To gain a postgraduate qualification in literature, you will have to complete a research project on a topic you have devised for yourself, and will have to present this for examination. The name given to the piece of work you present varies from country to country, and for which qualification it is submitted. In the UK, the final document you submit for an MA is usually known as a ‘dissertation’ and what you submit for a PhD is known as a ‘thesis’. These terms are reversed in the USA, where work for an MA is known as a ‘thesis’ and for a PhD is known as a ‘dissertation’. Since much of what I will be saying in this chapter applies equally to MAs and PhDs, I will use both terms.