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10/02/2019

Review of the master’s thesis

Serious scientific work requires an unbiased assessment, which is expressed in the form of a review. Writing a review of a master’s thesis by a competent specialist is a necessary condition for admission to protection.

Why do you need a review for a master’s thesis

The review helps the commission to more professionally and comprehensively approach the assessment of student work. The subjects of work within the framework of one study group can be quite diverse, and the same commission evaluates them. In certain scientific areas, the knowledge of commission members can be superficial (although leaders try to select participants in such a way as to maximize cover all topics approved by order).

Example 1

For example, there is a defense of master’s theses in the direction “Software for Automated Systems”. One student can develop a web application, another – a real-time fire alarm system written in a low-level language, a third – a game for mobile devices, fourth – an accountant workstation. It is likely that the commission will not have a competent specialist in at least one of these areas.

The problem is that reviewers often have no time to delve into the work, and they either shift the writing of the review to the student himself or are limited to extracts from the introduction and conclusion.

Selection of a reviewer for a master’s thesis

The reviewer has several requirements:

  • At a minimum, a purely formal reviewer should have a diploma-certified education in the specialty coinciding with the direction of the dissertation. The level of preparation must correspond: the bachelor does not have sufficient competence to evaluate a master’s thesis. In the transition period, it is usually allowed in the education system that a person with a specialist diploma write a review, but it is better to attract candidates or doctors of science.

Example 2

An exception can be made for practitioners: for example, a financial director of a company can write a review of a dissertation in economics, even if he is not an economist by training.

  • If a person participated in the writing of the work (was the head of the enterprise or of the department), he writes a review for the master’s thesis – the writing of the review must be entrusted to someone else. Often they require that a teacher write a review from another department or from another university – in this case we are talking about an external review of a master’s thesis.

How to write a review for a master’s thesis

In the review, you can highlight the standard elements:

  • Title – includes the title of the document, the author of the dissertation, the program and topic.
  • The formal characteristic of the work is the number of pages, applications, sources.
  • Analysis of the text of the dissertation. The relevance of the topic is evaluated, then the contents of the chapters are examined and a final assessment is given – whether the work meets the requirements, whether the topic is disclosed, whether the design is completed correctly. In the review of the master’s thesis, both the advantages and disadvantages of the work are indicated, an opinion is expressed on the scientific novelty and practical significance.
  • Recommendations for grading (“Master’s work deserves a grade …”). The assessment should logically correspond to the opinion expressed earlier.

Features of writing reviews in various specialties

In general, the scheme for writing a review does not depend on the specialty, but certain nuances still exist.

Example 3

So, in a review of a master’s thesis on construction, it is advisable to evaluate how much the student managed to cope with calculations and design, propose an innovative project or improve a standard one, develop plans and schedules for the implementation of work. It is important to note the relevance of the used regulatory framework, the use of design software.

Example 4

In the review of the master’s thesis in the legal field, special attention is paid to the relevance of the topic of work (how much the direction chosen by the student has undergone changes in recent years, how sharp are the discussions in the scientific and practical environment, what gaps in the legislation are there), to assess the depth of the study as a regulatory framework, so and law enforcement practice over the past few years (or over a longer period if the transformation of the phenomenon is considered).