Writing a Master Thesis is an important and large part of your study. The thesis is a proof that the student is able to conduct, independently, scientific research at the Master's level. Although the thesis is a large scale project, the process will not be too painful with an early start, good organization, and hard work. This document aims to help by clarifying the thesis procedures, student's responsibilities, and provides some advice. By doing so, I hope we have more time to discuss your work during the meetings. Make sure to also check out the Canvas page of the Master Thesis. Good luck with your thesis!
You have approximately 5 months to write your thesis. During these months, we will have 5 meetings. Typically there will be 3-4 weeks between meetings.
During the first meeting we will discuss your research proposal and make a plan forward. During subsequent meetings, we discuss one chapter during every meeting (theory, method, results, intro/conclusion). During this meeting we can also discuss your revision of the previous chapter.
During the meeting we will have an opportunity to discuss the chapter you have worked on. Please send me the complete chapter some time before the meeting such that I have enough time to thoroughly read it. As your supervisor, it is my task to give you advice based on the work you sent me before a meeting. During the meeting, we will first discuss my main comments and afterwards we can have a conversation about your thesis where we can discuss your questions. I always try to help and point you in the right direction but in the end you have to come up with the solution. If something is beyond the materials that you have covered in class, I will of course offer more guidance. Also, I will hand you a version of your thesis provided with some minor and detailed feedback that are beyond the scope of the meeting.
Choose a topic that you are really interested in. In this way, we can have interesting conversations about this topic and I can also learn from you about the topic. I am open to research in areas of accounting and using multiple research methods.
Writing is often underestimated and occasionally you need to go through some pain in order to convey a message well. Make sure to structure first and write later. I find the writing aspirations of Victor van Pelt very useful.
Use active tense. Don't write sentences like: "it is assumed that "Θ=3" or "data were gathered from Compustat". It may help to search your document for "is" and "are". Instead, write sentences like: "I assume Β=3" or "I gathered data from Compustat". Don't use "we" if you write something on your own, unless you are a member of the royal family, of course.
Don't try to solve too many problems at once. Some students want to solve multiple problems in one thesis. In that case, writing a dissertation may be a better idea. Instead, focus on one contribution to the accounting literature in your thesis.
Although there is no minimum requirement for the number of pages, a thesis that is written according to the format discussed in the course syllabus, often consists of 20 to 25 pages (excluding front page, title page, preface, literature list and appendices). According to the guidelines, use font Times New Roman, font size 12pt, and line spacing 1.5.
Document your work. A reader must be able to reproduce your results following all instructions given in your paper.
Make sure to reference your sources in the right way. In the Master Thesis Accounting, we use the APA format. More info can be found here.