A preface will include the background and motivation for the chosen topic and give information which does not fit in any other place in the text. The preface will not include a lot of information about the topic and contents ( this belong in the Introduction), but all commendations and information about contact- persons and tutors/supervisors belong here. The preface will oftentimes be placed before the table og contents, and should not be more than one page long. The preface is often marked with a date, i.e Kristiansand, June 2008.
A master thesis needs to include a summary of one page. When the thesis is written in English a summary in Norwegian also needs to be included. The summary should be placed in the very beginning of the thesis and shortly introduce the main contents. The summary is meant as a quick- guide for readers compiled version of the main points and topics without delving into further explanations (topic, methods, results).
Table of contents
The table of contents should include an overview of the chapters and its contents. Having a detailed table of contents is oftentimes a good asset to a thesis. The purpose of a table of contents is to give a quick insight into the topics and the outline of the thesis. Readers should be able to use it as an easy way to find information. The table of contents contains headings and paragraphs. It should be accordance between the contents, fonts, headings and so on in the table of contents and the fonts and headings etcetera used in the rest of the thesis. By using Word you`ll be able to organize your table of contents quickly and professionally.
This is where you tell the readers the purpose of your thesis. You may also present a short overview of what has been done previously in your field of research. The most important part of the introduction however is its definition of the thesis`main topic. The definition should also include how you`ve narrowed down the topic and what limits you`ve drawn. The thesis statement and research questions are presented and described. Thematic background information is presented. You may also present your point of view and research design and explain the methodical assessments including the terms and concepts you`ve used. An introduction is meant to give a precise overview of the aims and contents and most commonly follows the preface, summary and table of contents.
The main chapters
The outline of the thesis will depend of what kind of thesis you`re writing. A thesis based on empirical studies may have this outline:
The scope of the thesis can vary according to the topic, but for 60 credits you`ll be looking at somewhere between 80-120 pages. For 30 credits the requirements will be between 50-80 pages. The quality and the thesis in its entirety is much more important than the scope of the thesis, however the content. If you want to know more about quality, check out Kilpatric (1993) and Mellin-Olsen (1993). The theoretical part of your thesis will always be the most comprehensive part. This is where you present, analyze, debate and argue the material and topic. There is a clear connection between your conclusion and your arguments, and remember, a conclusion is supposed to convince, not to persuade.
Footnotes and endnotes
Footnotes are used to expand the text or further explain a chart, table, geometrical figure etc. Try to limit your use of notes. There are different ways to put notes into a text. You may put them on the current page, after the chapter or at the end of your thesis, and you may assign numbers to them for just the current page, for the whole chapter, or for the whole thesis as a whole. Make sure to use the tools in Word to get the footnotes arranged the way you like. Footnotes and endnotes should have a 10 font.
List of literature and references (bibliography)
The Faculty of Engineering and Science recommends using the Nomad standard, which is based on the APA (American Psychology Association). En Note is a personal database to keep references in order and to generate literature lists. It is necessary to continually submit the references as you go along. If you only submit the authors`name in the text, the reference may easily disappear before it is properly registered. It is therefore of great importance that you are consistent throughout the thesis and use the system.
All literature and sources which have been used in the thesis must be entered in the list bibliography. The purpose of a bibliography is to show the reader the theoretical basis the thesis has been built upon. The bibliography is a documentation of the scope and understanding the writer has adapted. The list needs to detailed and accurate in order for the reader to easily find the referenced texts. A bibliography includes: Author, year of publication, title of publication and publisher. If the text is a journal you need to include the name of the journal, volume (year), number and page reference. If the text is from a conference you need to state which conference, place and date, publisher and page reference. The difference between referencing a book and referencing articles/journals are further accentuated by the different uses of italics. When you referencing books, you type the title in italics, when referencing journals you type the name of the journal in italics.
It there are more than two or three writers you should only reference the name of the first writer and add et al. (I.e Arendt et al.). A book which consists of multiple articles from several other authors and in which one of the authors is the editor you need to mark the editors name by adding the word ed. (For instance, Berg, Knut, ed.) Some prefer to put ed. in brackets (ed.). If the place of publishing is not mentioned in the book, you need to write s.l. (sine loco) next to the text reference. If the book consists of multiple volumes you ned to mark it by adding the volum after the title and before the place publishing. Similarly if it is one particular volume.
An appendix is all the assorted documents which don`t naturally fit in any of the sections of the thesis, but which is a part of the thesis nevertheless. The appendix is left to the very end of the thesis. If you have multiple appendixes`it might be a good idea to assign them number.
Writing- fonts, editing etc.
Your thesis is to be submitted to Inspera as a pdf. Deadline is approximately 15. May or 25. November. Find the accualy date
Read the guideline for delivery the thesis some days before you plan to submit the thesis. Make sure that every new main chapter begins on odd number if needed, add blank pages in order to achieve this. The paper should be written on a computer and be given the best possible visual presentation in accordance with the layout offered on your computer.
If you use Word, it is expected that you use that standard format with 2,5 cm margins and single spacing. The font used is 11 pkt. But remember that foot and endnotes are 10 pkt. Calibri is also recommended. Charts and tables may have Arial font 10 or 12 pkt. You should avoid underlining and stick with italics of bold when necessary. There are specific rules concerning mathematical formulas.
You should explain charts and tables, and remember to always number them consecutively. Make sure that pictures and tables fit inside the pages`margins. If you need pictures than scan them. Tables, charts, geometric figures and so on can be generated from other programs, like excel and its likes, and used in Word. You have access to these programs at the University; Minitab, NSD stat and SPSS.
The thesis needs to be numbered consecutively with the standard Arabic numerald (1,2,3 etc). The title page is considered the first page, but you never put the number 1 there. Some prefer to use small Roman numerals (i, ii, iii etc) on the pages preceding the introduction or the first chapter.
Chapters and paragraphs
Every chapter revolves around a specific, limited topic, and every new main chapter begins on a fresh page (odd numbered, right side. Remember to add blank pages when needed in order to achieve this). The chapter is marked with a heading, and the paragraphs with subheadings. The chapters may also be numbered with Arabic numerals or big Roman numerals (I,II, III). For a neat look you can make sure that the way the numbers are listed in the table of content is consistent with the way you have numbered the headings and subheadings.
Each chapter and paragraph in a chapter are listed with numbers and subnumbers (1, 2.1, 2.2 etc). You never put a punctuation mark after the last number. Try to keep the system of numbering the headings and paragraphs simple in order to ensure a neat and helpful layout. Word has a tool to ensure this and when you use it, word will automatically generate and update your table of contents with the fonts and the size of the fonts you use.
Aquote is a direct reiteration of something said or written. Using the right technique is very important. All quotes needs to be an exact replica and marked with quotation marks (in front of and at the end of the quote). If the quote is longer than 5 lines it needs to be separated from the rest of the text by using the tabkey and move the quote one stop to the right. The reference is placed directly behind the quote in brackets. To ensure a neat presentation it might be a good idea to skip a line both before and after the quote. As a rule, you should not change the quoted text. Misspellings can be marked by (!) or (sic!). Sic means "thus", "so", or "as shown", in plain English.
Sometimes you may want to skip certain words or phrases in a long quote, and this can be done by adding ... (three punctuations). Make sure you use space both before and after the ... A quote may also be incorporated into your own text, but you need to make sure to still use the quotation marks on the quote and reference the quote with a footnote. If you need to quote electronic texts, please check out http://www.macmillanhighered.com/Catalog/
You will most likely find yourself in a situation where you have to refer to an author`s descriptions, views and arguments. In this instance it means that you, with your own words, reiterate (or summarize if you will) the main point of what other people have said or written. An in-text summary should be considerably shorter than the text it has been derived from, have the same structure and be reiterated without you adding your voice to it and with a neat depiction.
The in-text summary is like downsizing and summarizes the original text. You can, if you want to, leave out some details and examples of the summarized text. If the in-text summary plays a big part to your own text, you need to include the author and resource in a footnote. The text you have summarized from must to be included in your bibliography, however big of a part it plays in your paper. Also, don`t forget to state what the purpose of the summary is. It is vitally important that you separate the summary of other peoples`work (the intents and purpose of their text, the contents and design) from your intents, purpose, design etc. the deliberation of the content in relation to your own intents and purposes in order to not be accused of plagiarism.
You should not use any more abbreviations than the standardized abbreviations. Please consult your thesaurus and other reference books for the appropriate abbreviations.
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Omfanget på masteroppgaven i antall sider kan variere etter tema. Viktigere enn omfanget er imidlertid innholdet, kvaliteten, helheten og sammenhengen mellom de ulike delene av oppgaven. For en utdypning av kvalitet, se Kilpatrik (1993) og Mellin-Olsen (1993).
Et anslag på antall sider som passer er: