Plan a bachelor thesis correctly

Finally: you have completed all the other modules in your studies and have collected enough credit points to enroll in your bachelor thesis. It represents the last module on your way to the academic degree. The bachelor thesis examines whether students are able to deal independently with a scientific question. Depending on the examination regulations, the bachelor’s thesis makes up to 20 percent of the final grade.

In the following article, you will learn everything you need to know about planning to write such a paper. With the tips you improve your time management, you handle the time pressure better and the processing time of your thesis is made more effective overall.

Find the right supervisor for the bachelor thesis

Before you can work out an outline for your work and before you go to the library to collect literature, you first have to find a topic for the bachelor thesis. However, this step is still a bit ahead and you need a supervisor for your scientific thesis. But how do you find the right lecturer or professor?

Select supervisor

First of all, it is important that the supervisor comes from your department. The lecturer should preferably be specialized in the area of ​​your desired topic. What reputation does the lecturer in question have with fellow students and graduates and does the lecturer have enough time for the students? Any questions that you should consider when choosing the supervisor. It should be noted, however, that opinions about a supervisor are very subjective. Say: while a person holds a lot of a caregiver, another student can talk about his rudeness or the like. revolt.

Confirm topic

If you have found a supervisor for your bachelor thesis, the next step is to find a topic for the thesis. This must be approved by the supervisor, so you can register it at the Examinations Office. In addition, the supervisor can give you important tips regarding the literature and timing for writing your thesis. You should always talk to him, because he is u.a. responsible for the correction of your work.

The scientific question of bachelor thesis

For the choice of topics, you should take a look at the examination regulations of your degree program: How to find out how free you can choose the topic. In most cases, you can think about your own question. When developing the question, make sure that you are really interested in the topic! After all, you work on the bachelor thesis for several weeks – when you realize that the subject is “not your thing at all”, you are tormented while writing the paper.

In addition, your question should not be too broad – the scope of a bachelor thesis is limited. Also make sure that there are fewer sources available for current topics. Involve your supervisor necessarily in the discovery of the topic. This you can also submit your first rough outline. In this way you will find out if you are “on the right track”. You will rework the outline several times in the course of your literature research – there you can be sure!

Registration with the responsible examination office

If you have found a supervisor for your thesis and have agreed on a topic with this, you can register the work with the responsible examination office. Shortly thereafter, you will receive a letter confirming the topic. You will also be notified of the exact deadline.

The literature search

Now it gets serious! It is necessary to conduct literature research and find suitable sources for the topic. Nowadays, there are nearly innumerable resources that can be used to write a thesis: from the library to journals and databases, to bookstores and the Internet. Let’s just say that you will not be spared having to go to the library, because working exclusively with online sources is enough for i.d.R. not from.

The literature can basically be subdivided into primary and secondary literature. Primary literature is: original sources, thematic collections of sources and papers of researchers. Secondary literature is: encyclopedias and encyclopedias, university publications, compilations and periodicals.

Here are a few tips on how you can meaningfully collect sources for your topic:

Once you’ve got an overview of the topic with certain keywords, you should vary the search terms and use various keyword combinations. Thus, the results are significantly improved in the search.

Also use the interlibrary loan. This not only gives you access to the literature in the university library, but also to the literature of all other German and partly international universities.

You should also do literature research in English. International publications are mostly written in English, i. In this way, you gain access to many more sources that deal with the subject.

Not infrequently students from a year edit the same or similar topics. Consequently, these students need the same literature. Build search teams and communicate with each other instead of complicating each other’s literature research!

The construction of the bachelor thesis

The main classification results more or less automatically from the respective scientific question. As already mentioned, the structure of the bachelor thesis will change a little bit every now and then – that is quite normal and no cause for panic! In general, the structure of a thesis consists of three parts. Their weighting looks like this:

  • Cover sheet, table of contents (between two and three percent)
  • Introduction (about 10 percent)
  • Body / Analysis (80 percent)
  • Summary and Outlook (five percent)
  • Bibliography and appendix (between two and three percent)

Useful tips for your schedule

After all, the thesis is not witchcraft, but you should consider it as your masterpiece at the end of your studies. If you start working early, work in a structured manner and take enough breaks to switch off, you will see that dealing with the scientific question can be fun. Here are some useful tips for your schedule:

Allow enough time to find the supervisor and find a topic.

Remember that the appropriate literature may also be needed by other students: Waiting periods can significantly delay the literature research and the writing of the scientific work.

Talk to your supervisor on a regular basis. So you avoid unnecessary correction work and misunderstandings.

Structure your sources from the beginning

When writing your bachelor thesis, you should be careful to structure your sources from the beginning. So you save yourself in the last few days before submitting unnecessary rush. In addition, you should work with styles: Microsoft Word, Open Office, Mellel or any other word processing program does a bit more work at first, but it allows you to easily make important layout changes in the correction phase.

It is important to keep a cool head

Do not worry – feeling overwhelmed at the beginning of the bachelor thesis is completely normal! This is how it is for anyone who has never written a paper for submission to an examination office. It is also normal that you sometimes despair a bit in between. Then it says: head up and do not be discouraged! As already explained, it is important that you have enough breaks while writing your thesis. Otherwise, you feel overwhelmed and burned out quickly. Reward yourself for stage achievements like completing a chapter, so you keep the motivation. What the reward looks like (for example, a day off), you decide. It is important that the reward is good for you.