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Thesis Preparation: Home

The library helps students to refine their research topic, source material for a thesis and provides tools to manage your bibliography. Consult the library's thesis writing books as you prepare to work on your thesis.

Doing a thesis at UL

Having given careful consideration to the topic of your research, you may now know who your supervisor is and have a clear idea of where to begin with your thesis. If you are not a UL student but interested in conducting research we invite you to use this guide as a pre-registration resource where you can become familiar with library resources and supports and understand some of the critical skills you will need as you carry out the research required for a masters thesis e.g. information seeking, source appraisal and academic referencing. 

To learn more about the research interests of the UL faculty, you can consult UL's Find an Expert site

Within its Handbook of Academic Regulations and Procedures the University of Limerick has very helpful information for all students submitting academic work. Section 5.12 sets out the rules relating specifically to theses.

Getting started with your thesis

This presentation from The Grad Coach, a group of academics who have a YouTube channel sharing tips and advice on thesis writing, describes all of the stages of a thesis, from selecting a thesis topic, selecting a research method, conducting the research and analysing and presenting your findings along with guidance on the chapter layout and bibliography. The presentation includes practical considerations about taking on a research project and asks you to set time aside to write your abstract and format your document before submission. Your UL thesis supervisor is best placed to advise you on your thesis topic and what you write but start with this video presentation to get an understanding of the terminology involved in writing your thesis. 

Viewing past theses from UL and other institutions

The library holds print copies of theses from some UL postgraduate programmes. Go to the library catalogue https://www.ul.ie/library/ and enter your search terms in the search box to locate a thesis of interest. 

To view sample e-theses held in the UL Institutional Repository visit the ULIR page where some theses can be viewed.

Students can also view theses from other colleges and universities.  To do this, visit the UL Library Databases page and under the letter “D” consult the database Dissertations and Theses (A and I)
 

What is a thesis?

A thesis is a long essay or dissertation involving personal research, as written by a candidate for a university degree, whether at Masters or Doctoral level.

Your thesis should describe your work or research in a way that will allow the reader (fellow-students/researchers, supervisors, external examiners) to judge its quality and significance.  It is important that your thesis is clearly written and adheres to the layout and conventions applicable in your discipline as agreed with your supervisor.

It is a good idea to consult previous theses before beginning on your own as this will give you a good sense of the format and organization of a thesis in your subject discipline in addition to the standard and style of academic writing required. The library provides access to past research theses through the UL Institutional Repository

The Library Search allows you to search for physical items in the Library but also searches most of the library's electronic resources as well as publications in the ULIR.

Your Faculty Librarians

Faculty Librarians can provide guidance and support on:

  • Defining topics/research questions (compiling a taxonomy of keywords)
  • Selecting useful resources (grey literature, internet searching etc)
  • Building an effective search strategy (combining free text terms and subject headings etc)
  • Selecting papers (inclusion, exclusion criteria)
  • Managing results (saving searches, using bibliographic management software)

Consult one of our team of faculty librarians.

Ask Us