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Thesis Preparation

Length of Theses

Thesis Word limit Notes
First Masters thesis 50,000 Unless Dean of Faculty /School approves otherwise
MPhil thesis 50,000 Unless Postgraduate Studies Committee approves otherwise
EdD thesis 60,000 Unless Postgraduate Studies Committee approves otherwise
SJD thesis 60,000 Unless Postgraduate Studies Committee approves otherwise
DMA thesis 50,000 Unless Postgraduate Studies Committee approves otherwise
PhD thesis 100,000 Unless Postgraduate Studies Committee approves otherwise

Note: these word limits exclude bibliographies, footnotes and appendices.

Referencing and citation systems

There are a number of reference systems and areas of learning usually have a preference for a particular one. Make sure you use the correct referencing style. The Library's Subject Librarians provide handouts and advice on major referencing styles. See Referencing.

They also provide tutorials on using the Endnote and Zotero bibliographic software. See Use EndNote and Use Zotero.

References / Bibliography

The bibliography or references list is a systematic record of the literature of the subject dealt with in the thesis. It must include all the literature specifically cited in the text. A bibliography may include additional literature that is not specifically cited. Some departments will require that literature not specifically cited in the thesis is listed separately (the "Bibliography"), with the cited references listed as "References".

A good approach to ensuring you have all the details needed is to record the full bibliographic details of each item when first noted, rather than leaving it to the end of the thesis write-up stage.

Proof-reading

The dissertation or thesis should be carefully proof-read before submission. It is recommended that someone who has not already read the material undertake this important role. It is also highly recommended that the following should be checked carefully:

  • Every table, diagram, photograph and map has a caption and is referred to in the text;
  • Every table, diagram, photograph and map referred to in the text is actually included;
  • Every reference in the text has a citation in the bibliography;
  • Every citation in the bibliography is referred to in the text;
  • The conventions in the use of italics or underlining especially for foreign and scientific terms, as appropriate to the discipline, have been followed. An acceptable style is given in: Style book: a guide for New Zealand writers and editors, 5th ed. Wellington: GP Publications, 1995

Further reading

A range of books on writing theses and dissertations is available in the University of Waikato Library. To find them, do a subject search for Dissertations, Academic.


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