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Writing Your Master's Thesis

Writing Your Master's Thesis
From A to Zen

First Edition
Additional resources:

February 2017 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Are you looking to find your voice, hone your writing tactics, and cultivate communication skills with impact?


Using real-world cases, student vignettes, and reflective questions, Lynn leads you through the A to Zen of the writing process, building your confidence as well as developing your skills.


Find out how to:

  • Understand yourself, your audience, and your project, so you better understand your role in communicating research
  • Choose a question and plan an appropriate design
  • Build a foundation of ethics and background research into your writing practice
  • Find your own writing (life)style
  • Work with your supervisor, so you can get the best from the relationship
  • Navigate structure, arguments, and theory, for deeper critical engagement
  • Contextualize your research and maximize its impact.


Going beyond the standard ‘how to survive’ advice, this inspiring writing guide empowers you to develop the voice, tone, and critical engagement required for you to thrive at Master’s level

SAGE Study Skills are essential study guides for students of all levels. From how to write great essays and succeeding at university, to writing your undergraduate dissertation and doing postgraduate research, SAGE Study Skills help you get the best from your time at university. Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub for tips, resources and videos on study success!

1. Your Master’s thesis and you: Moving towards academic Zen
2. From topic to question to design: Planning your journey
3. Ethics: Making good choices
4. You are what you read: Building a foundation of knowledge
5. Writing as thinking: From rough draft to final document
6. Supervision and guidance: Getting help along the way
7. Structure and argument: What’s the logic of your story?
8. Your introduction: How do you fit into the conversation?
9. Your theoretical and conceptual framework: What ideas are you using?
10. Your method: What did you do to answer your question?
11. Your results and analysis: What are you building your argument on?
12. Your discussion and conclusion: So, what does all this mean?
13. The finishing touches: Polishing and submitting your work


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This book is both a delight to read and extremely useful. Nygaard brings the topic of thesis writing alive while also leading students through what they need to know and be able to do write a successful thesis. I highly recommend it. 

Brian Paltridge
Professor of TESOL, University of Sydney

The distinctive focus of this ground-breaking study skills book is on the beginner thesis-writer as an individual shaped by experience-based academic assumptions and desires. From this perspective  conventional assessment criteria can be transformed into a pedagogically helpful conversation  with different readers.

Mary Scott
Founding Director, Centre for Academic & Professional Literacies, University College London

What makes this book unique is how every step of the writing process is framed to engage the writer’s awareness. Thesis writing, under Nygaard’s guidance, becomes an experience of discovery and self-realization. It’s invaluable for students aiming for an academic career.

Ingerid Straume
Writing Centre Director, University of Oslo

This book is many things: interactive, multi-dimensional, technical, philosophical, and incredibly witty. Packed with valuable life-lessons, it demystifies academic writing and shows you how best to communicate topics outside of your own head, department, or community.

Christian Davenport
Political Science, University of Michigan