How do I get my topic

Writing a bachelor thesis: Tips on topics and structure

At the end of her first degree she is waiting: the bachelor thesis. It is the last hurdle before graduation. Once the topic has been determined, it is time for the mostly extensive research of endless sources, primary and secondary literature as well as various publications. In most cases that is not enough. In order to prove or disprove the thesis, many students also create surveys in their bachelor thesis. A huge effort. In the following dossier we show you, Tips, strategies and examples on how to write the bachelor thesis and can master ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Writing a bachelor thesis: timing is crucial

For all tips on the bachelor thesis, one essential principle applies: Start everything early. Quite a few undergraduate students start writing their thesis at the last minute - and get so stressed and hectic. Unnecessary - and a frequent source of errors.

Therefore three in advance Notes on scheduling:

  • Plan two or more weeks for that Finding a topic a. Same for the supervisor. You do not know whether and how quickly your preferred supervisor will accept you and get in touch with you.
  • You can expect that the literature on this will also be borrowed from other students and therefore not always available in the university library. Waiting times can be the Research and literature work - and thus the entire bachelor thesis - slow down significantly.
  • Make appointments as early as possible to meet you coordinate with your supervisor. Timely planning can avoid unnecessary waiting and overwork.

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Bachelor thesis topic: How to find something suitable

To the classic Tasks for writing a bachelor thesis belong:

  • Finding a topic
  • supervisor Find
  • Registration the bachelor thesis
  • Outline and construction the thesis
  • Literature research
  • (Implementation and evaluation of your own survey)
  • Creation of the scientific text (including figures, tables and directories)
  • formatting according to the specifications of the university
  • Correct scientific Quote
  • Attention correct spelling, orthography and grammar
  • Correction and Submission
  • Professional presentation and, if necessary, defense of the bachelor thesis

The usual one Processing period for bachelor theses varies from university to university. As a rule, however, it is between two and four months.

The Bachelor thesis scope however, is between 20 and 40 pages. This can also vary from university to university and the respective department.

In addition to the formal requirements of an academic paper, the Choice of subject sometimes something in the background. The right topic decides on the success or failure of the bachelor thesis. An example from practice:

Julia studies social management at a university of applied sciences. She is in the middle of the last semester and is on the verge of desperation. The reason: She just doesn't get any further with her bachelor thesis, is stuck and cannot find any starting point for the next step. She consciously chose the topic “The social influence on responsible management in social institutions” and started with enthusiasm.

There is no shortage of specialist literature and ideas - on the contrary. After some discussion, however, it turns out that this is exactly where the problem lies: The topic is too broad, Julia doesn't know what to focus on. And now the subject can no longer be changed.

After all: Julia's supervisor agreed to the Focus of the bachelor thesis to change. Without his courtesy, however, the bachelor thesis would definitely have failed.

To prevent this from happening to you, you should ask the following questions - which you are here too Download as PDF for free can - use for your topic finding:

  • For which topics I am personally interested?
  • Are there topics that I pursue passionately and watch?
  • Can I participate in topics previous bachelor theses tie in?
  • Which topics particularly appealed to me during my studies?
  • Is there Questions about course contentthat I've wanted to pursue for a long time?
  • I have during mine Internships or practical phases Have experiences that are suitable for the bachelor thesis?
  • Is there Suggestions for topics or suggestions of professors and lecturers?
  • I find my dream topic enough literature?
  • Is there Niche topicsthat irritate me?
  • A topic is also suitable for them continued processing as part of a possible master's thesis?
  • With which topics and questions I'm already busy now intensive?
  • Which lecturers are coming for me as a supervisor in question?
  • What topics will these lecturers be support and look after?
  • Is there Requirements of the university or my supervisorthat I have to adhere to when choosing a topic?
  • How much time is available for the bachelor thesis?
  • What extent must at least have the job?
  • Do I always have to use primary literature or is sufficient in justified cases also secondary literature?
  • I think for them empirical work enough subjects and participants?
  • I already can for a specific topic an outline in advance write?
  • Which topics open up to me without any problems and without much effort?
  • What topics offer me added value for my later job and points of contact?
  • Is there Topics and tenders as a working studentthat are suitable for me?
  • Is my dream topic as part of the bachelor thesis to create at all?
  • Do I have the necessary basicsto work on a specific topic?

Literature search: 4 tips for the bachelor thesis

Both Literature sources there is now plenty of choice: In addition to libraries and specialist journals, there are subject-specific databases, bookshops and, of course, the Internet.

Pure Online sources are sufficient for the bachelor thesis in very few departments and for only a few topics. In most cases, you will go into the Library therefore do not be spared.

The following tips have already proven useful in the Literature search and numerous bachelor theses:

  • Search terms vary Many students search with a limited range of search terms. This is perfectly fine when you want to get started with a topic. However, if the first searches do not produce meaningful results, you should expand the search spectrum and use keyword combinations.
  • Use interlibrary loan Using the interlibrary loan function, students can use the holdings of almost all German and some international libraries. Make use of it - especially if the specialist literature in your university library is out of print.
  • Search foreign languages Depending on the topic and subject area, it can make sense to search for specialist literature not only in German, but in another language (provided you have a good command of the foreign language, of course). This is also how you can get out of print or even new sources.
  • Form search teams It happens more often that students in a year and degree program deal with similar topics in their bachelor thesis. This leads to competition or even disputes over the respective literature. Instead of blocking each other, however, you should team up with your fellow students and form research teams or share the sources.

In principle, however, you should choose between so-called Primary and secondary literature distinguish:

  • Primary literature: Original sources, specialist articles by the respective researchers, thematic source collections
  • Secondary literature: University publications, lexicons and encyclopedias, compilations, (journalistic) periodicals

Writing a bachelor thesis: 7 tips for surveys

Numerous students choose - instead of just going back to existing statements - one as a supplement and to enrich their bachelor thesis empirical survey (or survey), which they then evaluate and analyze. Sure, these are not only exclusive, but also fresh content and insights that can add enormous value to the bachelor thesis.

Correspondingly, such a survey Allow new perspectives to flow in, confirm or question existing theses or raise a question for a different audience in order to create a new reference.

However, numerous mistakes happenthat detract from the value of the survey. The following Tips help to reduce or even avoid such sources of error:

  1. Clarify your target audience.

    Regardless of the subject area you are writing your bachelor thesis in or what topic you are dealing with: Please make it clear in advance, who should be the target group of your survey. This can sometimes be simple if you want to create a general picture of opinion that may only be broken down by age structure.

    But do you want one explicitly Assessment of a specific group received - for example all Students who have a part-time job or single parents - You should address this target group both when creating and distributing your questionnaire.

  2. Make your survey representative.

    First of all, a representative survey usually looks at the number of people interviewed. After all, an objective result cannot be achieved from a small number of respondents. In principle, it is therefore advisable to select the largest possible group of test subjects - in the best case several hundred participants.

    But representativeness also includes who you ask and whether the participants actually belong to the defined target group. An example: If you want to record the satisfaction of the employees with their professional situation, a survey at the university, where only a small part is already in professional life, is not representative even with 300 participants.

  3. Keep your questions understandable.

    During the entire time of your bachelor thesis, you deal extensively with a topic, acquire well-founded knowledge, stuck in the matter from morning to night and are familiar with every little thing. But please remember: the participants in your survey usually do not have this knowledge and still need to understand what the individual questions are about.

    Therefore, keep the questions as understandable as possible. Avoid long and complicated sentences and if you can't do without technical vocabulary, you should definitely explain it.

  4. Don't suggest any answers.

    Often one already has a certain idea of ​​the result to be expected from the survey - or one hopes for a certain result in order to underpin one's own argumentation and to confirm the thesis made. In order to remain scientifically objective, however, you should never ask leading questions in order to steer the answers in a desired direction.

    In this way falsify the result and devalue the survey.

  5. Keep the survey as short as possible.

    It is not always easy to find the fine line between a complete survey and a series of questions that is far too long. When creating the questionnaire, you should always remember how much you can and want to ask the participants. Just ask your fellow students how much time they would take to answer a questionnaire.

  6. Make the answer options clear.

    The question Rate on a scale from 1 to 7 ... It always sounds plausible, but it can bring with them the problem that the participants assess the individual values ​​differently. While a 5 is already a very good value for one respondent, another only considers 6 and 7 to be a really good rating.

    Therefore, proceed specifically and clarify the meaning of the possible answers. For example, you could specify the following scheme: 1 point - very weak expression or agreement, 2 points accordingly for a weak, 3 points for a neutral, 4 points for a strong and 5 points for a very strong expression or agreement.

  7. Start a test run beforehand.

    Before starting the actual survey, it may be useful to distribute some copies of the survey to friends and familyto get important feedback before going public.

    Many eyes see possible mistakes faster as well the first answers can help you to identify any weak points in good time.

Writing a bachelor thesis: structure and organization

In the end, the decisive factor for a successful bachelor thesis is of course the work itself - that is, what is in it, how you do it built up and have approached the topic.

The topic usually also results from the topic Bachelor thesis outline automatically. You will find that the first outline is never the last. This usually changes in the course of the research - this is completely normal.

The classic consists of Structure of the bachelor thesis from three main parts, the weighting of which should look like this in the scope:

  • Cover sheet and table of contents (2-3 percent)
  • introduction (10 percent)
  • Main part / analysis (80 percent)
  • Summary / Outlook (5 percent)
  • Bibliography and Appendix (2-3 percent)

Tips for building

  • introduction

    The introduction and the final part equally form the framework of your bachelor thesis. You should therefore make a special effort with both parts, because they reverberate - and they are also the figurehead of your thesis.

    In the introduction you present your topic, make the question clear and also work out the goal of the bachelor thesis and your research project (what do you want to find out and why?). At the same time, you're showing the reader how you're going to do it (and why).

    Often, the introduction also refers to the current state of research, which justifies the thesis and gives cause for it. Anyone who can create an arc of tension here arouses the interest of their supervisor or professor - and this is often reflected later in the evaluation of the bachelor thesis.

  • Bulk

    The main part is shaped by the actual examination of the topic. Here, research results are cited and analyzed in detail, and own findings (e.g. from a survey) are presented. The most important thing about this part is to argue your own hypothesis in a logically understandable and structured way and to proceed step by step.

    Therefore, write in the simplest possible language and avoid nesting sentences. Technical words should only spice up the bachelor thesis. Otherwise, a nominal style makes every text difficult to read. Strong verbs are always better - better than adjectives, which are usually just filler words.

  • Conclusion / conclusion

    The résumé is the judgmental summary of your thesis. Here you take stock and present the quintessence of what has been written. Questions that were taken up in the introduction must be answered here and now at the latest, and the conclusions must be substantiated. If that is not finally possible, you can of course also give an outlook on future interesting questions and research work.

    However, you should generally avoid quotations in the final part. At this point it is about YOUR knowledge gained. For the same reason, you shouldn't mention any new considerations. They only distract. Ultimately, you prove your ability to reflect in the conclusion. Critical discussions with other works are therefore allowed.

To the most common Bugs and problems To avoid this, the following are some of the last things you should do three tips hold:

  1. Structure your sources right from the start.

    A chaotic source collection costs a lot of strength and sleep in the days before handing in. Save yourself that and archive your sources in a structured manner right from the start. The effort is worth it - especially for the bibliography.

  2. Work with styles.

    Even if style sheets make more work at first: Microsoft Word, Open Office, Libre Office, Mellel - no matter which word processing program you use - all of them already offer style sheets. And these allow you to make important layout changes later quickly and easily - for example, because you have not yet complied with the university's specifications (font size, margins, spacing, ...).

  3. Plan in time buffers.

    It cannot be emphasized enough: plan enough time for your bachelor thesis - ideally even for each individual work phase.It starts with finding a topic and structuring it, continues with literature research for the survey and finally with writing and formatting. Not to forget the correction phase before submission. Not to mention the regular coordination with the supervisor. All of this takes time. Our tip: hang up a large annual calendar and use colorful highlighters to mark the respective phases - and stick to them as much as possible.

Incidentally, it is perfectly normal for you to begin with feel overwhelmed (in between sometimes also). This is because you have probably never created and structured such a large amount of text. In time, however, you will get into a routine, and the relief grows with each completed page.

It is all the more important that you do it in between Allow breaks and reward for stage successes. This is the only way to keep the motivation you need to be able to write the bachelor thesis.

We wish you every success!

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November 27, 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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