One page in academic discourse can change the trajectory of an entire profession. It will also mean the difference between an A+ paper and failure. In that case, how long should a Master’s thesis be?
A writer is at liberty to submit a thesis of any length as long as he has made his point. It explains the lack of concurrence on the reasonable length of a thesis. Some students have graduated after submitting 40 pages while others have to go up to 150 pages.
In the absence of a clear answer on the right length for a Master’s thesis, several factors will help you to determine whether you have hit the desired length. Avoid the trouble of writing a lengthy academic paper by getting help with master thesis online.
Here are the factors that will determine the length of your Master’s thesis.
Instructions from the department
The department is the most important source of truth when writing your thesis. It issues a comprehensive guide that every student is expected to follow. The guide indicates the topics to choose, expected length, formatting style, and submission deadline, among other factors.
The department will indicate the expected length as a range of pages. Disciplines with a lot of maps and diagrams will insist on 100+ pages for a Master thesis. If your discipline involves a lot of theories and text, you can be allowed to write 60-80 pages.
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The actual pages will depend on other factors that are addressed in the instructions coming from the department. The font size will determine the number of words that can fit a page. Most departments will insist on 11” or 12” font sizes. Beyond the font size, the shape also results in more words or fewer words on a page.
Spacing and margins determine the average length of a Master’s thesis. The department will provide the spacing and margins to use. If the spaces are too wide and margins too deep into the page, very little content will cover an entire page. You might not make your point in the required number of pages if the spacing is too wide.
Most discussions revolve around the lower limit. However, can a Master’s thesis surpass the required length? The paper is not too complex to require you to write 200 or 300 pages. You could be using too many words to say nothing. Your topic may also be too wide such that it requires a lot of words to conclude. Edit your paper to eliminate unnecessary words. Choose a reasonable scope such that you can complete the discussion with a reasonable length.
The topic is a major determinant of the length of a Master’s thesis. Some topics require you to evaluate more materials such that you cannot complete the discussion within 60 pages. An example is a topic requiring you to compare and contrast different subjects. A case study also takes away the liberty to trim your discussion or leaves you with limited materials to include in your essay.
The scope of a topic will determine the length of a thesis. A topic with a wide scope will result in a lengthy thesis. When the scope narrows, the length of the thesis reduces.
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The scope of a thesis is a delicate balancing act. Choose a scope that is befitting a Master’s thesis. It must not be too narrow such that you cannot hold a satisfactory discussion. The scope should also not be too wide such that you are forced to include a lot of reference materials.
Type of materials used
What materials are you using to support your ideas in the thesis? The quality of materials will make a thesis long or short. High-quality materials discuss the point in limited words. It will, therefore, take the least time to make your point. Poor-quality materials use a lot of words to pass the point. Consequently, you end up with a lengthy paper where a short one would have sufficed.
Some thesis topics require data collection. The data must be presented and discussed to conclude the thesis. The discussion and analysis chapters add pages to the thesis. If you are using images, diagrams, and tables, your thesis will be longer.
Your ability to convince readers in the least words possible
What is your writing style? Academic writing requires you to convince the reader. Choose words that will drive the point home faster. Each discipline has terminologies for particular subjects. Choose your words carefully to make your point in a way that everyone understands. Edit the unnecessary words and phrases from your thesis. You will have a precise discussion.
The reasonable length for a master’s thesis is indicated in the instructions. However, it is always a range of pages. You should organize your ideas such that you pass the point in the least number of pages possible. The reader does not have to waste time reading through unnecessary discussions.