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MA Research Paper/Thesis guidelines

The MA Research Paper/Thesis provides an opportunity for the in-depth study of a topic in Economics, to go well beyond the scope of any specific topic covered by a lecture course. The Research Paper/Thesis requires a substantial effort (typically much more than a term paper) in order to be accepted by the Department. Apart from providing personal satisfaction, a well-done paper or MA thesis can be shown to prospective employers or to graduate departments to support admission to a PhD program. An outstanding MA Research Paper/Thesis could be published in an academic journal.

Revised, February 2021

Please note that all MA students are required to submit their MA Research Paper/Thesis draft and final version via Moodle; submissions via email will not be accepted. The site also includes essential information that students must read prior to writing their research paper or thesis. Students can access the Moodle page as follows:


The size of the completed paper will depend upon the topic. A standard length is around thirty (30) pages.

Technical requirements

i)        All papers must be typed double-spaced in a standard typeface on one side of the paper. The top, bottom, and right-side margins should be 1 inch and the left margin 1-1/2 inches.

ii)        References should be listed at the end alphabetically in the following form:

Boadway, R., and M. Keen (1996) “Optimal direction for federal-state transfers” International Tax and Public Finance 3, 137-55.

Varian, Hal R. (1984) Microeconomic Analysis (New York: W.W. Norton).

There should be a one-to-one correspondence between the references in the list and the articles and books referred to either in the text or in footnotes. References in the text and footnotes should look like this:

Varian (1984) – for one author

Boadway and Keen (1997) – for two authors

Jones et al. (1994) – for three or more authors  

iii)       Footnotes should be avoided as much as possible.

iv)       Manuscripts must have spiral binding with a clear plastic cover and a cardboard back.

v)       The title page of each paper should follow the format presented on the Title page template provided on this webpage.

vi)       The sequence of contents should be:

- Title Page (using this template)

- Signature page (using this template)

- Abstract Page (less than 200 words)

- Table of Contents

- Text of Paper

- References

- Appendices (if necessary)

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