are lots of people and resources available to help you. Take guidance from your supervisor and use the facilities that exist on your university campus, including the writing centre and the library.

Best of luck!

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How To Write A Dissertation Introduction

A Simple Explainer With Examples + Free Template

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) | Reviewed By Dr Eunice Rautenbach (D. Tech) | March 2020

If you’re reading this, you’re probably at the daunting early phases of writing up the introduction chapter of your dissertation or thesis. It can be intimidating, I know. 

In this post, we’ll look at the 7 essential ingredients of a strong dissertation or thesis introduction chapter, as well as the essential things you need to keep in mind as you craft each section. We’ll also share some useful tips to help you optimize your approach.

Overview: Writing An Introduction Chapter

  • The purpose and function of the intro chapter
  • Craft an enticing and engaging opening section
  • Provide a background and context to the study
  • Clearly define the research problem
  • State your research aims, objectives and questions
  • Explain the significance of your study
  • Identify the limitations of your research
  • Outline the structure of your dissertation or thesis

A quick sidenote:

You’ll notice that I’ve used the words dissertation and thesis interchangeably. While these terms reflect different levels of research – for example, Masters vs PhD-level research – the introduction chapter generally contains the same 7 essential ingredients regardless of level. So, in this post, dissertation introduction equals thesis introduction.

Free template for a dissertation or thesis introduction

Start with why.

To craft a high-quality dissertation or thesis introduction chapter, you need to understand exactly what this chapter needs to achieve. In other words, what’s its purpose ? As the name suggests, the introduction chapter needs to introduce the reader to your research so that they understand what you’re trying to figure out, or what problem you’re trying to solve. More specifically, you need to answer four important questions in your introduction chapter.

These questions are:

  • What will you be researching? (in other words, your research topic)
  • Why is that worthwhile? (in other words, your justification)
  • What will the scope of your research be? (in other words, what will you cover and what won’t you cover)
  • What will the limitations of your research be? (in other words, what will the potential shortcomings of your research be?)

Simply put, your dissertation’s introduction chapter needs to provide an overview of your planned research , as well as a clear rationale for it. In other words, this chapter has to explain the “what” and the “why” of your research – what’s it all about and why’s that important.

Simple enough, right?

Well, the trick is finding the appropriate depth of information. As the researcher, you’ll be extremely close to your topic and this makes it easy to get caught up in the minor details. While these intricate details might be interesting, you need to write your introduction chapter on more of a “need-to-know” type basis, or it will end up way too lengthy and dense. You need to balance painting a clear picture with keeping things concise. Don’t worry though – you’ll be able to explore all the intricate details in later chapters.

The core ingredients of a dissertation introduction chapter

Now that you understand what you need to achieve from your introduction chapter, we can get into the details. While the exact requirements for this chapter can vary from university to university, there are seven core components that most universities will require. We call these the seven essential ingredients . 

The 7 Essential Ingredients

  • The opening section – where you’ll introduce the reader to your research in high-level terms
  • The background to the study – where you’ll explain the context of your project
  • The research problem – where you’ll explain the “gap” that exists in the current research
  • The research aims , objectives and questions – where you’ll clearly state what your research will aim to achieve
  • The significance (or justification) – where you’ll explain why your research is worth doing and the value it will provide to the world
  • The limitations – where you’ll acknowledge the potential limitations of your project and approach
  • The structure – where you’ll briefly outline the structure of your dissertation or thesis to help orient the reader

By incorporating these seven essential ingredients into your introduction chapter, you’ll comprehensively cover both the “ what ” and the “ why ” I mentioned earlier – in other words, you’ll achieve the purpose of the chapter.

Side note – you can also use these 7 ingredients in this order as the structure for your chapter to ensure a smooth, logical flow. This isn’t essential, but, generally speaking, it helps create an engaging narrative that’s easy for your reader to understand. If you’d like, you can also download our free introduction chapter template here.

Alright – let’s look at each of the ingredients now.

how to write a master's thesis summary

#1 – The Opening Section

The very first essential ingredient for your dissertation introduction is, well, an introduction or opening section. Just like every other chapter, your introduction chapter needs to start by providing a brief overview of what you’ll be covering in the chapter.

This section needs to engage the reader with clear, concise language that can be easily understood and digested. If the reader (your marker!) has to struggle through it, they’ll lose interest, which will make it harder for you to earn marks. Just because you’re writing an academic paper doesn’t mean you can ignore the basic principles of engaging writing used by marketers, bloggers, and journalists. At the end of the day, you’re all trying to sell an idea – yours is just a research idea.

So, what goes into this opening section?

Well, while there’s no set formula, it’s a good idea to include the following four foundational sentences in your opening section:

1 – A sentence or two introducing the overall field of your research.

For example:

“Organisational skills development involves identifying current or potential skills gaps within a business and developing programs to resolve these gaps. Management research, including X, Y and Z, has clearly established that organisational skills development is an essential contributor to business growth.”

2 – A sentence introducing your specific research problem.

“However, there are conflicting views and an overall lack of research regarding how best to manage skills development initiatives in highly dynamic environments where subject knowledge is rapidly and continuously evolving – for example, in the website development industry.”

3 – A sentence stating your research aims and objectives.

“This research aims to identify and evaluate skills development approaches and strategies for highly dynamic industries in which subject knowledge is continuously evolving.”.

4 – A sentence outlining the layout of the chapter.

“This chapter will provide an introduction to the study by first discussing the background and context, followed by the research problem, the research aims, objectives and questions, the significance and finally, the limitations.”

As I mentioned, this opening section of your introduction chapter shouldn’t be lengthy . Typically, these four sentences should fit neatly into one or two paragraphs, max. What you’re aiming for here is a clear, concise introduction to your research – not a detailed account.

PS – If some of this terminology sounds unfamiliar, don’t stress – I’ll explain each of the concepts later in this post.

#2 – Background to the study

Now that you’ve provided a high-level overview of your dissertation or thesis, it’s time to go a little deeper and lay a foundation for your research topic. This foundation is what the second ingredient is all about – the background to your study.

So, what is the background section all about?

Well, this section of your introduction chapter should provide a broad overview of the topic area that you’ll be researching, as well as the current contextual factors . This could include, for example, a brief history of the topic, recent developments in the area, key pieces of research in the area and so on. In other words, in this section, you need to provide the relevant background information to give the reader a decent foundational understanding of your research area.

Let’s look at an example to make this a little more concrete.

If we stick with the skills development topic I mentioned earlier, the background to the study section would start by providing an overview of the skills development area and outline the key existing research. Then, it would go on to discuss how the modern-day context has created a new challenge for traditional skills development strategies and approaches. Specifically, that in many industries, technical knowledge is constantly and rapidly evolving, and traditional education providers struggle to keep up with the pace of new technologies.

Importantly, you need to write this section with the assumption that the reader is not an expert in your topic area. So, if there are industry-specific jargon and complex terminology, you should briefly explain that here , so that the reader can understand the rest of your document.

Don’t make assumptions about the reader’s knowledge – in most cases, your markers will not be able to ask you questions if they don’t understand something. So, always err on the safe side and explain anything that’s not common knowledge.

Dissertation Coaching

#3 – The research problem

Now that you’ve given your reader an overview of your research area, it’s time to get specific about the research problem that you’ll address in your dissertation or thesis. While the background section would have alluded to a potential research problem (or even multiple research problems), the purpose of this section is to narrow the focus and highlight the specific research problem you’ll focus on.

But, what exactly is a research problem, you ask?

Well, a research problem can be any issue or question for which there isn’t already a well-established and agreed-upon answer in the existing research. In other words, a research problem exists when there’s a need to answer a question (or set of questions), but there’s a gap in the existing literature , or the existing research is conflicting and/or inconsistent.

So, to present your research problem, you need to make it clear what exactly is missing in the current literature and why this is a problem . It’s usually a good idea to structure this discussion into three sections – specifically:

  • What’s already well-established in the literature (in other words, the current state of research)
  • What’s missing in the literature (in other words, the literature gap)
  • Why this is a problem (in other words, why it’s important to fill this gap)

Let’s look at an example of this structure using the skills development topic.

Organisational skills development is critically important for employee satisfaction and company performance (reference). Numerous studies have investigated strategies and approaches to manage skills development programs within organisations (reference).

(this paragraph explains what’s already well-established in the literature)

However, these studies have traditionally focused on relatively slow-paced industries where key skills and knowledge do not change particularly often. This body of theory presents a problem for industries that face a rapidly changing skills landscape – for example, the website development industry – where new platforms, languages and best practices emerge on an extremely frequent basis.

(this paragraph explains what’s missing from the literature)

As a result, the existing research is inadequate for industries in which essential knowledge and skills are constantly and rapidly evolving, as it assumes a slow pace of knowledge development. Industries in such environments, therefore, find themselves ill-equipped in terms of skills development strategies and approaches.

(this paragraph explains why the research gap is problematic)

As you can see in this example, in a few lines, we’ve explained (1) the current state of research, (2) the literature gap and (3) why that gap is problematic. By doing this, the research problem is made crystal clear, which lays the foundation for the next ingredient.

#4 – The research aims, objectives and questions

Now that you’ve clearly identified your research problem, it’s time to identify your research aims and objectives , as well as your research questions . In other words, it’s time to explain what you’re going to do about the research problem.

So, what do you need to do here?

Well, the starting point is to clearly state your research aim (or aims) . The research aim is the main goal or the overarching purpose of your dissertation or thesis. In other words, it’s a high-level statement of what you’re aiming to achieve.

Let’s look at an example, sticking with the skills development topic:

“Given the lack of research regarding organisational skills development in fast-moving industries, this study will aim to identify and evaluate the skills development approaches utilised by web development companies in the UK”.

As you can see in this example, the research aim is clearly outlined, as well as the specific context in which the research will be undertaken (in other words, web development companies in the UK).

Next up is the research objective (or objectives) . While the research aims cover the high-level “what”, the research objectives are a bit more practically oriented, looking at specific things you’ll be doing to achieve those research aims.

Let’s take a look at an example of some research objectives (ROs) to fit the research aim.

  • RO1 – To identify common skills development strategies and approaches utilised by web development companies in the UK.
  • RO2 – To evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies and approaches.
  • RO3 – To compare and contrast these strategies and approaches in terms of their strengths and weaknesses.

As you can see from this example, these objectives describe the actions you’ll take and the specific things you’ll investigate in order to achieve your research aims. They break down the research aims into more specific, actionable objectives.

The final step is to state your research questions . Your research questions bring the aims and objectives another level “down to earth”. These are the specific questions that your dissertation or theses will seek to answer. They’re not fluffy, ambiguous or conceptual – they’re very specific and you’ll need to directly answer them in your conclusions chapter .

The research questions typically relate directly to the research objectives and sometimes can look a bit obvious, but they are still extremely important. Let’s take a look at an example of the research questions (RQs) that would flow from the research objectives I mentioned earlier.

  • RQ1 – What skills development strategies and approaches are currently being used by web development companies in the UK?
  • RQ2 – How effective are each of these strategies and approaches?
  • RQ3 – What are the strengths and weaknesses of each of these strategies and approaches?

As you can see, the research questions mimic the research objectives , but they are presented in question format. These questions will act as the driving force throughout your dissertation or thesis – from the literature review to the methodology and onward – so they’re really important.

A final note about this section – it’s really important to be clear about the scope of your study (more technically, the delimitations ). In other words, what you WILL cover and what you WON’T cover. If your research aims, objectives and questions are too broad, you’ll risk losing focus or investigating a problem that is too big to solve within a single dissertation.

Simply put, you need to establish clear boundaries in your research. You can do this, for example, by limiting it to a specific industry, country or time period. That way, you’ll ringfence your research, which will allow you to investigate your topic deeply and thoroughly – which is what earns marks!

Need a helping hand?

how to write a master's thesis summary

#5 – Significance

Now that you’ve made it clear what you’ll be researching, it’s time to make a strong argument regarding your study’s importance and significance . In other words, now that you’ve covered the what, it’s time to cover the why – enter essential ingredient number 5 – significance.

Of course, by this stage, you’ve already briefly alluded to the importance of your study in your background and research problem sections, but you haven’t explicitly stated how your research findings will benefit the world . So, now’s your chance to clearly state how your study will benefit either industry , academia , or – ideally – both . In other words, you need to explain how your research will make a difference and what implications it will have .

Let’s take a look at an example.

“This study will contribute to the body of knowledge on skills development by incorporating skills development strategies and approaches for industries in which knowledge and skills are rapidly and constantly changing. This will help address the current shortage of research in this area and provide real-world value to organisations operating in such dynamic environments.”

As you can see in this example, the paragraph clearly explains how the research will help fill a gap in the literature and also provide practical real-world value to organisations.

This section doesn’t need to be particularly lengthy, but it does need to be convincing . You need to “sell” the value of your research here so that the reader understands why it’s worth committing an entire dissertation or thesis to it. This section needs to be the salesman of your research. So, spend some time thinking about the ways in which your research will make a unique contribution to the world and how the knowledge you create could benefit both academia and industry – and then “sell it” in this section.

studying and prep for henley exams

#6 – The limitations

Now that you’ve “sold” your research to the reader and hopefully got them excited about what’s coming up in the rest of your dissertation, it’s time to briefly discuss the potential limitations of your research.

But you’re probably thinking, hold up – what limitations? My research is well thought out and carefully designed – why would there be limitations?

Well, no piece of research is perfect . This is especially true for a dissertation or thesis – which typically has a very low or zero budget, tight time constraints and limited researcher experience. Generally, your dissertation will be the first or second formal research project you’ve ever undertaken, so it’s unlikely to win any research awards…

Simply put, your research will invariably have limitations. Don’t stress yourself out though – this is completely acceptable (and expected). Even “professional” research has limitations – as I said, no piece of research is perfect. The key is to recognise the limitations upfront and be completely transparent about them, so that future researchers are aware of them and can improve the study’s design to minimise the limitations and strengthen the findings.

Generally, you’ll want to consider at least the following four common limitations. These are:

  • Your scope – for example, perhaps your focus is very narrow and doesn’t consider how certain variables interact with each other.
  • Your research methodology – for example, a qualitative methodology could be criticised for being overly subjective, or a quantitative methodology could be criticised for oversimplifying the situation (learn more about methodologies here ).
  • Your resources – for example, a lack of time, money, equipment and your own research experience.
  • The generalisability of your findings – for example, the findings from the study of a specific industry or country can’t necessarily be generalised to other industries or countries.

Don’t be shy here. There’s no use trying to hide the limitations or weaknesses of your research. In fact, the more critical you can be of your study, the better. The markers want to see that you are aware of the limitations as this demonstrates your understanding of research design – so be brutal.

#7 – The structural outline

Now that you’ve clearly communicated what your research is going to be about, why it’s important and what the limitations of your research will be, the final ingredient is the structural outline.The purpose of this section is simply to provide your reader with a roadmap of what to expect in terms of the structure of your dissertation or thesis.

In this section, you’ll need to provide a brief summary of each chapter’s purpose and contents (including the introduction chapter). A sentence or two explaining what you’ll do in each chapter is generally enough to orient the reader. You don’t want to get too detailed here – it’s purely an outline, not a summary of your research.

Let’s look at an example:

In Chapter One, the context of the study has been introduced. The research objectives and questions have been identified, and the value of such research argued. The limitations of the study have also been discussed.

In Chapter Two, the existing literature will be reviewed and a foundation of theory will be laid out to identify key skills development approaches and strategies within the context of fast-moving industries, especially technology-intensive industries.

In Chapter Three, the methodological choices will be explored. Specifically, the adoption of a qualitative, inductive research approach will be justified, and the broader research design will be discussed, including the limitations thereof.

So, as you can see from the example, this section is simply an outline of the chapter structure, allocating a short paragraph to each chapter. Done correctly, the outline will help your reader understand what to expect and reassure them that you’ll address the multiple facets of the study.

By the way – if you’re unsure of how to structure your dissertation or thesis, be sure to check out our video post which explains dissertation structure .

Keep calm and carry on.

Hopefully you feel a bit more prepared for this challenge of crafting your dissertation or thesis introduction chapter now. Take a deep breath and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day – conquer one ingredient at a time and you’ll be firmly on the path to success.

Let’s quickly recap – the 7 ingredients are:

  • The opening section – where you give a brief, high-level overview of what your research will be about.
  • The study background – where you introduce the reader to key theory, concepts and terminology, as well as the context of your study.
  • The research problem – where you explain what the problem with the current research is. In other words, the research gap.
  • The research aims , objectives and questions – where you clearly state what your dissertation will investigate.
  • The significance – where you explain what value your research will provide to the world.
  • The limitations – where you explain what the potential shortcomings and limitations of your research may be.
  • The structural outline – where you provide a high-level overview of the structure of your document

If you bake these ingredients into your dissertation introduction chapter, you’ll be well on your way to building an engaging introduction chapter that lays a rock-solid foundation for the rest of your document.

Remember, while we’ve covered the essential ingredients here, there may be some additional components that your university requires, so be sure to double-check your project brief!

how to write a master's thesis summary

Psst... there’s more!

This post was based on one of our popular Research Bootcamps . If you're working on a research project, you'll definitely want to check this out ...

43 Comments

Derique

Thanks very much for such an insight. I feel confident enough in undertaking my thesis on the survey;The future of facial recognition and learning non verbal interaction

Derek Jansen

Glad to hear that. Good luck with your thesis!

Thanks very much for such an insight. I feel confident now undertaking my thesis; The future of facial recognition and learning non verbal interaction.

Emmanuel Chukwuebuka Okoli

Thanks so much for this article. I found myself struggling and wasting a lot of time in my thesis writing but after reading this article and watching some of your youtube videos, I now have a clear understanding of what is required for a thesis.

Saima Kashif

Thank you Derek, i find your each post so useful. Keep it up.

Aletta

Thank you so much Derek ,for shedding the light and making it easier for me to handle the daunting task of academic writing .

Alice kasaka

Thanks do much Dereck for the comprehensive guide. It will assist me queit a lot in my thesis.

dawood

thanks a lot for helping

SALly henderson

i LOVE the gifs, such a fun way to engage readers. thanks for the advice, much appreciated

NAG

Thanks a lot Derek! It will be really useful to the beginner in research!

Derek Jansen

You’re welcome

ravi

This is a well written, easily comprehensible, simple introduction to the basics of a Research Dissertation../the need to keep the reader in mind while writing the dissertation is an important point that is covered../ I appreciate the efforts of the author../

Laxmi kanta Sharma

The instruction given are perfect and clear. I was supposed to take the course , unfortunately in Nepal the service is not avaialble.However, I am much more hopeful that you will provide require documents whatever you have produced so far.

Halima Ringim

Thank you very much

Shamim Nabankema

Thanks so much ❤️😘 I feel am ready to start writing my research methodology

Sapphire Kellichan

This is genuinely the most effective advice I have ever been given regarding academia. Thank you so much!

Abdul

This is one of the best write up I have seen in my road to PhD thesis. regards, this write up update my knowledge of research

Amelia

I was looking for some good blogs related to Education hopefully your article will help. Thanks for sharing.

Dennis

This is an awesome masterpiece. It is one of the most comprehensive guides to writing a Dissertation/Thesis I have seen and read.

You just saved me from going astray in writing a Dissertation for my undergraduate studies. I could not be more grateful for such a relevant guide like this. Thank you so much.

Maria

Thank you so much Derek, this has been extremely helpful!!

I do have one question though, in the limitations part do you refer to the scope as the focus of the research on a specific industry/country/chronological period? I assume that in order to talk about whether or not the research could be generalized, the above would need to be already presented and described in the introduction.

Thank you again!

Jackson Lubari Wani

Phew! You have genuinely rescued me. I was stuck how to go about my thesis. Now l have started. Thank you.

Valmont Dain

This is the very best guide in anything that has to do with thesis or dissertation writing. The numerous blends of examples and detailed insights make it worth a read and in fact, a treasure that is worthy to be bookmarked.

Thanks a lot for this masterpiece!

Steve

Powerful insight. I can now take a step

Bayaruna

Thank you very much for these valuable introductions to thesis chapters. I saw all your videos about writing the introduction, discussion, and conclusion chapter. Then, I am wondering if we need to explain our research limitations in all three chapters, introduction, discussion, and conclusion? Isn’t it a bit redundant? If not, could you please explain how can we write in different ways? Thank you.

Md. Abdullah-Al-mahbub

Excellent!!! Thank you…

shahrin

Thanks for this informative content. I have a question. The research gap is mentioned in both the introduction and literature section. I would like to know how can I demonstrate the research gap in both sections without repeating the contents?

Sarah

I’m incredibly grateful for this invaluable content. I’ve been dreading compiling my postgrad thesis but breaking each chapter down into sections has made it so much easier for me to engage with the material without feeling overwhelmed. After relying on your guidance, I’m really happy with how I’ve laid out my introduction.

mahdi

Thank you for the informative content you provided

Steven

Hi Derrick and Team, thank you so much for the comprehensive guide on how to write a dissertation or a thesis introduction section. For some of us first-timers, it is a daunting task. However, the instruction with relevant examples makes it clear and easy to follow through. Much appreciated.

Raza Bukhari

It was so helpful. God Bless you. Thanks very much

beza

I thank you Grad coach for your priceless help. I have two questions I have learned from your video the limitations of the research presented in chapter one. but in another video also presented in chapter five. which chapter limitation should be included? If possible, I need your answer since I am doing my thesis. how can I explain If I am asked what is my motivation for this research?

nlc

You explain what moment in life caused you to have a peaked interest in the thesis topic. Personal experiences? Or something that had an impact on your life, or others. Something would have caused your drive of topic. Dig deep inside, the answer is within you!

Simon Musa Wuranjiya

Thank you guys for the great work you are doing. Honestly, you have made the research to be interesting and simplified. Even a novice will easily grasp the ideas you put forward, Thank you once again.

Natalie

Excellent piece!

Simon

I feel like just settling for a good topic is usually the hardest part.

Kate

Thank you so much. My confidence has been completely destroyed during my first year of PhD and you have helped me pull myself together again

Happy to help 🙂

Linda Adhoch

I am so glad I ran into your resources and did not waste time doing the wrong this. Research is now making so much sense now.

Danyal Ahmad

Gratitude to Derrick and the team I was looking for a solid article that would aid me in drafting the thesis’ introduction. I felt quite happy when I came across the piece you wrote because it was so well-written and insightful. I wish you success in the future.

ria M

thank you so much. God Bless you

Arnold C

Thank you so much Grad Coach for these helpful insights. Now I can get started, with a great deal of confidence.

Ro

It’s ‘alluded to’ not ‘eluded to’.

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Guide On How To Write a Thesis Summary In 2023

thesis summary

So, you just found out that you need to write a thesis summary. In most cases, students who encounter this requirement for the first time start to panic. Frankly, not everyone knows what this thesis summary is. And let’s not forget that most students have no clue how to write one. Don’t worry about it too much though.

What is a thesis summary?

Why use a thesis summary, how to write an effective thesis summary in 2023, master thesis summary example.

A thesis summary is a document that summarizes the points of a longer essay, thesis, or dissertation. Readers will often find a summary to be helpful as it offers a succinct overview of the document’s contents. A Thesis Summary should not be confused with an abstract as they both refer to separate documents that serve different purposes.

The steps involved in writing a Thesis Summary depend on what type of thesis you are summarizing. If you’re summarizing a text-based thesis, then your first step should be to read the Thesis and make note of any major key points and conclusions made by the author(s). You then assemble your notes into one coherent paragraph detailing each one of the major key points. Keep in mind that this initial paragraph will serve as an introduction to your Thesis Summary; therefore, it should not contain the thesis’ main points. Once you’ve completed this step, use these Main Points (identified in your thesis) as a guide for writing the body of your document.

If you’re developing a summary thesis that’s math-related, then you’ll first need to take note of the main conclusions. Second, you must determine how these conclusions were reached by noting each step in the proof. Finally, you’ll have to explain why each step is true using logic statements and definitions from the thesis.

These are the two standard ways to write a thesis summary. However, you can also include your insights, opinions, and comments if you choose.

The steps for writing a ‘ Thesis Summary in 2023’ are just about the same as they’ve always been. They’re pretty much set in stone because this is how students have written thesis summaries for decades.

For both types of thesis summaries, you should include a final paragraph that ties everything together with a brief conclusion. This final paragraph should highlight the key points and conclusions made throughout your document as well as offer a brief statement about why these points matter.

Step 1: Read the Text

The very first thing you’ll want to do is read the entire text. When you’re reading, make note of any major key points and conclusions made by the author(s). If you’re summarizing a text-based thesis, then these major points will form the basis for your introduction paragraph. However, don’t include these points in this introduction.

Step 2: Get to Work

After reading the entire document, it’s time to get started! Begin by taking notes on what you’ve learned from the text and organize them into one coherent paragraph. Make sure that this introduction doesn’t contain the thesis’ main points. Next, use these Main Points (identified in your thesis) as a guide for writing the rest of your thesis summary.

Step 3: Proof it Out

If you’re summarizing a math-related thesis, then you’ll first need to take note of the main conclusions and purposes stated within the document. Next, determine how these conclusions were reached by noting each statement or step in the proof. Finally, complete your Thesis Summary by explaining why each step is true using logical statements and definitions from the thesis.

Step 4: Wrap it Up

Once you’ve finished writing the body of your Thesis Summary, include a final paragraph that ties everything together with a brief conclusion. This final paragraph should highlight the key points and conclusions made throughout your document as well as offer a brief statement about why these points matter.

The best reasons to use a thesis summary are that it will both summarize the relevance of the document and add relevance to an argument. If someone is looking for a specific point or conclusion from the original text, then a Thesis Summary provides them with a quick breakdown of what they can find in the document’s introduction.

You should include a thesis summary in your writings when you believe that there may be too many arguments within your writing. It will help you put together the important points from the different arguments into one concise section.

If you’re summarizing a math-related thesis, they will ensure that you proof every step of the proof given in your paper. It will make sure that you do not miss any details.

There are a few key things that you should keep in mind when writing an effective thesis summary.

  • When you’re summarizing a math-related paper, make sure to highlight the main conclusions and how they were arrived at.
  • Tell the reader why these conclusions matter by explaining each one with logical statements and definitions from the original document.
  • Include a brief conclusion paragraph that ties everything together and highlights the key points covered throughout your work.
  • If your thesis is text-based, make sure to include important points throughout the body of your work.
  • Last but not least, remember that you are writing a summary so don’t use big words or complex sentence structures! Your goal is to be understood by anyone who reads it in the future.

This Thesis Summary sample is based on a text-based document. Please note, as far as the format and structure are concerned, there’s not much difference between a summary of a bachelor thesis example, an example of a Ph.D. thesis summary, and a thesis chapter summary from a Master thesis summary.

The introduction to the original document should be written as such:

“In this thesis, we’d like to introduce a new framework for understanding how we learn and teach math. The topic of learning and teaching should be the focus of mathematics education.”

Then, point out the main points and conclusions made throughout the body of your work:

“One conclusion that we’ve drawn from our research is that children’s conceptions should be taken into account when designing an appropriate math curriculum for them.”

“A second conclusion that we’ve drawn from our research is that children are more likely to develop their ideas about math if they are encouraged to think critically.”

Finally, make a brief statement about why these points matter using logical statements and definitions from the thesis:

“These conclusions highlight how important it is to focus on children’s conceptions when designing curricula because if we don’t take them into account, we miss out on our student’s potential.”

“These conclusions also show that we need to emphasize critical thinking as a means for children to develop their ideas about math.”

Now, you’ve successfully written an effective thesis summary! Keep in mind that your goal is to highlight the main points and conclusions of the original document as well as boast about their significance. To make this process easier for you, we hope that our tips come in handy.

You should now have a good idea about what a thesis summary or dissertation summary is, why you should use them, and how to write one.

A thesis summary is an overview of the main points and conclusions made in a text-based document or simply put, a summary of the research paper. A Thesis Summary should be included when you believe there are too many arguments within your writing, or if you’re summarizing math-related papers for proofing purposes. Key things to keep in mind while writing one include highlighting important concepts that were previously mentioned, explaining why these new ideas matter with logical statements and definitions from the original work, and providing a brief conclusion paragraph that ties everything together. If you want thesis help with any part of this process from reading or understanding complex texts to organizing them into coherent paragraphs let us know! Our team of thesis writers will be happy to help you complete your thesis summary!

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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 613,425 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 write a master's thesis summary

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 write a master's thesis summary

You Might Also Like

Restate a Thesis

  • ↑ https://umb.libguides.com/PrimarySources/secondary
  • ↑ https://www.scribbr.com/citing-sources/in-text-citation-styles/
  • ↑ https://www.unk.edu/academics/gradstudies/admissions/grad-files/Grad%20Files/ThesisGdlnsFinal08.pdf
  • ↑ https://u.osu.edu/hackingthethesis/managing-stuff/your-content/outline/
  • ↑ http://www.imm.dtu.dk/~janba/MastersThesisAdvice.pdf

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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As a graduate student, you may need to complete a thesis or dissertation as part of your program's graduation requirements. While theses are common among master’s students and dissertations among doctoral students, this may not apply universally across all programs. We encourage you to reach out to your program adviser to determine the specific requirements for your culminating project.

Office of Theses and Dissertations

The Office of Theses and Dissertations is the unit of the Graduate School responsible for certifying that theses and dissertations have been prepared in accordance with formatting requirements established by the Graduate School, the University Libraries, and the graduate faculty of Penn State. We are here to help you navigate the review and approval process to ensure you are able to graduate on time.

Cover of the 2023-2024 Penn State Graduate School Thesis and Dissertation Handbook

The Thesis and Dissertation Handbook explains Penn State formatting requirements for all master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. It covers the submission process and approval deadlines, the responsibilities of each student, and provides page examples. We highly recommend all students doing theses or dissertations to carefully review the handbook.

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Theses and dissertations faqs, thesis and dissertation payment portal.

Questions about theses, dissertations, or Graduate School commencement should be directed to the Graduate School Office of Theses and Dissertations (OTD) .

115 Kern Graduate Building University Park, PA 16802

[email protected]

814-865-1795

Among these resources, you can get help from the Graduate Writing Center and the Statistical Counseling Center, notify the University of your intent to graduate, and prepare for Commencement.

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Submit your own work or explore published submissions.

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Examples

Working Thesis Statement

Ai generator.

how to write a master's thesis summary

Navigating the academic waters often starts with a working thesis – a preliminary statement guiding your research direction. As the bedrock of your argument, it’s vital to get it right from the outset. Whether you’re a budding researcher or an established academic, our comprehensive guide brimming with thesis Statement examples and pro-tips will illuminate the process of crafting an impactful working thesis. Dive in and set the tone for a compelling research journey!

What is a Working Thesis Statement?

A working thesis statement is a temporary or initial statement that reflects a writer’s argument or focus in the early stages of essay or research paper writing. It is considered “working” because it can undergo transformations as the writer delves deeper into research, gathers more information, and refines their perspective. Essentially, it serves as a starting point and may evolve as the research progresses and the writer gains a clearer understanding of the subject.  In addition, you should review our  problem thesis statement .

What is an example of a Working thesis statement?

Example: “Social media platforms have a significant impact on teenagers’ mental health.” As the writer proceeds with the research, this statement might be refined to specify the type of impact or narrow down which social media platforms are most influential.”

100 Working Thesis Statement Examples

Working Thesis Statement Examples

Size: 235 KB

Starting your research with a working thesis can guide your exploration and analysis. These provisional statements allow you to focus on different angles and will likely be revised as you dive deeper. The following are 100 working thesis statement examples to kickstart your brainstorming and research.

  • “Eating organic foods leads to better health.”
  • “Online learning has as much educational value as traditional classroom settings.”
  • “Video games have both negative and positive effects on the cognitive development of children.”
  • “Globalization has reshaped cultural identities worldwide.”
  • “Artificial intelligence will redefine the job market in the next decade.”
  • “Meditation has quantifiable benefits for mental health.”
  • “Climate change has accelerated due to industrial practices.”
  • “Remote work will become the norm for many industries post-pandemic.”
  • “Music therapy can be an effective treatment for certain mental disorders.”
  • “The gig economy has both pros and cons for the workforce.”
  • “Childhood exposure to multiple languages enhances cognitive abilities.”
  • “Modern architecture is influenced significantly by environmental considerations.”
  • “E-sports will soon rival traditional sports in viewership and revenue.”
  • “The feminist movement has evolved significantly in the 21st century.”
  • “Consumer behavior has been largely influenced by social media marketing.”
  • “The rise of streaming platforms is reshaping the music industry.”
  • “Mental health issues among teenagers have risen with the proliferation of smartphones.”
  • “Urban farming can be a sustainable solution for food deserts.”
  • “The future of transportation will be dominated by electric vehicles.”
  • “Renewable energy sources are now more economically viable than fossil fuels.”
  • “Telemedicine will revolutionize healthcare access in remote areas.”
  • “Digital currencies will change the dynamics of global trade.”
  • “Coral reefs are under imminent threat due to ocean acidification.”
  • “Space tourism will become a reality within this decade.”
  • “Virtual reality will transform education and training methodologies.”
  • “Bioplastics are a potential solution to the plastic waste crisis.”
  • “Plant-based diets can significantly reduce carbon footprints.”
  • “Mental health should be integrated into school curriculums.”
  • “Urban planning needs to prioritize pedestrian-friendly designs.”
  • “Modern parenting styles differ significantly from those of the previous generation.”
  • “Personalized learning will redefine educational outcomes.”
  • “Augmented reality will have varied applications beyond gaming.”
  • “Online privacy concerns will dictate future tech regulations.”
  • “Gene editing can revolutionize medical treatments but poses ethical dilemmas.”
  • “Ancient civilizations had advanced knowledge of astronomy.”
  • “Colonial histories have long-term impacts on national identities.”
  • “Alternative medicine practices need more rigorous scientific validation.”
  • “Artificial sweeteners may have unforeseen health implications.”
  • “Stress in modern societies originates from multiple sources.”
  • “The modern art movement is heavily influenced by global events.”
  • “Subscription models are becoming predominant in various industries.”
  • “Dietary choices are more influenced by cultural factors than health considerations.”
  • “Intermittent fasting has potential benefits beyond weight loss.”
  • “Personalized marketing will reshape consumer behaviors.”
  • “The sharing economy is transforming traditional business models.”
  • “Blockchain technology has applications beyond cryptocurrencies.”
  • “Animal-assisted therapies have notable success in various treatments.”
  • “The future of print media is in niche and localized publications.”
  • “Microfinance can be a tool for economic upliftment in developing countries.”
  • “Modern cinema is increasingly addressing global issues.”
  • “Digital detox is becoming necessary for mental well-being.”
  • “Resilience training should be a component of employee wellness programs.”
  • “Local tourism will see a boost in the post-pandemic world.”
  • “Public transportation systems need to adapt to post-COVID realities.”
  • “Elderly populations are facing increased isolation in the digital age.”
  • “Upcycling is becoming a significant trend in the fashion industry.”
  • “Holistic education emphasizes more than just academic achievement.”
  • “Water scarcity will be a leading global issue in the coming years.”
  • “The role of influencers is evolving in the digital marketing landscape.”
  • “The circadian rhythm has a profound effect on productivity.”
  • “Migratory patterns of animals are being altered by climate change.”
  • “Alternative protein sources will dominate future diets.”
  • “Nano-technology has the potential to revolutionize medicine.”
  • “Cultural appropriation in fashion needs a deeper understanding and sensitivity.”
  • “Digital literacy is becoming as essential as traditional literacy.”
  • “Robotics in surgery can enhance precision but requires ethical considerations.”
  • “The tradition of oral storytelling is being revived through modern platforms.”
  • “The notion of work-life balance is evolving with the rise of digital nomadism.”
  • “The digital divide can exacerbate educational inequalities.”
  • “Biodiversity conservation is crucial for ecosystem stability.”
  • “Personal branding is becoming essential in the modern job market.”
  • “Ethical consumerism can drive corporate responsibility.”
  • “Mindfulness practices can enhance workplace productivity.”
  • “The dynamics of international politics are shifting with the rise of regional powers.”
  • “Food preservation techniques are evolving with technology.”
  • “Historical fiction plays a role in shaping perceptions of the past.”
  • “Indigenous knowledge systems can complement modern science.”
  • “Commuter culture has significant environmental and health impacts.”
  • “Craftsmanship is finding its value in the age of mass production.”
  • “The role of museums is evolving to be more interactive and inclusive.”
  • “Edutainment platforms are making learning more accessible and enjoyable.”
  • “Youth activism is reshaping global policy discussions.”
  • “Multi-disciplinary approaches are the future of academic research.”
  • “Ecotourism can benefit local communities and conservation efforts.”
  • “Freelancing is challenging traditional employment norms.”
  • “Nature-based solutions can mitigate urban environmental challenges.”
  • “The gaming industry is becoming a leader in technological innovation.”
  • “Epigenetics is unlocking the mysteries of gene expression.”
  • “Digital archiving is essential for preserving cultural heritages.”
  • “Remote and flexible working models can have societal benefits.”
  • “Self-care routines are integral to holistic health.”
  • “Digital nomad visas are reshaping immigration policies.”
  • “Adaptive learning technologies cater to individual student needs.”
  • “Eco-friendly packaging is more than just a marketing trend.”
  • “Quantum computing holds the key to future tech innovations.”
  • “Multi-generational households have socio-economic benefits.”
  • “The revival of traditional arts can boost local economies.”
  • “Precision agriculture can optimize yields and reduce resource wastage.”
  • “Local languages are gaining prominence in digital content creation.”
  • “Human-centered design is the future of product innovation.”

Each of these working thesis statements can be further refined based on specific research, perspectives, and findings as one delves deeper into their chosen topic.

Working Thesis Statement Examples for Research Paper

Research papers demand precision, clarity, and a strong foundation. A working thesis statement for such a paper typically suggests a hypothesis or a primary point that will later be validated or disproved through evidence.

  • “Genetically modified foods present more benefits than potential harm.”
  • “Ocean acidification significantly impacts marine biodiversity.”
  • “Quantum computing will revolutionize data encryption methods.”
  • “Renewable energy solutions are more cost-effective than conventional fossil fuels.”
  • “The gut-brain connection plays a crucial role in mental health.”
  • “Childhood vaccinations have no proven links to autism.”
  • “Microplastics in water sources influence human health outcomes.”
  • “Historical art movements reflect the socio-political events of their times.”
  • “AI-driven diagnostic tools can predict diseases more accurately.”
  • “The frequency of extreme weather events correlates with global warming.”

Working from Home Thesis Statement Examples

The concept of working from home has grown exponentially in recent years. Thesis statements on this topic can explore the various facets, benefits, challenges, and implications of this trend.

  • “Working from home enhances employee productivity levels.”
  • “Remote work culture can lead to professional isolation and mental health challenges.”
  • “Flexible work schedules cater to global clientele more effectively.”
  • “Home-based work can reduce urban traffic congestion.”
  • “Technological infrastructure dictates the efficiency of remote work.”
  • “Work-life balance can be skewed in a prolonged work-from-home setup.”
  • “Virtual collaboration tools are reshaping corporate communication.”
  • “Remote work could impact urban real estate demands.”
  • “Cybersecurity challenges increase in decentralized work environments.”
  • “Training and orientation programs must evolve for remote work success.”

Working Thesis Statement Examples for Argumentative Essay

An argumentative essay thesis statement that takes a strong position, which will then be supported or countered with evidence and arguments.

  • “Universities should make attendance optional for students.”
  • “Plant-based diets are more environmentally sustainable.”
  • “Compulsory military service strengthens national unity.”
  • “Social media platforms should be held accountable for user-generated content.”
  • “Single-gender schools do not offer educational benefits over co-ed institutions.”
  • “Animal testing for cosmetics should be banned globally.”
  • “Nuclear energy is essential for a carbon-free future.”
  • “Euthanasia should be legalized under strict conditions.”
  • “Organic farming can sustain global food demands.”
  • “Mandatory voting ensures true democratic representation.”

Working Thesis Statement Examples for Speech

For speeches, a working thesis should be compelling and captivating, giving audiences an idea of what to expect and why they should listen.

  • “Space exploration benefits humanity in unforeseen ways.”
  • “Digital detox weekends can rejuvenate the mind.”
  • “Public libraries remain essential in the digital age.”
  • “Sports foster essential life skills beyond physical fitness.”
  • “Mental health education should be integrated into school systems.”
  • “Consumerism drives ecological degradation.”
  • “Local tourism promotes cultural preservation.”
  • “Continuous learning is the key to professional success.”
  • “Ethical fashion is not a trend but a necessity.”
  • “The future of mobility is electric.”

Working Thesis Statement Examples for Essay

Essays can cover a broad spectrum of subjects, and the thesis will set the tone and direction of the content.

  • “Urban green spaces contribute to societal well-being.”
  • “Bilingualism offers cognitive and cultural advantages.”
  • “Digital privacy is a modern-day human right.”
  • “Classical literature provides insights into contemporary issues.”
  • “Embracing failures can lead to unexpected successes.”
  • “Community engagement is pivotal for sustainable development.”
  • “Ancient medical practices have relevance in modern treatments.”
  • “Creativity thrives under limitations.”
  • “Cultural festivals foster global unity.”
  • “Technology reshapes human interactions.”

Working Thesis Statement Examples for Technology Topics

In the rapidly evolving world of technology, a thesis statement can pinpoint specific trends, challenges, innovations, or implications.

  • “Augmented reality will revolutionize retail experiences.”
  • “Blockchain technology extends beyond the realm of finance.”
  • “Cybersecurity threats challenge global geopolitical dynamics.”
  • “5G technology will redefine connectivity standards.”
  • “Machine learning algorithms can perpetuate societal biases.”
  • “Quantum encryption may render current security protocols obsolete.”
  • “E-waste is the environmental challenge of the digital era.”
  • “Telehealth bridges the accessibility gap in medical services.”
  • “Smart cities prioritize sustainability and urban well-being.”
  • “Bioinformatics accelerates personalized medical treatments.”

Working Thesis Statement Examples for Film Analysis

Analyzing films requires a deep dive into themes, motifs, cinematography, character development, and cultural contexts. A thesis provides a lens through which the film will be reviewed.

  • “Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ explores the intricacies of obsession and identity.”
  • “Cinematography in ‘Blade Runner 2049’ reflects the dystopian themes of the narrative.”
  • “Disney’s ‘Mulan’ navigates the terrain of gender roles and societal expectations.”
  • “Satire in ‘Get Out’ addresses racial dynamics in contemporary society.”
  • “Sound design in ‘A Quiet Place’ intensifies the narrative’s suspense.”
  • “The nonlinear storyline of ‘Pulp Fiction’ challenges traditional narrative structures.”
  • “‘The Shape of Water’ delves into themes of love and otherness.”
  • “Cultural representations in ‘Coco’ underline the significance of family and traditions.”
  • “‘The Revenant’ showcases the rawness of human survival instincts.”
  • “Character development in ‘The Godfather’ mirrors societal power dynamics.

How do you start a working thesis statement?

Starting a working thesis statement is about identifying the primary point or argument you wish to convey in your paper. It often begins with understanding your topic, conducting preliminary research, and formulating an initial perspective. Here are the steps to get you started:

  • Understand Your Assignment: Read the guidelines provided for your essay or research paper. Understand the requirements and what is expected of you.
  • Choose a Specific Topic: A narrow, focused topic helps in forming a more precise thesis.
  • Conduct Preliminary Research: Before making your statement, get a general overview of your topic through initial research.
  • Ask Questions: Ponder over your topic. For instance, if you’re writing about “climate change,” you might ask, “What are the major contributors to climate change in urban areas?”
  • Draft a Provisional Statement: Write down your initial perspective based on your understanding. This doesn’t need to be perfect; it’s just a starting point.

How to Write a Working Thesis Statement? – Step by Step Guide

  • Start with a Question: Often, assignments come in the form of questions. For example, “How did the civil rights movement of the 1960s affect racial dynamics in the US?” Your thesis will be the answer to this question.
  • Be Specific: Avoid vague words and make sure your statement can’t be interpreted in multiple ways. For instance, instead of saying “Pollution is harmful,” you might say, “Industrial waste contributes significantly to ocean pollution.”
  • Stay Relevant: Ensure that your statement aligns with the content of your essay or research.
  • State an Argument: A thesis should not be a mere observation. It should present an arguable point which can be supported or opposed.
  • One Sentence: Try to condense your statement into one clear sentence. However, if necessary, it can be two sentences.
  • Refine and Revise: As you continue your research, keep refining your thesis. It’s called a “working” thesis for a reason – it’s subject to change.
  • Seek Feedback: Before finalizing, it’s beneficial to get feedback from peers, instructors, or mentors. They can offer a fresh perspective.

Tips for Writing a Working Thesis Statement

  • Keep It Debatable: A good thesis will always have an opposing side. If there’s no counter-argument to your statement, it might be too straightforward or a fact.
  • Avoid First-Person Pronouns: Phrases like “I believe” or “I think” make your statement seem more like an opinion than an arguable point.
  • Stay Clear of Generic Statements: Avoid clichés and general observations. Make sure your thesis offers a fresh and precise perspective on the topic.
  • Position Strategically: Place your thesis statement at the end of the introduction. It acts as a gateway to the rest of your work.
  • Ensure It’s Provable: Be sure that you can provide evidence to support your claim. If your statement is based on personal beliefs or values, it might not be suitable as a thesis.
  • Use Online Tools: There are online thesis generators that can help you refine your statement. They aren’t foolproof, but they can provide a good starting point.

Remember, a working thesis is called “working” because it can evolve. As you delve deeper into your research or writing, you might find more compelling ways to frame your argument. Always be open to revision – that’s the essence of great academic writing!

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What Is Project 2025, and Why Is Trump Disavowing It?

The Biden campaign has attacked Donald J. Trump’s ties to the conservative policy plan that would amass power in the executive branch, though it is not his official platform.

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Kevin Roberts, wearing a dark suit and blue tie and speaking into a microphone at a lectern. The lectern says, “National Religious Broadcasters, nrb.org.”

By Simon J. Levien

Donald J. Trump has gone to great lengths to distance himself from Project 2025, a set of conservative policy proposals for a future Republican administration that has outraged Democrats. He has claimed he knows nothing about it or the people involved in creating it.

Mr. Trump himself was not behind the project. But some of his allies were.

The document, its origins and the interplay between it and the Trump campaign have made for one of the most hotly debated questions of the 2024 race.

Here is what to know about Project 2025, and who is behind it.

What is Project 2025?

Project 2025 was spearheaded by the Heritage Foundation and like-minded conservative groups before Mr. Trump officially entered the 2024 race. The Heritage Foundation is a think tank that has shaped the personnel and policies of Republican administrations since the Reagan presidency.

The project was intended as a buffet of options for the Trump administration or any other Republican presidency. It’s the latest installment in the Heritage Foundation’s Mandate for Leadership series, which has compiled conservative policy proposals every few years since 1981. But no previous study has been as sweeping in its recommendations — or as widely discussed.

Kevin Roberts, the head of the Heritage Foundation, which began putting together the latest document in 2022, said he thought the American government would embrace a more conservative era, one that he hoped Republicans would usher in.

“We are in the process of the second American Revolution,” Mr. Roberts said on Real America’s Voice, a right-wing cable channel, in early July, adding pointedly that the revolt “will remain bloodless if the left allows it to be.”

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  • Knowledge Base
  • Dissertation

How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation Introduction

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

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

Your introduction should include:

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

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Table of contents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I. Introduction

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

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

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

Checklist: Introduction

I have introduced my research topic in an engaging way.

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

I have clearly specified the focus of my research.

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

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

I have outlined the specific objectives of the research .

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

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

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

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The introduction of a research paper includes several key elements:

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

and your problem statement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To define your scope of research, consider the following:

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

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  • Resume and Cover Letter
  • 27 Great Resume Summary...

27 Great Resume Summary Examples to Get Hired

20 min read · Updated on June 03, 2024

Marsha Hebert

Your resume summary is the first impression you make on potential employers, so it's crucial to get it right

When it comes to job applications, your resume is often the first point of contact with prospective employers. It's essential to make a good impression right from the start and that's where your resume summary comes in. Your summary is a brief statement at the top of your resume that highlights your skills , experiences , and achievements , making it a key part of your job application.

In this article, you'll learn how to write the ultimate resume summary that will grab the attention of recruiters and hiring managers. You'll discover what makes a good summary and what to avoid, as well as how to sell yourself effectively to potential employers.

You may be wondering: what exactly is a resume summary and how do I write one? We'll answer these questions and provide examples of professional summaries for various industries.

By the end of this article, you'll have a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to create a standout resume summary that will help you to land your dream job.

What is a resume summary?

To understand a resume summary, it's important to understand the challenge that good summaries are designed to overcome. Employers who are looking for new hires often need to compare many dozens or even hundreds of resumes to find the best candidates for the job. Few hiring personnel have the time needed to thoroughly examine every single resume that they receive.

Instead, employers typically spend no more than five or six seconds scanning any given resume. If a resume manages to capture their interest in those few seconds, they'll take the time to read it in greater detail. 

However, if your resume doesn't grab their attention, it's likely to be rejected without any further examination. So, the challenge is to find a way to quickly earn the reader's interest and inspire them to read the rest of the document.

That's where your resume summary comes into play. As you'll see from our resume summary examples, a good summary is the resume equivalent of a salesperson's elevator pitch. 

This brief statement should highlight your experience and job title, one or two key skills, and a couple of your most prominent achievements. When your summary is crafted well, it will provide the employer with a quick overview of your potential value as a new hire.

Once you've written your summary, you should place it right after your contact information and resume headline , so that it's the first thing employers see. If you've done your job properly, that summary will be compelling enough to make the reader want to learn more about the type of value you can bring to the job.

How should you start a resume summary?

After your headline, you should include a brief opening statement that summarizes who you are. This statement should be concise and compelling, and it should clearly communicate your unique value proposition. Here are some examples of strong opening statements:

Innovative Marketing Manager with over five years of experience in developing and executing successful campaigns for Fortune 500 companies

Results-driven Sales Executive with a proven track record of exceeding revenue targets and building strong client relationships

Skilled Customer Service Representative with expertise in problem-solving, conflict resolution, and communication

Tips for writing a resume summary

To make sure you get your summary spot on, follow our top tips:

Be specific

When writing a resume summary, it's essential to be specific and quantify your achievements wherever possible. Instead of saying, "Experienced marketing professional," try saying, "Experienced marketing professional with expertise in managing successful social media campaigns, resulting in increases of up to 30% in website traffic."

This provides concrete evidence of your skills and demonstrates your value to potential employers.

Reflect on your career

When it comes to writing a strong resume summary, you should engage in some self-reflection. Before putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), take some time to think about your key skills, experiences, and achievements. This will help you to identify the most important information to include in your summary. Review your past roles, responsibilities, and accomplishments, and think about how they relate to the job you're applying for. Ask yourself:

What have I achieved in my career?

What skills have I developed?

What makes me stand out from other applicants?

Identify your key skills

One of the most important things to include in your resume summary is your key skills. These are the abilities that set you apart from other candidates and demonstrate your value to potential employers. Begin by making a list of your top skills, then prioritize them based on relevance to the job you're applying for.

Highlight your relevant experiences

Next, think about relevant experiences that you can include in your summary. This includes any previous jobs or internships, volunteer work, or extracurricular activities that have given you valuable experience. Consider what you've learned and achieved in each role and how that relates to the job you're applying for.

You should focus on what is most relevant to your target job. Here are some examples:

Proven ability to increase sales revenue by 20% year on year

Expertise in project management and team leadership

Proficient in Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft 365

Confident working with a diverse range of clients and stakeholders

Keep it concise

Remember, your resume summary should be concise and to the point. Stick to the most important information and avoid filler words or irrelevant details. A good rule of thumb is to keep your summary to 3-5 sentences.

Use action verbs

When describing your experiences and achievements, use strong action verbs and adverbs to convey a sense of accomplishment and momentum. For example, instead of saying, "Responsible for managing social media accounts," say, "Successfully manages social media accounts."

Quantify your achievements

Wherever possible, use numbers and statistics to quantify your achievements. This provides concrete evidence of your skills and demonstrates your value to potential employers. For example, instead of saying, "Helped to increase sales," say, "Helped to increase sales by 20% in the first year."

Tailor it to the job

Make sure your resume summary is tailored to the job you're applying for. This means highlighting the skills and experiences that are most relevant to the role. Look at the job description and identify the key requirements, and then make sure your summary addresses these points.

Professional resume summary examples

Since there's nothing quite like seeing an example of a great summary, we've compiled twenty-seven great resume summary examples that you can use as inspirational templates for your own perfect resume . Below, you'll find summary examples for a variety of different job roles, including:

Customer Service Representative

Sales Representative

Marketing Manager

Project Manager

Software Developer

Human Resources Manager

Graphic Designer

Registered Nurse

Financial Analyst

Administrative Assistant

Data Entry Clerk 

Business Analyst

Operations Manager 

Mental Health Counselor

High School Teacher

Event Manager

Digital Marketing Manager

Content Marketer

SEO Specialist

Bank Teller

Software Support Specialist

Data Scientist

Dental Assistant

1.     Customer Service Representative resume summary example

"Highly motivated Customer Service Representative with 5 years of experience in delivering service excellence. Skilled in conflict resolution and problem-solving, resulting in a 95% customer satisfaction rate. Proven ability to multitask in fast-paced environments while maintaining accuracy and attention to detail."

Why it works : This summary highlights the candidate's experience and skills while also showcasing their relevant achievements in ensuring customer satisfaction. It mentions how much experience they have and calls out a measurable success.

2.     Sales Representative resume summary example

"Dynamic Sales Representative with a track record of exceeding sales quotas by 20%+. Proficient in consultative sales techniques and relationship building. Exceptional communication and negotiation skills with the ability to close deals."

Why it works : This summary provides a quantifiable achievement to show the candidate's success in their previous sales roles while also highlighting their key skills in relationship building and communication.

3.     Marketing Manager resume summary example

"Strategic Marketing Manager with 7+ years of experience in developing and executing successful marketing campaigns across multiple channels. Skilled in market research and analysis, campaign optimization, and team leadership. Proven track record of driving revenue growth and increasing brand awareness."

Why it works : This summary emphasizes the candidate's experience and leadership skills while also showcasing their ability to drive results through successful marketing campaigns. The candidate has also demonstrated their ability to grow revenues and raise brand awareness.

4.     Project Manager resume summary example

"Accomplished Project Manager, with confidence in leading cross-functional teams and managing project timelines, budgets, and resources. Strong communication and collaboration skills, with the ability to build relationships with stakeholders. Proven track record of delivering projects on time and within budget."

Why it works : This summary highlights the candidate's extensive project management experience and emphasizes their ability to successfully deliver projects while working with multiple stakeholders.

5.     Software Developer resume summary example

"Innovative Software Developer with 5+ years of experience in designing, developing, and implementing complex software applications. Skilled in programming languages including Java, Python, and C++. Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in Agile environments to deliver high-quality code on time."

Why it works : This job seeker has taken the time to highlight some of the technical skills they possess, while emphasizing their ability to work in Agile environments. They also call attention to the fact that they can take a software development project from design to implementation.

6.     Human Resources Manager resume summary example

"Experienced Human Resources Manager specializing in talent acquisition, employee relations, and performance management. Skilled in developing and implementing HR policies and procedures that align with business objectives and values. Proven track record of building and managing high-performing teams."

Why it works : This summary highlights the candidate's experience in various HR functions and emphasizes their ability to build and manage teams. It also shows that they can perform managerial functions like developing policies and procedures.

7.     Graphic Designer resume summary example

"Creative Graphic Designer with particular expertise in developing and executing visually stunning designs for print and digital media. Proficient in Adobe Creative Cloud, with a focus on typography and layout. Strong communication and collaboration skills, with the ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously."

Why it works : This summary works well because it showcases their technical skills and experience while also emphasizing creativity and an ability to work collaboratively.

8.     Registered Nurse resume summary example

"Compassionate Registered Nurse with over 10 years' experience in providing high-quality patient care. Skilled at patient assessment, medication administration, and treatment plan development. Strong communication and interpersonal skills with the ability to build rapport with patients and their families."

Why it works : This summary emphasizes the candidate's clinical and patient care experience and highlights their key nursing and interpersonal skills.

9.     Financial Analyst resume summary example

“Detail-oriented Financial Analyst with a strong background in financial modeling, data analysis, and forecasting. Combines advanced Excel skills with the ability to create and manage financial reports. Able to work collaboratively with cross-functional teams.”

Why it works : This summary showcases the applicant's specific skills and experience in financial analysis and highlights their proficiency in Excel, a crucial tool for the role.

10.  Administrative Assistant resume summary example

“Skilled Administrative Assistant with 8 years of experience in administrative support and office administration. Resilient, detail-oriented, and able to work under extreme pressure in a team environment. Excellent interpersonal, client management, and interdepartmental liaison skills. Committed to successful management of multiple simultaneous projects, strict adherence to deadline requirements, and accurate maintenance of schedules, meeting obligations, and records.”

Why it works : An Administrative Assistant wears many hats and experiences many challenges. This resume summary covers a lot of ground to demonstrate that the candidate understands those obstacles and knows how to overcome them.

11.  Data Entry Clerk resume summary example

“Task-driven and results-oriented professional with more than 10 years of experience in data entry, project coordination, and customer service. Uses interpersonal skills including effective communication to build rapport and positive relations with customers, gather vital information, and ensure rapid and accurate entry of data into designated software programs.”

Why it works : This resume summary is effective because it gets right to the heart of the job: dealing with customers and entering data into databases. The candidate also emphasizes their results-focused mindset, project skills, and key soft skills.

12.  Business Analyst resume summary example

“Results-driven Business Analyst with a proven record in expanding profitability by 55% in the retail industry.  Confident carrying out data-focused analysis that provides key insights and recommendations for growth strategies. Strong interpersonal and team building skills, innovative approach to problem-solving , and resolute commitment to efficiency and productivity.”

Why it works : Business analysis is all about using data and research to deliver key insights that result in improved operations and greater business success. This summary hits all the right notes as it focuses on key skills, a solutions-oriented mindset, and notable achievements that reflect real value for employers.

13.  Operations Manager resume summary example

“Results-oriented Operations Manager with more than 10 years of supervisory experience in high-level operational environments. Adept at coordinating both large and small teams, outside consultants, and mid-level management personnel. Successfully introduced Lean manufacturing principles that reduced costs by 32% via waste elimination and process revitalization.”

Why it works : This candidate's summary emphasizes key skills that the employer wants to see in any managerial candidate, while also showcasing their knowledge of best operational practices and a commitment to cost reduction.

14.  Mental Health Counselor resume summary example

“Compassionate Mental Health Counselor with more than a decade of experience addressing mental health issues and behavioral concerns. Proven success in both individual and group counseling environments, assisting clients in gaining insight and understanding of their unique conditions. Specialized focus on working with young adults and families, with an emphasis on addressing substance abuse root causes and other social factors involved in mental health.”

Why it works : This resume summary is notable for citing important skills like empathy and compassion. It also focuses attention on the candidate's experience in dealing with common mental health concerns and hints at their preferred approach to assisting patients.

15.  High School Teacher resume summary example

“Dynamic high school teacher with 12 years of experience developing approved curricula for more than 500 students in grades 9-12. Proven track record of helping students to achieve a 98% passing rate in both Western Civilization and World History instruction. Actively engaged in every aspect of education, at the district, local, and parent-teacher level.”

Why it works : This candidate's resume summary highlights their vast experience, while illustrating their success in ensuring that their students learn what they need to know to pass the class. They also demonstrate their commitment to the educational process by highlighting their involvement in every area of education.

16.  Accountant resume summary example

“Diligent and detail-oriented CPA with seven years of experience in accounting, process improvement, and problem-solving. Skilled at identifying inefficiencies and using reporting to offer insights that can guide employers to better practices and greater profitability. At XYZ Corp., identified labor usage inefficiency that motivated management to introduce new scheduling that eliminated $300,000 in labor waste.”

Why it works : In addition to highlighting a wide range of valuable skills, this candidate also focused on a quantifiable achievement that illustrates real value. This type of summary would certainly capture a hiring manager's attention and make them want to read more!

17.  Event Manager resume summary example

“Resilient and creative Event Manager with 6 years of corporate experience. Detail-oriented perfectionist with experience in project management, team leadership, and customer relations. Successfully organized and executed more than 40 major business conferences, hosting thousands of guests. Major clients have included three Fortune 500 firms with multi-million-dollar event budgets.

Why it works : As Event Managers go, this one has certainly made the rounds. That summary of achievements highlights their ability to manage even large-scale events, dealing with every aspect of the project. How could a serious hiring manager not want to learn more about this candidate?

18.  IT Manager resume summary example

“Dedicated IT Manager with significant experience in an innovative and growing tech firm. Skilled leader with experience in systems analysis, database architecture, problem-solving, and troubleshooting. Superior client satisfaction rate of more than 99%. Created and implemented IT troubleshooting process that reduced internal client service time by 30%.”

Why it works : This IT professional focuses attention on their key leadership skills , while also mentioning the hard skills that any hiring manager is likely to be looking for. There's also a nice nod to their history of satisfying clients, as well as a notable and measurable achievement.

19.  Product Designer resume summary example

“Innovative Design Engineer with 5 years of experience in the development of products and packages. Skilled in market research, brand development and alignment, and design elements. Led team of seventeen Designers in the creation of industrial products that yielded $20 million in sales in the first month after launch.”

Why it works : This resume summary uses some important keywords, action verbs, and descriptive language to describe the candidate's key skills and experiences. It also cites an impressive product design achievement, along with real numbers that showcase value.

20.  Content Marketer resume summary example

“Creative marketing professional with 7 years' experience as a Content Marketer. Skilled writer who understands how written communication empowers business growth and expansion. Expertise in development of compelling content that drives activities across multiple media channels. Adaptable , detail-oriented, and focused on a brand-building approach to content strategy that drives real results. Developed a cross-platform content strategy that boosted sales conversion rates by 37%.

Why it works : This Content Marketer focuses on their key skills and keen insights into how content impacts business profitability. They even included a measurable result that demonstrates their focus on adding value to their employer's bottom line.

21.  SEO Specialist resume summary example

“Results-focused SEO expert with 6 years of experience in keyword mastery, the promotion of sustainable content, and growing organic website search engine rankings. Proven track record of SEO success, using content development and link outreach to expand website traffic activity from 10,000 daily visitors to more than 2,000,000 per year.”

Why it works : Many hiring managers may not fully understand SEO, but they will understand the need to get more eyes on their digital content. This candidate speaks to that need by focusing on website rankings, content, and overall web traffic - while including a quantifiable achievement that demonstrates their ability to make things happen.

22.  Copywriter resume summary example

“Website Copywriter with 5 years of experience in developing content that creates real conversions. Cross-channel expertise including website content, advertising, newsletters, press releases, email, and podcast / video scripts. Proven track record of increasing social traffic by 36% and driving a 22% boost in landing page conversions.”

Why it works : This candidate's summary is focused not only on the type of things they write, but how those content pieces directly contribute to the company's online presence and sales conversion rate. This illustrates the writer's understanding of how their work aligns with their employer's business needs and goals.

23.  Bank Teller resume summary example

“Empathetic and personable Bank Teller with more than 4 years of experience in client interactions at First Bank. Detail-oriented customer management approach, focused on superior customer experiences and client retention. Strict adherence to bank policy, including safety deposit guidelines, customer account security, and due diligence. Efficiently and effectively processed more than 200 client account interactions each day.”

Why it works : For a Bank Teller, much of the role's value lies in the employee's ability to serve as the face of the branch. This summary is effective because it showcases the Teller's knowledge of bank procedures, while also highlighting their commitment to creating an excellent customer experience.

24.  Software Support Specialist resume summary example

“Problem-solving Software Support Specialist with 8 years of experience in customer-facing user assistance. Provided key problem resolution services for hundreds of customers, with a focus on maximizing their satisfaction with the company to increase loyalty and retention. Experienced in both customer and B2B interactions, with a specialized talent for explaining technical problems in language that is easily understood by the average layperson.”

Why it works : This resume summary focuses not only on the candidate's specialized skills in solving computer issues, but also highlights their ability to simplify their explanations to customers.

25.  Data Scientist resume summary example

“Committed Data Scientist focused on analytical insights that can drive company growth and development. More than eight years of experience providing data-driven analysis to Fortune 500 executives, based on comprehensive statistical models and detailed historical data patterns. Successfully provided insights and recommendations used to increase company profits by 32% over a two-year period.”

Why it works : Data science may not seem like the most exciting field, but hiring managers are always on the hunt for candidates who understand why data matters. This candidate's focus on providing insights that can translate into real value for the employer is something that is likely to earn a hiring manager's interest.

26.  Dental Assistant resume summary example

“Dental Assistant with 5 years of experience with patient preparation, processing, and administrative support. Keen attention to detail and a commitment to dental health and aesthetics. Skilled in dental impressions, hands-on assistance during procedures, x-rays, and record maintenance. Fully committed to developing rapport with patients that creates a welcoming environment and a joyful experience.”

Why it works : This candidate's resume summary not only highlights key Dental Assistant requirements, but also conveys their personal approach to teamwork and patient care.

27.  Architect resume summary example

“Creative Architect experienced in high-end architectural design and development oversight. Ten years of proven success in creating sustainable designs that earn rave reviews and commendations from clients. Skilled in adapting to new challenges and working under pressure to achieve every client's vision. Consistently produces designs and project plans that come in on time and under budget, at 10%-30% less cost than industry competitors.”

Why it works : In this summary, the candidate highlights key skills that employers will want to see, while also emphasizing quantifiable results that demonstrate competitive value for the employer. They also showcase their ability to not only design architectural structures but to do so with a conscious awareness of critical factors like budgetary concerns, deadlines, sustainability and market competition.

Bonus: how to write a resume summary if you have no experience

Of course, it's also important to know how to write a resume summary if you have no experience. Here's a quick resume summary example that you can adapt if you are just entering the job market:

“Recent Marketing graduate, seeking an entry-level position to kickstart a career in the field. Demonstrated strong leadership and teamwork skills gained through involvement in various extracurricular activities, including volunteering at local events and leading group projects. Proficient in Microsoft 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud. Passionate about using marketing strategies to create engaging content and drive brand awareness.”

Why it works: This summary works because it highlights the candidate's relevant hard and soft skills and qualifications, even though they don't have direct career experience. The use of action words such as "demonstrated" and "proficient" shows the candidate's confidence in their abilities, which can be attractive to potential employers, showcasing the candidate's potential for success in an entry-level marketing role.

Key takeaways

A well-written resume summary can make a significant impact on a job application. A good summary should highlight relevant skills and experiences, use clear and concise language, and avoid unnecessary information. Feel free to customize any of the resume summary examples we've provided to help ensure that your resume captures the attention of potential employers.

We know it can be difficult to condense a whole career full of skills and achievements into a paragraph of only a few sentences. If you're unsure about the document you've crafted, why not send it for a free resume review by our team of expert resume writers? 

Recommended reading:

Ask Amanda: How Are a Resume Objective and a Resume Summary Different?

How to Write a Standout Career Summary

Business Acumen: What It Is and How You Can Showcase It On Your Resume

Related Articles:

Do Hiring Managers Actually Read Cover Letters?

How to Create a Resume With No Education

Why You Lose When You Lie on Your Resume: Learning From Mina Chang

See how your resume stacks up.

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IMAGES

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

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  2. HOW TO WRITE A MASTERS THESIS PROPOSAL II. Structure of a thesis

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

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COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Thesis Summary

    Your thesis summary is the distilled essence of your thesis: a tool to underline the strengths of your research and make yourself recognizable as a competent scholar.

  2. How to write Master's thesis summary for PhD application

    I am currently applying for several PhD programs (in mathematics) and for many of them, it is required to write a short (approx. 2 pages; no more than 10.000 characters) summary of my Master's thesis. It should contain the motivations of the thesis and research, the methods used as well as the results obtained in my research.

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    The summary should include the following points: What is the thesis about? What is the purpose of the thesis? What were the methods used to research the information? What are the results, conclusions, and recommendations that the thesis presents? Generally, the summary is about 200-350 words long, but you should verify this with your supervisor.

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  18. A guide on how to write the master's thesis

    The objective of this guide is to show you what a master's thesis written in the monograph form involves. If you are writing an article-based thesis, please see the guide written for article-based master's theses.

  19. Thesis Summary

    An example of a summary format. The aim or goal or purpose of this graduation thesis (title) is to … (analyse, characterize, compare, examine, illustrate, present, survey, design, reconstruct) …. The graduation thesis is composed of five chapters, each of them dealing with different aspect of …. Chapter 1 is introductory and (defines ...

  20. What Is a Thesis?

    Writing a thesis can be a daunting experience. Other than a dissertation, it is one of the longest pieces of writing students typically complete. It relies on your ability to conduct research from start to finish: choosing a relevant topic, crafting a proposal, designing your research, collecting data, developing a robust analysis, drawing strong conclusions, and writing concisely.

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

    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.

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