Free. Many universities and colleges in low-income and middle-income countries require a masters dissertation or thesis for as part of postgraduate training, and some colleges offer a 1-year to 2-year diploma of child health as a clinical qualification to enable skills in child health for generalists, or as part of the early phase of paediatric training. This paper describes the stages of doing a research project for such a masters or diploma, and describes in detail how to write a minor thesis. The paper is designed to provide a practical approach for junior researchers, and their supervisors. Colleges differ in their formal requirements of a minor thesis (word count, line spacing, referencing style), but this paper outlines the principles and practical issues rarely covered elsewhere.