BACHELOR THESIS: FIND TOPIC, STRUCTURE & SCHEDULE
Planning, writing and proofreading – the bachelor thesis succeeds with these tips.
Now the time has come! The first degree course is coming to an end and – at least according to the study regulations – it is time to apply the knowledge gained in previous semesters and to put it on paper in the form of a thesis. During the course of the study, most of the given topics are dealt with by the students. Now the bachelor thesis says “free choice of topics”.
For many, finding the right topic is not only the first but also the most difficult step in the bachelor thesis.
7 questions to ask in advance
1. Are there any specific rules that should be followed when choosing a topic? It is best to take a look at the examination regulations in order to secure yourself.
2. Time for a brainstorming session: Which topics would be fundamentally in question?
3. What questions would be possible on the topics? This allows the individual topics better limited.
4. Among these collected topics is one that you find particularly interesting or appealing? Or have you ever written a homework on a topic?
5. To what extent is the chosen topic also relevant to the department?
6. Can the topic fill 40 pages? Estimate the circumference correctly.
7. Is there enough literature on the chosen topic?
Methods for finding a topic and structuring the bachelor thesis
The following methods are not only suitable for getting a topic for your bachelor thesis, but also for estimating its scope and building up the content as well as the structure. In addition, these methods can solve any write blockages.
Brainstorming is one of the most well-known methods and is based on basic rules that should be used to collect as many ideas as possible. Criticism is not allowed during the brainstorming session, so that really every idea can have its place. Even exaggerated or really unusual ideas you should note down. If you’re stuck on your own, you can share friends and family with your brainstorming process. This way, even more and above all different ideas can be put on paper.
Let your thoughts run free. All ideas should be noted so that they are clearly visible. Only after the end of the brainstorming follows an evaluation of your ideas. Which aspects are particularly important or interesting and which need less attention?
Finally, you should summarize similar ideas in generic terms and bring them into a logical order. Thus, you are able to directly create an outline of your work.
The method of mind-mapping serves to make better use of the capabilities of the human brain and the differences in the hemispheres.
If you already know your topic for the work, you can work it out with a mind map. Write the main topic in the middle of a large sheet. From there branches branch off like branches, on which you note further generic terms that fit to this topic. These in turn can be branched on and on.
It is best if you only write down individual terms or draw for these small symbols. So you can also use the fantasy of the right half of the brain next to the left half of your analytical brain.
If you draw a mind map with pens on paper, it can become quite confusing, depending on the topic and scope. Alternatively, to keep a better overview of your mind map, you can use specially designed computer programs.
In clustering, many ideas are developed through free association. The process is very simple, only the free association has to be practiced a bit. Simply write the topic of your bachelor thesis in the middle of a large sheet of paper. Then you write around all the associations that come to mind about your topic. Draw a frame around each term and connect connected terms with lines. Over time, whole chains of associations arise in this way. In part, there will also be terms that remain unconnected. By simply looking at them, they can trigger new ideas, which in turn produce new paths.
Bachelor Thesis: Find Supervisor and Literature Research
In order for the work to be completed successfully, in addition to the choice of topic, the approach is also decisive. When you have found your topic, find a lecturer who is particularly interested in the field and can help you in particular with helpful literature tips.
The examination regulations of the university stipulate from when the topic may be officially submitted. You should contact your preferred caregiver in time, so that he still has enough capacity.
In addition, you need sufficient literature to work on the topic. Of course, the Internet does produce a lot today, but the use of textbooks is essential for writing the bachelor thesis. It is therefore worthwhile to carry out a first literature search in the library during the topic search. Important: Use primarily new literature that reflects the current state of research.
Tips before writing: Time management and formatting
Thorough preparation requires more than a stack of books on your desk: set up the style sheets (line spacing, page margins) in your word processor as required by the exam regulations. All word processors have appropriate style sheets. If, for example, you want to change the layout at the very end, this is not a problem with a style sheet.
A BA thesis consists of a cover sheet (also note the formalities!), Table of contents, an introduction, the main and final part, as well as a list of sources and bibliography, the appendix and an affidavit. In addition, a list of illustrations may also be required.
Set up a bibliographic management program right at the beginning. This is a useful PC tool (such as Citavi, Docear, EndNote, or Zutero) that keeps track of your quotes and used literature. If you work through the literature, you should archive your sources structured from the beginning. Although this is a little more elaborate than a collection of loose notes, but saves ultimately a lot of work and spares the nerves.
Assemble a small team around you: friends, idea providers and proofreaders. You should especially inform your proofreaders as soon as possible when they get to read the draft. So they can plan their time – and you get the corrected work back quickly.
Time buffer and transparency
Each phase of the bachelor thesis takes time and can not be completed in two days: finding a topic is just as important as literature research, working with literature, structuring and the actual paperwork. In addition, you should schedule the time for your own correction, proofreaders and the printing of the bachelor thesis. In addition, you need time to work with your supervisor. Transparency is important here: Communicate the current state of work as clearly as possible. Only then can the supervisor see if there are any weaknesses or arguments. Although he is not allowed to point out mistakes directly, he can give hints.
To be successful at writing your bachelor thesis, good time management is essential.
With these simple tips, the bachelor thesis will certainly succeed – for many information before writing a bachelor thesis or further questions you are welcome to contact your first examiner. In general, the lecturer is anyway an unbeatable source for all sorts of knowledge and assistance.