Master’s Projects

A view of wind turbines overlaid with text that says "Master's Projects"

“A culminating hands-on experience, the Master’s Project allows students to apply the professional skills and knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom to projects that tackle real-world environmental challenges, often in service to an industry, government or nonprofit external partner.” – from

For an overview of the MP and MP expectations, see the NSOE MP handbook

Drafting and Writing

Citation Management
See this Duke Library how-to guide for Zotero
Getting Started with Zotero video from Duke Medical Library

Reviewing the Literature

A synthesis matrix can help organize evidence from your sources

Source ASource BSource C
Main Idea 1
Main Idea 2
Main Idea 3
Synthesis Matrix template

Structure and format of MP Reports

Your introduction should follow the funnel shape of a literature review:

A funnel shape representing the steps of your Introduction. The top, widest part of the funnel says "Big picture." Next, it says "What we know," then "Critique or identify gaps," and the final, narrow part of the funnel says "Justify your question"

Contextualize your topic within wider subject

Review existing theory and relevant research

Highlight conflicting results or gaps

Flows into the need for your research

Additional best practices can be found in a series of presentations by Nicolette Cagle:

Revising and Editing

Formatting Tips for the cover page, executive summary, and MP report

Employ the following checklists to help with your revision process:


Do you need an IRB?

What to know about getting IRB approval for working with human subjects

Duke’s Campus IRB staff can offer one-on-one support

MP Workplan

What to include in your MP Workplan


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