Dissertation page count

The digitisation of doctoral theses is a great boon to current doctoral candidates: reviewing recent examples of doctoral work in their institution is only a few clicks away. New candidates can appraise doctoral work done by former scholars in their department to get a feel for aspects such as chapter structure, page length, academic writing style, and referencing conventions: reading a thesis to write a thesis as Cally Guerin recently advised.

As a postgraduate learning adviser one of my regular weekly routines has been to check our digital repository to see which new doctoral theses have been uploaded.

dissertation page count

Although a few new doctoral theses are embargoed, there are usually six or seven new ones to scan through each week. Just over three years ago I started keeping an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of how many pages there were in each thesis and the number of chapters.

Once I got a sample of theses from I began looking for patterns in the data.

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This simple desk-top survey revealed that the average number of chapters was 7. Since outliers, the short thesis 67 pages in maths or long in architecturecould potentially skew the average, I checked for the median length which turned out to be pages.

We agreed to carry on with the audit and decided that 1, doctoral theses, from each calendar year from towould form a robust sample size and allow for any changes in length and composition over time to be detected.

How long is the average PhD dissertation?

We created our own protocol to ensure consistency of coding. So our page count did not include the front sections using Roman numerals such as mandatory title page, abstract, table of contents, acknowledgements, preface, glossary etc. And we agreed that a page was a page was a page irrespective of font size, line spacing, and inclusion of tables, figures and illustrations.

If it had a page number it was a page. Most thesis tables of contents made it easy to discern the number of chapters: they were numbered in a conventional sequential format. In the sample of 1, theses only 23 had fewer than pages and a further 65 theses were more than pages in length.

There were theses with five or fewer chapters two chapters was the simplest thesis structure found and with ten or more chapters 20 chapters was the most complex. However, sincethe median number of pages for a STEM thesis is below pages and trending downwards towards pages in it was Non-STEM theses hovered between and pages from tobut over the last few years also appear to be trending slightly downwards median of pages in Over our year period the basic requirements for a PhD or named doctorate have remained the same.

The only changes have been since the potential to submit a PhD with a creative component and clarification of the use of publications in the thesis. In addition, the average time to completion has dropped from over four years to 3.This is timely because by now, you have completed all your coursework and other requirements, and are preparing to begin the research and writing process for the dissertation.

In any case, you want to locate a copy of this document and read it carefully. It will answer many questions related to length and structure of your dissertation. This is because each project is different, and the ultimate guideline is to use as many words as you need to present an effective and complete document.

You can also note the actual page length of these documents to get a sense of how long a dissertation should be. But it is important to keep your dissertation chapters within reasonable length compared to each other. You have to do some analysis and synthesis to get your information to fit, so that you can create a balanced final dissertation product.

How many chapters and pages are there in a doctoral thesis?

I once worked with a client who has not graduated with her PhD and she began our coaching having written more than pages- enough for multiple dissertations. Of course, topics in the humanities may require more pages, but, again, there should be a balance between chapters, and you may consider a dissertation of pages to be enough in these situations. Just take care not to write two or more dissertations when you only need one!

Then look at recent projects which have been approved and completed through your department. Take that information and determine a rough page count for each chapter of your dissertation project. Plus weekly follow-up messages with helpful dissertation tips. The same ones that have assisted my most successful clients. Get your copy by entering your name and email below.

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Length of the average dissertation

Get my Books These ad links redirect you to Amazon. My Favorite Writing Software.Formatting your dissertation or thesis will likely take more time than you expect. But using the special features described in this Guide will save you a great deal of work, particularly if you use our template. The earlier you begin to use these tools, the more time you'll save and the less stress you'll have as your submission deadline approaches.

Students at the University of Michigan are also encouraged to contact the experts at the Library's ScholarSpace anytime you run into a problem or have a question. To save yourself time and effortplease consider using our Dissertation Template link available in the box to the right. Many of the settings discussed in this Guide are already included in that document. Please note that, as a University of Michigan student, you have free access to the Microsoft Office suite of tools -- including Microsoft Word.

Visit this link to learn more and to download Office to your own computer. Word for Dissertation Content and Resources. Working with Styles.

Automatic Numbering. Creating and Using Templates. Combining Chapters. Finalizing Dissertation Without Styles. Adding Page Numbers. Landscape Pages.

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Automatic Table of Contents and Lists. Commenting and Reviewing. Dissertation Formatting Checklist. University of Michigan Library Research Guides. Ask a Librarian. Helps you use Microsoft Word for your dissertation.On R is My Friend, as a way to procrastinate on his own dissertation, beckmw took a look at dissertation length via the digital archives at the University of Minnesota.

Not many differences are observed among the majors, although some exceptions are apparent. Economics, mathematics, and biostatistics had the lowest median page lengths, whereas anthropology, history, and political science had the highest median page lengths.

This distinction makes sense given the nature of the disciplines. I was on the long end of the statistics distribution, around pages. Probably because I had a lot of pictures. As I was working on my dissertation, people often asked me how many pages I had written and how many pages I had left to write.

Sometimes that takes 50 pages. Other times it takes Other than that, this is neat! Kyle, thanks — I figured I was missing something super simple — its been a long day.

So the colors are meaningless then? Yes, the colors are useless. They convey no information that is not already transparently conveyed. For that matter, the box plot itself is thoroughly obsolete. As for the topic of the post, my math dissertation was 88 pages. But his supervisor, Tarski, would not give him his PhD.

dissertation page count

He thought the thesis was too short. So there is a lower bound. The chart would be more useful if the majors were ordered by median or average dissertatin length. But it is interesting to note that the more mathematical and objective the mayor, the less pages needed. Llongest dissertations: sociology and anthropology.Though page number is obviously far less important than the content and quality of one's work, it is nevertheless very common for PhD candidates to obsess over the length of their theses.

How many pages should it be? How long are other people's theses? Short answer: it varies. And by more than you may realize. As many PhD candidates are wont to do, Beck took the pressure of readying for his defense and channeled it toward an incredibly interesting if entirely thesis-unrelated side project.

For Beck, that meant coding a data scraper that could gather information about students' dissertations page-length, year and month of graduation, research focus, etc. He then singled out the fifty majors with the highest number of dissertations and charted them to boxplots to illustrate their relative distributions.

Selective procrastination for the win!

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I also hope that some of the tools I've presented in the blog have motivated others to develop their own. Beck successfully defended his own dissertation back in May w00t! This puts him in the 80th or 90th percentile for his area of study, but he's quick to point out that size isn't everything.

This is similar to stacking on appendices in a dissertation. This seems like cheating, but as I try to stress in my blog, dissertation length is not a good metric for the quality of the work. Read more of the nitty-gritty, geeky nerdy? For more academia-themed diversion, see here and here. I find the conspicuous absence of any outliers among the statistics dissertations unreasonably amusing.

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The A. Robbie Gonzalez. Filed to: statistics. Share This Story. Get our newsletter Subscribe.How long is a dissertation? This is a question that almost every doctoral student asks at some point. The truth is, there is no one answer to how long a dissertation is. Some websites even give specific answers that are simply inaccurate. In my experience, dissertations vary too much to be pinned down like that. However, there are some practical suggestions I can make about how long your dissertation should be, how to adequately address the requirements of each section, as well as how to expand or reduce the length of specific chapters according to your needs.

Any discussion of dissertation length must include the work done by Marcus Beck. As a way to distract himself from his own dissertation writing, Beck calculated the average length of dissertations in the University of Minnesota database.

You can see from looking at his data that average length varies by discipline.

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So the first answer to how long a dissertation is, is that it depends upon what area you are writing your dissertation. It appears that a dissertation in History will be much longer, on average, than one in Chemistry.

He also calculated the average across all disciplines. Many people look at the average length of a dissertation and get intimidated by the high page count. References, appendixes, tables and figures, page breaks, and white space all contribute to the high page count.

The actual number of words you need to write is likely considerably less than the page count initially implies. This depends on your topic of research, but also on other factors. In my mind, there are two reasons. First, they want to give some sort of guideline for students that is helpful but does not overburden faculty a page lit review is daunting to read.

Second, credibility is important. An 8-page lit review does not reflect well upon the student or the institution. Most schools now have a dissertation template with the headings that are needed for most sections.

If you take the time to completely fill in the headings with all of the relevant information, you should come up with an adequate number of pages. So, expand what you are saying. This lets your committee know that you really do get it. Sometimes you will get committee members giving contradictory advice. One member may want more information and another may want less. My first piece of advice is to negotiate these types of requests through your Chairperson.

Second, if a member really wants material included but others do not think it is very helpful, then adding the material in an appendix may make everyone happy. If you adequately and succinctly address each required section, you should end up with the right length for each chapter and therefore, a dissertation of the right length. This is the introduction to your study.Manchester City15141046 : 10432.

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