The thesis or dissertation* is the final product of your Master's or PhD research work. It's intended to be a piece of scholarly work that demonstrates your ability to participate in the academic research world: that is, to conduct research based on a particular question, critically analyze the existing literature, present your methodology and results accurately and in detail, link your findings to the broader field, and effectively communicate your research to others (see UBC's Handbook of Graduate Supervision). A PhD dissertation makes an original contribution to the field in which the research is being conducted; a Master's thesis can make such a contribution, in addition to demonstrating the writer's ability to conduct research, but doesn't have to.
Writing a thesis or dissertation takes time, planning, and a lot of hard work. The resources collected in this guide are intended to make it a little easier to finish!
*Note: thesis tends to be used for Master's degrees, dissertation for PhD degrees. On this site, we may switch back and forth between 'thesis' and 'dissertation'; unless otherwise noted, both types of writing are included.
As of June 30, 2021, UBC Library will no longer offer Thesis Formatting workshops or support. Students are encouraged to explore the many online resources that provide guidance on Thesis Formatting. For templates and FAQs, please visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) has regulations and guidelines about many aspects of the thesis and dissertation preparation process.
Note that G+PS regulations for theses and dissertations sometimes change; make sure you're following the most current regulations!
There are many thesis and dissertation writing resources online; find the ones that speak most to you!
These are a few of the books available in UBC Library to help you with your dissertation writing process. For a wider range of books, please visit our Books on Dissertation Writing pages.