Yorku Library Research Assignment

Theses and dissertations are extended scholarly essays that incorporate original research on a specific topic. They are usually written as part of the requirements for a graduate degree (e.g. MA or PhD).

Finding a York University thesis or dissertation
Most doctoral dissertations and Master’s theses completed at York University are available through the Libraries. Law dissertations are held in the Law Library; most others are held in Scott Library. Please note that the library does not normally hold copies of Major Research Papers (MRPs); for these, please check with the appropriate York University department or faculty.

For York dissertations and theses written from 1967 to 2012:
Start by searching the Dissertations and Theses @ York University database. You can search by keyword, title, adviser or school. The full-text of most York theses and dissertations submitted between 1967 and 2012 can be downloaded for free.

This service is only available to registered York students and faculty.
For York dissertations and theses written between 1967 and the present that were never microfilmed or have some form of embargo restricting access:

  • Search the library catalogue. You can search by title, author, or keyword. When you find the entry, note the call number and location. A quick location guide is provided below.
If you see…It means…
SCOTT-MICRA microform copy is available in the microtext area on the 1st floor of Scott Library.
HNES-STORStatus “In Storage” or “In Process” — can be requested via the ‘Request’ button in the catalogue record.
INTERNETAn electronic version is available. Click on the URL provided in the catalogue record.

For dissertations and theses written from 2013 to the present, search the library catalogue (NOT the classic catalogue) by title, author, or keyword.

Finding theses from other universities

  • Proquest Digital Dissertations and Theses
    This database contains citations and abstracts of doctoral dissertations and some masters theses from colleges and universities in North America and Europe. Citations are available from 1861 to the present. Abstracts are available for dissertations from 1980 to the present and for masters theses from 1988 to the present. From 1997, sometimes earlier, the full-text of some dissertations and theses may be downloaded for free in PDF format. Please note that this service is only available to registered York students and faculty.
  • Theses Canada Portal
    The Theses Canada Portal provides free access to the full text electronic versions of Canadian theses and dissertations that were published from the beginning of 1998 to the present.
  • Index to theses (Great Britain and Ireland)
    An index to theses accepted in the Universities of Great Britain and Ireland. Covers 1716 – present.
  • EThOS (Great Britain)
    Launched in 2008, the Electronic Theses Online System (EThOS) offers free access to full text versions of British theses. New theses are digitized and added to the database in response to requests from researchers.

Many other periodical indexes and databases include references to dissertations.

Note: Theses and dissertations not available in the Libraries or online can be requested through the Resource Sharing Department.

Grants, Theses, Writing & Publishing: Selected Guides for Graduate Students

Preparing the Thesis/Dissertation

General Guides

York Specific Guidelines:

The following are selected books from York University Libraries’ collection. Use the links below to get details about each one including their call numbers and the library at which they are located:

  • Dunleavy, Patrick. Authoring a PhD : how to plan, draft, write, and finish a doctoral thesis or dissertation. New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2003
  • Lunenburg, Frederick C. Writing a successful thesis or dissertation : tips and strategies for students in the social and behavioral sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA : Corwin Press, 2008.
  • Mauch, James E. Guide to the successful thesis and dissertation : a handbook for students and faculty. 4th ed. New York : M. Dekker, 1998.
  • Paul, Oliver. Writing Your Thesis. 2nd ed. Los Angeles ; London : SAGE, 2008.
  • Roberts, Carol M. The dissertation journey : a practical and comprehensive guide to planning, writing, and defending your dissertation. Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Corwin Press, 2010.
  • Thomas, R. Murray. Theses and dissertations : a guide to planning, research, and writing. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA : Corwin Press, 2008.

Preparing a Literature Review

Note some of the resources below are web guides, while others are books at York University Libraries:

Finding Theses

Thesis Proposals/Statements

Securing Research Funding & Preparing Funding Proposals

Grants Available

  • Student Funding Information. Faculty of Graduate Studies.
    A very useful resource from the Faculty of Graduate Studies outlining research funding opportunities (both internal and external research funding opportunities) for students at York.
  • GrantsNet Online Database
    From Next Wave and Science Magazine. GrantsNet is a searchable, continuously updated, database of funding opportunities in biomedical research and science education. It contains programs that offer training and research funding for graduate and medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty, as well as programs in science, math, engineering, and technology for undergraduate faculty and students

Writing a Grant Proposal

  • Locke, L.F. Proposals that work : a guide for planning dissertations and grant proposals . 5th ed. Thousand Oaks, Calif. : Sage Publications, 2007.
  • Miner, J.T. Proposal planning & writing. 2nd ed. Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2008.
  • New, C.C. How to write a grant proposal . Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons, 2003.

Writing at Graduate Level: General Guide

  • Casanave, C.P. Learning the literacy practices of graduate school : insiders’ reflections on academic enculturation. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 2008
    Has information about writing competencies and tasks associated with graduate level education.
  • Craswell, G. Writing for academic success : a postgraduate guide. London ; Thousand Oaks : SAGE Publications, 2005.
  • De Gruchy, J.W. The emerging researcher : nurturing passion, developing skills, producing output. Cape Town : UCT Press, 2007.
    Talks about how graduate students can develop writing skills.
  • Silvia, P.J. How to write a lot : a practical guide to productive academic writing . Washington, DC : American Psychological Association, 2007.

Discipline Specific Writing Guides

Disseminating/Publishing Research



  • Becker, H.S. Writing for social scientists : how to start and finish your thesis, book, or article. 2nd ed. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2007.
  • Kupfersmid, J. An author’s guide to publishing better articles in better journals in the behavioral sciences . Brandon, Vt. : Clinical Psychology Pub. Co., 1994.
  • Mackenzie Owen, J. S. The scientific article in the age of digitization . Dordrecht, Netherlands : Springer, 2007.
  • Volokh, Eugene. Academic legal writing : law review articles, student notes, seminar papers, and getting on law review. 4rd ed. New York, N.Y. : Foundation Press, 2010.
  • Wager, E. How to survive peer review. London : BMJ, 2002.


Conference Proposals/Presentations

Posting Your Research Publications in YorkSpace

YorkSpace is York University’s repository of research. It is a platform that enables York community members to post, organize and preserve their research online in an institutional context. The YorkSpace repository is an ideal dissemination platform as it promotes and facilitates discovery of research online through its standards-based architecture. Learn more, including how to make submissions or contact Andrea Kosavic, Digital Initiatives Librarian at York University.

Academic Blogging: Recommended Resources

Directories & Blog Aggregators

Getting Started with Academic Blogging:

Thinking about starting your own academic blog? Here’s a tutorial on getting started: Blogging 101

Here are some articles, with some interesting thoughts and pointers:


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