Tips for bachelor thesis

Choose the best sources

With research question and outline by hand you examine the previously researched sources of critical consideration. Which ones fit, which ones do not? For this you collect information about author, text and content.

You can classify an author as reliable if he fulfills the following criteria:

  • You learn his name and receive information that identifies him as an expert
  • The knowledge he provides is up to date
  • He works scientifically (inter alia, relying on other authors)
  • You can classify a text as a usable source if:
  • You will learn when and by whom he was written
  • he externally meets scientific requirements (including abstract, chapter structure, citation)
  • it does not contain any interest-based information (advertising, PR)

he was apparently written to inform neutrally

A website is suitable if:

  • their contents were written by named experts
  • it provides exclusive and correct information marked as takeovers / citations
  • nothing should be sold on it and it contains no external advertising

From a content perspective, in this step you should discard sources that do not fit your research question, for example because they take up other aspects of the topic.

Assign your sources to the outline points

Next, you assign your sources to the outline points. For this it is necessary that you evaluate them, that is, extract the information needed for your work. Rule of thumb: Do not use information that leads away from the topic or that you do not understand.

Take notes from the beginning, which arguments you want to prove with which sources. All statements should conclusively make a conclusive argument in the sense of your research question.

To avoid plagiarism, you should accurately and accurately document verbatim and logical quotes when writing them out. So you can easily take over these later in footnotes and bibliography.

Write the introduction to your bachelor thesis

The early writing of a rough introduction helps you to mentally enter into the topic and to quickly get into writing. This is important, even if you have to rewrite the introduction at the end, because the focus has changed or to tune the introduction to the conclusion.

The introduction is a figurehead of your work. It provides an overview of the question, approach, structure and goal of your research project and thus already allows conclusions about how structured you have proceeded.

With a sparkling and well-worded introduction, you’ll make the proofreader curious about your work. You can do that by placing your research question in a current context and clarifying your motivation to answer it. Do not forget: The structure and content of the introduction conclude the proofreader on the quality of the whole work. Often he even sets himself here on a tendency regarding the note.

Write and argue scientifically

Anyone seeking an academic title must prove that he or she can scientifically work on a research question. A scientific text is structured systematically and comprehensibly, uses specialized vocabulary and includes other research results. These are classified, supplemented by their own findings and then re-evaluated the state of research. Literal and meaningful citations are always identified.

Write the main part of your bachelor thesis

The main part, at around 80 percent, is the core of your bachelor thesis. In it you introduce the theoretical foundations of your topic and explain concepts, theories and models. Along the outline you develop your argumentation and discuss the individual aspects of the topic.

The goal is to build a coherent chain of reasoning with the help of facts, examples and quotations, which is underpinned by well-documented sources or by an own empirical investigation or experiment. Graphics, spreadsheets, and charts loosen up the text and help you visualize the writing.

Even if the concrete content of the main part depends strongly on the field of study: In any case, there is a research subject – be it a dataset, a work of art or a literary text – that has to be analyzed and interpreted. Important: The main part includes only thoughts – foreign and own – that contribute to answering your research question. He concludes with the detailed presentation and discussion of your research results.

Capture the quintessence of the work in the conclusion

The conclusion of your bachelor thesis is at the very end. In it, you no longer provide the reader with new information, but summarizes your work together.

The conclusion is your personal conclusion. As a start, a quote or an anecdote are suitable. Then you take in a few sentences reference to your research question and approach. The essence of your conclusion is the evaluation and interpretation of your research results. In contrast to the main part, in the conclusion you personally relate to the results of your work. Finally, you put them in a larger context and give recommendations for further research approaches.

Go exactly with footnotes and quotations

Every scientific text must clearly state which ideas, statements and thoughts the author has taken on literally or analogously. This also applies to illustrations and tables. Using many footnotes and quotes does not throw a bad light on your work – but testifies to accuracy and transparency. How many sources have to be included in the bachelor thesis is not fixed.

The correct citation may depend on the university, subject area and supervisor. Inform yourself early on which rules apply. If you write your work in another language, you have to pay special attention to quoting. The German citation usually uses footnotes. Quote in each case uniformly!

Help is citation programs like EndNote and Citavi. In it you can collect and manage different types of literature. The software facilitates both the citation itself and the creation of the bibliography. It is important that you set the correct citation in the program at the beginning.

Check your work for plagiarism

Citation without reference is prohibited. This also applies to incompletely cited and mutatis mutandis accepted passages. Even unintentional plagiarism is considered an attempt to deceive and cause you do not pass your bachelor thesis. What’s more, you will automatically be exmatriculated at many universities.

So that your bachelor dreams do not accidentally burst, let beware on non-scientific websites: authors of freemail providers, Ratbeber communities and online encyclopaedias often take undeclared material from other sources.

Check your way of working: Do you write something out somewhere else, always fill in the source. Also mark repackaged or reworded quotes as well as summarized quotes. If you are no longer sure where a statement came from, then better leave it off.

Online plagiarism check with just a few clicks

You should definitely use an online plagiarism check. Because often plagiarisms happen unintentionally. With an online software that only takes a few minutes and works completely online. Incidentally, such software is also used by the universities to check your bachelor thesis for plagiarism … The software matches your work with hundreds of thousands of texts, and marks you all suspicious places. It also gives you the source to find the same or similar passages. If you correct these passages, you largely protect yourself against point deductions for plagiarism.

Read a bachelor thesis – several times and thoroughly

After writing, reading, checking and correcting follows. If you are halfway in the plan, you have enough time to search through your bachelor thesis several times in terms of content and language.

Those who have spent so many weeks reading a text tend to skim through the words – and any errors remain undiscovered. On the other hand, it helps if you read the text out loud. As a result, you will read slower and notice missing or duplicate words, as well as false endings that the spell checker did not find.

Another good trick: change the font size. This changes the line break and you get a whole new look at the text. Do you tend to spelling mistakes, read your work also word for word from behind.

Pay special attention to the red thread. The linguistic style should be scientific, but easy to understand, the chapters follow each other logically. Check the transitions between paragraphs within the chapters and reformulate them as needed.

Create the bibliography

In the bibliography of your bachelor thesis, also called bibliography, you list all the sources that you cite directly or indirectly in your work. In addition to books and articles from trade magazines, this also includes information on websites, films and audio sources.

The bibliography should be arranged alphabetically. When sorting, orient yourself to the surnames of the authors and list them in the list in front of the first name – this is clearer. If you make the source directory of a citation program, set it accordingly. Important: All sources must be uniformly formatted and arranged.

Depending on the topic of the work and the number of sources, it may be useful to divide the bibliography. For example, primary and secondary sources or written and audiovisual sources can be listed separately. Even court judgments, interview notes and websites are better than own sub-items.

Create a list of abbreviations

Hardly any work can do without abbreviations. At the first mention, each term is to be written out in full length. The abbreviation follows in brackets. In the episode you use then only the abbreviation.

Readers who come across an abbreviation can look it up in the list of abbreviations. In it you introduce all abbreviations and explanation – except common as well as etc., cf. and ff. Number the abbreviations according to the order of their appearance in the work. The list of abbreviations is behind the table of contents.