Why You Should Not Rely On Sample Dissertations For Master's Degree


If you are currently working toward your master’s degree, and you are focused on writing your dissertation, you might be tempted to use a sample paper.

You should never rely on a sample dissertation as a substitute for your personal work. Let this be repeated: you should never use a sample paper from the Internet or any other source and submitted as your own. This is a severe violation of nearly every academic institution around the world, and it constitutes plagiarism as well as a violation of the academic integrity policy put forth by many accredited universities. If you are caught doing this or having done this, you can face expulsion from the academic institution and you will not obtain your master’s degree.

That being said the dissertation is an incredibly difficult piece to write particularly due to the fact that it is something you have never written before and chances are just not something you're right again. In order to improve the process and help make things a bit easier, you can use a sample dissertation published by your academic institution, one which was reviewed and approved by the same committee overseeing your paper, as a guide. The more dissertations you review, the easier it will be for you to write yours.

It must be stressed again, that if you use a sample, you cannot submit it as your own, but you can use it to glean information in writing tips or to give you direction in your paper. You can also benefit the most if you choose one which has been published by your academic institution. The reason for this is that not all institutions, or even all countries, adhere to the same requirements and standards for a dissertation. Your particular master’s program might have requirements significantly different from an academic institution just a few miles away. So if you review samples from other universities, you might end up following a bad template, or integrating pieces that you are not required to write. If you obtain a copy from your institution, you can rest assured that it will be the perfect template because your review committee has already approved it.

You can ask your advisor for systems locating a sample that you can use, or you can turn to your school library and ask them to help you find an electronic or printed copy. Your school library will keep copies of printed dissertations by previous students in the library stacks or at the very least on an electronic file in your library database. Both of which can be easily obtained, photocopied, and taking home as a learning tool.

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