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Beginning a Thesis or Dissertation


For a general outline, read through the resources available on the Dissertation Process or the Thesis Process.

MU Policies

MU has several policies that pertain to format, submission, and conflict of interest that can be located on the MU Graduate School page for Thesis and Dissertation policies. Read through these policies before delving into your research so that you can successfully plan out your process. 

Finding Dissertations and Theses

Access previous dissertations and theses using library resources

  • Search MOspace to locate past MU dissertations or theses from 2004-present.
  • For a complete list of past dissertations or theses search the Merlin catalog
    • Search by author or title.
    • For a listing of dissertations and theses by department browse on the following Subject: dissertations, academic university of missouri columbia
  • Utilize the Dissertations & Theses finding guide to locate theses or dissertations from other institutions.

Writing Literature Review

A literature review is a written work that:

  • Compiles significant research published on a topic by accredited scholars and researchers;
  • Surveys scholarly articles, books, dissertations, conference proceedings, and other sources;
  • Examines contrasting perspectives, theoretical approaches, methodologies, findings, results, conclusions.
  • Reviews critically, analyzes, and synthesizes existing research on a topic; and,
  • Performs a thorough “re” view, “overview”, or “look again” of past and current works on a subject, issue, or theory.

Three major steps to conducting a literature review are:

  1. Defining area, type, and purpose
  2. Researching utilizing books and databases to cover major and related works
  3. Writing out the findings of your research

Tips, tricks, and additional information available at Introduction to Literature Reviews.