what is a master’s thesis
Thesis: The Master’s thesis should reveal that the candidate is able to work in a scholarly manner and is acquainted with major issues and published research on the subject of the thesis. It must make an original contribution to legal scholarship. A good thesis is thoroughly researched, demonstrates rigorous critical thinking and analysis, presents a detailed methodology and accurate results, and includes thorough verification of knowledge claims. The thesis should be between 20,000 and 25,000 words and may not exceed 35,000 words in length (approximately 100-130 pages). It must be of publishable quality and must satisfy a jury of at least two members appointed by the Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies in Law and approved by the Office of the Vice-Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.
Research Paper: The research paper is shorter than a thesis and consists of extensive research and a strict methodology. The student must show the ability to work independently in a scholarly manner, just as with a thesis. The paper should offer something original or useful in the field of research it relates to. The finished paper should be between 10,000 and 15,000 words in length (approximately 50-60 pages). The paper will be evaluated on a “Satisfactory/Not-Satisfactory” basis by the research paper supervisor and the second evaluator, suggested by the supervisor.
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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.