I am doing a Masters thesis. Can I use a quote to begin each chapter of my Master's thesis?

  • I've seen this done before. The quotes were separate from the main body of text though. Somewhere near the chapter title in a smaller italic font. – somerandomdude Mar 16 '16 at 22:54
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    The quick answer is, yes, you can, but perhaps the more interesting question is whether it is a good idea. I.e., does it add to the thesis? – Jeromy Anglim Mar 16 '16 at 23:18
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    Duplicate: academia.stackexchange.com/q/12565/19607 – Kimball Mar 17 '16 at 0:49

Epigraphs are generally fine unless otherwise proscribed by university rules or the style guide used in your field. (MLA has specific formatting guidelines for them, I'd imagine others do too)

But first ask yourself if they add something to your paper. For example, a quote from Borges on an section on recursion would go rather nicely, setting up the ideas/theme far faster than a stale introductory paragraph. A quote from a historical leader might establish a link between the past and a chapter on modern day politics or society. But an inspirational quote about hard work probably doesn't belong in methodologies chapter.


Yes unless your university's rules forbid it. You should check your university's master's thesis formatting rules and guidelines.


Well, I would say it depends on the context. If you are using the quote later for your work, or if it is connected somehow to your work, it is ok, otherwise the quotation would not have a purpose (for example in theory this can be a copyright law issue in some countries, e. g. Germany, whereby it is unlikely that someone will pursue it.).


"I always have a quotation for everything - it saves original thinking." - Dorothy Sayers

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