How to write master thesis?

“Master thesis” – a key factor for a structured and goal-oriented scientific work. With a successful structure, the basis for the much cited “red thread” laid and the master’s thesis is divided into manageable work packages, which can then be processed piece by piece.

Sample layout for a master thesis


Almost exclusively, the Master’s thesis is a theoretical-empirical work, so I address this most widespread form. If not specified by the institute exactly, the most sensible variant is the following:
Depending on individual requirements, the structure of the Master’s thesis may differ from this pattern, e.g. in a quantitative empirical master thesis, where the hypothesis formation and testing is often given a lot of space. Also helpful is this example of a diploma thesis, which shows an alternative possibility for the construction in some points and gives contentwise tips. Here you will find my sample thesis for download.

Opp (2014) offers an interesting overview of social and economic methodology, here the link to the book with preview.

What do I have to consider when building a master’s thesis?
The construction of a master’s thesis must be conclusive and logical: Almost exclusively, the structure is from the general to the specific. If I the topic “Situational leadership in project management”, the structure of the chapters could look like this:

  • introduction
  • definitions
  • Fundamentals of leadership
  • Basics of projectmanagement
  • leadership styles
  • Interim conclusion (theoretical findings: situational leadership in project management)
  • Research design (based on theoretical knowledge)
  • Results
  • Discussion (link with tips)
  • Concusio and view
  • This logic also continues with the construction of the subchapters of the Master’s thesis. In order to get a good basis for the empirical and to repeatedly establish the relation to the research question, it is worthwhile to make an interim conclusion to the theory chapter. The question is always for each chapter: What do these findings mean for my research question? The interim conclusion represents the concentrated theoretical research results. These are then the basis for the empirical part, e.g. For each of these aspects a question (openly formulated guideline question, questionnaire) is developed.