Currently, I am working on my Master Thesis. Before whenever we had to write reports, we had a section called "Literature Review" and a separate section called "Theories". Sometimes the second one was merged with Methodologies - "Methodology and Theory".

In the Theories section, we used to include theories such as "Aesthetics Theory" and so on. But from what I have reviewed so far, all Masters Thesis have only Literature Review as a section but not a Theories section. Does this mean that I can actually include the "Aesthetics Theory" in Literature Review?

A bit confused here!

  • It is not clear what you mean by the "Theories section". You said, "we used to include theories such as "Aesthetics Theory" and so on". But what exactly are you saying about these theories? That is not at all clear from your question. Your question seems to be about what content goes in what section of the article, but just using a label like "Theories section" does not tell us what kind of content you are talking about. – Tripartio Mar 28 at 12:29
  • @Tripartio I am talking about sections of a thesis report. Should Theories section merge into Literature Review section or should they remain separate? The question is pretty clear, I even took examples of what Theories are. What you are saying is in contradicting yourself .... " You said, "we used to include theories such as "Aesthetics Theory" and so on". But what exactly are you saying about these theories? " .... What do you mean by what exactly? You just stated my answer to that! – dontdownvoteme Mar 28 at 21:39
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    if your question where as clear as you think it is (it is not), then I would not have asked for clarification. You seem to assume that there is a standard, well-known "Theories Section" of every master's thesis. There is not. There are many different conventions. So, I am asking you to not rely on labels like "Aesthetics Theory" and to rather describe substantively what exactly you are going to say about the aesthetics theory so that people can be better positioned to try to help you. – Tripartio Mar 30 at 7:41

Questions along the lines of "what goes where" in a thesis, especially a master's thesis, have a standard, simple answer: ask your supervisor. This is because there are many, many different conventions for writing master's theses, even within the same discipline, even within the same institution, so all that practically matters is whatever is acceptable to your own supervisor. Even if you get a very good answer from Stack Exchange, if your supervisor does not like it, it does not help you.


Since, the literature review part is to give the reader a clear understanding of the field that you're working in. It is however required that within the literature review part, you do provide the pre-requisites of the subject you're targeting (so that you can maintain coherence among the sections). Therefore, that's where the theory part would fit-in I reckon, along with the other sections you mentioned. Say for instance (Methodologies etc).

  • Methodologies in literature review?! – dontdownvoteme Mar 27 at 15:26
  • In the thesis, not the literature review part! However, literature review is not just a single section but a collection of several sections! – Aaqib Bashir Mar 27 at 15:36
  • hmmm, I think the way you structure your report is different from how I do. The literature review is a separate chapter of the report. Methodologies is another chapter. – dontdownvoteme Mar 27 at 16:23
  • Well, mentioning the subject would've been a good thing to improve responses that would help you. – Aaqib Bashir Mar 27 at 18:16
  • does subject play a role? – dontdownvoteme Mar 28 at 21:39

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