1.1. Formal guidelines for the preparation of the Master’s Final Dissertation (MFD)
The Master’s Final Dissertation(MFD) is a written academic piece of original research work on a chosen topic. Students can freely choose a topic on which to conduct research, but the actual subject-matter and design of the MFD must be agreed upon with the Director. The MFD must necessarily include the following items in its structure: Objectives, Theoretical Foundation, Methodology, Sources Used and Conclusions.
It is recommended that the MFD should not be less than eighty pages (1.5 line spacing), including the related bibliography, documents, graphics and statistics.
In order to achieve a desirable style consistency, the following guidelines regarding the format and wording of the MFD as adapted by UNED for the submission of a Doctoral Thesis are considered appropriate:
Format: A4 in accordance with norm UNE 10111 (DIN4)
Cover Page: containing the following details:
Master’s Final Dissertation
Name and two surnames of the author, specifying the Master specialty
Name and two surnames of the Director of the Master’s Final Dissertation
Name of subject related to the Master’s Final Dissertation
Optional: Images/Cover Photos
Binding: Book type
Recommended style: the Master’s Final Dissertation should be written with 1.5 line spacing and 13as font.
• First page: should contain the same items indicated in the Cover Page.
• Second page. Table of Contents: Chapters, Sections and Subsections included in the Memory are to be listed under this heading.
• List of abbreviations and acronyms, if any.
• Text of the Master’s Final Dissertation starting with an Introduction and ending with the Conclusions
• Bibliography: This should be placed after the “Conclusions” section and before the “Appendices”, if any, and should include a list of the publications used in the work.
1.2. Presenting the Master´s Final Dissertation: General Tips
Once a student has selected the topic, he/she should contact a professor or other scholar on the basis of subject-matter affinity, in order to request formal direction. Students may also contact the Coordinator of the Master’s Programme, Dr Yolanda Gomez-Sánchez, who will provide the necessary guidance through the process. The following recommendations may be helpful in the elaboration of the MFD:
· It is a piece of original research work: skills and competencies relating to scientific analysis, use of specialized literature and academic papers must be demonstrated.
· It is essential that the work be presented in compliance with all formal requirements.
· The work submitted should strike a balance between structure, content and writing style. It is recommended that the text be both descriptive and evaluative.
· The contents presented must be supported with footnotes to the comments and/or bibliographic references and documents. Footnotes are to be used as the preferred technique to sustain assertions made and provide track of the research that the author has conducted.
· The MFD must be the result of original and personal work. Therefore, it is crucial that contents are duly reasoned and supported, and sources correctly cited.
· It is recommended for the MFD to include a brief “Introduction” to explain the objectives, lines of research, methodology, working hypothesis and a critical assessment of the sources to be used.
· The MFD must include a final part, or “Conclusions”, which are truly conclusive, brief and concise.
Finally, bibliographical and documentary references and journalistic material (if used) should be annexed in accordance with standard practices of bibliographic citation, as explained in this Section.
9.3 How to cite quotations in text and notes
Direct quotations in the text should be put in quotes and the details of the work cited included in footnotes, or at the end of each chapter;
Large paragraphs should never be quoted literally, except in the case of classical authors. For example: As Torres del Moral says “The Chambers establish their own Regulations”;
References freely cited should normally be made in the following manner: according to Professor Garcia Pelayo ...... and the details of the works included in a footnote. E.g. According to Professor Garcia Pelayo it can be said that parliamentary chambers have legislative autonomy;
Specific form of citation in notes:
Quotation from an author in an individual book
If the name of the author appears in the text of the MFD, only the details of the work cited should be put in footnotes. If the name of the author does not appear in the text of the MFD, because the student is merely suggesting a further reading, both the name and the details should be put in footnotes.
E.g.: A. Torres del Moral. Principles of Constitutional Law. Publications Service of the Faculty of Law, 3rd edition, Madrid 1993, Volume I, pp. 82-85. (Author, title, publisher, edition, city, date, volume, specific page)
Quotation from an author of a collective book
E.g.: Y. Gomez “The Liberal State and its Evolution towards a Social State” in various authors (VV.AA.), Introduction to Political Law, UNED, Madrid, 1995, pp. 76-99.
Quotation from a Scientific Journal
E.g.: M. V. Garcia-Atance. “The Constitutional Reform” in the Journal of Political Law (RDP) No. 35 (1993) UNED, pages 34-54.
When repeating the quotation of a work, the footnote should contain the following expression: quoted work or op. cit. p. 43
In summary, everything taken from an author should be quoted in a footnote, as well as anything suggested for further reading to broaden knowledge. In the first case, the name of the author should be in the text and details of the work in a footnote. In the second case, it should all be in a footnote.
All the works consulted for the completion of the MFD should be listed in the final bibliography, regardless of whether the quotations are cited in the written text or not.
2. As Torres del Moral says, “The Chambers establish their own Regulations”